Bellator MMA travels overseas to the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland for Bellator 173. Former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary takes on Brett McDermott in the main event. McGeary was originally scheduled to face Ireland’s own Chris Fields, but an injury forced him to have to pull out of the fight. Then, due to VISA issues Vladimir Filipovic was pulled, forcing Bellator to book their third opponent in Brett McDermott. The co-main event features Ireland native James Gallagher as he goes up against Kirill Medvedovsky.
The four fight Bellator main card continues with another Ireland based fighter in Sinead Kavanah. She puts her undefeated record on the line when she steps into the cage opposite Iony Razafiarison. In the welterweight division Colin Fletcher takes on Alex Lohore.
BAMMA 28 also takes place on Friday and teams up with Bellator MMA for their second co-promoted event. The main event takes place in the lightweight division with Paul Redmond taking on UFC veteran Norman Parke.
Coverage of the Bellator main card starts at 8 p.m. CT on Spike.
Brett McDermott (7-4) vs. Liam McGeary (11-1) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
Liam McGeary enters his fight against Brett McDermott looking to get back into title contention after losing the belt to Phil Davis at Bellator 163. McGeary lost by decision in a one sided affair (43-50, 45-50, 44-50), in a fight that never lived up to the hype.
Brett McDermott makes his Bellator debut after agreeing to take the fight on extremely short notice. Of McDermott’s 7 career wins as a professional, 6 are by KO/TKO. McDermott is 3-3 over his last 6 fights, alternating wins and losses. His most recent fight was at Full Contact Contender 17 where he finished Dan Konecke in the second round. A win here would certainly do wonders for his career.
Phil Davis was able to dominate McGeary by taking him down and outwrestling him for five rounds. McGeary’s strength is in his striking, but in order to get the belt back he must work on his takedown defense. Filipovic doesn’t have the skill sets of Phil Davis so I don’t expect him to be able to copy his game plan. This fight will most likely play out on the feet and that’s where McGeary shines. Of his 10 career wins, 5 are by knockout and 5 are by submission.
McGeary should get a fairly easy win, and the odds will reflect that. I would recommend taking a look at the rounds total under in this one.
Pick: McGeary by TKO
Kirill Medvedovsky (7-3) vs. James Gallagher (5-0) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Ireland’s own Jack Gallagher is 5-0 and 2-0 under the Bellator banner. Of his 5 professional wins, all but one were by submission. The 20 year old up and comer is a fighter to keep an eye on as he has the potential to make a run in the featherweight division.
Kirill Medvedovsky enters the fight on a two fight skid with his most recent loss coming at Bellator 164 against Georgi Karakhanyan, which also happened to be his Bellator debut. 5 of his 7 career wins have come within the distance, and he’ll be looking to make a name for himself by taking out the hometown favorite. That’s going to be easier said than done.
I expect Medvedovsky to test Gallagher early, but ultimately this is Gallagher’s fight to lose.
Pick: Gallagher by submission
Iony Razafiarison (1-1) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (4-0) – Catchweight 140 lbs.
Iony Razafiarison makes her second appearance for Bellator on Friday when she takes on Sinead Kavanagh. Iony dropped a decision to Bryanna Fissori in her debut at Bellator 139.
Sinead Kavanagh is also making her second appearance for Bellator. She won her debut by decisioning Elina Kallionidou at Bellator 169. She started her professional career in BAMMA where she went 3-0. The Irish born Kavanagh fights out of SBG Ireland and will be a contender in Bellator’s featherweight division.
Pick: Kavanagh by TKO
Colin Fletcher (13-7) vs. Alex Lohore (10-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Alex Lohore makes his Bellator debut on Friday. He enters the fight riding a six fight win streak with his latest victory coming against Harry Marple at Fightstar Championship 8. Of his 10 career wins, 8 have been by either knockout or submission.
MMA veteran Colin Fletcher will be stepping into the Bellator cage for the first time on Friday. Fletcher split his last two fights, he first lost to John Maguire by submission at M4tC 21, he then returned at M4tC 22 where he defeated Aymard Guih by submission.
Pick: Lohore by decision
Norman Parke (22-5-1) vs. Paul Redmond (11-5) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
UFC castoff Norman Parke makes his BAMMA debut when he takes on Paul Redmond for the vacant lightweight title. After parting ways with UFC after a loss to Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night 84, Parke beat Andrew Fisher at ACB 47 in his most recent fight. After going 0-2 in UFC Paul Redmond made his debut for BAMMA at BAMMA 26 where he decisioned Chris Singer.
Pick: Parke by TKO
Andy Young (10-8) vs. Dominique Wooding (3-0) – Flyweight 125 lbs.
Up and comer Dominique Wooding takes on Andy Young for the interim flyweight title. Wooding is 3-0 as a professional with all of his fights taking place under the Warrior Fight Series banner. All three of wins are by stoppage. Andy Young split his last two bouts with the latest coming at WWFC Cage Encounter 5 where he beat Alexander Barabash by TKO.
Pick: Wooding by TKO
Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) vs. Damien Lapilus (14-7-1) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
The BAMMA featherweight title is on the line as Ronnie Mann takes on Damien Lapilus. Ronnie Mann is coming off of a knockout victory over Graham Turner at BAMMA 25. He is 2-2 over his last four fights. Of his career 25 wins, 11 came via submission and 5 by KO/TKO. Damien Lapilus is 1-1 over his last two fights. After beating Alikhon Khasanov by decision at ADW Road to Abu Dhabi 3, he got knocked out at LFC 7 by Fares Ziam.
Pick: Mann by decision
Rhys McKee (5-0) vs. Tim Barnett (3-0) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
In what should be the fight of the night on the BAMMA card, Rhys McKee defends his BAMMA Lonsdale lightweight title against Tim Barnett. Both fighters come into the bout undefeated. All three of Barnett’s wins ended in the first round either by submission or TKO. While not all in the first round, all five of McKee’s wins ended inside the distance.
Pick: McKee by TKO
Prelims Quick Look
Herbert over Owens
Kilifin over Murphy
Rutkowski over Smith
Olejniczak over Reid
Irvine over McCabe
McClurkin over Fleury
Brookins over Dalton
Gustab over Hughes
Enjoy the fights!