Rosemont Illinois’s ALLSTATE ARENA was the site for BELLATOR 175. Sitting around the cage was the contingent from Bellator 180/NYC that made the trip, as well as the newly signed DILLON DANIS, NFL great and former cage fighter HERSCHEL WALKER, and the only man to win a Super Bowl and be in the legendary wrestling group THE FOUR HORSEMEN, STEVE MONGO MCMICHAEL. He was actually there to do some color commentary work during the military veterans bout.
MIKE DE LA VIEGA took a split decision victory over the Bellator debuting FLYIN BRIAN AKINS. DAMIAN PRETTY BOY NORRIS got off to a shaky start in his Bellator debut against TOM YOUR LOCAL HERO SHOAFF. No fault of his own really; he was kicked in the groin. It momentarily slowed down the much faster and crisper fighter. But once he “got back to normal” Damian was able to score take downs, and eventually body kicks and jabs at will. Norris was then accidentally caught in the groin by another kick. Shoaff didn’t lose a point because both fighters were moving at the time. Eventually all the ground and pound and jabs did enough damage it opened up Tom’s nose. The bout finished with them going toe to toe on the ground. Norris did more than enough for the unanimous decision victory. JAMES BOCHNOVIC continued his submission streak against MATTHEW MONSTER PAUL. Paul, in his debut for the company started quick with a takedown then got gassed transitioning from a guillotine to a darce choke to a kimora to an awkward neck lock. Eventually he lost top control and gave his back. James was then able to lock in his own rear naked choke where Paul tapped at 4:30 of the 1st round. The student of BIG BEN ROTHWELL is red hot now; he’s on a 6 fight win streak, 5 of his wins are via submission and all 6 come in the 1st round. MANNY VAZQUEZ is another fighter to watch as he used his huge height advantage to take a unanimous decision win over TEDDY BEAR NATE WILLIAMS.
The fight between TIM SHOWTIME CHO and JOSHUA DUSTIN JD HARDWICK was a special one between 2 US Army soldiers. As a matter of fact as Mongo McMichael said numerous times commentating; Tim is heading out to go to Qatar. Both were 2-0. Joshua has 2 1st round submissions while Tim has 2 unanimous decisions. Joshua caught Cho low with a kick to the groin (the 5th time it happened on the card) then it was Cho catching JD and dropping him after a flying knee attempt got stuffed. Cho’s relentless attacks of takedowns, ground and pound and elbows from half guard, and laser like striking was just too much to handle. Showtime is now 3-0 and 1-0 in his Bellator debut after the TKO victory 2:43 into round 3. JOAQUIN BUCKLEY went to 7-1 and got back on the winning ledger defeating JUSTIN PATTERSON by unanimous decision. It also ended Justin’s 3 fight win streak.
Lightweight STEVE THUNDERBEAST KOZOLA continued his torrid pace going 8-0 7 via KO/TKO, the last 3 ending in round 1. He knocked out JAKE THE NORTH COUNTY NIGHTMARE ROBERTS just 28 seconds in. It was a left that momentarily dropped Jake and he got up and was greeted with a combo flurry that referee BIG JOHN MCCARTHY had to jump in on to stop. He then called out Dillon. NOAD NEO LAHAT picked up his 6th win via submission over LLOYD CARTER who tried to get inside Neo’s head during the week. Noad did get caught with a left that dropped him for a split second. When he popped up he pushed the action against the cage and was able to take Lloyd down to the mat where he took top control and landed elbows to the ribs and ground and pound. Carter got taken down again where he took more ground and pound. In a scrum Lloyd was able to get top position but Noad was striking effectively and Carter somehow gave up his back. Lahat saw the opportunity and cinched in a rear naked choke that Lloyd had no choice but to tap at 3:50 of round 2. All week long CHASE GORMLEY had said he’d continue his win streak and show he should be considered as one of the best heavyweights. SERGEI KHARITONOV who was riding a 5 fight win streak and admitted during the week he’d love the opportunity to face fellow russian FEDOR EMELIANENKO had other ideas though. Chase did land some shots but Sergei kept coming forward. Gormley also landing a nice combo followed by a right kick that appeared to stun the russian. Sergei threw lefts that backed Chase up to the cage. The russian connected with a right knee that cut Chase and sent him to the fence. It was followed up with a beautiful overhand right and a right uppercut that put Gormley to sleep at 3:55 of the 1st round. EL MATADOR EMMANUEL SANCHEZ went to 15-3 with a unanimous decision win over MARCOS LORO GALVAO who appeared to have an “off night”.
The rematch between MUHAMMED KING MO LAWAL and QUINTON RAMPAGE JACKSON was 3 years in the making. King Mo was able to avenge his loss by picking up the unanimous decision this time. In an odd turn of events Rampage found himself in the last fight of his Bellator contract, and will be returning to the UFC. He also outweighed Mo 253 pounds to 212; but he was on a 5 fight win streak (last 3 coming by decisions). Lawal was able to use his superior wrestling to take the fight to the mat. During the week Lawal had said Rampage hadn’t been on a rampage in a long time. Well, the much heavier fighter almost finished Muhammed in the 2nd with a serious flurry of strikes. In the 3rd Mo did manage to land some significant strikes of his own. It was fitting that in Illinois the main event was a Chicago-style brawl. Moments after King Mo was declared the winner, they dropped the bomb on the King that his next opponent would be the newly signed, RYAN DARTH BADER as part of Bellator 180 at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. Bellator fighters sign un-named fight agreements where they don’t know who they are fighting till its announced is something that only they do, and it does provide some instant spark. However, if King Mo fights the way he did vs Quinton it will be a short night vs the faster better Bader.
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