Freire, Macfarlane, and McKee making statements at Bellator 178

Freire, Macfarlane, and McKee making statements at Bellator 178

4/22/2017

Photo: Ed Carbajal/Frontproof Media

Photo: Ed Carbajal/Frontproof Media


When two fighters fight often enough, they are likely to know each other’s pros and cons in the craft they share. Such was the case for Bellator 178 at The Mohegan Sun Arena in the main event between now former champion Daniel Strauss and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Freire’s submission finish was in good company with a few other highlight reel finishes at Bellator 178.

Freire’s win almost seemed rehearsed as he locked in the guillotine choke at the beginning of round two. Maybe being a new father gave him some forethought on how his opponent would perform but he applied the choke with almost no expression at the beginning of the second round when he got the finish. In the first round he was loading up right hands and kicks to get a KO finish and seemed calmer at the start of round two.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Jessica Middleton both came to Bellator 178 undefeated but someone was going to lose their ‘0’ and Macfarlane was not going to be the one losing it. When the fight went to the ground in the first round the grappler in Macfarlane would prove to be better than Middleton’s as she secured a triangle to arm bar transition she did as if it was second nature for the tap. The talk of a 125 pound champion has been around in recent days for Bellator and Macfarlane said she wants a shot at it soon.

I went in there and did everything that I wanted to do. I did everything that I needed to do and as I said in the cage, I really wanted to make a statement that this is my division. If they’re going to crown a champion, I want to be number one up there.
— Ilima-Lei Macfarlane

However, the standout fight of the night happened first on the broadcast main card as AJ McKee took on Dominic Mazzotta in what was expected to be an even match up. Not if “Mystic McKee” has his way since he predicted the outcome of this match up during weigh-ins. The highlight reel head kick came at 1:12 of the first round for the undefeated young pro.

Keep an eye on him because, at 22-years-old the future is bright for the second generation MMA fighter.

See the complete results below:

Patricio Freire def. Daniel Straus via submission (guillotine choke)(Round 2, 0:37)
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Jessica Middleton via submission (Round 1, 2:15)
Saad Awad def. Ryan Quinn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
A.J. McKee def. Dominic Mazzotta via knockout (Round 1, 1:15) 

Blair Tugman (10-6) defeated Tom English (6-8) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:54 of round three
Chris Foster (11-5) defeated Shane Manley (3-3) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)  
Kas Xhema (1-0) defeated Nick Alley (1-1) via knockout at 3:19 of round one
Jordan Young (7-0) defeated Tim Caron (7-1) via submission (Brabo Choke) at 3:55 of round one
Ed Ruth (3-0) defeated David Mundell (6-3) via technical knockout at 3:13 of round 2
Tyrell Fortune (3-0) defeated Branko Busick (0-1) via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)


Edward Carbajal is a contributing writer for MMA at Frontproof Media and a Verified Creator at Creators.co. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com. Check out his YouTube channel.

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VIDEO: Bellator 178 Preliminary Bouts

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