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411’s Bellator 170 Report 1.21.17

January 22, 2017 | Posted by Robert Winfree

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of Bellator 170. I’m Robert Winfree and thanks for being here, I’m gonna need the support tonight. I’ve successfully avoided covering a Bellator event for a really long time, alas my streak has been broken. This event is, like most Bellator “tent pole” events, more sizzle than steak. The main event has Tito Ortiz taking on Chael Sonnen, Ortiz has said this will be his last fight but at this point that’s a little like Terry Funk saying it’s his last match, and Sonnen is trying to prove he’s able to bring eyeballs to Bellator. Also Paul Daley is trying to get back on track towards a title shot as he takes on Brennan Ward, Ralek Gracie fights for the first time in seven years, and a fight between Georgi Karakhanyan and Emmanuel Sanchez likely has some title implications. It’s worth noting that Derek Anderson didn’t technically miss weight as both fighters agreed to a catchweight bout before official weigh ins so there’s no fine coming his way. This event comes to us from The Forum in Inglewood, California, USA with the usual Bellator commentary team of Sean Grande and Jimmy Smith on the mic.

Derek Campos is on a two fight winning streak including an impressive knockout win over Melvin Guillard, if he can get to three in a row here he might be able to earn a rematch with Michael Chandler, this time with the lightweight title on the line. Derek Anderson is also on a two fight winning streak and has only lost twice while in Bellator, the most recent was a dubious decision, and he’s also after a title shot if he can emerge victorious here.

Catch-weight Bout: Derek Anderson (17-6, 160 lbs.) vs. Derek Campos (14-2 1 NC, 154 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Anderson has three inches of height and four of reach on Campos. They touch gloves to get things going. Anderson lands a right, eats a counter left. Anderson lands a jab. Anderson lands a leg kick. Anderson lands a body kick and blocks a couple of counter rights. Campos lands a stiff jab. They’re both throwing a lot but mostly missing, they’re still trying to get a feel for range and timing. Anderson lands a knee to the body, Campos lands a left that drops Anderson to a knee for a second. Campos slips a punch and lands a counter, Anderson counters back. Anderson lands a couple of counter rights. Campos lands a leg kick. Still a lot of punches looping over the head and missing, the first guy to figure out the timing and head movement of the other is going to have a lot of success. Anderson slips a couple of punches then lands a one two combination. Anderson pushes forward and lands a left to the body then a clubbing right. Campos misses a spinning kick. Anderson lands a double jab to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Anderson

ROUND TWO: Anderson using left kicks early to the inside thigh and body. Lefts traded. They get close and trade a bit, Anderson backing up a bit while Campos swings wide. Campos lands a bit of a right, he’s still struggling to find the target reliably. Anderson lands an inside leg kick then a left body kick. Anderson lands a right. Campos lands a jab. Campos is leaving his fingers extended a lot, he could get a point deducted under the new rules if he doesn’t stop that. Anderson lands a couple of jabs. Campos lands a combination in close. Anderson lands a right but eats a couple of counter hooks. Campos is doing a better job of closing distance and out working Anderson this round. Anderson lands a stepping elbow then misses a wheel kick. Campos lands a lunging right uppercut that drops Anderson. Campos gets on top, Anderson back up quickly but he’s stuck in the clinch now. Campos gets the standing ride position, Anderson turns into him. Campos lands a knee to the body then they break. Campos with some more hooks in close, they’re not landing flush but the volume is working for him. Anderson lands a leg kick. Campos lands a long right then a couple of follow up blows. They stare the final few seconds away.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Campos, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Campos lands a leg kick. Campos lands a bit of a superman punch and gets the clinch. They split without incident. Anderson lands a jab. Anderson lands a couple of jabs. Campos has some hooks blocked but pushes into the clinch. Campos has Anderson on the fence and they jockey for position then break without incident. Campos still pushing with hooks that are landing to the arms of Anderson. Anderson lands a jab. Campos hits a double leg and lands in half guard. Anderson regains his feet and eats a bit of a left. Jabs go back and forth, Anderson tries a double leg but Campos sprawls out of it. Anderson lands a stiff right then a body kick, Campos takes him down and Anderson tries for a guillotine from full guard. Campos gets his head free quickly though and passes to half guard. Anderson trying to bridge, Campos smothering him with punches and keeping him flat. Anderson rolls to his knees, Campos tries to get the back but Anderson rolls into him and is on top now. Anderson lands a right, Campos back up but Anderson drives him into the fence and they both swing as they break and time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Campos, 29-28 Campos overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Derek Campos via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

That one came down to round 3, not a bad way to get the card going. Campos on the mic now. He says he wanted to knock Anderson out and puts Anderson over as tough and says they got the card started off right. He says he’s one of the top three or four contenders to Michael Chandler’s belt and wants to fight the next top guy while Chandler takes on Josh Thomson.

Georgi Karakhanyan is a former WSOF featherweight champion and in the midst of his second run with Bellator. Karakhanyan is on a two fight winning streak and needs to get to three in a row to enter the title picture as he’s already lost to Daniel Weichel and Pat Curran, it’ll take a big streak to leap frog those guys and get towards the top of the division. Emmanuel Sanchez is coming off of a loss to Daniel Weichel and is trying to rebound from that setback and prove he can still be a force in the division going forward.

Featherweight Bout: Georgi Karakhanyan (25-6-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sanchez has an inch of height and four of reach on Karakhanyan. Touch of gloves to start things off. Sanchez has a high kick blocked. Karakhanyan lands a spinning back kick to the body. Body kicks go back and forth. Karakhanyan lands a leg kick. Sanchez lands a couple of jabs. They clinch up, Sanchez tries a trip but can’t finish it and Karakhanyan pushes him into the fence. Karakhanyan after a double leg now, Sanchez defending but Karakhanyan sucks the legs out and gets him to a seated position. Sanchez back up but Karakhanyan has the back as they stand. Karakhanyan lands a knee to the head. Sanchez trying to hand fight, Karakhanyan working knees to the thigh and kind of hanging out in the rear waist lock. Sanchez able to spin into him but he’s still stuck on the fence. Karakhanyan after the double leg again, he gets Sanchez to a seated position and moves towards the back again. Sanchez back to a knee, Karakhanyan tries to jump for a choke but Sanchez easily shakes him over the top. Sanchez now has the back while Karakhanyan is on a knee. Sanchez has both hooks in and goes for the choke. Sanchez can’t finish the choke though and time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Karakhanyan but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Karakhanyan moving forward, Sanchez lands a bit of a right. Sanchez trying to get his offense going, Karakhanyan grabs a single leg attempt and pushes Sanchez into the fence. Karakhanyan back to the rear waist lock. Sancehz spins free and starts landing punches. Sanchez after a double leg, Karakhanyan thinks about a guillotine but can’t finish it and Sanchez gets on top landing some rights. Sanchez in the guard of Karakhanyan, passes to half guard and lands a short right elbow. Sanchez lands a left. Karakhanyan trying to get back to guard but Sanchez is stifling that and landing offense. Sanchez has a consistent pace for his offense, Karakhanyan struggling to get some control over him. Sanchez stands, lands a left and passes again. Karakhanyan lands an illegal up kick and we get time for the foul. Sanchez is good to continue immediately and the ref restarts them on the mat in half guard. Sanchez lands some rights. Karakhanyan to a knee, Sanchez lands an illegal knee to the head and we’ve got time yet again. Replay confirms that he was on a knee when he took that shot. Actually that was two knees and the doctor is in to check on Karakhanyan. The doctor says Karakhanyan can continue and the ref takes a point, likely because it was two knees instead of just one. And we’re back to fighting now. Sanchez throwing combinations, Karakhanyan ducks one and gets a double leg but Sanchez sweeps immediately and gets the back with both hooks in. Sanchez after the choke, Karakhanyan defending as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 9-8 Sanchez after the point deduction, 18-18 overall

ROUND THREE: Sanchez coming forward with combinations, lands a couple of body kicks but Karakhanyan is able to trip him up and get on top in the guard of Sanchez. Sanchez trying to use the fence to sweep, Karakhanyan keeps him flat. Sanchez tries for an omoplata, switches towards a triangle position but Karakhanyan is easily moving with him. Sanchez to his knees, Karakhanyan into the ride position. Karakhanyan has the back now with both hooks in. Karakhanyan switches to a body triangle and is trying to set up the choke. Sanchez trying to spin into Karakhanyan but he can’t do it. Karakhanyan working short punches while trying to open up the choke. Sanchez trying to slam out of it with his upper body but he can’t do anything but defend the choke as time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Karakhanyan, 28-27 Karakhanyan overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Emmanuel Sanchez via majority decision (28-28, 28-27 x2)

Round 1 could have gone either way, no real issue there. No interview for Sanchez.

Ralek Gracie hasn’t fought in nearly seven years, he last defeated Kazushi Sakuraba in 2010 but is returning to MMA tonight. Hisaki Kato is on a two fight winning streak, he holds an impressive knockout win over Joe Schilling and adding a win over someone with the Gracie surname wont hurt his career going forward as he tries to climb the middleweight ranks.

Middleweight Bout: Ralek Gracie (3-0, 184 lbs.) vs. Hisaki Kato (7-2, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gracie is an inch taller, Kato has half an inch of reach on him though. Kato fighting southpaw. Feinting from each man. Gracie lands a body kick. Kato lands an inside leg kick. Gracie circling, lands another awkward body kick. Kato lands an uppercut after Gracie slips on a kick attempt. Kato lands another inside leg kick. Lots of staring here, neither man wants to over commit on their offense. Gracie misses the ugliest overhand right I’ve ever seen. Gracie misses a couple of ugly as sin kicks, Kato lands a sharp inside leg kick. World class staring contest here. Kato lands an inside leg kick. Commentary tries to get you to not change the channel by promising an announcement after the fight, change the channel anyway and save yourself. Kato hits an inside leg kick. Another inside leg kick from Kato. Kato lands a superman punch and tries to explode, Gracie flops to his guard and tries to tie up Kato but Kato pulls free. And they stare again for the last fifteen seconds or so.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kato, arguable 10-8 because Gracie did nothing

ROUND TWO: And we’re back to circling, Kato’s cage cutting is abysmal especially given how poor Gracie’s circling is. Kato lands an inside leg kick. Gracie misses a side kick. Kato again with the inside leg kick. Kato feints, Gracie backs up, and I’m wondering if I’d be better off checking on the paint drying on my neighbours fence. We get time and the ref warns them both for timidity, thank you Mr. Herzog. Kato lands a left body kick then tries a high kick. Kato lands a left to the body, well the warning woke him up a little at least. Kato lands a left and has a knee blocked. Kato hits an inside leg kick. Gracie lands a bit of a side kick, Kato responds with a hard body kick. Kato lands another inside leg kick and avoids an ugly takedown attempt. Lots of staring and faking, Kato lands a left to the body and they stare the last eight seconds away. Not sure who blinked first, which is sad because that might actually have bearing on the scoring.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Kato, 20-17 Kato overall

ROUND THREE: And there’s five more minutes, potentialy, of this crap. Kato lands a leg kick. Kato moving forward at least, lands an inside leg kick. Gracie misses a couple of rights, Kato lands a body kick. Kato lands an inside leg kick, Gracie moving forward now. Kato lands a left, Gracie gets the clinch though and has Kato on the fence. Gracie trying for a trip, Kato staying upright. Kato hits a trip, Gracie back up and Kato lands a couple of punches and a body kick but Gracie lucks into the ugliest takedown of the year and lands in the guard of Kato. Gracie landing some arm punches, Kato just tying him up and hoping for a stand up. Gracie lands a head butt to the abdomen, the ref warns him accordingly as that’s illegal. Commentary again says there’s a bout announcement coming up, half of it will be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson based on the timeline. Gracie trying to pass and finally does into side control. Gracie to full mount. Kato just holding on. Gracie trying to posture, he’s moving towards S mount but Kato keeps his arm safe. Gracie tries to punch, it’s pretty bad, as time expires. I want the last twenty minutes of my life back.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gracie, 29-27 Kato overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Hisaki Kato via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

That was just the worst. The absolute worst. If I see a worse fight this year I don’t know how I’ll deal with it. Bellator’s string of Worst Fight of the Year winners is likely secure after that. No interview for Kato, and I’m not even mustering annoyance at giving Kato the third despite being mounted for much of it.

They announce that in March we’ll get a rematch between Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Considering Lawal got Cluckied in their prior fight this makes sense.

Paul Daley just had a five fight winning streak snapped when he was beaten by current welterweight champion Douglas Lima, he’s trying to bounce back with a win here and begin climbing back towards title contention. Brennan Ward is a former middleweight champion in Bellator and has been very consistent for the promotion. Ward is coming off of a win over Saad Awad and if he can take out Daley it’ll be one of the highest profile wins of his career and could set him up for a shot at a second belt.

Welterweight Bout: Paul Daley (38-14-2, 171 lbs.) vs. Brennan Ward (14-4, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Daley has three inches of reach on Ward, they moved through the tape too quickly for me to see the height difference but visually it goes to Ward but a bit. Ward comes out southpaw but will probably be switching. Daley lands a leg kick. They trade jabs and Daley lands a leg kick. They clinch, Ward gets a takedown but Daley is trying to wall walk. Ward lands a couple of punches as Daley regains his feet and they break. Ward has a couple of punches blocked. Daley has a right blocked. Daley lands a left that wobbles Ward, Ward lands a left and then hits a double leg into half guard. Daley trying to wall walk again, Ward moves to the ride position and has one hook in. Daley back to his feet and lands a spinning elbow as they break then a jumping knee that ENDS Ward. Boy was that needed for this card.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Paul Daley via KO, flying knee, at 2:27 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Daley for his work this evening. Daley on the mic after that lovely finish. He says he hopes Ward is OK, Ward was stretchered out but was waving as he was leaving. He says he’s looking at everyone next, names Rory MacDonald specifically and says if MacDonald steps into the cage with him he’ll get knocked out.

Who doesn’t love a brutal KO finish? Here’s that one again.

Tito Ortiz is a legend of the sport but has been on a rough streak lately that led to his departure from the UFC. In Bellator Ortiz is 2-1 with a win over the out sized Alexander Shlemenko and a borderline Clucky decision over Stephan Bonnar but was submitted by Liam McGeary when he was given a shot at the light heavyweight title. Ortiz is trying to get back on the winning side here and possibly even go out on a win as he’s hinted at retirement several times. Chael Sonnen is coming out of retirement, which lasted exactly as long as his most recent suspension for failing a drug test, and hasn’t fought since 2013 when he was stopped by Rashad Evans. Sonnen left the UFC in the wake of their USADA to ply his trade here in Bellator. Sonnen is trying to make some immediate waves here with a win over one of the bigger names in the promotion and set himself up for bigger opportunities down the line.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Tito Ortiz (18-12-1, 205 lbs.) vs. Chael Sonnen (29-14-1, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ortiz has an inch of height and reach on Sonnen. Sonnen fighting southpaw, Ortiz lands a straight right. Ortiz grabs a single leg and spins Sonnen down, Sonnen tries to sweep and they wind up with Sonnen holding a front head lock. Sonnen after a d’arce choke, can’t finish it and goes back to sit for a guillotine but Ortiz avoids the guard and hops to half guard. Sonnen holding the arm in guillotine but Ortiz is on the safe side of half guard. Ortiz pops his head out and passes to mount. Sonnen trying to hold on, Ortiz lands a couple of elbows. Sonnen gives up the back, Ortiz has a body triangle going on and grabs the choke. Ortiz isn’t under the chin but he’s got a squeeze going and Sonnen taps. Ortiz holds on for just half a beat longer than necessary then does the grave digger routine one last time.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tito Ortiz via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:03 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ortiz for his work this evening. Ortiz gets some mic time. He says the win felt really good, puts over his sparring partner who started his gym with him way back in the day. He talks us through the finish and puts over his coaches and says he knew Sonnen would sell out for that guillotine and that he could counter. He thanks the fans for all of their support over the years and is emotional about winning for the last time in his home town. He’s got one of his sons in the cage with him and talks about doing this with him here and says that Ortiz rules. He says again that this will be his last fight, and as in wrestling you leave your shoes on the mat to retire he lets his son put his gloves on the mat for the last time. He thanks Scott Coker, the staff, the fans for all their support over 20 years, dedicates the win to his mother who was a great parent and helped him make the best decisions for his kids, and closes by thanking his current girlfriend.

One more time, for posterity, here’s that submission. Chael’s ninth loss via tap out.

Alright everyone, that mercifully wraps up Bellator 170. It started weak but ended solid enough. Thanks for being here everyone, I’ll be back on Saturday the 28th for UFC on FOX 23 and I hope you’ll be back as well. Until next time, thanks again for being here and giving me something to do on the downtime and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.