Bellator 118 is Bellator season 10′s penultimate event. Joe Warren had a chance to claim the interim bantamweight title if he beat Rafael Silva. And that wording is deliberate. Silva missed weight, so if he won, Bellator wouldn’t award him the title. It was only a championship fight for Warren. Semifinal bouts for the welterweight tournament and summer series light heavyweight tournament took place as well.
What fights should you fast forward when you watch this card on your DVR and which ones should you watch intently? Read on and find out.
British light heavyweight prospect Liam McGeary is on many a radar in MMA (including ours), and has been since Bellator season 9. He took on Mike Mucitelli in the first of the Summer Series tournaments.
Round 1: Mucitelli hit a double leg, but McGeary reversed it and landed in mount. Mucitelli managed to escape mount and return to his feet, but it didn’t matter. McGeary hit a hook that lawnchair’d Mucitelli. It was like turning off a light switch. All strength left Mucitelli’s body and he collapsed lifeless to the canvas like an intern who’s just been told they’re not getting hired. This one warrants posting the GIF (via Zombie Prophet).
Marcos Galvao vs. Thomas Vasquez
Round 1: Not much action after the first minute, but then Galvao rushed Vasquez, secured a body lock, and slammed him. Galvao wasn’t able to make much use of the takedown though. Vasquez returned to his feet midway through the round, and landed a handful of stiff jabs to boot. Vasquez bum-rushed Galvao with a flurry of inaccurate punches, then clinched him. This was a mistake as Galvao hit a gorgeous throw. Vasquez immediately got to his feet though, and then took down Galvao, who got up quickly as well. Vasquez rushed Galvao again and it looked like he almost pulled guard, which was a very questionable decision. Not much else happened in the last 30 seconds. Galvao landed some ground and pound.
Round 2: Galvao landed an overhand right to counter Vasquez’s lazy jab. Vasquez hit a decent left hook. His footwork allowed him to stay out of Galvao’s range, but he never capitalized on it. He’d either throw one punch at a time or a messy flurry. Vasquez moved in to trade but Galvao timed a double-leg perfectly and slammed him to the mat with authority. After like two minutes of stalling, Vasquez got back up…only to be taken down again and for more ineffective ground and pound and guard passing to take place. Vasquez gets up again as the round ends in a front face-lock. Vasquez keeps one hand on the ground to avoid a knee but Galvao throws two of them anyway. The ref doesn’t give a shit. Cool.
Round 3: Both dudes missed basically all their strikes for the first two minutes. Galvao grabbed a body lock and got takedown. He took Vasquez’s back and attempted a rear-nakd choke; he couldn’t clinch it. The second attempt failed too. The other 500 attempts fail too. Right as the round ends, Vasquez escapes and sits in Galvao’s guard, throwing weak punches. Galvao earned a decision victory.
This welterweight tournament semifinal was originally supposed to feature Andrey Koreshkov vs. Sam Oropeza–and it was supposed to take place at Bellator 115. Alas, Oropeza weighed in heavy at 172.4 pounds. He was unable to make weight after given an hour, and was replaced by Justin Baesman. And there were about 45 minutes of commercials before this fight. Holy shit.
Round 1: Koreshkov started off throwing an array of kicks from the outside, but didn’t land any too convincingly. His hands worked better. He hit a nice combo topped off with an uppercut. Koreshkov threw a spinning back kick that nearly landed, and then threw a wild flurry followed up by a flying knee that knocked Baesman out cold. Squash match, but what else do you expect from a late replacement jobber?
Round 1: Joe Warren clinched immediately but it was Silva that got the takedown and slam. Then he took Warren’s back, but Warren exploded out of the position and rose back to his feet…only for Silva to press him up the cage for the next few minutes. Surprisingly, Silva dominated the clinch work for the first few minutes, that was until Warren landed a giant knee to the body. Silva backed off after that, then Warren nearly locked up a guillotine. The two got back up. After a lull, Silva started spamming right hands and hurt Warren badly. Warren landed a desperation takedown that saved his consciousness with about a minute to go, and then nothing happened on the ground while the round ended.
Round 2: Warren through a shitty flying knee and almost paid for it with his consciousness a la Andrei Arlovski. Warren hit a double leg, but Silva stood up about 20 seconds after getting taken down. Both fighters look gassed, but Silva looks worse. Despite being tired, Silva hits a spinning back kick to the body, and then a stiff uppercut. Warren took Silva down again but Silva used his butterflies to sweep warren and return to his feet. Silva turned up the volume with his strikes, landing right hands at will. Silva caught Warren in the air during a flying knee and threw him to the floor. Silva attempted a spinning back kick as a follow-up but got taken down off it. Like with every other take down in this fight, Silva got up almost immediately. Then he turned the tables on warren and took him down. The round ends after a pattern of both guys taking each other down and getting up.
Round 3: Warren hit Silva with a massive right hand that wobbled him, then attempted an awful-looking flying round kick. Warren stepped into a right hand, then threw a massive overhand right of his own which missed. Warren ate a big right, but then shot a double-leg and landed it. This time Silva didn’t get up right away; he was tired. Warren landed some elbows. He’d occasionally stack Silva but would never land any great ground and pound from the position. Silva went for an arm-bar but it failed; Warren’s arm wasn’t deep enough. Warren finished the round on top in side control. This was pretty brutal in terms of entertainment value.
Round 4: Warren pressed Silva immediately and took him down. Unlike last round, Silva got back up, then tried a takedown of his own. The two battled in the clinch for a little bit before Warren wrestled a breathing-heavy Silva to the mat. He took Silva’s back, then switched to mount, but couldn’t keep it. Cue the same pattern of get up-clinch-get taken down and repeat. Warren tried a pro wrestling pile driver but didn’t have the strength left. Warren took Silva’s back right as the round ended.
Round 5: This round was basically the same as the last one. I don’t wanna use the term “lay and pray” but ugh. About half way through the fight Warren hit an illegal knee in the clinch while Silva had his hands on the mat. The Joe Warren clinch/ground smother continues. The fight ends. Warren wins a decision and the interim bantamweight belt.
Here are the complete results:
Joe Warren def. Rafael Silva via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Andrey Koreshkov def. Justin Baesman via KO (flying knee), 1:41 of round 1.
Marcos Galvao def. Thomas Vasquez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Liam McGeary def. Mike Mucitelli via KO (punch), 0:20 of round 1
Dante Rivera def. Gemiyale Adkins via majority decision (29-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Jesus Martinez def. Ryan Caltaldi via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Tim Woods def. Eugene Fadiora via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Darrion Caldwell def. Joe Pingitore via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:32 of round 1
Lester Caslow def. Jay Haas via submission (guillotine choke), 2:29 of round 1
Sidney Outlaw def. Mike Bannon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kevin Roddy def. Amran Aliyev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)