BELLATOR 188 REPORT
NOVEMBER 17, 2017
TEL AVIV, ISREAL AT MENORA MIVTACHIM ARENA
ON SPIKE TV
Bellator MMA continued their overseas tour with a stop at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Isreal for Bellator 187. The original main event of Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Daniel Weichel had to be scrapped due to an injury suffered by Freire. The co-main event of Noad Lahat vs. Jeremiah Labiano now moves into the main event spot.
The new co-main event takes place in the welterweight division where Hain Gozali takes on Arsen Faitovich. The main card rounds out with Jason Radcliffe vs. John Salter and Jessica Middleton vs. Denise Kielholtz.
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(1) Jessica Middleton (2-2) vs. Denise Kielholtz (0-1) – Flyweight 125 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Middleton takes center and eats a stiff jab. Kielholtz follows up with a nice combination. Middleton gets in close to clinch but Kielholtz judo tosses her to the ground and Kielholtz scores with a takedown 45 seconds into the fight. Kielholtz still has Middleton in a head and arm choke as Middleton tries to slip her head out. Kielholtz has an armbar now and Middleton taps.
Result: Denise Kielholtz over Jessica Middleton by Submission – Armbar (1:16 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Point of View: Kielholtz lit Middleton up on the feet as soon as the fight started. Jessica wanted nothing to do with Kielholtz on the feet and tried to clinch with Kielholtz while looking for a take the fight to the ground. Unfortunately Kielholtz was prepared and tossed her to the ground. She never let go of Middleton and got the tap. I was really impressed with Kielholtz who made her MMA debut after a successful kickboxing career. Middleton hasn’t looked good and looks to be over matched. I’m curious to see where she goes from here.
(2) Jason Radcliffe (12-3) vs. John Salter (14-3) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Radcliffe opens with a leg kick. Radcliffe throws a right hand and Salter ducks under and shoots for the takedown 45 seconds in. He runs Radcliffe to the cage and finally gets Radcliffe to the ground. Salter takes the back at 3:30. Salter with both hooks in and is looking for a rear naked choke. He has it and Radcliffe is forced to tap.
Result: John Salter over Jason Radcliffe by Submission – Rear Naked Choke (1:55 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Point of View: Salter continues to impress while making quick work of opponents. Yet another first round round finish for the American fighter and he made it look easy while barely breaking a sweat. Salter is an excellent grappler and extremely dangerous on the ground.
(3) Haim Gozali (7-4) vs. Arsen Faitovich (4-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Outside leg for Faitovich to open. Gozali tries to close the distance but is taken down by Faitovich 20 seconds in. Gozali works for a triangle choke from bottom. He has it and starts pushing down on Faitovich’s head. Faitovich goes out without tapping and the fight is over.
Result: Haim Gozali over Arsen Faitovich by Submission – Triangle Choke (0:45 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Point of View: Good recognition by the referee to see Faitovich was out because Gozali was looking for an armbar. This was a big win for Gozali in his home country and it clearly meant a lot to him.
(4) Noad Lahat (11-3) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (9-5) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Lahat takes center octagon and is the aggressor. Lahat misses with a head kick but then runs Labiano to the cage and lands knees in the clinch. They trade in the clinch. They break with just over three minutes to go. Lahat doing a good job cutting off the cage. Labiano went for a head kick but lost his balance and Lahat ends up on top. Labiano is doing an excellent job locking Lahat down. With 33 seconds left Lahat picks Labiano up and slams him down which was the most offense Lahat got in while spending the last two minutes in top position.
ROUND TWO: They come out throwing hands to open the second round. Labiano takes a knee low while in the clinch and he’s given time. Once back they continue to throw hands. They clinch against the cage with just under four minutes left in the round. Lahat gets Labiano to the ground with 3:24 to go. Lahat is doing a nice job keeping top control while Labiano tried to use the fence to get to his feet. With under two minutes to go Lahat continues to try and better his position while on top. Lahat lands two illegal elbows to the back of Labiano’s head and the ref calls for time as Labiano covers up. Time is called for the second time in the round for a foul on Lahat. A point is taken away from Lahat. With a minute left they clinch against the cage and Lahat scores with a takeddown. He looks for a heel hook and Labiano tries to spin out, but is warned for grabbing the fence. Labiano gets out of the hold and they scramble as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Lahat lands a nice body kick to start the round. Labiano with a nice low kick and they clinch against the cage a minute in. They trade knees and Lahat gets a takedown. Lahat starts landing some nice ground and pound halfway through the round. Lahat is doing an excellent job maintaining control while landing short strikes. A minute left and Lahat is still on top. With 15 seconds left the ref stands them up. The final 15 seconds is spent with both fighters swinging for the fences.
Result: Noad Lahat over Jeremiah Labiano by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Grocke’s Point of View: Lahat came out a little too amped up for my liking. I thought he fought to emotionally in the beginning and luckily for him it didn’t cost him the fight. Once he got Labiano down he dominated on the ground. I thought he had a smart game plan by getting the fight to the ground and not allowing Labiano to turn it into a firefight. Another nice win for Lahat.
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