Bellator 228 featured two main event fights on Saturday night. The first one saw Patricio “Pitbull” defend his title against Juan Archuleta, while the night was capped off by Mousasi evening the score with a decision over Lyoto Machida.
Here are some highlights of the action:
Daniel Weichel def. Saul Rogers by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
The first fight on the main card was between two known submission finishers Daniel Weichel and Saul Rogers. The action, however, remained predominantly on the feet for the entire 15 minutes.
Round one was clearly won by Weichel, who dropped Rogers in the final moments with a left hand. Rounds two and three were a back-and-forth as the two exchanged hook and low kicks.
In the end, it was Weichel who got the judges’ nod, as he advanced to the next round of the 145-pound grand prix.
Darrion Caldwell def. Henry Corrales via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-27)
NCAA Wrestling champion Darrion Caldwell was looking to utilize his takedowns against Henry Corrales in the next fight, and he was able to in the first round of action. He was able to land a right elbow that opened up a cut above Corrales’ left eye, securing round one for himself.
He was unable to do the same for round two, having clean entries but with no finish. Former referee turned broadcaster “Big” John McCarthy pointed out how Caldwell may be expending too much energy with takedowns, which may have shown in Round 3.
As the final stanza opened, Caldwell was less active and was circling out more, which earned him a warning from the referee. The fight ended with Corrales attempting a guillotine choke before time expired, but was not enough to get him the nod.
With the win, Caldwell advanced to the next round of the tournament.
A.J. McKee def. Georgi Karakhanyan by KO (punches) at :08 of round 1
A.J. McKee was looking to duplicate the win earned by his father Antonio earlier in the night, and he did so in spectacular fashion. The 24-year-old fighter ended the fight in eight seconds, marking the second fastest knockout in Bellator history.
Upon the touch of gloves, McKee threw a right hand, which Karakhanyan blocked. He threw the same strike moments later, but immediately followed it up with an overhand left, dropping Karakhanyan to the canvas. The referee then intervened to stop the action.
McKee joins Weichel and Caldwell in the next round of the Bellator featherweight Grand Prix.
Patricio Pitbull def. Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46) to defend Bellator featherweight title
Capping off the featherweight fights on the Bellator 228 main card was the title fight between Patricio Pitbull and Juan Archuleta. Ultimately, Pitbull was able to successfully defended his title for the third time.
Archuleta was looking to utilize his footwork, which showed in the first two rounds of action. Pitbull remained at the center of the cage and created opportunities for himself during scrambles.
Archuleta saw the sense of urgency from the third round on, immediately attacking in the first few seconds. But Pitbull simply had answers to every one of his challengers attacks.
Pitbull won via wide margins in the scorecards, as he keeps the Bellator featherweight belt around his waist.
Gegard Mousasi def. Lyoto Machida by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
The second main event of the night was a middleweight rematch between former world champions Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi. This time around, it was Mousasi who emerged victorious, evening the score with “The Dragon.”
Machida fought with his trademark style, throwing sharp, clean counter shots. Mousasi, however, remained patient and calculated with his attacks, landing punches as the Brazilian backpedaled.
When it came to engaging strikes, Mousasi made use of oblique kicks to keep his opponent at bay. The action remained on the feet until the final minutes of round three, where Machida ended up on his back after a failed kick.
Machida attempted to end the fight with a guillotine choke from inside the guard until time expired. In the end, Mousasi got the judges’ nod via split decision.