411’s Bellator 172 Report 2.18.17
Welcome to 411’s live coverage of Bellator 172. I’m Dan Plunkett, and as you may have heard by now, this isn’t quite going to be the event we thought it would be. Matt Mitrione fell ill today and is/was in the hospital, so he is out of his main event bout with Fedor Emelianenko. As a result, Fedor is off the card as Bellator’s last-minute scrambling to find a new opponent came up dry.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) February 18, 2017
The lightweight match between Josh Thomson and Patricky “Pitbill” Freire has been elevated to the main event, while Francisco France vs. Anatoly Tokov has been bumped up to the main card. Pitbull dropped his last fight to Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight championship, while Thomson has won both of his fights since joining Bellator and will likely get a shot at Chandler with a win tonight.
The show kicks off with Sean Grande confirming that Mitrione was pulled from the fight due to kidney stones. Bellator offered Emelianenko a replacement opponent, but he declined in favor of fighting Mitrione at a later date.
Appears to be a three man booth tonight with Grande, Jimmy Smith, and Chael Sonnen.
Welterweight Bout: Josh Koscheck (17-10) vs. Mauricio Alonso (12-7)
After a string of injuries, Koscheck, 39, is making his Bellator debut here about two years after his last fight. Alonso has fought once before in Bellator, losing a decision to Nick Pica back in September 2015.
ROUND 1: Koscheck pressuring Alonso against by the cage early but not throwing much of anything. Alonso lands some low kicks. Koscheck misses a big right hand. Alonso hits a nice flurry that gets Koscheck’s attention. John McCarthy warns Koscheck to close his fists when he extends his hands. Koscheck immediately resumes doing it upon the restart. Alonso hits a combination. Koscheck is having a hard time closing the distance and finding his target. McCarthy pauses the fight to cut tape from Koscheck’s glove and again warns him about not closing his fist. Nice right hand to the body from Koscheck. Alonso stuns Koscheck with a straight right that sends Koscheck backing up across the cage. Koscheck gets hit again, covers his eye and cowers to the floor. McCarthy stops the fight.
Winner: Mauricio Alonso by TKO 4:42 of Round 1
Upon replay, the straight right landed on Koscheck’s eye. Later, Alonso hit an uppercut, which didn’t hit Koscheck’s eye, but that’s the shot that immediately preceded his fall. Koscheck notably broke his orbital bone in his 2010 title challenge against Georges St-Pierre. This marks Koscheck’s sixth consecutive loss.
Alonso thanks everyone in the arena. He says the world needs more love. He is very happy.
Bellator correspondent Jenn Brown announces the Jordan Parsons Memorial Scholarship to the J. Robinson wrestling camp. Nice to see this on the broadcast.
Flyweight Bout: Veta Arteaga (2-1) vs. Brooke Mayo (0-0)
ROUND 1: Mayo lands a leg kick. Lots of movement from Mayo. Veta hits a couple right hands and Mayo slips to the ground. She gathers herself, stands, and clinches Veta against the fence. Mayo gets the takedown and immediately takes Veta’s back. Looking for the choke but she can’t get her arm under the chin. Veta is hand fighting. Veta turns and is now on top throwing punches. Mayo looking to sweep and set up triangles but eating shots. Veta backs away. Mayo stands and gets hit in the face for her troubles. Mayo clinches and pushes Veta against the fence again. A couple low impact knees from Veta in the clinch. Referee John McCarthy pauses the fight to check a cut on Veta’s eyebrow. It was caused by am accidental headbutt. Fight restarts. Mayo throwing kicks from the outside and then gets in close. They brawl against the fence and it appears Veta catches Mayo. Round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Mayo
ROUND 2: Lots of circling early. Veta chasing and looking to close the distance. She mostly misses and they’re back at a distance. Leg kick from Mayo and she circles away from Veta’s answer. Veta closes the distance again, but Mayo clinches and drives her into the cage. Mayo looking for a trip, and Veta punching her while defending. She gets the trip. Mayo briefly had her back but Veta is not on top. Mayo threatening with triangles and omoplatas. Now looking for a triangle again. Veta is less offensive from the top this time around. Veta gets out of the very loose triangle attempt and backs up. Veta brawling. Round ends. A bit clearer than the close first round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Mayo, 20-18 Mayo overall
ROUND 3: Veta aggressive to start, but not landing much. Good right lands from Veta. Veta the more active fighter early in round three. They clinch and Mayo has the advantage. Veta briefly breaks it by Mayo grabs the Thai plum and lands some knees. They separate. Veta landing big punches standing and Mayo hits a takedown. Mayo passes to mount quickly. She has Veta’s back. Again Veta turns into her guard. Veta landing significant punches on top. Back standing now. Mayo has a bad swelling on her eye. McCarthy calls time to check it. The doctor stops the fight. Mayo pleading with the doctor, repeating over and over, “I can see!” Unfortunately, it’s too late.
WINNER: Veta Arteaga by Doctor Stoppage at 4:04 of Round 3
Veta Arteaga gives props to Mayo and says she’ll fight whoever Bellator wants, including Anastasia Yankova, who handed her her first loss this past September.
They show highlights of the first Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo fight. Then they throw to Jenn Brown interviewing King Mo. Every time I see Mo outside the cage he has headphones around his neck. He says the fight is both business and personal.
They show Fedor working out with teammate Anatoly Tokov backstage.
Catch-weight Bout (187-pounds): Anatoly Tokov (24-3) vs. Francisco France (13-4-1)
Spike TV is getting in as many commercials as possible before this fight.
Fedor is in Tokov’s corner.
ROUND 1: France ducks under a lead right and looks to clinch but Tokov circles out. Tokov clinches and has France against the fence with over/under hooks. Tokov gets the takedown into side control. France nicely gains full guard. France moving his legs up for an armbar. Tokov defends. Elbows from Tokov. France looking for an armbar again. He throws his leg over Tokov’s face and goes belly down. France transitions to a triangle but Tokov escapes and they are back standing in a clinch against the fence with France in control. Round ends that way. Really interesting round to score. Tokov landed better shots, had the takedown, and was in side control briefly, but France’s offense was more threatening.
SCORECARD: 10-9 France
They show the Diaz brothers in the crowd before the start of round two.
ROUND 2: Nice straight right from France. Tokov returns fire in the clinch. They jockey for position by the fence. Takedown attempt from France but doesn’t get it. He’s on his back with Tokov standing over him, and Tokov kicks him straight in the nuts. Referee Jason Herzog pauses the fight. France is taking his time with the break. They resume standing. Nice left by Tokov on the restart. France comes in and Tokov lands nice punches that send France to the ground. Tokov is landing heavy right hands on top and it’s over.
WINNER: Anatoly Tokov by TKO at 2:24 of Round 2
Tokov, via translator, says he didn’t expect France to be so difficult to wrestle. He says he’ll be happy to fight in Bellator again.
Jimmy Smith brings Fedor over for an interview. Crowd goes wild. He apologizes to the crowd for the fight with Mitrione not taking place. He says that when the fight does happen, he hopes they will deliver “great joy and happiness to you.” They play Fedor’s entrance music (the one he started using in 2008 – not the far superior Enae Volare Mezzo) as he exits the cage.
Jenn Brown interviews Josh Thomson. He basically says it will be great tonight.
Heavyweight Bout: Cheick Kongo (25-10-2) vs. Oli Thompson (17-9)
ROUND 1: Mike Beltran’s beard is the referee. Thompson moving and feigning a lot early. Kongo starting to push the pace but not landing much. Thompson counters with a punch and Kongo looks to wrestle. Thompson gains control and pushes Kongo against the cage. Kongo knees Thompson in the groin, which is very unlike him. On the restart, Kongo lands a nice right hand before taking Thompson to the ground. Kongo on top in half guard with Thompson smushed against the cage. Kongo working with left elbows to the head and right punches to the body. Thompson doesn’t like a big right and scrambles, eventually getting back to his feet, but Kongo has him pressed against the fence. Kongo throwing knees in the clinch but Thompson blocking. Round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Kongo
ROUND 2: Thompson whiffs on a right but uses it to move in for a clinch. He has Kongo against the fence and is looking for a takedown but doesn’t get it. Kongo takes control and gets Thompson to the floor. Kongo is on top in half guard again. Kongo throwing lots or rights to the body and every third or so punch to the head. Kongo turns up the volume and Thompson looks for a kneebar, but it’s not close. Back to the same half guard position, Kongo resumes pounding on Thompson. A nice elbow lands. Kongo is looking to finish. Thompson turns into him and the flurry pauses, but it’s only brief. Round ends with Kongo in firm control.
SCORECARD: 10-8 Kongo, 20-17 Kongo overall
ROUND 3: Body kick by Kongo. Thompson is tired. They clinch and Kongo is throwing hard knees to the body. Thompson’s arm is there to block, but those hurt. Kongo takes him down and gets full mount briefly, but Thompson retains half guard. The same song and dance from Kongo in round three. He’s targeting the head more this round. Thompson is moving when he absolutely has to, but he’s making no real progress. Elbows from Kongo. Kongo’s attack is slowing, but it’s still consistent. Kongo makes some space, and Thompson takes the opportunity to sit up, but Kongo mounts him in response as the clock goes under one minute. Crowd is booing the fight. Kongo looks to finish with a flurry, but Thompson bucks and the attack stops. Round over.
SCORECARD: 10-8, Kongo, 30-25 Kongo overall.
WINNER: Cheick Kongo by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Tito Ortiz, Royce Gracie, and Benson Henderson are shown cageside.
Lightweight Bout: Josh Thomson (22-8, 1 no contest) vs. Patricky Freire (16-8)
ROUND 1: Pitbull lands a leg kick and Thomson responds with two of his own to the calf. More leg kicks from Pitbull. Low kick from Thomson. Thomson throws a head kick, misses, and Pitbull lands a huge right that drops Thomson. Pitbull tries to follow up but Thomson is back to his feet. Thomson ducks under a Pitbull right hand and grabs a hold of him, but Pitbull separates. Question mark kick from Thomson is blocked. Spinning back fist from Pitbull misses. Round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Freire
ROUND 2: Leg kick from Pitbull to open. Pitbull drops Thomson with a left. Thomson gets back up, and Pitbull hits him with a big right uppercut as Thomson shoots for a takedown. Thomson drops and Pitbull hits a follow up right and it’s over. Thomson is out.
WINNER: Patricky Freire by KO at 0:40 of Round 2
The replay shows that the first knockdown of round two was the result of a headbutt followed by a left hand.
Pitbull says Thomson is a nice guy. He’s very happy. Jimmy Smith asks him about Michael Chandler, and Pitbull says something presumably filthy since Spike TV cut the audio off.
That’s a wrap for Bellator 172. Thanks for joining us, and remember to check out 411’s coverage of UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne tomorrow night!