Bellator 134: British Invasion results – McGeary takes crown, Brits Invade and Prevail
by Eric Kowal, photos by William McKee
The main card kicked off with fighters representing both countries up on the catwalk while each nation’s national anthem was played. The U.S. version kicked more a** (we are bias) as guitarists did their rendition of the song.
In the main event undefeated Englishman Liam McGeary (9-0) will challenge Emanuel Newton for his Bellator light heavyweight title. If McGeary wins he will be the first British fighter to hold a major MMA championship.
Newton (25-7) last defeated Linton Vassell in his second title defense via rear-naked-choke in the fifth round. Vassell, also an Englishman and friend of McGeary faced Rameau Sokoudjou a UFC and Pride veteran.
In the first round of the main event, McGeary locked on several armbars and triangle choke attempts as well as a kimura but could not seal the deal. Newton seemed to be virtually untapable. The second round went a little better for Newton but again towards the end of the round he was put in another submission but was able to make it to the bell.
McGeary listened to his corner and let his hands go a bit more in the third. He found success there, stunning the champ several times with some powerful jabs that backed the Hardcore Kid up and made him rethink his approach. Halfway through the round however Newton gained top control on the ground but once again McGeary would lock up a triangle choke. This time he was able to do it and get a mount and had to be pulled off the champion at the sound of the bell.
The bout would go into the championship rounds at the start of the fourth. The two would mix their striking up a bit more with a variety of spinning back fists and kicks. In the fifth and final round Newton controlled much of the round and would not let the Brit up off the canvas. After five rounds of action Newton would lose his title to McGeary even to his own surprise.
In the co-main event, ‘King Mo’ Muhammed Lawal moved up to the heavyweight division for the first time to take on Cheick Kongo. Mo used his wrestling to take the bigger man down in the first round and keep him down. Not much action but the round would be awarded to Lawal.
The same would result in the second and third rounds with the crowd booing and wanting to see more stand up action. The fans would not let up and eventually Mo did the “Suck It” motion often used by the WWE wrestling group ‘Degeneration X’ years ago. Lawal would win the fight via split decision.
The evening’s first bout on Spike fan saw “Irish” Brennan Ward make quick work of Curtis Millender, choking him into submission in under two minutes.
Vassell was the first British fighter to compete on the Invasion. At yesterday’s weigh-ins Vassell said he would submit Sokoudjou in the very first round. Although Vassell could not complete the submission he did dominate the first round on the ground with multiple rear-naked choke attempts. In the second round ‘The Swarm’ used his striking to finish the ‘African Assassin’ and get the win.
The brash Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley was the second English fighter on the card as he battled Brazilian fighter Andre Santsos. The fight was potentially the fight of the night as they stood toe-to-toe and bloodied each other up. Semtex has several near finishes and Santos too almost ended the fight at the end of the third round. Fans stood on their feat and pleaded for a fourth and possible fifth round. Ultimately the fight would land into the hands of the judges for scoring and Daley would win the contest via unanimous decision.
A special Kimbo Slice press conference was held one hour prior to the first preliminary bout starting. It was announced yesterday that UFC Hall of Famer, Ken Shamrock will fight Slice on June 20 in a bout that was supposed to take place in 2008.
Full Bellator 134 weigh-in results below:
Main Card (Spike TV – 9:00 p.m.)
Liam McGeary defeated Emanuel Newton via Unanimous Decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-47)
Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal defeated Cheick Kongo via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Paul Daley defeated Andre Santos via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Linton Vassell defeated Rameau Sokoudjou via TKO (strikes), Round 2, 3:18
Brennan Ward defeated Curtis Millender via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 1:37
Preliminary Bouts (Spike.com – 6:45 p.m.)
Dean Hancock defeated Mike Mangan via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 1:33
Matt Bessette defeated Josh LaBerge via Doctor Stoppage end of Round 2, 5:00
Raphael Butler defeated Josh Diekmann via Submission (guillotine choke) Round 1, 1:04
Tamdan McCrory defeated Jason Butcher via Submission (armbar), Round 1, 1:06
Neiman Gracie defeated Bobby Flynn via Submission (Cross Face Crank), Round 1, 2:36
Blair Tugman defeated Marvin Maldonado via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)