Bellator 186 takes place at the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State University campus. Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell will be broadcast LIVE and FREE on SPIKE, Friday, Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. You can stream the preliminary fights here.
In the main event of Bellator 186, newly crowned light heavyweight champion Ryan “Darth” Bader (23-5) made his first title defense against British sensation Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (18-5, 1 NC).
The inaugural Bellator MMA women’s flyweight title was on the line when Ilima Lei-Macfarlane met Emily Ducote in a rematch.
In addition, two Bellator competitors who spent their college years as members of the Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling team, Phil Davis (17-4, 1 NC) and Ed Ruth (3-0), returned to their alma mater to compete in MMA for the first time in their careers.
The night opened with a preliminary bout between Josh Fremd and Ryan Parker. The first round was a back and forth tussle between the two competitors. Fremd came on strong in the second frame, connecting his fist with Parker’s jaw, before beginning the ground and pound assault and finishing with a rear-naked choke.
Crowd not behind the decision
Hometown favorite Ethan Goss went up against New Jersey’s Andrew Salas in the second fight of the night. Early on in the first round Salas pressed Goss up against the cage and peppered him with punches. Once Goss broke free, Salas landed a huge spinning backfist but Goss survived. Dante Rivera, Salas’ coach screaming to his fighter, “he’s done, he’s done.” Goss looks right at Rivera, gives him a smile and a thumbs up as to say, “no I’m not.” The round ends with Goss landing a spinning backfist of his own followed by a head kick. The second round decisively in favor of Salas who held on to Goss from behind in the standing position for the majority of the round. Goss was in defensive mode trying not to be taken down. The look of frustration on his face is evident as the fight heads into the third and final round. The fight is now down on the ground and the crowd goes wild for Goss. He is a dominant top position landing strikes from the top. “Ethan” chant breaks out in State College. The round and the fight ends with Goss attempting a choke from the top position. This one is going to the judges. Salas earns a split decision win and the crowd throws down the boos.
The Praying Mantis dominant
Carnicella MMA’s Frankie Buenafuente met Francis Healy in the center of the cage in the evening’s third fight. Buenafuente took the first round controlling the majority of the action on the ground. He would land shots from the top position while trying to avoid the armbar submission attempts from the bottom. The second round was more of the same. Buenafuente is up two rounds to none. In the third and final round Buenafuente gets stunned a bit on the feet but listens closely to his coaches, hooks his leg behind Healy, and takes the fight down to the canvas. The fight gets stood back up with about a minute and a half and there is a mouse visible on the left eye of Buenafuente. He takes the fight back down to the mat and Healy attempts to work the arm. The fight ends with Buenafuente pushing Healy up against the cage and will go to the judges.
Flying knee KO
Tywan Claxton made his professional mixed martial arts debut tonight against Jonny Bonilla-Bowman. Wow did Claxton make a statement. A huge flying knee landed perfectly on the face of Bonilla-Bowman, knocking him out cold.
Matt Secor is leaking blood profusely in the opening round of his welterweight bout against Logan Storley. The cut is high above the left eye, almost on the side of the head. In the second round a cut above the right eye opens up on Storley. This fight is officially a blood bath as both competitors are now leaving DNA all over the cage. Not much action going on in the third frame, at least for several fans anyway, as they begin to chant “stand them up.” Referee Dan Miragliotta ignores the call and lets the fighters figure it out. Secor tries to take the back and scoot in for a leg attack but misses and Storley sneaks in a guillotine choke. Secor defends and the fight works its way to the bell for a decision in favor of Storley.
The only bantamweight fight on the card featured Matthew Lozano taking on Dominic Mazzotta. Mazzotta opened up the fight with a spin kick and the fight found it’s way down to the canvas. Lozano is working for submissions but moments later he was cut wide open in what looks like two different regions above the eye. He is bleeding badly. Referee Keith Peterson puts a halt to the fight for a cageside physician to take a look at the cut. The fight is stopped in the first round.
Trizano remains undefeated
Michael Trizano has UFC bantamweight Jimmie Rivera shouting instructions to him from the audience as he takes on Mike Otwell.
Otwell gets the fight down to the ground where Trizano works for a variety of submissions.
Trizano appears to be the stronger competitor and is keeping his opponent where he wants him.
The bout moves to the second round. Otwell opens up with a kick and then shoots in for a takedown which Trizano stuffs. Otwell presses Trizano up against the cage.
Trizano works the fight down to the mat with a rear-naked choke. When that didn’t work, Trizano kept on the pressure.
He submits Otwell with a D’Arce choke in the second round. Trizano remains undeated at 6-0.
Brett Martinez shot in for a takedown of Mike Wilkins early in the fight. Wilkins starts throwing down punches. As Martinez stands up Wilkins lands a flush uppercut. The two men are battling in the clinch. Big shots from both. Martinez throwing knees. It appears that his right eye is swelling shut. Wilkins grabs hold of the neck of Martinez and starts landing knees to the head. The second round is where the fight goes down to the mat and Wilkins ends the fight with a rear-naked choke submission.
Clymer’s pro debut is flawless
Scott Clymer opens up his fight and professional debut with not one but two takedown slams over Mike Putnam in the featured preliminary bout. He kept the pressure on his opponent forcing referee Jimmy Chappell to stop the fight due to strikes early in the first round.
Saad Awad wants bigger fight
Saad Awad and Zach Freeman opened up the first fight on Spike TV. It was a short fight and the replay didn’t do much to tell exactly what happened. Awad clipped Freeman while he was coming in for a takedown, and Freeman fell forward. Awad walks away and the fight was stopped at 1:07. Awad got on the mic after the fight to state that this was his 15th fight with Bellator MMA and he wants a bigger name and challenge.
The crowd is going absolutely crazy for Ed Ruth as he makes his Bellator MMA debut at his alma mater, Penn State. Ruth, the wrestling phenom, got former UFC competitor Chris Dempsey down to the canvas and the chants of “We Are” and “Ruth” echo throughout the Bryce Jordan Center. Ruth dominated the fight from the get go. He tired out Dempsey in the first and put him away with a big right hand in the second. The crowd is on their feet for their hometown hero. Ruth remains undefeated.
Another Penn State alum, and former Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Phil Davis, pressed Leo Leite up against the cage early in the fight before taking him down to the canvas. Once back up to the feet each fighter had moments of brilliance with their striking. Interesting first round but will likely be scored in favor of Davis. The two competitors are trading leather with heavy hands to open up the second round when Leite accidentally receives a finger to the eye and the fight is temporarily halted. Once resumed they go right back at it, Leite catches Davis with a left hand that stumbles the former champion. The two keep cracking back and forth to close out the 10-minute mark. Chants of “Let’s go Phil” open up the third round. Despite winning the fight, this was not the best performance from Davis. The former champion will have to do much more than beat Leo Leite in a decision to get another title shot.
Inaugural women’s flyweight champion crowned
Emily Ducote and Ilima-Lei MacFarlane fought for the right to be named the first Bellator MMA women’s flyweight champion. The fight was a rematch from 2016 where MacFarlane won the fight via a decision. MacFarlane gets a Thai clinch early and throws a knee. The Hawaiian is stalking down her opponent, backing her up against the cage. MacFarlane gets the fight down with a takedown and applies a rear-naked choke. That doesn’t work so she decides to throw down elbows. She works for several different arm cranks before the first round expires. Round one goes to MacFarlane. Ducote’s hands come to life in the second frame. The entire round is contested on the feet. Each competitor moving in and out with jabs. In the third round, MacFarlane grabs hold of the head of Ducote tossing her around the cage while attacking the body. MacFarlane gets the takedown in the final 30 seconds of the third round, once again winning another round. In the championship rounds things may finally be looking up for Ducote as she gets a takedown, but will it be enough? We now head to the fifth and final round. Ducote is attacking the body and MacFarlane doesn’t like it so she shoots in for a takedown. MacFarlane in guard, working for submissions, flips Ducote over and into an armbar to win the flyweight title.
Ryan Bader defended his light heavyweight title for the first time when he met Linton Vassell in the night’s main event. Right out the gate Bader did what Bader does. He got the fight to the ground with a beautiful throw. The two top 205-pounders exchange on the feet once standing and Bader take the fight back down. Vassell gets a takedown of his own but Bader falls on top. Bader shoots in from across the cage to open up second frame and lands the takedown. Not a whole lot going on in this round so the fans are becoming restless. Bader on top towards end of second round and finishes the fight with a TKO to retain his championship.
COMPLETE BELLATOR 186 RESULTS:
MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)
Ryan Bader defeated Linton Vassell via TKO – Round 2, 3:58 – for light heavyweight title
Ilima-Lei MacFarlane defeated Emily Ducote via submission (armbar) – Round 5, 3:42 – for inaugural women’s flyweight title
Phil Davis defeated Leo Leite via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ed Ruth defeated Chris Dempsey via KO – Round 2, 0:27
Saad Awad defeated Zach Freeman TKO – Round 1, 1:07
PRELIMINARY CARD (MyMMANews.com, 7 p.m. ET)
Scott Clymer defeated Michael Putnam via TKO – Round 1, 3:07
Mike Wilkins defeated Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
Michael Trizano defeated Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
Dominic Mazzotta defeated Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
Logan Storley defeated Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Tywan Claxton defeated Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via KO (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
Frankie Buenafuente defeated Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Andrew Salas defeated Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Josh Fremd defeated Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25