Bellator 205 is in the books, and AJ McKee just waxed John Macapa with a one-punch knockout at just 1:09 into the first round to close the show. McKee remains undefeated with an unblemished record of 12-0, but more importantly he establishes himself as one of the elite featherweights that Bellator has to offer. With the longest active winning streak within the promotion, could it be title fight time for “The Mercenary?”
The co-main event of the evening witnessed a calculated chess match between two phenomenal grapplers in Rafael Lovato Jr and John Salter. After a botched takedown from Salter in the third round, Lovato ended up with the top position and ultimately sniffed out a rear-naked choke to end the fight. Lovato remains undefeated with a professional MMA record of 9-0, and made it clear in his post-fight interview that his dream is to get that middleweight strap.
Boise’s own Veta Arteaga did what she had to do to pull off a second-round submission on Denise Kielholtz. Now sitting at 5-2, Arteaga made the most of her post-fight interview with Big John by calling out Bellator’s flyweight queen Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Opening up the card, Patricky Pitbull Freire earned himself a second-round knockout when he hurt Roger Huerta with the left hand and then finished him off with the right. This marks the first time in Pitbull’s career that he has strung together a four-fight winning streak. Is there a title shot looming for the older Pitbull brother? Fun fact; Patricky Freire owns nine knockouts under the Bellator banner, which just so happens to be a promotional record.
AJ McKee def. John Macapa by KO at 1:09 of round 1: Featherweight
McKee was quick to open up the bout with a head kick that Macapa blocked. The fighters went back and forth a bit, and then KABOOM! McKee clocked his opponent with a lethal uppercut that knocked out Macapa before he even hit the ground. Zero followup was required as the referee was right there to stop the fight. Whoa!
Rafael Lovato Jr def. John Salter by submission (RNC) at 4:27 of round 3: Middleweight
These two well-respected grapplers kept thing on the feet to start the bout. The middleweights went back and forth, with one throwing a combo before backing out and giving the other man a chance to go. With less than 90 seconds remaining in the opening round, Salter closed the distance and pressed Lovato up against the cage, but quickly disengaged into open space. Nothing substantial was really landed by either man, making it a rather sticky round to score.
Opening up the second round, Salter knocked his opponent off balance when Lovato threw a kick, but allowed him to return to his feet. Lovato returned the favor, knocking Salter off balance before jumping a guillotine. Salter did a sound job of fighting off the sub attempt, but that didn’t stop Lovato from continuing to hunt for the guillotine. Lovato was able to stand back to his feet, but Salter took him right back down the second he stood up. Lovato worked his way back to a pretty tight guillotine, but Salter again fended off the hold while owning the top position.
Salter looked to press Lovato up against the cage in the final frame, but again opted to disengage into open space. Lovato shot in for a takedown, which led to Salter going for a takedown, but Lovato was the one who landed on top. Like a hot knife through butter, Lovato cut through the guard of Salter to take the full mount and ultimately the back. Several ground strikes accrued for Lovato before he sunk in an RNC, prompting Salter to respectfully tap.
Punches in bunches:
This is chess, not checkers:
Veta Arteaga def. Denise Kielholtz by submission (Guillotine) at 4:24 of round 2: (W) Flyweight
Kielholtz botched a head and arm throw right out of the gate and nearly got her back taken for it. Back on the feet, Kielholtz started to touch up Arteaga with her punches whenever Arteaga tried to close the distance. Kielholtz briefly took top position off of a failed Arteaga takedown, but decided to stand back up and strike it out.
Arteaga tried to be aggressive to start the second round, but quickly backed off after eating a mean cross. Kielholtz was doing a superb job of commanding the fight, forcing Arteaga to get creative if she wanted to close the distance. Arteaga threw caution to wind and ate a series of punches, but was able to get up under Kielholtz and get a takedown. Kielholtz was able to scramble back to her feet without sustaining much of any damage, and then blasted a takedown of her own. Arteaga worked back to her feet and locked up a standing guillotine, and after a bit of adjusting, she was able to force the tap.
How about Arteaga doing what she had to do to get a takedown?
Look at these flyweights throwing their hands:
Patricky Freire def. Roger Huerta by KO at :43 of round 2: Lightweight
Huerta took the center of the cage and started to move forward as Pitbull backed up looking to counter. The lightweights began trading in the pocket, with each man landing flush hooks. A couple of clean body kicks landed for Huerta, but Pitbull responded with a set of thudding hooks that busted up Huerta. Back and forth they went, exchanging strikes right in front of each other, until Pitbull wisely blasted a late takedown to finish the round on top.
Huerta continued his aggression into the second round, but Pitbull was waiting for him with a powerful left hook counter punch that wobbled him. Huerta responded with a desperation takedown and even made it back to his feet, but it was apparent that he was still hurt. Pitbull moved in for the kill and clubbed Huerta with a nasty right hand that sent him crashing to floor. Thankfully, the referee was right on top of the action to stop the bout and prevent any unnecessary damage.
There was little-to-no feeling out process:
- Vince Morales def. Justin Hugo by unanimous decision: Bantamweight
- Adam Borics def. Josenaldo Silva by submission (RNC) at 1:46 of round 3: Featherweight
- Steve Mowry def. Ben Moa by submission (Americana) at 2:40 of round 1: Heavyweight
- Jarod Trice def. Sean Powers by split decision: 190 pounds
- Emillio Trevino def. SilvaSua Tuani by KO at 1:55 of round 2: Light Heavyweight
- Kyle Frost vs. David Rangel: Welterweight
- Joe Aguirre vs. Stephen Stirewalt: Bantamweight
- Johnny Nunez vs. Josh Wick: Lightweight
- Bryce Edminister vs. Leon Taylor: Featherweight
- Nathan Stolen vs. Andrew Cruz: Featherweight