Bellator 202 is in the books and Julia Budd just successfully defended her featherweight belt by dominating Talita Nogueira in every facet in the main event. Budd got her grind on, constantly making her opponent defend, before dropping Nogueira in the third and pounding her out with ground strikes. Budd is now on a ten-fight winning streak, and called out the 5-2 Sinead Kavanagh in her in-cage interview. Budd is going to need some competition.
In the co-main event, Michael McDonald ran right through Eduardo Dantas, dropping and then knocking out the former bantamweight champ in just under a minute into the opening round. When Dantas fell backwards, he rolled back over his ankle, in what looked like a pretty bad break, and had to leave the cage in a cast and with the assistance of others. In other bad news, McDonald mentioned during his in-cage interview that he thought he had broken his left hand, and wasn’t sure what the future would hold for him.
Chris Honeycutt put on a stellar performance tonight against Leo Leite, using brutal knees from the clinch as part of his grinding attack to secure a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored it 30-25 for Honeycutt, who now sits at 11-2 and moves up a rung on that middleweight ladder. Opening up the main card, Valentin Moldavsky unleashed his hands in the second round to earn the TKO of Ernest James.
Julia Budd def. Talita Nogueira by TKO at 4:07 of round 3: (W) Featherweight Title
A whole lot of measuring was going on for the first half of the opening round, before Budd decided to pick up Nogueira and slam her down to the ground. Budd landed a few elbows to the thigh before the round expired. The second frame saw the featherweights exchange kicks back and forth, until Budd shoved Nogueira up against the cage and started to chip away with knees and short punches. A mean elbow followed by a knee to the liver dropped Nogueira, but Budd was unable to close the show before the bell sounded. Budd came out and closed the distance again in the third round, finding top position up against the fence. Nogueira did get back to her feet, but Budd put her right back down with a right hand, and followed up with some fight ending ground strikes.
Nogueira really had nothing for Budd anywhere out there:
Budd is such a force:
Michael McDonald def. Eduardo Dantas by KO at :58 of round 1: Bantamweight
McDonald came out and dropped Dantas with a crisp right hand, and followed him right to the ground and went wild. Punch after punch landed, causing Dantas to give his back and ultimately get flattened out. The strikes kept coming so the referee mercifully stepped in to rescue Bellator’s former bantamweight champ. Wow!
Watch “Mayday” McDonald do “Dudu” Dantas like that:
Chris Honeycutt def. Leo Leite by unanimous decision (30-25 x3): Middleweight
Honeycutt pressed forward right away behind his hands, cracking Leite several times and backing him up. Leite had his moment when Honeycutt got over-aggressive and lost his balance, allowing a moment for Leite to take the back while standing. Honeycutt escaped the position, and the middleweights traded for the remainder of the round.
Honeycutt again came out aggressive, landed a variety of strikes as he backed his foe up to the fence. Several mean knees landed to the body of Leite before Honeycutt took the fight to the ground. Leite ate a bunch of elbows from the bottom and started bleeding from his left eye, but still managed to scramble back to his feet. With his back to the cage, Leite continued to endure the grind that was Chris Honeycutt.
Leite looked for a takedown early in the final round, but Honeycutt snuffed it out and took control from top position. After hanging out in Leite’s guard for a bit, Honeycutt elected to stand back up where he continued to grind away against the fence.
I got your back, bro:
Valentin Moldavsky def. Ernest James by TKO at 4:03 of round 2: Heavyweight
A bit of a feeling out process took place to open up the main card, with Moldavsky landing a couple of strikes here and there. James attempted to get the fight to the floor a few times throughout the round, but Moldavsky did a sound job of staying vertical, and even landed some clean punches before the round ended.
Moldavsky landed a couple of clean punches to open the round, but the action quickly stalled out in the clinch. James was bleeding from the nose and Moldavsky turned up the tempo with the hands. Moldavsky landed a flush two-piece that forced James to cover up and go fetal mode, prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight.