Here’s the scoop for tonight’s Bellator 173 card, including the catchweight headliner between the former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary and short notice replacement Brett McDermott.
Bellator MMA is throwing down in Belfast, Northern Ireland as the former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary is set to clash with short notice replacement Brett McDermott in the Bellator 173 headliner. Belfast’s co-main event will witness Ireland’s undefeated featherweight prospect James Gallagher put his 5-0 record on the line against the Ukrainian born Israeli fighter, Kirill Medvedovsky. Bellator 173 can be seen this Friday night, on Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. EST (Tape Delay).
Main Card: Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET
Liam McGeary (11-1 MMA; 8-1 Bellator) vs. Brett McDermott (7-4 MMA; Bellator Debut): Catchweight (215 lbs)
Bellator’s former light heavyweight king Liam McGeary used his powerful, well-placed punches coupled with his unique Jiu-Jitsu prowess to climb his way to top of the 205 division and capture the crown. After falling off of the throne to Phil Davis at Bellator 163, McGeary is looking to get back to his winning ways against Brett McDermott, despite the multiple opponent changes. Both Chris Fields and Vladimir Filipovic were removed from the card for respective reasons, resulting in the impromptu catchweight tilt of 215 pounds. Appearing to be an absolute wash on paper, will McGeary put on a performance that is expected from a former champion that is facing a lesser-known, short notice replacement?
Hard-nosed British brawler Brett McDermott is in a win/win situation for this catchweight main event. Nobody is really expecting him to do particularly well in this 48-hours notice fight, let alone win the match, so McDermott has the luxury of throwing caution to the wind. A loss for McGeary would be much more detrimental than would a loss for McDermott. If McDermott loses, well, he was supposed to, but if he wins? Holy cow! Father time is not on the side of McDermott, however, he does possess the sort of power that only takes one shot to put someone out cold. Kudos to McDermott for stepping up.
James Gallagher (5-0 MMA; 2-0 Bellator) vs. Kirill Medvedovsky (7-4 MMA; 0-1 Bellator): Featherweight
Undefeated Irish prospect James Gallagher picked up another submission victory, with a third round stoppage of Anthony Taylor,in his second scrap under the Bellator banner. With 4 submission finishes under his belt, the 5-0 prospect will be facing the grapple-heavy style of Kirill Medvedovsky. Although he has the classic SBG Ireland striking stance, made famous by Conor McGregor, Gallagher has shown an affinity for the ground game. At just 20 years of age, Gallagher appears to have an abundance of potential, and has a great opportunity to work on his standup skills in search of his first professional KO finish?
Kirill Medvedovsky had a tall order in his promotional debut at Bellator 164, as he faced the much more polished Georgi Karakhanyan, at 150 pounds no less. Medvedovsky remained somewhat safe on the ground with Karakhanyan, before an unfortunate injury caused him to scream out in pain, prompting the referee to step in and call the fight. Better known for his grappling, will Medvedovsky be able to get Gallagher to the ground, and upset the undefeated prospect?
Sinead Kavanagh (4-0 MMA; 1-0 Bellator) vs. Iony Razafiarison (2-1 MMA; 0-1 Bellator): Catchweight (140 lbs)
Sinead Kavanagh’s Bellator 169 debut against Elina Kallionidou was about as dominant as it gets. For 15-straight minutes, Kavanagh used her superior size and strength to grind on her opponent, without giving up a single inch. With a plethora of boxing experience to her credit, expect the heavy handed Kavanagh to let her hands go in search of a stoppage to protect her undefeated record.
Iony Razafiarison is not afraid to stand in the pocket to let a few fly, but is better known for her desire to grapple. Look for Razafiarison to want to duck under the haymakers of Kavanagh, in hopes of putting her SBG Ireland foe on her back. With a huge opportunity to dim some of Kavanagh’s shine, will Razafiarison step up and issue her opponent her first loss?
Shay Walsh (14-4 MMA; Bellator Debut) vs. James McErlean (7-3 MMA; Bellator Debut): Featherweight
Shay Walsh is returning to action following a devastating first round KO loss to the now BAMMA bantamweight champion, Tom Duquesnoy. Having fought names like Andy Ogle, Artem Lobov, and Andrew Fisher, the Tiger Muay Thai trained Walsh has a deeper pool of experience to pull from, and has shown a more rounded game than his opponent McErlean. Will Walsh find a way to work back into the win column?
Ireland’s James McErlean has finished 3-straight opponents by way of submission as he takes on the former BAMMA champ Shay Walsh. Look for McErlean to want to close the distance right away, in an effort to get the fight down to his world. Although he gives up a bit of experience, McErlean has a shown the ability pull out a win when it seems like his opposition might have his number. Can McErlean pull out a fourth consecutive submission in his Bellator debut.
Colin Fletcher (13-7 MMA; Bellator Debut) vs. Alex Lohore (10-1 MMA; Bellator Debut): Welterweight
Colin Fletcher, also known from TUF Smashes as “The Freakshow,” is a lanky veteran that throws rather vicious elbows with pretty high volume. “The Freakshow” has only been KO’d 1 time out his 7 losses, and has earned 10 finishes in his 13 wins. With 9 submissions to his credit, look for Fletcher to try and make up for his athletic disadvantage with a more technical ground game than his opponent Lohore.
Alex Lohore is a dynamic athlete that sports a 10-1 record with 8 finishes. Although he has 11 fights under his belt, all of them took place within a span of 2 years. Lohore has shown a bit of knowledge in all facets of MMA, but hasn’t shown a specific area of expertise thus far in his young career. Expect Lohore to rely on his athleticism to carry him against the much more experienced Fletcher.