Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bellator 182 Brings an Amazing Night of Mixed Martial Arts Action to Central New York

Story, Photos, and Videos by Jose Cuevas
The lovely Mercedes Terrell introducing the first round of the main event

Verona, N.Y. –  Bellator 182 brought a packed house at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino Friday night and had the crowd roaring from beginning to end.

This was the first Bellator MMA event ever hosted there. Fans who attended previous events such as HBO Boxing's Lucas Matthysse versus Ruslan Provodnikov were happy to take in the sights and enjoy some exciting fights. 

The card consisted of four main televised bouts and 14 preliminary bouts. 

The fights began with the preliminary (also called "pre-lims") bouts which were cut short due to time constraints as the main card had to begin at 9 P.M. EDT because of the TV schedule. Therefore the remaining preliminary bouts became "post-lim"  fight after the main event. 


Here is  the fight card with the results of each bout. All bouts are in chronological order to reflect their position on the actual card the fans witnessed live. 

Preliminary Bouts:

Joey Davis defeated Justin Roswell via TKO (Due to Severe Elbow Strikes) in Round 1, time: 1:35
Arlene Blencowe defeated Sinead Kavanaugh via Split Decision
Chris Honeycutt defeated Kevin Casey via TKO (due to severe punches) in Round 2, time: 2:06
Kate Jackson defeated Colleen Schneider via TKO (Due to injury) could not continue to Round 2
Georgi Karakhanyan defeated Daniel Pineda via TKO (Doctor Stoppage due to severe cut) Round 2, time: 4:05
Henry Corrales defeated Noad Lahat via Unanimous Decision 
Vadim Nemkov defeated Philipe Lins via KO (punch) Round 1, time: 3:03
Talita Nogueira defeated Amanda Bell via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Round 1, time: 3:44
Rickey Rainey defeated Marc Stevens via Unanimous Decision

Main Card Bouts:

A.J. McKee defeated Blair Tugman via Unanimous Decision
Bruna Ellen defeated Veta Arteaga via Split Decision
Fernando Gonzalez defeated Brennan Ward via Submission (Guillotine choke) Round 3, time 1:02
Andrey Koreshkov defeated Chidi Njokuani via TKO (Due to Severe Strikes) Round 1, time: 4:08

Post-lim Fights

Kristi Lopez versus Jessica Sotack declared a Split Draw
Matt Secor defeated T.J. Summer via Submission (Americana Submission Hold) Round 1, time: 4:00
Tom Regal defeated Kastroit Xhema via KO (Severe Punches) Round 1, time: 3:21
Alex Potts defeated Brandon Polcare via Submission (Kimura Submission Hold) Round 1, time: 3:10
Joshua Ricci defeated Brandon Warne via Unanimous Decision

                                                                      Notable Fights

                                                        Joey Davis versus Justin Roswell

Joey Davis was the heavy favorite for this fight and rightfully so. Davis is coming off a stellar college career where he went 133-0. Roswell was well aware of his wrestling skills and tried to avoid a fight on the mat as he would be outclassed. However, Davis showed that he had proficient striking ability which allowed him to take the fight to the ground after landing vicious strikes and scoring a takedown.

When the fight went to the mat it was over. Davis landed vicious strikes that severely cut Roswell and made him bleed profusely. The fight was called off shortly thereafter as Davis showcased his vicious ground and pound ability.
Davis is declared the winner via TKO
Davis' family member celebrates the victory

                                            Arlene Blencowe versus Sinead Kavanaugh

Blencowe and Kavanaugh exchange punches
This fight showcased exactly why Women's MMA is booming. Neither fighter took a step back or ran away from the action. Blencowe and Kavanaugh traded punches all fight in a boxing showcase. Mayweather and McGregor will be boxing Saturday night in a fight that may not deliver, but these women put on a boxing showcase that delivered and produced excitement from the first bell to the last.

Blencowe lands a right hook on Kavanaugh
This fight had zero takedowns it was fight solely as a striking match. As the fight progressed into the second round both women's faces were showing the results of consistent blows landing flush. By the third both were bleeding and weary but they did not take a step back. Rather they ratcheted up the intensity and finished strong. Blencowe was awarded a close split decision after the hellacious bout

Blencowe and Kavanaugh embrace eachother as a sign of respect and sportsmanship after a tough fight

                                                     Ricky Rainey versus Marc Stevens

Rainey landing his signature head kick
Not just as a play on words, but Rickey Rainey made it rain head kick last night as he continually landed them flush on Stevens' head. The fight was competitive at moments with Stevens and Rainey trading strikes in the middle of the cage. Stevens was even able to take down Rainey in the first round but could not maintain control on the mat.

Stevens times Rainey's kick and catches his leg

In the second, Stevens  began timing Rainey's kicks, stuffing them and taking him down to the mat. However, a consistent theme developed of Stevens not being able to maintain control on the mat and Rainey repeatedly escaped compromising situations.

Rainey stuffs Stevens' takedown attempt and throws vicious punches to the head
Ironically, Rainey then began timing Stevens' takedown attempts and utilizing them to his advantage. Rainey began to stuff (defend) the takedown attempts and hit Stevens with vicious strikes to the head and obliques. At the end of the round Stevens managed to sink in a rear naked choke but was unable to finish Stevens off as he escaped the submission.

Rainey unleashes a vicious ground and pound assault
Heading into the third Rainey took control and executed group and pound while also trying to sink in a rear naked choke. Stevens spent most of the third round on the mat trying to defend himself. With his continued assault Rainey secured the victory via unanimous decision.

                                                      A.J McKee versus Blair Tugman

A.J. McKee lands a spinning back kick on Tugman
The story heading into this fight was whether McKee was going to be able to defeat the tough and talented grappler Tugman. McKee heading into this fight was 8 and 0 despite only being 22 years old. In the first round he showed us why he is considered by many to be a top prospect by doing something that many did not expect. He out-wrestled Tugman. 

A.J. McKee successfully takes down Tugman
Heading into the second round McKee began causing real damage as he landed a front kick that cut Tugman. He later multiplied the damage with a hard head kick and multiple strikes to the head. Beyond just cutting and damaging Tugman, McKee took full advantage of his wingspan and long legs by controlling the distance and not allowing the wrestler Tugman to get on the inside effectively nullifying his greatest weapon. This is crucial in MMA as it allowed McKee to dictate the pace and land strikes from a safe distance while frustrating Tugman 

McKee lands a headkick on Tugman
In the third round McKee landed strikes on the ground that severely cut Tugman and caused him to bleed profusely. Blood was literally squirting from his forehead. The tough Tugman showed a glimmer of hope as he positioned himself into a guillotine choke but lost his grip and McKee yet again took control. McKee was declared the victor by unanimous decision.

A.J McKee is declared the winner

                                                      Bruna Ellen versus Veta Arteaga

Bruna Ellen faces off with Veta Arteaga in the center of the cage
Women's MMA is booming and this fight showed why technically female athletes can deliver just as much if not even more than their male counterparts. Arteaga was cheered on by her young daughter seated cage-side, while Ellen's team and Brazilian fans cheered vigorously for her. The first round consisted laregelyof Ellen slipping Arteaga's strong strikes, although she did receive a couple of blows to the head. At the culmination of the first round Ellen successfully took down Arteaga which would be her key to victory as the fight progressed.

Ellen executing some ground and pound
The second round seemed to be going Ellen's way as she continued to control distance and successfully take down Arteaga. However, later in the round Arteaga rolled through a rear naked choke attempt and began viciously beating Ellen. She didn't keep her down but she finished strong and maintained control on her feet. It seemed as if the fight was even heading into the third with the fighters winning one round apiece.

Ellen executing a takedown
Ellen utilized what most likely won her the fight, her takedowns. Arteaga had no answer to Ellen's takedowns and ground game in the third round. Ellen seemed to gain confidence after a tough second round and even attempted a beautiful flying knee strike which barely missed. Ellen won the bout via split decision. 

Ellen was very happy with her performance and said that she trained extensively in camp to prepare for this fight. She also said that she loves what she does and is looking forward to fight again in the near future.

Here is video of the post fight interview with Bruna Ellen. 

Bellator Women's Featherweight champion was cage-side for the action

                                             Fernando Gonzalez versus Brennan Ward

Ward and Gonzalez face off in the center of the cage
This fight promised to be a barn burner given the styles clash between the two fighters. Ward is known to be an aggressive and fan-friendly fighter, while Gonzalez was the wily veteran who patiently looks for an opening to capitalize on. Surprisingly Ward flipped the script and seemed very composed early on. Ward methodically landed strikes and even takedowns while not conceding many openings. It looked as if the memory of his previous loss via a flying knee forced him to keep his movement intentional and fundamentally sound.

Gonzalez lands a strong head kick on Ward
As the second round commenced Ward continued to fight well and remained composed. Gonzalez however began sneaking in kicks and punches which didn't seem to faze Ward too much, but you could tell he was wary of Gonzalez's power. The round continued to go Ward's way as he took down Fernandez and secured the round.

Gonzalez locks in a Guillotine Choke
Ward was comfortably leading the fight heading into the third by being composed and intentional in his game plan. However little did he know that Gonzalez was collecting data on him to later capitalize on his mistakes. Shades of Ward's last bout reared their head when he took a sloppy takedown attempt and was instantly caught by Gonzalez in a tight guillotine choke. Gonzalez used all of leverage and in a few seconds the fight was over as Ward tapped out. Ward's mental lapse cost him a fight that he would've most likely won, but Gonzalez showed us why patience is a virtue.

Gonzalez declared the victor
Gonzalez was happy with his performance and told us that it was all part of the plan to collect data on Ward throughout the early rounds. He is looking forward to his next fight and hoping to get in title contention. Lastly, he also discusses the issue of not being able to make weight.

Here is the full post fight interview with Fernando Gonzalez.

                                             Andrey Koreshkov versus Chidi Njokuani

Main event time! This fight was a fight of the year candidate given Koreshkov's resume and Njokuani's seven-fight win streak. From early on you could tell this fight was not going to last long as Koreshkov landed a spinning backfist that resonated like a gun shot. That was the beginning of the end for Njokuani and his winning streak.

Koreshkov unleashes a deadly flying knee to Njokuani's gut
Koreshkov had no mercy on Njokuani as he violently pounced on him. He severely hurt Njokuani with a vicious flying knee to the midsection that hurt him. From press row it sounded like a series of gunshots whenever Koreshkov hit Njokuani. After an accumulation of strikes on his feet Koreshkov took Njokuani to the mat.

Andrey Koreshkov annihilating Chidi Njokuani with vicious ground and pound
It was over once Koreshkov took Njokuani to the ground. Koreshkov threw all his weight behind his punches and commenced a relentless attack on Njokuani. Legendary MMA referee "Big John" McCarthy stopped the bout as Njokuani did not respond and Koreshkov would not stop delivering lethal blows. Koreshkov won the bout via TKO.

Koreshkov was very happy with his performance and sent a warning to Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima and contender Rory Mcdonald saying "I'm coming for my belt so be ready!"

Koreshkov also revealed that he was very upset with Njokuani as he refused to make their contracted weight even when Koreshkov gave him the opportunity to. Koreshkov said that he felt the need to discipline him in the ring as he felt disrespected.

Here is the full post fight interview with Andrey Koreshkov.


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