Bellator MMA is back on Spike TV tonight with it’s first show of 2016, Bellator 148 – Daley vs Uhrich. Originally, Josh Koscheck was to headline this show with Paul Daley in the co-main, leading to a rematch of their controversial 2010 fight in UFC, which led to Daley receiving a permanent banishment from the company for hitting Koscheck after the final bell. Should Daley win tonight, they will probably just go straight to the Koscheck match on one of their tentpole shows later this year.
The rest of the card is your standard Bellator fare. Chris Honeycutt and Paul Bradley are rematched after their 2015 fight ended in a no-contest due to an accident clash of heads. Honneycutt is an undefeated prospect that Bellator is hoping to build around and he was dominating the first fight before it was stopped. Two big heavyweights clash in what should be a fun fight with Tony Johnson Jr and Raphael Butler. Both have impressive records and the winner will likely be a future opponent of Bobby Lashley should they decide to stripe Vitali Minakov of the Heavyweight title and create a new champion. Rounding out the card and probably kicking off the show will be Bellator stalwart Patrick Freire up against Ryan Couture. Freire is coming off a loss on the last Bellator show of 2015 against Derek Anderson and Couture has two straight submission wins. Whether he’s ready for it or not, a win over Pitbull will probably mean that Couture will at least be in discussions for a title shot against Will Brooks.
The SpikeTV broadcast starts at 9 pm eastern and will have live coverage here once the show starts. The prelims are streaming at http://bellator.spike.com/ starting at 7:40 pm eastern.
Carl Seumanutafa (10-6) over Javy Ayala by 2nd rd TKO (ground and pound)
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (3-0) over Amber Thackett by 1st rd submission (armbar)
Justin Smitley (10-6) over Art Arciniega by decision
Heavyweights Raphael Butler (9-1-1) vs Tony Johnson Jr (9-2) Mark Beltran - ref
Sean Grande said that Scott Coker has worked things out with Vitaly Minakov and he'll be back in Bellator to defend his title later this year and also said that the winner of this fight is a possible contender. He also brought up the names of Bobby Lashley and Cheick Kongo. A low blow broke things up after 2 minutes of grappling against the cage. After the restart , it was more grappling before they both started throwing hard punches for about 15 seconds and then right back to grappling. Butler ended up on top and held him down for the last minute. Close round, 10-9 Butler
More grappling to start round 2 with Butler in control of a cage clinch for the first minute or so before Butler got away from the cage. They stayed clinched up with Johnson walking him around the cage. When I said "fun fight" in the opening, this was not what I had in mind. Butler got a takedown 3 minutes in. Butler landed some elbows that didn't do much damage while Butler just tried to work out of bottom position. Johnson took his back at 4:15 and started landing punches to the head. Butler up at 4:30. 10-9 Johnson, 19-19 overall
Johnson with a takedown right away. Butler briefly to his feet but Johnson took his back and dragged him down. Johnson flipped him over and right into side control but Butler gave up his back again. Butler up at 2:30. They noted that the only time Johnson has ben stopped is by Daniel Cormier, the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Ref broke it up due to lack of action but Johnson took him right back down again and immediately took his back. Johnson landing a lot of punches to the head but not terribly hard and Butler still defending. A lot of the punches seemed close to the back of the head but Beltran not even warning him. Ref stopped it with about 30 seconds left, even though he didn't even warn Butler to defend himself.
WINNER - TONY JOHNSON JR (10-2) by TKO (punches) at 4:24 of the third
For anyone who may have missed the Rizin show on New Year's Eve, Spike is running a show that will air right after this called "The Emperor and The King" which one would assume will include both the Fedor and King Mo fights from Rizin.
Lightweights Patricky Freire (14-7) vs Ryan Couture (10-3) John McCarthy - ref
Sean Grande brought up how Patricky Pitbull had Eddie Alvarez beat when they fought but then Jimmy pointed out that Pitbull went on to lose that fight. As I'm typing that, Couture rocked Pitbull with a punch that knocked him down but he let him back up. Ptibutt rocks Couture with a punch at 2:15 but Couture stays on his feet. Couture bleeding from his nose from that shot but moving forward with punches. Pitbull dropped Couture with one punch. Couture stayed down for a long time flat on his face after the punch
WINNER - PATRICKY FREIRE (15-7) by KO (punch)
Lashley and Josh Thomson were in a commercial for Dave and Busters between fights that was just dreadful. Royce Gracie was interviewed via sattelite about next month's fight with Ken Shamrock Jiu Jitsu that his Dad taught him will beat the wrestling of Shamrock.
Welterweights Chris Honeycutt (6-0) vs Paul Bradley (22-6) Mike Beltran - ref
Honeycutt gets a huge pop as he's from Fresno, where this show is taking place. Bradley dropped Honeycutt with a punch early and then swarmed him with punches. Ref stepped in and stopped it. Honeycutt protesting but he was wobbly and not defending at all.
WINNER - PAUL BRADLEY (23-6) by TKO (punches)
Crowd booed the hell out of Bradley during the winner's announcement and post-fight interview. He called out the crowd for booing, saying he was just doing his job. Bradley says "I hope I'm in contention for a title shot".
They aired the Javy Ayala/Carl Seumanutafa fight from the prelims next. Carl won by 2nd round KO due to ground and pound as posted above. Ayala dominated the first, almost a 10-8 round. He nailed a flying knee early in the second and was all over Seumanutafa. Carl managed to work his way to the top position and then started to take over. Ayala looked exhausted and Carl busted him open with an elbow to the head and methodically worked his way into mount and it was stopped fairly quickly after that when he just kept landing unanswered punches. Ayala just leeking blood at the end of it.
Main Event -
Welterweights Paul Daley (37-13-2) vs Andy Uhrich (11-5) John McCarthy - ref
Paul Daley cut an AWESOME taped promo for the Fresno crowd. "People of Fresno, I came here to entertain you all. Your hometown boy, Josh CROTCH-check is nowhere to be found. I'm gonna show you real entertainment and how a real fighter fights. This is just a preview of the ass-whupping your hometown boy is gonna get". They cut to a shot of Koescheck in the crowd, clearly amused but feining anger. Andy Uhrich comes out to the Hulk Hogan theme "Real American".
Daley controlling the distance early. Uhirich landing light strikes from distance and shoots for a takedown but easily stuffed by Daley. Crowd actually chanting for Uhrich during a clinch. Daley dropped him with a punch at the end of a combo and Uhrich is out.
WINNER - PAUL DALEY (38-13-2) by KO at 2:00
Daley and Koscheck yelling at each other, as Koscheck is at cageside. Daley all over Koscheck in his post-fight promo. He says he came out and entertained the fans and "Crotch-check" would've put them to sleep. Koscheck just making the "keep talking" motion. This fight should have some steam when it happens.
Thanks for joining me tonight. Dave has you covered for UFC on FOX tomorrow afternoon!