LIVE BELLATOR 217 REPORT: Real-time results & analysis of Gallagher-Graham headlined event from Dublin

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Bellator 217
February 23, 2019
Dublin, Ireland from 3Arena
Tape Delay on Paramount Network and DAZN (9 PM ET)

Quick Prelim Results

via MMAFighting

Charlie Ward def. Jamie Stephenson via KO (strikes) in R1

Paul Redmond def. Charlie Leary via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Richard Kiely def. Mickael Bucher via TKO (strikes) in R1

Walter Gahadza def. Ruben Crawford via TKO (strikes) in R1

Ryan Curtis def. Luis Gonzalez via TKO (strikes) in R1

Leah McCourt def. Hatice Ozyurt via TKO (doctor stoppage) in R1

Olga Rubin def. Iony Razafiarison via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Will Fleury def. Shaun Taylor via submission (rear-naked choke) in R2

Alfie Davies vs. Daniele Scatizzi via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Chris Duncan def. Sam Slater via TKO (strikes) in R1

Dylan Logan def. Andrew Murphy via submission (armbar) in R1

George Courtney def. Ian Cleary via submission (guillotine) in R1

Main Card

(1) Richie Smullen vs. Adam Gustab (Featherweight)

ROUND ONE: The crowd is hot. Not much star power here, but this should be a fun show. Smullen is the crowd favorite here. Smullen came out nd took the center of the cage and threw some kicks. Smullen ducked some wide punches from Gustab and took him down. He took side control right away and worked to get to mount. He worked to pass but didn’t throw any punches really. He ended up in half guard and threw a few punches up against the fence. Smullen had one arm around the neck but he let it go. Gustab gave up his back and ate a few punches. Gustab worked his way to his feet but Smullen took him back down. Back in side control and he worked to get to mount again. The round ended before he could get there. 10-9 Smullen

ROUND TWO: Gustab came out throwing combinations that were connecting. After about a minute of this Smullen went in for the takedown. Gustab defended but ate some punches while Smullen worked to pull him down. He got him down and threw some short elbows from half guard. Smullen took his back and slid into mount. He postured up and Gustab pushed him off. Back in half guard, Smullen threw a few punches as the round ended. 10-9 Smullen, 20-18.

ROUND THREE: Smullen exchanged with Gustab in the center and gestured to him to keep is standing. Gustab rushed in with some alternating left and right punches that landed cleanly. Again, Smullen took him down after eating some shots. He went to mount right away but lost it. Smullen took his back and threw some punches from behind and then worked to get a choke in. It wasn’t deep and only one arm so he gave it up. Smullen was then in mount and landed some elbows with Gustab against the cage. He secured a head and arm choke but couldn’t get into the proper position. In side control, Smullen trapped an arm and then worked on a kimura. Gustab stood up but was taken down soon after as the fight ended. 10-9 Smullen, 30-27.

Result: 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 for Smullen by unanimous decision

Analysis: Smullen showed good grappling and was always working to improve his position. If he could have done more with the mount when he was able to get there, he could have finished the fight. Gustab is now a sub .500 fighter, so thanks for coming out. 

(2) Kiefer Crosbie vs. Daniel Olejniczak (Welterweight)

ROUND ONE: Olejniczak came out strong early on. Crosbie threw some very low kicks to try and trip him up. Olejniczak threw out several front kicks to try and keep a proper distance. Crosbie clinched with him against the cage and threw some knees to Olejniczak’s legs. Crosbie landed some big punches after they broke and Olejniczak went to take him down but Crosbie ended up on top. He took Olejniczak’s back and locked in the rear naked choke. He started to squeeze and Olejniczak tapped.

Result: Crosbie by submission at 4:09 of round one

Analysis: Good showing here for Crosbie and that’s another win for the hometown favorites. Olejniczak brought some good striking but once it went to the ground, Crosbie took over. 

They showed the Charlie Ward vs. Jamie Stephenson fight from earlier in the night. Ward won the fight with a KO in less than a minute. It was actually smart of them to sneak this into the broadcast because Ward is a great personality and that was quite the knockout.

(3) Peter Queally vs. Myles Price (Lightweight)

ROUND ONE: The crowd sang Queally’s walkout song “Zombie” by The Cranberries throughout the ring introductions. Price pressed Queally up against the fight early on. He had one of Queally’s legs and both were throwing punches while Price tried to get the fight to the ground. Queally threw some uppercuts that connected. Queally broke free and turned to the center of the cage. He started landing punches on Price from the outside. Price shot in from far away but Queally was able to defend. Price had one leg up against the cage again but really wasn’t getting anywhere with it. 10-9 Price

ROUND TWO: Queally connected with a right hand right away and Price rushed in for the same takedown attempt that hadn’t worked thus far. Both men threw uppercuts from this position. They broke apart and Queally landed a combo. Price dropped Queally with a left hand but he bounced back up. Price grabbed a leg against the fence again. They broke apart and both guys landed some shots. Queally then pressed Price against the cage and landed some knees. 10-9 Price, 20-18

ROUND THREE: Price moved in for a takedown right away. He had him pressed against the fence but still could not finish the takedown. Queally reversed and kept him pressed against the fence. They broke apart and Queally landed some combinations while he tried to keep his distance from Price. Queally ended up taking him down briefly. Price kept pressure on to try and close the distance. He pressed him up against the cage. Price had a waist lock and threw a big knee. He took Queally down and took his back. Price worked for the choke but Queally fought his hands well. Price finished the round in mount. 10-9 Price, 30-27.

Result: 29-28 Queally, 29-28 Price, 29-28 for Price by split decision

Analysis: I felt Price did enough to take each round but you could argue that he took enough strikes during some of thsoe takedown attempts where Queally should have won the round. Not the greatest fight and having Queally lose takes some of the steam out of things for the live crowd headed to the main event. 


(4) James Gallagher vs. Steven Graham (Bantamweight)

ROUND ONE: Graham threw a kick right away and Gallagher used it to take him down. Gallagher moved to side control and threw a knee to the body. He moved to mount and then took his back. Gallagher worked on the choke, but it was over his chin. He lost the position. He threw elbows and punches from mount and then went back to the choke. Graham stood up with Gallagher on his back. As Graham went back to the mat, the choke sunk in deeper and he tapped as soon as they went down.

Result: Gallagher by submission at 2:31 of round one

Analysis: Well that fight accomplished exactly what it was designed for. Gallagher bounced back from his last loss and looked like a star here tonight. His act is going to come off too much as Conor McGregor Jr. for many, but he’s a fun guy to have on top of these overseas shows or as part of a bigger card in the U.S. 

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