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Bellator 180 results: Ryan Bader decisions Phil Davis to claim light heavyweight title

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Two former UFC light heavyweight contenders met head on earlier tonight (Sat., June 24, 2017) at Bellator 180 live on Spike TV from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, as Bellator champion Phil Davis put his 205-pound title on the line against promotional newcomer Ryan Bader.

The action started out slow, with Bader stuffing most of Davis’ takedown advancements in addition to landing from distance on the feet. Davis found success with hard leg kicks and pressuring cage control, but didn’t land anything of major significance. The champ took more chances in the second round by throwing up countless high kicks that whizzed by Bader’s head. Despite landing some good shots before the 10-minute mark, Bader was reluctant to spark exchanges with Davis.

In Round 3, Davis landed a superman punch from hell that slapped the sweat off of Bader’s cheek. Bader started to show a little more wear and tear as Davis continued to pressure and rely on his conditioning. The restless Bellator fans started to boo as the action winded down and both men paced themselves conservatively. In the beginning of Round 4, referee Dan Miragliotta even had to warn the two light heavyweights to fight by telling them, “You have to give us something to judge.”

The fifth and final frame saw a desperate Bader start to unload offense a little more freely, landing some solid body kicks and punches, as well as tangling up Davis in a takedown attempt. It looked like Bader’s efforts late may not have been enough to take the title from Davis, but the judges saw it differently, awarding the divisional newcomer the split-decision win.

The outcome of the bout is slightly odd considering Davis controlled a vast majority of the action throughout the 25 minutes, but Bader landed when it mattered most and made the judges’ decision a difficult one.

For complete Bellator NYC results and coverage click here.

Source:: mma mania