On Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park at Penn State University in Philadelphia, Bellator 186 went down with a card full of finishes and great fights, let's get into the action and break down what went on.
Frank Buenafuente (win) vs. Francis Healy
In the first fight of the night we had a Featherweight contest, between two Bellator debutantes Frank Buenafuente and Francis Healy. To begin the fight, Buenafuente throws a big right and follows the miss with a takedown attempt. He gets Healy down briefly, but he scrambles back to his feet. However Buenafuente is then able to get Healy back down with another successful takedown. He is able to land good ground and pound shots and maintain top control, also avoiding a brief armbar attempt. After Healy gets up once again, Buenafuente gets another takedown and ends the round on top. In the 2nd, the round begins once again with Buenafuente winging a couple of big overhand rights that miss, and once again he shoots for a takedown and is able to secure his first attempt of the round. The rest of the round saw Buenafuente control on top once again and land good ground and pound shots. Healy struggled on the ground for a quick submission attempt and getting to full guard, but he fails as Buenafuente is able to transition between both full and half guard on top, landing good shots as he does so. Healy is able to stand near the end of the round, but Buenafuente stays on him and lands a couple good knees before taking down Healy once more as the round ends. The third saw Healy come back a bit, landing some good kicks and elbows against Buenafuente, using his jab to control range. Buenafuente gets Healy to the ground with a takedown but Healy is able to defend well from the bottom. After being stood up Buenafuente lands another takedown and ground and pound, before they scramble to their feet and the fight ends. Frank Buenafuente def. Francis Healy by Unanimous Decision "
Jonny Bonilla-Bowman vs. Tywan Claxton (win)
In the next fight we have a showcase between two young fighters at Featherweight, one of them making their professional MMA debut. 1-0 Jonny Bonilla-Bowman faced off against the debuting Tywan Claxton. This fight did not last long. Early in the first round, Claxton established his jab. He misses a big left, and Bonilla-Bowman lands a good uppercut in an exchange. Claxton continues to work the jab, and Bonilla-Bowman takes notice of its effectiveness. Claxton then quickly jumped forward, reaching out as he extended his knee. Bonilla-Bowman reacted wrong to this and ducked down anticipating the jab, instead ducking his chin down right into the explosive flying knee of Claxton. Bonilla-Bowman immediately falls backwards, unconscious, bouncing his head off the canvas as he lands. Tywan Claxton knows he's finished the fight, and doesn't bother jumping onto his down-and-outed opponent. Referee James Chappell rushed in immediately after Bonilla-Bowman landed, stopping the fight. Tywan Claxton def. Jonny Bonilla-Bowman via R1 KO. Spectacular finish by Claxton in his pro debut.
Logan Storley (win) vs. Matt Secor
In the next fight of the prelims, we have a Welterweight contest between explosive Up-and-comer Logan 'Storm' Storley and Former TUF contestant and MMA veteran Matt Secor. In the first round, Storley begins to establish good low kicks on Secor's lead leg. Secor counters once with a right, but then Storley goes to a takedown, and is successful. He lands good elbows and punches from half guard, and once he begins to land he throws down harder shots onto Secor, opening up a cut on his head. Storley continues with elbows and punches. After a scramble, Storley gets up as Secor lay on the ground, wanting to grapple. A stand-up is ordered, and in the final 20 seconds of the round, Storley lands a good takedown. In the second round Secor comes out first with a one-two that misses, and Storley lands a right of his own followed by a takedown. Storley isn't as active this time on top, and Referee Dan Miragliotta stands them up. Storley goes for another takedown but this time Secor defends well, and they go back to the stand-up as Storley continues to go back to the leg kicks, which are landing. Storley then lands another good takedown, but Secor does a better job of using his guard to stymie the offense of Storley on top. Another stand-up is ordered by Miragliotta, and then another takedown by Storley towards the end of round. He ends it by landing good elbows in side control. In the 3rd, we have the same story as the first couple of rounds. Storley lands good leg kicks beofre landing a takedown on Secor. He continues his dominance on top as Secor can't do much in terms of submissions or escapes from the bottom. Miragliotta again stands them up, this time with two minutes left in the round. Secor does threaten with a leg lock after rolling through as Storley tries to take him down again, but is unsuccessful. They stand and Storley lands a pair of takedowns to end the fight. Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via Unanimous Decision.
Dominic Mazzotta (win) vs. Matt Lozano
In the 4th fight of the prelims, we have a featherweight contest between MMA vet Matthew "SMG" Lozano and veteran ground Specialist Dominic 'The Honey Badger' Mazzotta. In the first round both men come out trading kicks, and Mazzotta lands a good right. Mazzotta then lands a well placed spinning kick to Lozano's midsection before landing a good takedown. He then drops a hard short elbow that cuts open Lozano near his right eye. Mazzotta continues with heavy ground and pound, and as he tries to transition, he stands briefly and drops back down into Lozano's guard, where he lands another heavy elbow that causes blood to pour from Lozano's cut. Referee Keith Peterson calls time as he signals for the Physician to come in and examine Lozano. After determining that the cut on his eyelid was too deep, the Doctor told the referee Lozano's condition and the fight was stopped. Dominic Mazzotta def. Matt Lozano via R1 TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Michael Trizano (win) vs. Mike Otwell
In our next fight, we have another 145 lb contest between young undefeated fighter Michael Trizano and up-and-comer Mike Otwell. To begin the 1st round, Otwell lands a takedown on Trizano, but Trizano makes his way to his feet and as Otwell tries to throw him, he instead lands in full mount, on top of Otwell. He looks for an arm to isolate at first, but Otwell escapes and sweeps to top position. He begins to work ground and pound, but must also defend as Trizano throws up a triangle attempt and also looks for a kimura. Trizano sweeps, and ends up on top. The first round ends with more grappling exchanges, where Trizano showed off his skill on the ground, being able to sweep Otwell multiple times and working good ground and pound. In the second, Otwell works another takedown and gets Trizano down. However when Otwell fails to keep mount and ends up in half guard, Trizano sweeps him and lands good strikes as Otwell sprawls to counter this. Trizano stays on him and as they stand up he slides his arm underneath Otwell's body and neck, grabs his bicep, and locks up the Anaconda choke. He works his hips around and after some struggling, Otwell taps out. Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via R2 Submission
Mike Wilkins (win) vs. Brett Martinez
In the final fight of the prelims, we have a Catchweight bout taking place at 165 lbs. This contest is between Mike Wilkins and Brett Martinez. In the first, Wilkins lands the first strike, but is taken down after by Martinez. However after a scramble, Wilkins returns to his feet, landing several punches and an elbow that rocks Martinez and bounces him off of the cage wall. They trade punches against the cage. Wilkins continues to land good strikes with knees and then another good elbow over the top. Martinez doesn't back down, responding with an uppercut. However it is Wilkins that continues to put on the more impressive striking landing an elbow, punches, and more knees. The round ends with Wilkins landing strikes. In the 2nd, Wilkins continues the clinic he was putting on Martinez, landing a good body kick and punches. Martinez shoots a takedown, but Wilkins defends well and takes Martinez's back. He then looks for the rear naked choke, and finds it. He fully locks it in and Martinez is forced to tap out. Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via R2 Submission
Saad Awad (win) vs. Zach Freeman
To kick off the Main Card, we have a Lightweight bout, between Bellator veteran Saad 'Assassin' Awad and up-and-comer Zach 'The Altar Boy' Freeman. This fight began with Freeman coming out with a couple of good leg kicks. Awad finally throws a good leg kick of his own, followed by a missed uppercut. But the right hand he threw caught Freeman behind the ear, clipping him and causing him to drop to a knee briefly. He gets up and shoots for a takedown, but as he does, Awad connects with a second powerful right behind the ear, causing him to fall face first into the canvas, barely conscious. Keith Peterson steps in before he receives any more damage, stopping the fight. Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via R1 KO.
Ed Ruth (win) vs. Chris Dempsey
In the next fight of the card, we have undefeated young Bellator up and comer Ed 'Easy' Ruth going up against former UFC fighter Chris Dempsey in a Middleweight bout. In the first round, Ruth establishes the jab early. Dempsey tries to clinch but Ruth moves back into the middle of the cage, after breaking away. He then lands a good body kick and follows up, taking the back of Dempsey standing. He wrestles him down and after Dempsey tries to stand, Ruth gets him down again. He keeps top control and eventually makes his way into Full mount, landing good punches. Dempsey gives his back but then scrambles up, taking a knee to the body in the process. Ruth continues to put pressure on him and as they clinch at the end of the round, Dempsey grabs a guillotine, but can't find success as the round ends with Ruth in side control. In the second round, Ruth continued to show off his striking, landing with a jab then a huge overhand right that landed square of the side of Dempsey's head, sending him down to the canvas. He was unconscious as he hit the ground and couldn't defend, and referee Dan Miragliotta promptly stopped the fight. Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via KO.
Phil Davis (win) vs. Leonardo Leite
In the night's first Light Heavyweight matchup, former UFC fighter and former Bellator Light Heavyweight champion Phil 'Mr. Wonderful' Davis looks to get his first win since losing his title, and he took on 10-0 Brazilian fighter Leo Leite. In the first round, Davis landed the more significant shots, finding good leg kicks after missed punches. As the two men clinch against the cage, Davis defends against a trip attempt by Leite. As they continue to clinch, they move away from the cage wall and it is here that Davis lands a takedown, but he is forced to defend a leglock attempt by Leite. Davis lands a couple of strikes and Leite also lands one of his own as the round ends. In the 2nd round, Davis comes out aggressively and lands a good left hook and a body kick. Time is called however as Davis accidentally eyepokes Leite. They resume, and most of the round consists of clinching and jockeying for position. Leite is able to land good strikes this round, but towards the end, Davis finds another combination that, combined with his prior clinch exchanges, ended the round strongly for him. To begin the 3rd round, Davis avoids Leite's combinations. Davis works his striking well still, and after working some unorthodox angles to show Leite different looks, he lands a good combination that backs up the Brazilian. They clinch, and after Leite fails to execute another trip, Davis tries a takedown but is thwarted himself. Davis then gets back up and continues with his striking, landing well with good combinations and a left hook that stuns Leite briefly. They clinch against the fence and Davis lands a few good knees and a good right as they break. Before the final bell, Davis avoids a Leite combo and lands a last good right hand to put a seal on his winning performance. Phil Davis defeats Leonardo Leite via Unanimous Decision.
Ilima Lei-Macfarlane (win) vs. Emily Ducote
In the co-main event of the evening, we have Bellator's inaugural Women's flyweight championship taking place, where the winner is crowned as the new champ. It takes place between undefeated Bellator up and comer Ilima Lei-Macfarlane, and fellow young up and comer Emily Ducote. The first round was all Ilima's, as she is able to land a good few combos early, and good knees to the body in the clinch. Ilima lands more combos as they separate, backing up Ducote. Once again, Ilima grabs the clinch and lands knees, and then a takedown. On the ground, she lands good ground and pound and attempts an arm bar as the round ends. In the 2nd, we see more of the same dominance from Macfarlane. She begins with a two punch combo, and then a good counter after Ducote lands a leg kick. Ducote lands a few of these leg kicks throughout the fight. Macfarlane establishes her jab well and works it through the end of the round. In the 3rd, we have a similar story in the start. Macfarlane lands her jab and Ducote lands a pair of leg kicks, then defending a takedown attempt by Macfarlane. They clinch once again and Macfarlane again lands knees and a good punch combo as they separate. After she then lands a good left that tags Ducote, Macfarlane goes for the takedown. After some struggle for it, she completes the takedown and lands good ground and pound as the 3rd comes to an end. In the 4th round, Macfarlane shows she is still going strong even in the championship rounds. She lands a good uppercut then right hand, then tags Ducote a couple more times as she tries to come in. Ducote goes back to the leg kick, which has essentially been her best offense in the entire fight. As they exchange strikes, Macfarlane lands the more effective strikes. At the end of the round, Macfarlane lands a takedown and Ducote lands on top in a scramble, but the bell sounds before anything else can happen. Now, in the 5th and final round, Ducote comes out stronger and presses forward. Macfarlane is prepared, though, and is able to keep landing good strikes. Eventually, Macfarlane catches a Ducote low kick and goes for the takedown, but once again Ducote ends up on top. Macfarlane controls her well from the full guard, not allowing Ducote to mount any offense. As Macfarlane then begins to set up a triangle, she transitions and attacks the arm for the arm bar which Ducote wasn't defending for, and she is caught. Ducote verbally taps and that's it. Ilima Lei-Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote via R5 Submission to become the first Bellator Women's Flyweight champion.
Ryan Bader (win) vs. Linton Vassell
In the main event of the evening, we have the 5 round Light Heavyweight contest between former UFC Lightweight contender and current Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan 'Darth' Bader and Bellator Veteran, Englishman Linton 'The Swarm' Vassell. In the first round, Bader tries to use his wrestling early, going for the takedown and pushing Vassell against the cage, early. Vassell reverses and tries for a bodylock but Bader is able to counter and land a nice belly to belly throw and lands in side control. Vassell is able to fight back to his feet though. 'The Swarm' is now landing shots of his own, including a few good low kicks that cause Bader to stumble a bit. After taking some damage from Vassell, Bader shoots for the double leg takedown, and lands it. Vassell once again fights to his feet and near the end of the round, and tries once more for a takedown with a trip, but Bader reverses it again and lands on top, managing a couple shots before the bell. In the 2nd round, Bader comes out aggressively and after missing a kick he takes down Vassell, and begins working him towards the fence to do some damage. After some stalemates, Vassell turns his back to try and stand up. He gets to his feet but Bader, still on his back, wrestles him back to the floor, riding the leg, a hallmark of his wrestling style. He starts landing good shots from here, good hammerfists and punches to the head of Vassell. Bader then traps the right arm of Vassell as he pounds away with his left, landing 4 more good shots to the side of Vassell's head as he is curled up, not effectively defending anymore. After this barrage Referee Keith Peterson has seen enough, and intervenes, calling a stop to the bout. Ryan Bader def. Linton Vassell via R2 TKO, and he remains the Bellator Light Heavyweight champion, bringing home his first successful title defense.