BELLATOR 168 LIVE REPORT
DECEMBER 10, 2016
FLORENCE, ITALY AT THE NELSON MANDELA FORUM
LIVE ON SPIKE
(1) BRIAN MOORE vs. DANIEL WEICHEL
This should be interesting, 37-9 Weichel vs. 9-4 Moore…
Round 1: Moore’s got John Kavanaugh in his corner… Moore is taking the center quickly and establishing the jab. Big exchange as Weichel pushes to the fence and Moore breaks free. Back to the center and Moore is controlling. Wecihel pushes back to the fence. Knees are traded and Moore spins and breaks free with an elbow. Moore looks comfortable on the feet as he misses a big uppercut. Weichel shoots and lands a big takedown but Moore is immediately back to his feet. Weichel is pressuring against the fence and drops for another takedown. Weichel on the back now looking for the rear naked. He’s only got one hook in, wait now two, and now he’s flattened Moore out and might have the choke. Moore breaks free but is still flattened out, he’s rolling into mount now. Weichel is looking for an arm triangle and dang he gets the tap. That was excellent ground control there from Weichel. Smooth operator on the ground indeed.
Final Decision: Daniel Weichel def. Brian Moore via Arm Triangle Troke Rd1 Sub
Analysis: Moore definitely looked comfortable on the feet and was taking control there nicely. However as soon as Weichel was able to land that takedown he looked excellent transitioning right to the back and rolling into multiple submission attempts until he finally landed the right one. Nicely done. My guess is he moves on to Daniel Strauss now.
(2) SINEAD KAVANAGH vs. ELINA KALLIONIDOU
Round 1: Alright here we go. No touch here. Sinead is stalking clearly looking for a power shot. Elina circles and the crowd charges Sinead forward and into an exchange and she’s teeing off on Elina. Wow, Sinead has some heavy hands. She’s confident with her hands low and she rushes Elina to the cage again and tees off. Kavanagh is too strong for Elina, it would be wise to mention that Elina is only 18 years old too. They break free and are back to the center with Elina circling. Super man punch off the cage for Elina but Sinead blocks and pushes back to the cage and is landing massive shots here. Jeez big shots for Sinead and it might be over here soon. Elina wisely clinches up. Sinead might be catching her breath here as she’s just leaning on Elina right now. Small knees landing by both gals. Sinead drags her down as the round ends. 10-9 Kavanagh
Analysis: Sinead was highly aggressive and had Kallionidou backed up against the cage multiple times and proceeded to rain down a Godly firestorm of punches nearly finishing it off. Her technique can definitely sharpen up but she certainly has a load of power.
Round 2: Sinead is stalking and winging haymakers as the round opens. Teeing off on the cage once again but now Kallionidou clinches. Sinead breaks free and takes the center of the cage again. She’s walking straight forward with her hands down looking for the onshot kill. Elina has a wide open guard and minimal footwork. She’s allowing Sinead to push her right back to the fence and land big punches. Sinead is trying for a double leg and lands it. She’s back up as Elina motions for her to enter guard. Ref stands them up and for the first time Elina presses forward with a kick. Sinead is back to stalking and landing big shots as the round ends. 10-8 Kavanagh
Analysis: Sinead is gassing and looking for the kill shot. She gives a quick blitz here and there but Elina’s lack of striking defense makes it way too easy. I’d be fine if her corner threw in the towel.
Round 3: Elina’s been a punching bag for two rounds but doesn’t look all that bad surprisingly. Round 3 opens and we’re back to more of the same as Sinead walks with her hands down and Elina backs up. Sinead enters with wide and sloppy punches and they clinch again. Sinead drags her down again and is landing some short hammer fists. She transitions to side mount and is looking for the full. She’s got it but not for long. She’s got it again and hopefully will be able to finish this. Oh wow, Elina with a slick escape and back to her feet. That was a nifty escape, one we don’t often see. Too bad she didn’t take advantage with any offense. She’s allowed Sinead to pin her against the fence again and tee off. She breaks free and circles out. Spinning back fist from Elina but Sinead ducks under and lands to the body. She presses Elina to the cage again and drags her to the ground. Sinead sunk in a rear naked choke but the final bell rings before Elina could tap. Well that was anything but impressive. 10-8 Kavanagh
Final Decision: Unanimous Decision Sinead Kavanagh
Analysis: That fight was terrible. Sinead has undeniable power in her hands but she needs to tighten up her combinations so she can be more accurate in finding a home for those knockout punches. She started strong but couldn’t sustain the same pace as the fight wore on and Elina’s lack of offense or defense for that matter made it easy for Sinead to hold on and coast through for the win. At only 18 though I’d like to believe this will be a good learning experience for Elina Kallionidou and she will improve drastically from this.
Not much time wasted here by Bellator.
(3) ANTHONY TAYLOR vs. JAMES GALLAGHER
Next fight up is Anthony Taylor vs. James Gallagher. The pacing of the show is something I’ve found to be surprisingly pleasant. They really haven’t wasted much time in moving right along with the fights here.
Round 1: Looks to be a bit of tension between these two. I like it. Taylor’s last fight was a 30 second knockout. Gallagher is the hometown hero here. This is going to be good. Gallagher was yelling at him from across the cage and they exchange immediately. Taylor is swinging wildly and Gallagher clinches. Crazy spinning attacks from Taylor. Gallagher is clearly the more technical fighter. Taylor trips him up and pushes him to the ground. Gallagher is back up and they trade shots. Both guys circling in the center and they trade again as Taylor rushes in. They clear out and move back to the center. Nice leg kick from Gallagher. Taylor is aggressive but not very accurate. Taylor threw his hands u and yelled at Gallagher. Gallagher rushes in and locks on a guillotine but loses it quickly. They reset in the center. Nice leg kick again from Gallagher. Good body kick from Taylor and he’s rushing in heavy here trying to steal the round. 10-9 Taylor for being more aggressive. I do think however that Gallagher is the more skilled fighter though.
Round 2: Gallagher rushes to the center and Taylor jumps in with a right hand. Body kick from Gallagher but it’s caught and Taylor pushes him back. They break free and Gallagher steals the center again. Taylor’s gameplan here is obviously to look for the blitz. Just not accurate and Gallagher is countering with short left hands. Beautiful leg kicks from Gallagher. Taylor rushes in with winging punches. Nice jab from Taylor but a returned leg kick by Gallagher. Taylor catches him with a short left hand and stuffs a double leg attempt by Gallagher. Leg kick again by Gallagher. Taylor is looking extra sloppy now. Taylor just landed the hardest right hand of the fight but Gallagher ate it like a pancake. 10-9 Gallagher. He’s got no respect now for the striking of Taylor. The blitzes are too easy to read at this point and he’s countering left and right with the left and right. I’d like to see him get the finish here in the third.
Round 3: Taylor looked to be limping in his corner. They both rush in to an exchange and get tripped up. Gallagher ends up on Taylor’s back and is looking for the rear naked choke. Taylor walks him to the fence and is looking to shake him off. Gallagher switches to the body triangle and starts to land punches to the head. Gallagher may have it locked up here and Taylor taps to the rear naked. Excellent work by Gallagher.
Final Decision: James Gallagher Def. Anthony Taylor via Sub. Rear Naked Choke in Round 3
Analysis: That was picture perfect for the 20 year old James Gallagher. He was patient in the first round and weathered the storm from Taylor. In the second he made his adjustments and found his range and timing. In the third he took advantage of the first opening Taylor gave him in a sloppy blitz and almost immediately jumped on the back and locked in the finishing choke. This kid is definitely someone who may find his way to the UFC. I know I’ll remember him now for sure.
(4) “KING MO” MUHAMMAD LUWAL vs. SATOSHI ISHII
I’d really like to see King Mo use his athleticism tonight and box this guy up something nice. He’s won 7 of his last 8 fights so he’s got some momentum swinging his way.
Round 1: Big weight difference here though as Ishii is 236 and King Mo is only 213. Ishii doesn’t look much bigger. Anyway, here we go. They touch gloves and Kingo Mo throws out the jab. Ishii throws a nice shot to the body followed by an inside le kick. King Mo is stalking him against the fence and lands a nice combo finished with an uppercut. King Mo moves in with an over hand right and Ishii pushes back with a combination. He doesn’t land though. He’s trying to clinch with King Mo but keeps getting denied. Mo lands a nice straight right. Mo shoots in and lands the double leg. Ishii is trying to wall walk his way up and Mo is landing hard shots. Mo breaks with ahard combination. Mo with another double leg. He’s got him pinned up against the fence and they’re back up. They clinch and break again. Both men seem to be slowing down now. The exchange and Ishii lands a right tot he body. Mo is dropping his hands and taunting Ishii. Round ends. 10-9 King Mo. He landed two takedowns and made Ishii pay both times for getting back up. He also was finding a home for the straight right. I’d like to see him capitalize on that more here and start to open up the body. Ishii is very stiff when punching, though he’s landed some excellent leg kicks.
Round 2: Mo takes the center and Ishii land another inside leg kick. Ishii rushes forward but doesn’t land. Mo stuffs the takedown attempt and lands a nice right. They exchange but neither lands much. Mo is trying to bait Ishii into throwing first so he can counter but Ishii isn’t biting. They exchange here and Mo lands a right and left. Now he’s being more aggressive, Mo lands a nice knee in another exchange. Nice body combination by King Mo. He’s stalking Ishii and drops for the double leg and gets it. Third takedown of the fight. Nice knee by King Mo as Ishii gets back up. Mo lands another takedown. He could have finished this on the feet already if he’d been more offensive. He’s just beating up on Ishii here as the round ends. 10-9 King Mo. I wouldn’t be surprised if some gave that a 10-8 but Ishii did land a couple shots, including a nice inside leg kick. Mo in clear control however and should have finished this fight within the first half of this fight. Quit baiting and start initiating.
Round 3: They touch gloves here in the final round and Ishii opens with a heavy body kick. Mo with a nice straight right and ducks under the counter. His boxing is too good for Ishii and Mo should find the finish. Ishii is starting to throw more volume but Mo continues to taunt. Mo stuffs the takedown and shoots in for his own, landing what is now his fifth takedown in a massive slam. Clear top control and big elbows to the body. Ishii gets back up and Mo breaks free ducking under a left hook. Nice inside leg kick again for Ishii but Mo ducks udner a punch and shoots for the double. He lands it and I wish this fight was over already. Theyre back up and Ishii with a hard body kick but nothing else. One straight left and a spinning back fist. Mo is getting his chances to counter but choosing to taunt instead. I hate this. Pull the trigger dude. Finally a nice shot to the body for Mo. Ishii pushes in for a final rush and the fight ends. 10-9 King Mo. Could’ve, should’ve finished this fight. King Mo will get the win but I’m disappointed he didn’t show off his boxing a bit more.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Well that’s a wrap for Bellator 169 and it wasn’t half bad. The sheer volume of MMA that is being shown nowadays has me being more selective in the events I choose to watch but Bellator put on a good show here. I’ll say it again, the pace of their show was really refreshing. I’ve felt in the past that the UFC has dragged things out in an absolutely dreadful manner. I did enjoy the show however and James Gallagher really impressed me. He’s a young buck with loads of potential and talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes noise in the UFC at some point. Check back in tomorrow for the UFC on Fox coverage here at MMATorch.com.