Bellator 179 went off without a hitch, and entertained London fans attending live as well as television viewers across the globe. Besides being distinctly exciting to watch, the stacked card produced some remarkable results. To be sure, two men next in line for shots at the welterweight and light heavyweight belts emerged in full force at 179.
In the main event, former UFC welterweight title challenger and top-level competitor Rory MacDonald made his long-awaited Bellator debut in enemy territory, as he locked horns with fearsome English striker Paul Daley. The crowd cheered their hometown king on as he made his way to the cage and attempted to dispatch his elite opponent, but in the end, Daley simply came up short. Moreover, Rory MacDonald—training partner of Georges St. Pierre—implemented an absolutely flawless game plan and dominated every facet of the bout.
The first round opened with striking, to the benefit of Daley. While MacDonald was throwing leather initially—and actually stung Paul once or twice in the process—his strikes were simply being used to mask the takedown, as he didn’t waste much time in shooting in on his adversary. Daley fought the takedown off as well as he could, but the flawless wrestling of MacDonald eventually proved to be too much.
For the remainder of the first round, “The Red King” stayed heavy on top and landed stiff, but not fight-ending blows. This stanza undoubtedly belonged to him.
The second period initiated in similar fashion, and once again, Rory shot in for and completed a takedown in no time at all. To be sure, this dominance wasn’t the result of Daley’s lacking skills, but rather, was a result of MacDonald’s tremendous skills. After all, this is a man who holds clear-cut wins over current UFC champion Tyron Woodley, number-one UFC contender Demian Maia, and many, many other formidable mixed martial artists.
After connecting with stinging and progressively tougher punches, Rory improved his position and forced Semtex to try and get back to his feet. Daley did just that, but in the process, he left himself susceptible to a couple different submissions. True to his elite nature, the Canadian competitor promptly seized his opponent’s neck with a tight rear-naked choke and drew the tap. The final result of this title-determining bout was an outstanding second-round rear-naked choke victory for Rory MacDonald.
It now looks as though MacDonald is next in line for a shot at the Bellator welterweight crown, and this plan certainly makes sense. Bluntly stated, one would be hard-pressed to find another welterweight capable of defeating Daley as MacDonald did at Bellator 179.
In his post-fight interview, Paul had some harsh words for fellow British striker and undefeated martial artist Michael “Venom” Page, who was originally scheduled to fight at Bellator 179, but was ultimately forced to withdraw due to injury. A match between these explosive, riveting stand-up specialists is all but guaranteed to be entertaining, and as such, it’s a fight Bellator should promptly book.
In the co-main event of the evening, Linton Vassell impressively became the first man to submit and finish former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary, when he forced him to tap to a third-round arm-triangle choke. It now appears as though Vassell is next in line for another stab at gold—and rightfully so.
Cheick Kongo won a grinding split decision over Augusto Sakai in the featured fight of the evening.
Before that, near-undefeated finisher Alex Lohore dispatched Dan Edwards in vicious fashion with a second-round knockout.
The main card initiated with a superb win for Kevin Ferguson Jr., aka “Baby Slice”. The son of the late heavy-handed striker Kimbo Slice, Ferguson Jr. looked excellent against a skillful opponent as he defended takedown attempts and landed powerful blows. The end came in the first round, as Slice won via TKO due to a flurry of ground strikes.
Bellator 179 was solid, and the promotion’s next effort, a stacked Bellator 180 pay-per-view event, looks as though it’ll be even better. Thanks for reading and enjoy the fights!
Shop now at www.fightlab.com