Phil Davis dominated Liam McGeary at Bellator 163, winning a unanimous decision and taking the promotion’s light heavyweight title on Friday night in Uncasville, Conn.
“Mr. Wonderful” utilized his best attribute, wrestling McGeary and controlling the ground game through the five-round affair. Davis produced scores of 50-43, 50-45 and 50-44 in the win.
Davis, who came to Bellator after leaving the UFC in early 2015, kept McGeary fighting off of his back for most of the main event. McGeary’s takedown defense was not nearly enough to fend off Davis’ collegiate pedigree. While on the ground, Davis regularly attempted submissions and kept the fight in his favor for the greater portion of 25 minutes.
McGeary suffers his first career loss with his efforts at Bellator 163. Davis, meanwhile, holds four wins in a row and remains unbeaten in Bellator.
The co-main event saw Brennan Ward top Saad Awad in the first round of their fight. Ward traded shots with Awad in a heated exchange before landing a left hand. At that point, it was all over as Awad fell to the ground, face first, giving Ward the knockout win at 1:21 of the opening frame.
Other main card winners included Neiman Gracie and Javy Ayala, each picking up first-round stoppages. Gracie of the famous Gracie family worked in a submission via armbar of Rudy Bears at 4:39 of the opening round. Ayala took just 16 seconds to punch out heavyweight veteran Sergei Kharitonov for the first-round finish.