Bellator 134: The British Invasion went down Friday (February 27, 2015) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main event featured 205-pound champion, Emanuel Newton (25-7-1), taking on the undefeated Liam McGeary (9-0).
Brennan Ward vs. Curtis Millender
Brennan Ward, an accomplished NCAA wrestler, clashed with Curtis Millender to get the main card under way. Ward, a late replacement for Michael Page, came out aggressive. Initially, “Irish” got picked apart by Millender’s quick hands, but he managed to land a right that sent his opponent to the mat and pounced with the rear-naked to seal the victory in round one.
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Linton Vassell
Next on the card, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou squared off against Emanuel Newton’s most recent victim in Linton Vassell. Vassell immediately looked to take the fight to the mat and succeeded. From there, he controlled “The African Assassin” with ease, landing strikes from the top and threatening to choke from the back. A minute into round two, “The Swarm” double-legged his opponent against the fence and wasted no time in flattening him out on his stomach. Sokoudjou could only cover up as Vassell landed strikes from on top. Referee Dan Miragliotta intervened at 3:18 of round number two.
Paul Daley vs. André Santos
Approaching the top of the card, Paul Daley took on Bellator newcomer, André Santos. Daley was the aggressor early, landing body shots and making Santos miss. “Semtex” droped the Brazilian late in round one, but he managed to grab hold of a leg and survive the remaining seconds. Daley dropped his opponent again in round two and scrambled to finish the fight with strikes to no avail. Daley came out strong in the final frame but faded as the round went on, and Santos got the better of the latter exchanges on the ground. Daley got the nod on the scorecards (29-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Cheick Kongo vs. Muhammed Lawal
In the penultimate scrap of the main card, “King Mo” made the return to heavyweight for the first time since 2009 to take on Cheick Kongo. The early striking exchanges were tentative. Mid-way through the round Lawal changed levels and took Kongo to the mat where he controlled from the top, without a great deal of offence, for the remainder of round one. “King Mo” scored a takedown again in round two and dominated the majority of the round from on top. In a repeat of the first two rounds, Lawal took Kongo down with ease and rested on top in the final round. “King Mo” got his hand raised to resounding boos from the Connecticut crowd.
Emanuel Newton (c) vs. Liam McGeary
In the main event — the terminal transatlantic tussle — Liam McGeary looked to wrestle the strap from the grasp “The Hardcore Kid”. The opening round was action-packed with McGeary attacking from his back and fully locking in three separate triangle chokes combined with armbar and keylock attempts. Newton needed all his experience and grit to defend the submissions and survive the first round. “The Hardcore Kid” found himself on top in round two, but McGeary was now less active off his back. Nevertheless, he managed to lock in another triangle from the bottom, but rather than try to finish the submission, McGeary chose to land a flurry of vicious elbows to Newton’s exposed head. In round three, McGeary landed strikes from the outside early, Newton spent the middle portion of the round on top, and McGeary finished the round in yet another mounted triangle. In the fourth, McGeary began boxing from the outside before being forced against the cage and taken down. In the final round, with the outcome still up in the air, Newton scored an early takedown against the cage. From there, he controlled the majority of the final round from on top. The fight went to the judges who scored the bout unanimously for McGeary. The newly crowned champion appeared as surprised as anyone at the result.
The British invade successfully then, with Vassell, Daley, and McGeary all getting their hands raised in Connecticut. McGeary remains undefeated, moves to 10-0, and returns to Toms River, New Jersey with the 205-pound strap.
Bellator 134 Results:
205lbs: Liam McGeary def. Emanuel Newton via Unanimous Decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-47)
265lbs: Muhammed Lawal def. Cheick Kongo via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
170lbs: Paul Daley def. Andre Santos via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
205lbs: Linton Vassell def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via R2 TKO (Punches, 3:18)
170lbs: Brennan Ward def. Curtis Millender via R1 Submission (Rear-Naked Choke, 1:37)
155lbs: Dean Hancock def. Mike Mangan via R1 Submission (Rear-Naked Choke, 1:33)
145lbs: Matt Bessette def. Josh LaBerge via R2 TKO (Doctor Stoppage, 5:00)
265lbs: Raphael Butler def. Josh Diekmann via R1 Submission (Guillotine Choke, 1:04)
180lbs: Tamdan McCrory def. Jason Butcher via R1 Submission (Armbar, 1:06)
170lbs: Neiman Gracie def. Bobby Flynn via R1 Submission (Neck Crank, 2:36)
135lbs: Blair Tugman def. Marvin Maldonado via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)