Brazilian fighter Patricio Freire has regained his Bellator featherweight title by defeating long-time rival Daniel Straus with apparent ease in the main event of Bellator 178, which took place on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. This title fight marked the fourth time Freire faced Straus, and the third time these two fought for a title.
The first round of the fight was fairly uneventful, but Freire was able to land enough strikes to win the round. At the start of the second, Straus shot for a takedown to which Freire was able to defend. The Brazilian the followed up by locking up a guillotine that forced Straus to tap out at the 0:37 mark of the second round. Now champion, Freire will likely defend his belt later this year against Daniel Weichel, whom he defeated at Bellator 138.
In the co-main event, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane had a stunning performance, defeating Jessica Middleton in with just a little over two minutes into the fight. The flyweight bout quickly hit the ground where Macfarlane proved to be the far superior grappler. The 27-year-old Macfarlane locked up a slick arm-bar and adjusting it several times to get Middleton to tap out. Having improved her professional record to 6-0, Macfarlane wasted no time to make her desire to fight for the Bellator women’s flyweight title know.
Bellator veteran Saad Awad snapped a two-fight skid in an action-packed fight against Ryan Quinn. It was a competitive bout that evolved mainly on the ground and had both fighter with very good moments and dominant positions. However, the 33-year-old Awad was able win the majority of the scrambles to maintain top position in every round. Having won this 165-pound catchweight, Awad is now 20-9 as a professional fighter and 8-6 under the Bellator banner.
Opening the Bellator 178 main card, prospect A.J. McKee scored a brutal head-kick knockout over Dominic Mazzotta. The fight only lasted little over a minute, as McKee caught Mazzotta with a left-head kick in one of the first exchanges of the fight. With that impressive performance, McKee managed to stay undefeated and improve his professional record to 8-0.
Additionally, college wrestling standouts and MMA prospects Ed Ruth and Tyrell Fortune picked up wins in the preliminary card.
Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire — Freire sub (guillotine choke) 0:37 R2.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Jessica Middleton — Macfarlane sub (armbar) 2:15 R1.
Ryan Quinn vs. Saad Awad — Awad UD 30-27.
A.J. McKee vs. Dominic Mazzotta — McKee KO 1:15 R1.
Nick Alley vs. Kastroit Xhema — Xhema KO 3:19 R1.
Don Shainis vs. Mak Kelleher — Shainis UD (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Jason Perrin — Carvalho (guillotine choke) 2:04 R3.
Kemran Lachinov vs. Sam Watford — Lachinov SD (30-26 X2, 28-29).
John Lopez vs. Remo Cardarelli — Cardarelli UD (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Chris Foster vs. Shane Manley — Foster (SD).
Thomas English vs. Blair Tugman — Tugman (choke) 4:54 R3.
Jordan Young vs. Tim Caron — Young (d’arce) 3:55 R1.
Ed Ruth vs. David Mundell — Ruth TKO 3:13 R2.
Tyrell Fortune vs. Branko Busick — Fortune UD 29-27.
Billy Giovanella vs. Joshua Ricci — Giovanella def. Ricci
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