On November 10, Bellator MMA went across the pond to the 3Arena at Dublin, Ireland. That night a dual-promotion card, between UK promoter BAMMA and Bellator MMA, where Bellator put on only a 5 fight main card. Let's get into the Bellator card, which came full of finishes and excitement.
Paul Redmond (win) vs. Sergio Santos
The initial fight of the card was not aired, and it was a Catchweight bout between Irishman Paul Redmond and Sergio de Jesus Santos. The story of this fight was the takedown ability of Redmond. He was able to land several takedowns on Santos over 3 rounds, and in the 1st round was able to survive a guillotine attempt by the Brazilian.
He continued to show superior striking and takedowns over the course of the fight, and wound up taking the Unanimous Decision victory.
Charlie Ward (win) vs. John Redmond
Next up, we have a middleweight showcase between 3-3 former UFC fighter and Irishman Charlie Ward going up against 7-12 John Redmond.
They clinch immediately and Ward pushes Redmond back into the fence and lands a couple of good knees to start. He then lands a takedown, and begins working inside Redmond's guard. After Ward works some ground and pound, Redmond gets back to his feet, with 2 minutes having gone by. Ward continues to put pressure on Redmond against the fence as he stands, and the Irishman continues to land good knees to Redmond's body while they fight for position. As Redmond finally gets Ward against the fence and lands a knee, the 10-second warning sounds. They separate, and as they do Ward lands a huge left hook that drops Redmond hard. As he follows up with punches, Referee Mark Goddard steps in and stops the fight.
Charlie Ward def. John Redmond via R1 KO.
Charlie Ward celebrates his KO, and as he does his SBG Ireland gym mate Conor McGregor jumped into the cage and rushed him to celebrate. This was a no-go for the officials, and as Referee Goddard told them they had to get McGregor out of the cage, Conor rushed towards Goddard, pushing him and yelling at him. A strange moment after the fight, indeed.
Here's a sneak peak at McGregor's reaction to the win!
Kevin Ferguson (win) vs Fred Freeman
On the second fight of the card we have a Catchweight matchup taking place at 165 lbs. This fight is between Bellator up-and-comer Kevin Ferguson Jr., a talented all around fighter who is the son of street fighting legend and MMA icon the late Kimbo Slice, and 1-0 Bellator Debutant Fred Freeman, who has a TKO in his first fight.
The fight begins tentatively, as both men try to find their range and size up each other. After about a minute, Freeman throws a body kick. Ferguson takes this as his opportunity and rushes in for a leg trip, but can't get it. He holds onto the clinch with Freeman though, and is able to wrestle him to the ground for the takedown. With a minute now gone from the fight, Ferguson begins to go to work on the ground, and as Freeman tries to turn around and go belly down to get to his feet, Ferguson sinks in his hooks, and takes the back of Freeman. After some brief struggle, Ferguson gets his forearm under the chin of Freeman and sinks in the Rear Naked choke.
Freeman is forced to tap out, and Ferguson gets his first submission win. Kevin Ferguson jr. def. Fred Freeman via R1 Submission.
Sinead Kavanagh (win) vs. Maria Casanova
In the Co-Main event of this card, another Straight Blast Gym fighter comes to fight, as Sinead 'KO' Kavanagh went up against French Fighter Maria Casanova. This fight did not last long at all, and 21 seconds in, Kavanagh lands a hard right hand that drops Casanova to the canvas. She's not out, but Kavanagh quickly follows her to finish the fight. She transitions into full mount, and Casanova is struggling to defend. Kavanagh then drops down a flurry of big shots from the mount that go right through to Casanova's head, and Mark Goddard steps in to stop the fight and prevent further damage. Sinead Kavanagh def. Maria Casanova via R1 TKO, in just 34 Seconds.
AJ McKee (win) vs. Brian Moore
In the main event, we have a Featherweight matchup between two young fighters with huge potential. This fight replaces the original Main event bout between explosive up and comer James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano. This fight is a contest between undefeated Bellator up and comer AJ 'Mercenary' McKee and explosive Irish MMA fighter Brian 'The Pikeman' Moore. In the first round, McKee shows his striking skill early, landing some punches and kicks. Moore tries to press him, moving forward, but McKee unloads with a good right hand and drops Moore. McKee follows him to the canvas and tries to lock in a guillotine, but lets go as Moore gets up. McKee keeps on him, with a body kick and a good left hand. Moore continues forward pressure though, and lands a left of his own. However McKee continues to find combos as Moore pushes forward. Moore then clinches McKee and as they go to the cage, Moore goes for the takedown. McKee once again attacks the submission with a guillotine, still standing, but Moore escapes, and McKee lands a right as he does. Now Moore lands a good punch, and McKee drops for a takedown. Moore lands good short elbows with his back against the cage, and Referee Leon Roberts watches closely as McKee begins to bleed. The round ends with them clinched.
In the second round, Moore continues his forward pressure, and McKee goes right to the takedown. He fails, and Moore lands a good right as he moves forward. McKee isn't done yet, as he lands a right of his own. Moore continues pressing forward though and lands more punches. McKee shoots another takedown, now 2 minutes into the round, and again is stuffed. Moore lands a good left and dodges the spinning backfist of McKee. Moore then pushes forward landing combinations, which pushes McKee into the fence. However then McKee comes back and lands a good one two combo followed by a spinning kick. Moore pushes forward still and then looks for the takedown against the cage. He is stuffed by McKee and as they return to the center of the cage they exchange punches, McKee lands some kicks and Moore lands more punches to end the round. At this point the fight is 1-1 and going into the 3rd, both men are looking for a finish.
The round starts out and McKee catches Moore with a 3 punch combination that drops him, and as he tries to recover off of his back, McKee tries to land big ground and pound shots. This forces Moore to give his back and try to get up, but McKee quickly grabs his back and sinks in a Rear naked choke, seamlessly. He doesn't even have his hooks in with his legs, but still manages to get serious torque into the choke, and after holding on, Moore goes unconscious and Leon Roberts steps in to stop the fight. Moore comes to, confused. McKee gets up and celebrates his hard earned victory with a backflip.
A.J. McKee def. Brian Moore via R3 Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke)