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411’s Bellator 175 Report 3.31.17: King Mo Wins

April 1, 2017 | Posted by Robert Winfree
King Mo Muhammed Lawal

* Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (253 lbs.) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (212 lbs.)
* Marcos Galvao (145.5 lbs.) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (149.5 lbs.)*
* Chase Gormley (265.5 lbs.) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (264 lbs.)
* Steve Kozola (155 lbs.) vs. Jake Roberts (156 lbs.)
* Lloyd Carter (148 lbs.)* vs. Noad Lahat (146 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of Bellator 175. I’m Robert Winfree, here mostly because everyone who normally takes these bullets for me is busy with Wrestlemania related materials. This event has some interesting history behind it, this is the final bout on Tim Sylvia’s Quinton Jackson’s Bellator contract after that lengthy contract dispute. He’s also got at least one more fight on his current UFC deal, so he’ll be back there for his next fight regardless of the outcome of his bout tonight. He’s taking on Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal for the second time, Jackson won a controversial decision back at Bellator 120 that most people, myself included, felt Lawal won. The two agreed to a heavyweight bout this time instead of the usual light heavyweight bout, something Jackson took full advantage of given how much he weighed in at. There’s another heavyweight fight on this card, Sergei Kharitonov takes on Chase Gormley and former bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao makes his featherweight debut against Emmanuel Sanchez. This event comes to the world from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, USA with Sean Garande and Jimmy Smith on commentary. Oh for the love of God, they just announced Chael Sonnen as the third member of the broadcast team this evening and I now pray for temporary deafness.

Steve Kozola is undefeated as a professional with all of his wins coming via stoppage of some sort, including two Bellator appearances and one fight with the WSOF. Kozola is trying to keep that streak alive and possibly earn a step up in competition next, or the eye of a bigger promotion. Jake Roberts is 1-1 in Bellator and coming off of the first loss of his career, he’s hoping to rebound from that setback and prove he’s still a fighter worth keeping around in Bellator going forward.

Lightweight Bout: Steve Kozola (7-0, 155 lbs.) vs. Jake Roberts (7-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: They touch gloves and Roberts lands a low leg kick. Kozola lands a right, Roberts lunges in and gets floored with a left hook from Kozola, Roberts staggers back up, gets smacked around a few more times before the ref stops this one.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Steve Kozola via KO, punches, at :28 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Kozola for his work this evening. That was a really well timed check left hook, Roberts leaned his chin right into it and Kozola didn’t give him a chance to recover. Kozola on the mic now. He expresses love for Chicago, his hometown, and then says Chicago and Illinois fighters are coming. He was confident of the finish, puts over his coaches and camp, and is quite happy to have a 100% finishing rate. He calls out Dillon Danis, talks some low level trash, calls out Danis for being a Conor McGregor knockoff, and says that if Danis wants in at 155 he’ll knock him out.

That fast finish means we’ll get a lot of downtime. They start by airing highlights of a prelim where Tim Cho defeated Joshua Hardwick via TKO in the third round. Then they take time to parade some of their recent signings, specifically Dillon Danis, Lorenz Larkin, and Ryan Bader. They also inform me we’re getting interviews with Bader and Larkin later in the evening.

Noad Lahat is making his second Bellator appearance tonight after winning his debut via submission. Lahat has only lost via flying knee knockout and then only in the UFC, if he wants to possibly earn another trip back there he needs to keep this momentum rolling and remain on the winning side of things. Lloyd Carter has been an uninspiring fighter to this point and makes his Bellator debut on the heels of a loss to Miguel Torres, he’s hoping to buck that trend tonight and score the biggest win of his career.

Lightweight Bout: Lloyd Carter (10-8, 148 lbs.)* vs. Noad Lahat (10-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lahat is four inches taller but Carter has half an inch of reach on him. Some circling to start. Lahat lands a front kick to the body, Carter returns it but Lahat catches that kick and gets the clinch. Carter is able to slip free and separate. Lahat misses a few punches, he’s also leaning at the waist when he does and leaving his chin exposed. Lahat lands a leg kick. Carter times a jab and Lahat is off balanced to his seat for a moment but he’s back up immediately. Lahat pushes forward and gets a double leg then passes to half guard. Carter is holding an arm in guillotine, bad idea, and Lahat pulls his head out easily. Lahat lands a couple of punches, stands, lands a leg kick and returns to the half guard of Carter. Lahat lands some lefts. Lahat has good posture and is smothering Carter. A few elbows from Lahat, mostly to the thigh, and he passes to mount then side control with a locked in arm triangle. Lahat bails on the choke and lands a right then mounts again. Lahat lands some punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lahat

ROUND TWO: Lahat opens the second with a leg kick. Lots of circling, Lahat misses a high kick. Lahat lands a bit of a body kick. Lahat tries a double leg, settles for the clinch on the fence. Lahat is able to switch to a takedown and lands in half guard. Lahat setting up the arm triangle again, gets it locked and then mounts, as he tries to move to the finishing side Carter rolls through and gets on top. Lahat hits a quick sit out and is back on top and in mount again. Lahat lands some punches, gets the back as Carter turtles, and now has both hooks in. Lahat working for the choke, Carter defending. Lahat lands some elbows, he’s trying to set up an armbar attack, he switches to the body triangle, gets the choke, and Carter goes out rather than tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Noad Lahat via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:50 of Round 2

Lahat gets an interview. He thanks his opponent and gives him respect and then says that he’s here to hurt people. He says that was a message to the world about his ground skills, then says he wont call out anyone but anyone who wants a real fight should start calling him out. He closes with some Hebrew for his fans back in Israel.

Now we get our interview with Lorenz Larkin, who will be fighting Douglas Lima for the Bellator welterweight title at the upcoming NYC card. He says he’s very happy for this and can’t complain about anything. He wants to train hard and smart then display the totality of his skills and walk away with the belt. Asked for his pick between Jackson and Lawal, he basically just talks about their strengths, the interviewer asks for a prediction again, and he leans to Lawal.

Bader’s interview now. He says he signed with Bellator the day the announced the New York card, thanks everyone for treating him well at his first live Bellator event. Asked about the division, he says the light heavyweight division in Bellator is great and says he wants to fight for the belt but also wants in on the NYC card. Bader does hold a win over the current Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis, the fight was absolutely awful but he did get the decision.

Commentary now assures me, ahead of the next fight, that in 2017 Bellator will have a heavyweight champion. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Sergei Kharitonov is an MMA veteran who’s fought basically everywhere outside of the UFC including time with PRIDE, Strikeforce, Dream, Bellator, and M-1. He lost his Bellator debut and snapped his five fight winning streak in the process, he needs to rebound here to prove he’s still a heavyweight worth keeping around. Chase Gormley is 2-1 in Bellator and riding a two fight winning streak, both of those wins coming via split decision, and a win over a known veteran like Kharitonov would be the biggest of his career.

Heavyweight Bout: Chase Gormley (14-5 1 NC, 265.5 lbs.) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (23-6, 264 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kharitonov is an inch taller but Gormley has half an inch of reach on him. They touch gloves. Gormley lands a lead leg body kick, not much on it and they’re both just kind of probing with single shots. Jabs going back and forth. Gormley misses a superman punch. A lot of long range probing still, neither man committing to a whole lot. Kharitonov catches a lazy lead leg kick and lands a knee but Gormley seems unphased. Gormley lands a series of short jabs. Kharitonov lands a right. They’re still just kind of trading while shadow boxing. Gormely lands a left body kick and a combination of punches. Gormley misses a combination. Kharitonov lands a leg kick. Kharitonov lands a straight right then a right uppercut that collapses Gormley and this one is all over.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sergei Kharitonov via KO, punches, at 3:55 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Kharitonov for his work this evening. Also I’ll give that one a BOOM. . . heavyweights for my good friend Mark Radulich. Kharitonov on the mic now. He says discipline was a big part of his game plan, to fight smart and not give his opponent too many openings and then promises to be back to his old self next fight. Asked about the hypothetical heavyweight belt he says he really wants to fight for the belt.

While Bellator pimps their upcoming PPV from Madison Square Garden by bringing out several of the participants to do a stare down at the top of the ramp, Wanderlei Silva is still in Brazil and not present but pretty much everyone else is there to play along, enjoy that finish again.

Marcos Galvao is a former Bellator bantamweight champion who’s fought extensively for the promotion over the years. Galvao is 5-1 in his last six fights which includes winning the bantamweight title from Joe Warren before losing to Eduardo Dantas. Galvao won his last fight but has decided to try his hand up a division at featherweight hoping that the easier weight cut will allow for a second chapter in his career. Emmanuel Sanchez missed weight for this fight, a first for him, and has been looked at as a prospect of some note in the featherweight division for a while now. Sanchez has gone the distance in his last seven fights though, and if he wants to make the move from talented prospect to possible contender he needs not only a win here, but an impressive showing as well.

Featherweight Bout: Marcos Galvao (18-7-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (14-3, 149.5 lbs.)*

ROUND ONE: Sanchez is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage, and of course also missed weight. Touch of gloves to get us going. Sanchez lands an inside leg kick. Sanchez has a left high kick blocked. Sancehz lands a leg kick and blocks a couple of counters. Lots of open hand work from both guys, an eye poke on either side wouldn’t surprise me. Galvao ducks a jab and goes for a double leg against the fence. Sanchez posts and stays upright but Galvao is sliding to his back. Sanchez is able to keep him in front and spins him then breaks free. Sanchez misses a spinning back fist then has a high kick blocked. Sanchez is certainly the busier fighter so far. The size is clearly a bit of a factor for Galvao. Galvao lands a right and clinches, Sanchez spins him and has him on the fence. They break without incident. Sanchez lands a leg kick. Galvao lands a right. Galvao has a couple of punches blocked and then lands a leg kick. Sanchez lands a leg kick. Sanchez avoids a double leg. Galvao is really struggling to get anything effective off. Sanchez lands a jab. Sanchez lands a bit of a right. And the round comes to an uneventful end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez

ROUND TWO: Circling to start, Sanchez working combinations that are either blocked or miss but he’s still active. Sanchez is going with a one two into a left high kick over and over again. Galvao tries a single leg, Sanchez limp legs out. Galvao lands a bit of a right. Galvao lands a decent right and a left follow up. Sanchez lands a front kick to the face, Galvao lands a counter combination. Sanchez lands a leg kick then a right and misses a head kick. Galvao lands a bit of a body kick. Sanchez lands a body kick. They clinch up and Sanchez pushes Galvao into the fence. Sanchez with some really weak knees to the thigh, lands an elbow though just as Galvao breaks free. Galvao eats a counter right from Sanchez after missing a combination. Sanchez lands a leg kick. Sanchez hits a bit of a knee tap, Galvao back up, Sanchez lands a right then an uppercut as the last significant blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez, 20-18 Sanchez overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Sanchez misses a spinning back fist then the follow up head kick. Sanchez misses a right and a head kick. Sanchez lands a right, he’s keeping the fight at his range. Galvao tries a single leg, another limp leg counter from Sanchez. Sanchez lands another leg kick. Sanchez stuffs a double leg attempt, those are becoming ugly attempts from Galvao. They clinch and Sanchez has Galvao on the fence. They trade some knees to the thigh and Galvao is able to spin free. Galvao tries another takedown, Sanchez blocks it and they trade while separating. Sanchez lands a left body kick, Galvao lands a leg kick. They get close, then break with a body kick from Sanchez. Another clinch, Galvao after a takedown but he can’t finish it. Galvao changes directions and gets the takedown to a seated position, Sanchez wall walks almost instantly, they separate and gesture a bit for the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez, 30-27 Sanchez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Emmanuel Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Sanchez on the mic. First asked about fighting at home, he’s from the Chicago area, says that means everything then thanks both Chicago and Milwaukee for showing up and giving their support. He apologizes for missing weight and promises to make that right, and says he wants the belt. He says he’s been fighting former champions for the last three years and you can’t deny him the title shot anymore.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is a legend of the sport, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, and still one of the more recognizable names actively fighting. Jackson’s recent career has been mired by contract disputes but he’s on a fight fight winning streak, despite the “win” over Lawal being one of the most Clucky influenced decisions Bellator has put out lately. Jackson is basically a lock to return to the UFC after this, the contract disputes ended up with him have both a UFC and Bellator contract and this is the final fight on that Bellator deal, and he’d love to return to that promotion still on a winning streak and with some momentum behind him. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is mostly after revenge, he essentially accused former Bellator president Bjorn Rebney of fixing the fight against Jackson, and is trying to reset his career as Bellator tries building a decent light heavyweight division. Lawal is coming off of a loss in the Rizin promotion to Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and trying to rebound at the expense of Jackson and get a crack at the light heavyweight belt sooner rather than later.

Heavyweight Bout: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-11, 253 lbs.) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (20-6 1 NC, 212 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackson has an inch of height and that forty one pounds of weight, Lawal has the reach advantage though to the tune of six inches. Jackson flashes the jab early, he’s bending at the knees to anticipate the double leg. Lawal lands a bit of a right. Lawal backing Jackson towards the fence, Jackson circling along the perimeter. Lawal lands a bit of a left. Lawal jabs the body. Jackson slips some punches, they clinch and Lawal has Jackson on the fence. Lawal hits an ankle pick and Jackson is sitting on the fence, now looking to wall walk. Lawal to the ride position, keeping Jackson down. Jackson back to his feet but still clinched and Lawal has his back. Lawal with some knees to the thigh. Lawal lands a few lefts as Jackson breaks his waist lock. Lawal back to the rear waist lock. More lefts and knees from Lawal. Lawal down for a single leg, elevates and dumps Jackson and lands in half guard. Lawal with some body work, Jackso escapes and Lawal avoids a few hooks just before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lawal

ROUND TWO: Jackson already breathing a little heavy between rounds. Jackson misses a left hook. Lawal backing Jackson to the fence again, lands a right. They clinch again after both miss rights. Lawal has Jackson on the fence. Lawal drops for a takedown, Jackson defending so far and Lawal bails on that to keep the clinch. They trade knees to the body, Lawal after another takedown that he can’t finish. The ref separates them after they’ve stalled out. Jackson lands a pushing jab. Lawal lands a jab and they both miss rights. More jabs from Lawal. Jackson lands a bit of a left hook, Lawal is backing up now. Jackson pushes forward but Lawal is in on a double leg to stall that offense. Jackson blocks that attempt and forces Lawal away. Jackson again with a bit of a left hook and they clinch in open space. Jackson lands a few knees to the body, trips Lawal down and gets a front head lock position. Lawal back up and avoids some punches then they stare the last seconds away.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Lawal out again and lands a bit of a jab. Jackson misses a right and a left. Lawal jabs the body. Lawal tries a takedown, Jackson defending so far. Lawal switches to a single leg, Jackson uses an under hook to block that, Lawal tries to switch the angle but can’t finish it. Jackson tries a knee that Lawal catches and tries the single leg again. Jackson really leaning on the fence to avoid that getting finished. Lawal up to the clinch again. Lawal lands a knee to the body. Lawal lands some body shots and they break. Lawal into another double leg that stalls out. Jackson lands a left hook as they separate. They trade a bit and Lawal has Jackson back on the fence. Lawal lands a knee to the head and Jackson pushes him off again. Jackson tries a double leg, Lawal sprawls then spins to the ride position. Terrible idea from Jackson. Lawal lands some rights, Jackson stands and Lawal misses a right when they break. Lawal lands a right then a body combination and avoids the counters from Jackson. Another body combination from Lawal and he clinches again. Lawal lands to the body again as Jackson escapes the clinch. Lawal punches back into the clinch, boy this is getting repetitive, lands to the body and Jackson pushes him away. Lawal eats a bit of a left and clinches again. They trade in close for a second, they break, Lawal lands a combination, they trade a bit and the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Well, that’s fifteen minutes of my life that have been spent. Lawal and Jackson talk after the decision, seems amicable, and they shake hands. Lawal on the mic now, he asks for a round of applause for Jackson who he puts over as a legend. He says the game plan went out the window in the second after getting hit, he jokes that he went crosseyed and saw two Quinton’s. He says he had to just dog it out in the third. They bring in Ryan Bader to hype their fight on the prelims of Bellator 180. Bader says he wanted to fight straight for the belt, but he made an exception for Mo in MSG. For the record, Bader looks significantly larger than Lawal as they stand next to each other for photos.

That does it for Bellator 175. Of all the cards I’ve covered, this was certainly one of them. Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time I’m on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show, we’ll be previewing UFC 210 and talking about the news from the last couple of weeks in the world of MMA. If you’ve got a question or comment you’d like on the air feel free to call in at (323) 657-0901. I’ll be back on the 8th for the aforementioned UFC 210, until then stay safe and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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