GROCKE’S BELLATOR 186 LIVE REPORT 11/3: Vassell vs. Bader, Ducote vs. Macfarlane, Dempsey vs. Ruth, Leite vs. Davis, Freeman vs. Awad


NOVEMBER 3, 2017


Keep it locked here all evening for live updates of Bellator 186. My name is Michael Grocke and I’ll have live round by round coverage of the main card.

Be sure to check out the MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans podcast where I host every Monday at 6PM CT at You can also read my columns right here at MMATorch and for you sports bettors check out my website Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.

Bellator MMA makes its way to the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania for Bellator 186 on Friday night. The main event features a light heavyweight title fight between Ryan Bader and Linton Vassell. Bader will be making his first title defense after winning the title at Bellator 180 where he beat Phil Davis by Split Decision.

The co-main event takes us to the women’s flyweight division where Bellator will crown their first ever women’s flyweight champion as Emily Ducote takes on Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. The main card also features three-time NCAA wrestling champion Ed Ruth taking on Chris Dempsey, former Bellator light heavyweight champion and Penn State wrester Phil Davis vs. Bellator newcomer Leo Leite and Bellator 180 party crasher Zach Freeman vs. Saad Awad.


Main Card

(1) Zach Freeman (9-2) vs. Saad Awad (20-9) – Lightweight 155 lbs.

ROUND ONE: The fight starts with both fighters landing kicks. Awad stands at center cage with Freeman circling to the right. Awad lands a right hand that puts Freeman down on one knee but he bounces back up quickly. Freeman shoots and Awad blocks it and as Freeman goes to down he doesn’t make it back up and the ref stops it.

Result: Saad Awad over Zach Freeeman by TKO – Punches (1:07 of Round 1)

Grocke’s Point of View: Awad landed a big right hand that dropped Freeman to a knee. It looked like Freeman was able to shake it off, but as he shot in he definitely was still feeling the effects of the knockdown because his equilibrium was off and the made the right call by stopping the fight. Kudos to Awad for not throwing more punches.

(2) Chris Dempsey (11-5) vs. Ed Ruth (3-0) – Middlewight 185 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Dempsey engages and they clinch briefly. Ruth pushes him off and the fight remains the feet. Ruth with a takedown and now has Dempsey’s back. With 3:30 to go Dempsey tries to work back to his feet but Ruth stays glued to his back. Ruth looks for full mount with just under three minutes to go. He has full mount with 2:20 left. Ruth postures up and lands a few punches. Dempsey scrambles and gets back to his feet wiith ust under two minutes left. Stiff jab from Ruth. Dempsey lands a solid left. Dempsey getting more aggressive on the feet with under a minute to go. Ruth goes for a single and takes Dempsey down. He transitions to side control as the round ends.

10-9 Ruth

ROUND TWO: The second round starts on the feet. Both guys land punches early on. Ruth lands a nice right hand thirty seconds into the round. He follows up with another right that drops Dempsey and he is out.

Result: Ed Ruth over Chris Dempsey by Knockout (0:27 of Round 2)

Grocke’s Point of View: Wow, Ruth lands two huge right hands that put Dempsey’s lights out. Nice job by the referee for being in position to stop it instantly. Another impressive win for Ed Ruth.

(3) Leo Leite (10-0) vs. Phil Davis (17-4) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Davis comes out and throwing punches and kicks. Leite runs Davis to the fence and they clinch against the cage. Davis scores with a takedown. Leite looks for a leg lock but Davis spins out easily. They reset at center with 2:30 left. Davis lands a few nice jabs on the feet. Nice left hand from Davis and he just misses with a head kick. Heavy leg kick from Davis with 1:20 to go. Davis is doing a nice job using his reach advantage to maintain distance. The remaining minute and change of the round remains on the feet with neither fighter doing much damage.

10-9 Davis

ROUND TWO: Davis opens the round aggressively throwing hands. Time is called for Leite as he takes an accidental eye poke. The fight continues with 4:08 to go. Leite picks up the pace and starts letting his hands go. With three minutes to go in the round neither fighter is taking control of the round. Surprisingly not many takedown attempts from either fighter. Davis works in the clinch with 2:10 left. With 1:52 they reset at center cage. Davis runs Leite to the fence and back in the clinch. They trade knees. With 43 seconds left Leite breaks free and they reset at center cage. The rest of the round remains on the feet with not much happening.

10-0 Davis

ROUND THREE: Davis comes out throwing a high volume of punches. They clinch and go to the mat briefly, but both are up quickly. With three minutes to go they trade punches on the feet. Davis with a half hearted shot that’s blocked by Leite. Leite checks the clock with two minutes to go. Apparently he’s not in a hurry because his lack of volume hasn’t changed. Davis pushes Leite to the fence and lands a few knees in the clinch. Leite breaks free with 45 seconds left. No sense of urgency from Leite. Davis continues throwing punches but not much is landing.

10-9 Davis

Result: Phil Davis over Leo Leites by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Grocke’s Point of View: That was your typical boring Phil Davis fight. The guy just can’t have exciting fights. He dominated the fight, but coming in as an 8 to 1 favorite I expected more. Silly me. 

(4) Emily Ducote (6-2) vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (6-0) – Flyweight 125 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Ducote lands a heavy leg kick as Macfarlane lands with a combination to start the fight. They clinch at center cage , Ducote lands a few short punches with Macfarlane going to the body with knees. They break and Macfarlane shoots in but Ducote fends it off. They stand at center with three minutes to go. Macfarlane is landing some big punches and follows up with a knee. She has Ducote up against the fence and lands big knees to the body. Macfarlane gets Ducote to the mat and takes her back. She goes for a RNC but abandons it quickly and transitions to top control with a minute left. Macfarlane works from side control and goes for an arm bar with under 10 seconds left. Ducote survives.

10-9 Macfarlane

ROUND TWO: Ducote takes a right hand as she lands a leg kick. Macfarlane having success with her jab. Ducote’s success has been with the leg kicks, but she isn’t doing enough. Another right hand lands for Macfarlane. Ducote stands at center cage with Macfarlane circling to the right. They trade leg kicks with two minutes to go. Crisp jab from Macfarlane. Macfarlane’s output has slowed as we come to the end of the round. Ducote continues to follow Macfarlane around the cage but Macfarlane’s jab is giving her problems.

10-9 Macfarlane, but close

ROUND THREE: Ducote comes out landing more leg kicks. Ducote lands  leg kick and Macfarlane rushes in and they clinch at center cage. Macfarlane lands short punches as Ducote works the body with knees. At 2:40 they break and Macfarlane lands a nice combination. Macfarlane is doing a great job maintaining distance and not allowing Ducote to get inside. Macfarlane has Ducote against the fence and lands knees to the thigh of Ducote. Macfarlane fianlly gets Ducote to the mat with under 30 seconds to go in the round. The round ends with Macfarlane on top.

10-9 Macfarlane

ROUND FOUR: Ducote opens with a leg kick. I’m surprised Ducoote hasn’t made more attempts at getting inside. Macfarlane continues to get the upper hand with the exchanges on the feet. No takedown attempts from Ducote either. So far the first four minutes have been fought on the feet. Macfarlane is getting the better of the exchanges and landing the more powerful shots. A Supperman punch lands for Macfarlane and she rushes in, but Ducote is able to reverse her and gets a takedown. The round ends with Ducote trying to better her position.

10-9 Macfarlane

ROUND FIVE: Macfarlane comes out slinging leather with Ducote going with leg kicks. Ducote needs a finish here, but I don’t see Macfarlane slowing at all. They clinch and Macfarlane goes for a throw but Ducote lands on top of her. Macfarlane is doing an excellent job controlling Ducote’s posture. Macfarlane is looking for an arm bar from underneath with 90 seconds left. She has it and Ducote taps quickly.

Result: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane over Emily Ducote by Submission – Armbar (3:42 of Round 5)

Grocke’s Point of View: All Macfarlane in this one. She dominated on the feet by beating Ducote to the punch and just being the better overall striker. Congrats for becoming the first ever Bellator women’s flyweight champion!

(5) Linton Vassell (18-5) vs. Ryan Bader (23-5) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Bader comes out and takes center cage. He rushes in looking for a takedown up against the fence. Vassell fights him off but Bader throws him and is in side control a minute in. Vassell works back to his feet and they reset with 3:20 to go. Nice leg kick from Vassell that buckles the knees of Bader. Another leg kick from Vassell. Bader shoots the double and gets the takedown. Bader tries to better his position but Vassell scrambles back to his feet. Bader takes him down again with a minute left. Vassell has his back against the fence and tries working back to his feet as the horn sounds.

10-9 Bader

ROUND TWO: Bader misses with a head kick but takes Vassell down 30 seconds in. Bader continues to work from on top with Vassell’s back to the cage. Vassell finally starts to work back to his feet with 2:30 to go. He is up briefly, but Bader pulls him right back down. Bader landing big hammer fists from on top with 1:30 left. Vassell turns and gives up his back and Bader starts unloading with left hands. Vassell covers up and the ref jumps in to stop the fight.

Result: Ryan Bader over Linton Vassell by TKO – Punches (3:58 of Round 2)

Grocke’s Point of View:Excellent performance from Ryan Bader. He was in control the entire fight and once it went to the ground it was just a matter of time. Vassell looked to have lost some steam and wasn’t fighting back A good stoppage. 


Prelims Quick Results

Mike Wilkins over Brett Martinez by submission – Rear Naked Choke (1:09 of Round 2

Mike Trizano over Mike Otwell by submission – D’Arce Choke (2:07 of Round 2)

Dominic Mazzotta over Matthew Lozano by TKO – doctor stoppage (2:37 of Round 1)

Logan Storley over Matt Secor by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Tywan Claxton over Jonny Bonilla-Bowman by Knockout – Flying Knee (1:29 of Round 1)

Frank Buenafuente over Francis Healy by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Andrew Salas over Ethan Goss by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Josh Fremd over Ryan Parker by Submission – Rear Naked Choke (1:25 of Round 2)

NOW CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE: BELLATOR 186 PREDICTIONS 11/3: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for the main card


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