GROCKE’S BELLATOR 175 REPORT 3/31: Lawal vs. Jackson, Sanchez vs. Galvao, Gromley vs. Kharitonov, Kozola vs. Roberts, Carter vs. Lahat

MARCH 31, 2017


 Bellator 175 comes to the All-State Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The main event is a rematch between Rampage Jackson and King Mo. The two first fought at Bellator 120 where Jackson took a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). The co-main event is a battle of featherweight contenders when Emmanuel Sanchez takes on Marcos Galvao.

The five fight main card rounds out with Chase Gormley taking on Sergi Kharitonov in a battle of heavyweights, in the lightweight division Jake Roberts looks to end Steve Kozola’s undefeated run, and finally Lloyd Carter goes up against Noad Lahat.

As always, I’ll have live round by round coverage of tonight’s main fights, with quick results and commentary on the prelims. Make sure to follow along right here all night, and follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog

Jenn Brown welcomed everyone to tonight’s event and ran down the card. She threw it over to Grande, Smith and Sonnen. The three of them previewed the King Mo/Rampage fight. They showed highlights of King Mo fighting in the last Rizin event. Sonnen talked about King Mo’s weight. He weighed in at 212 lbs. They then talked about Rampage and showed a few highlights.

The three then transitioned to the co-main event and previewed Sanchez vs. Galvao. A few highlights were shown of each fighter. The three men talked briefly about the rest of the main card without any highlights shown.


(1) Damian Norris (7-2) vs. Tom Shoaff (8-2) – Lightweight 155 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Shoaff takes center cage and lands a few kicks to start. Shoaff kicks Norris low and time is called. Wow, that was a hard shot that the whole arena could hear. Shoaff knew it and immediately walked to a corner. Norris taking the full time allowed. They touch gloves. Shoaff throws a few jabs and follows with a kick. Norris returns with a kick of his own. They trade jabs with neither doing damage. Norris catches a front kick and lets Shoaff off the hook by letting go. Shoaff continues to stalk Norris down, cutting off the cage. Leg kick lands for Norris. Shoaff lands a nice combination. Norris lands a left and gets out. Nice combo for Norris lands flush. Norris catches another kick but fails to chop Shoaff down. Head misses for Shoaff. Norris lands a takedown with ten seconds left and finishes in top control.

10-9 Norris

ROUND TWO: Shoaff comes out trying to establish his jab. They trade leg kicks. Norris lands a right. He just misses a knee to Shoaff’s head. Norris scores a takedown, but lets him back up. Norris misses with a few jabs. Norris continues to circle right and dodges two wild punches from Shoaff. Norris lands a left and misses a spinning head kick. Shoaff goes low again with a kick and time is called. No point deducted. They touch gloves. They both miss with kicks. They trade kicks. Shoaff just misses a kick to the head. Norris drops Shoaff with a big left hand. Norris has top control and works ground and pound. Good defense from Shoaff and Norris lets him up. They trade left hands. Shoaff blocks a kick to the head. Nice combo from Norris. Straight right for Shoaff as the round ends.

10-9 Norris

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves. Shoaff comes out swinging but Norris avoids him. Shoaff much more aggressive here. They both land big left hands. Leg kick for Norris and follows with a left. The two start trading big shots and Shoaff is bloody. Norris misses a huge uppercut. Shoaff landing right hands. Big body shot from Shoaff. Shoaff with a kick to the head then to the body. Norris trying to keep distance with kicks and jabs. Shoaff lands a big combo and follows with a takedown. Norris slips out and has top control. Norris might be content to ride this out while in top control. Shoaff working hard from underneath. The round ends and they give each other a hug.

10-9 Norris

Result: Norris by UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was a fun fight. Both guys are very familiar with each other from fighting on the local regional circuit. Shoaff looked surprised by the decision, but it was the right call. Norris is a difficult guy to fight. 

(2) Matthew Paul (2-1) vs. James Bochnovic (5-1) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.

ROUND ONE: They trade jabs to start. Bochnovic runs Paul to the fence and clinches. Paul Hip tosses Bochnovic for a takedown. He works for  guillotine. Paul has Bochnovic in a head scissor trying to get a submission. Bochnovic reverses and has top control now. Bochnovic landing with ground and pound. Paul goes for a triangle. Bochnovic slips out. Bochnovic takes Paul’s back. He has a rear naked choke. Paul taps.

Result: Bochnovic by submission (4:30 of Round 1 – RNC)

Grocke’s Viewpoint: Wow, the striker wins by submission. Paul gassed himself out early and with Bochnovic’s size advantage it was only a matter of time. However, I expected a knockout. Goos win Bochnovic.

(3) Nate Williams (25-15) vs. Manny Vazquez (9-2) – Catchweight 125 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Vazquez is 5’10 and Williams is 5’1! Both fighters tentative to start. They trade punches. Vazquez clinches against the fence. Willaims pushes off but Vazquez follows and scores a takedown. Williams is up quickly. Williams has Vazquez pinned against the fence and looks for a takedown. He goes for a double leg but Vazquez reverses and take Willaim’s back. He looks for a rear naked choke. Williams hand fighting well. Vazquez with a body lock and tries for a RNC again. Williams defending well. Vaqzuez lands punches and elbows as the round ends.

10-9 Vazquez but I could see 10-8

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves. Straight left lands for Vazquez. Kick to the body for Williams. Williams lands a punch to the body and Vazquez returns with a kick to the ribs. Williams goes for a takedown but Vazquez ends up scoring one of his own and has the back. Vazquez looks for a RNC. This round is eerily similar to the first round. Vazquez has a body lock and lands short shots to the head of Williams. Williams tries getting to his feet but Vazquez brings him back down. Vazquez trying for the RNC again.

10-9 Vazquez but again I can see 10-8

ROUND THREE: Both fighters show respect to start the last round. They trade kicks. Vazquez lands a kick low and time is called. They touch gloves. Williams with a nice kick to the body. He catches a kick from Vazquez and runs him to the fence. Vazquez pushes him off easily. Big combo from Williams scores. Nice overhand left from Williams. The pace picks up with two minutes to go. Williams stalking Vazquez down looking to land punches. Front kick for Vazquez. Williams lands a right hand and follows with a kick. Vazquez shoots and scores a takedown. Vazquez with some nice ground and pound. Vazquez with top control as the fight ends.

10-9 Vazquez

Result: Vazquez by UD (30-27, 29-27, 29-28) 

Grocke’s Viewpoint: Vazquez dominated that fight from the opening horn to the end. Kudos to Williams for not getting subbed. The huge size advantage for Vazquez was too much for Williams to overcome.

(4) Joshua Hardwick (2-0) vs. Tim Cho (4-2) – Catchweight 160 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Cho with a kick to the body and follows with a left. They clinch and Hardwick lands a knee to the body. Cho runs Hardwick to the fence and lands a takedown. Cho works from top control while avoiding a kimura attempt from Hardwick. Cho landing big elbows from on top. Let’s go Cho chants from the crowd. Hardwick goees for a triangle but Cho was ready for it. Hardwick works back to his feet and looks at the time. Cho takes him back down. Big right hands from Cho on top. Cho ends the round in top control.

10-9 Cho

ROUND TWO: Overhand right just misses for Cho. Hardwick goes low with a kick and time is called. The fourth low blow so far tonight. Hardwick misses with a leg kick. Cho to the body with a right hand. Hardwick lands a knee. Cho avoids a kick and lands a takedown. Cho has side control. Hardwick gives up his back. Hardwick defends, and turns into Cho to get out. Both fighters back to their feet. Hardwick misses a kick to the head. Cho with an overhand right. Hardwick is keeping his hands very low. Cho shoots and scores another takedown. Cho landing ground and pound. Hardwick is gassed. Cho lands a few more shots to end the round.

10-9 Cho

ROUND THREE: Both guys come out throwing hands. Cho lands an easy takedown. Cho takes the back. He’s landing big shots now. Hardwick covers up as Cho lands. Cho might have punched himself out here. HArdwick has nothing left as tries to just survive the round. Big right hands for Cho and Hardwick turtles. A few more big rights and Big John stops it.

Result: Cho by TKO (2:43 of Round 3)

Grocke’s Viewpoint: Excellent, dominant performance from Cho. His cardio was much better than Hardwick’s. Hardwick’s face tells the story. 

That’s the last of the prelims and they transition to hyping the main card on Spike.

Main Card

Sean Grande welcomes viewers to Bellator 175 and previews the main event between Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal vs. Quinton “RAmpage” Jackson. He then welcomes Jimmy Smith to the telecast who gives his perspective on the main event. Chael Sonnen is then brought in and he discusses the difference in weight between King Mo and Rampage. The three then move onto the co-main event between Marcos Galavo and Emmanuel Sanchez.

(5) Steve Kozola (7-0) vs. Jake Roberts (7-1) – Lightweight 155 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Leg kick from Roberts. Kozola lands a short left that drops Roberts. Kozola pounces but Roberts is up. Kozola landing bombs and Roberts goes down again. The fight is stopped! WOW!

Result: Kazola by KO (0:28 of Round 1) 

Grocke’s Viewpoint: Wow! I love watching Steve Kazola fight. A short left left rocked Roberts and he was done at that point. A good, quick stoppage from Big John. A nice shout out to his hometown of Chicago in his post fight interview with Jimmy Smith. He calls out Dillon Danis who is at ringside for his next fight. 

With time to spare they showed highlights of the Tim Cho vs. Joshua Hardwick fight that Cho won by KO.

Free agent signings Dillon Danis, Lorenz Larkin and Ryan Bader are introduced.

(6) Noad Lahat (10-2) vs. Lloyd Carter (10-8) – Featherweight 145 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Lahat takes center cage. Front kick for Lahat. Lahat rushes in and pushes Carter to the fence. Carter spins out. Lahat rushes in and misses with a right then a left. Low kick for Carter. Carter puts Lahat down with a jab. Lahat pops back up. Carter misses with a right hand and Lahat shoots in and scores a takedown. He works from on top. Lahat stands and lands a kick. He’s back on top landing short punches and elbows. Lahat has an arm triangle but lets it go. He has full mount and lands shots to the body. He lands more ground and pound as trhe round ends.

10-9 Lahat

ROUND TWO: Leg kick for Lahat to open the round. Lahat misses with a head kick. Carter is tentative. Kick to the body for Lahat. Front kick for Lahat. Not mucjh offense from Carter here. Lahat has Carter pinned against the fence and scores a takedown. He works from top position and goes for an arm triangle but lets go. Carter gives up his back and Lahat looks for a submission. He has a body lock in and drops elbows onto Carter. He finds an opening and sinks in a rear naked choke. Carter goes out and referee Mike Beltran waves it off.

Result: Lahat by submission (3:50 of Round 2 0 RNC)

Grocke’s Viewpoint: As expected Lahat gets the submission. This was a fight he was expected to win and he did. It doesn’t really tell me anything more or less as to what to expect from him in Bellator. It seems Bellator has big plans for him so we shall see. He decides he doesn’t want to call anyone out, instead asking to be called out. Hmmm, interesting.

Jenn Brown interviews Lorenz Larkin and they discuss his fight against Jose Lima. Larkin picks King Mo to win. Jenn Brown throws it to Jimmy Smith who interviews Ryan Bader. Bader stresses he wants to fight on the MSG card and fight for the title.

(7) Sergei Kharitonov (23-6) – Chase Gromley (14-5) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Leg kick for Gormley to stsrt. More kicks from Gormley. They both work jabs. Gormley misses a sweeping right hand. Kharitonov doing a good job keeping his hands high. Kharitonov catches a kick and lands a big knee to the head. Nice right from Kharitonov. Gormley doing a nice job with the jab, but Kharitonov is just walking through it. Both fighters landing big shots. Le kick for Kharitonov. They trade jabs. Uppercut lands for Kharitonov. Sergei walking Gormley down. He lands a big right hand as Gormley backs to the fence. He follows with an uppercut and drops Gormley. Gormley was out before he hit the canvass as Kharitonov just turns around and walks away with his arms raised. This one is over.

Result: Kharitonov by KO (3:55 of Round 1) 

Grocke’s Viewpoint: Sergei Khartinov with the walk-away knockout! This was a pretty close fight up until the knockout. Gormley was doing a nice job with the jab, but Sergei’s power showed with a huge right hand followed by the uppercut that put Gormley’s lights out. This was fight Kharitonov had to have and he got it. Big win.

The fighters taking part in Bellator NYC are introduced.

(8) Emmanuel Sanchez (14-3) vs. Marcos Galvao (18-7-1) – Featherweight 145 lbs.

ROUND ONE: They trade kicks to start. Sanchez with two quick head kicks that are partially blocked. Sanchez with a leg kick. Front kick blocked from Sanchez. Galvao shoots and has Sanchez against the dfence. Sanchez fighting off the takedown attempt successfully. Back to center. Spinning back fist followed by a head kick from Sanchez doesn’t land. Galvao pushes Sanchez to the fence, Sanchez reverses but Galvao spins out. Back to center. They trade jabs. Galvao with a combination and follows with a leg kick. They trade punches and Galvao shoots. Sanchez blocks it. Inside leg lick for Sanchez. Sanchez misses with a head kick. They stand at center cage when the horn sounds to end the round.

10-9 Sanchez

ROUND TWO: Both fighters come out swinging to start round two. Sanchez misses a head kick but follows and lands an inside leg kick. Bid right for Galvao. A combo lands for Galvao. Sanchez peppering Galvao with jabs. Sanchez lands a big kick, but Glavao comes back with a nice combination. Sanchez keeping a very high pace. Galvao lands with a kick to the body. Sanchez pushes Galvao to the fence. He lands knees to Galvao’s thighs in the clinch. Galvao works out and back to center. Galvao misses a left hand and Sanchez lands a combination flush. He follows with a nice body kick. Sanchez throwing kicks and punches keeping Galvao off balance. Sanchez pushes Galvao to the mat but he bpunces back up. They circle as the round ends.

10-9 Sanchez

ROUND THREE: Two kicks to the head partially land to open the third round for Sanchez. Galvao goes for a single leg but Sanchez shrugs him off. They trade right hands. Sanchez is doing an excellent job at staying out of Galvao’s range. Galvao goes for a kick but Sanchez catches it and releases as he can’t follow up. Sanchez has Galvao against the fence and lands a few knees. Galvao spins out. Galva know works in the clinch and Sanchez pushes off. Back to center. Sanchez goes low but Galvao says he’s fine and they continue. They trade punches. Sanchez has his back but lets him off afraid to go to the ground with Galvao. They trade shots. Galvao finally gets a takedown but Sanchez is up instantly and the horn sounds.

10-9 Sanchez

Result: Sanchez by UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was the best I’ve ever seen Sanchez fight. I’m officially on the bandwagon. His style and high volume make him very difficult to deal with. Marcos Galvao is no pushover and Sanchez pretty much dominated the fight. Sanchez asks for a shot at the title in his post fight interview. I say give it to him.

 (9) Quinton Jackson (37-11) vs. Muhammed Lawal (20-5) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Mo takes center cage. They trade jabs. MO bouncing on his toes, Rampage flat footed. Rampage laying back trying to get his timing. Mo Pushes Rampage to the fence and drags him down. Mo with knees to the thigh of Rampage. Rampage works back to his feet and takes a few shots to the head from Mo. Mo tries to drag Rampage down but can’t get him down. More knees to Rampage’s thigh. Mo pulls Rampage away from the fence and scores a takedown. Mo working to keep top control. Rampage gets back to his feet as the round ends.

10-9 King Mo

ROUND TWO: Left lands for Rampage. They both land jabs. Mo with a nice right hand. Mo pushes Rampage against the fence. MO looking for a takedown but rampage defends it well. Mo works knees in the clinch. Big John separates them. Jab gets through for Rampage. Nice combination for Rampage. Rampage lands a left hook. Mo shoots and Rampage sprawls with his back to the fence. Mo tries for another takedown but can’t get it. Rampage lands again as they separate. They clinch center cage. Rampage with a trip and scores a takedown. Rampage lands again as Mo stands and the round ends.

10-9 Rampage

ROUND THREE: Rampage misses with a Superman punch. Mo shoots but Rampage blocks it. Mo goes for a single leg but loses it and pushes Rampage against the fence. Rampage landing elbows to the side of Mo’s head. More clinching. Mo lands a few body shots as they separate. Rampage with his back to the fence again. Rampage shoots and Mo sprawls, spins and tries to take Rampage’s back. Rampage is up and they clinch. Mo lands a few shots to the body and Rampage pushes Mo off of him. Mo works inside again to the body. Rampage misses a left at range. Mo presses against the cage. They trade blows as the round ends.

10-9 King Mo

Result: King Mo by UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Grocke’s Viewpoint: King Mo did enough to earn the victory tonight. Rampage looked slow tonight. He still has power but King Mo did a nice of job getting inside and landing in the clinch. During the post fight interview King Mo asks the crowd to give Rampage a round of applause and calls him a legend. Ryan Bader is announced as King Mo’s opponent at Bellator 180. I would have rather have seen Bader fight Davis for the title, but I understand why they went this route. 

I thought Bellator 175 was a fun night of fights. There weren’t any surprises or upsets. King Mo got his win back in the maion event, Emmanuel Sanchez took another step closer to a title shot, Kharitonov got the win he desperately needed to get himself back into the title conversation, Lahat won easily and Steve Kozola showed tonight that maybe he is Bellator’s next big star.

Thanks for following along with me tonight. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog





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