Bellator 180 swept into New York City for the promotions’ first event in the city at the historic home of fighting, Madison Square Gardens. The stacked fight card was headlined by a grudge match between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva that had been brewing for years.
Things didn’t go the Brazilian’s way on the night with Sonnen sticking to his expected plan executing a string of takedowns and taking the fight to the ground where his superior wrestling could dominate Silva with ground and pound, eventually outpointing him 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 over the course of the fight.
It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but the grind paid off for the American Gangster, who then used his victory speech to lay into Tito Ortiz and Rory MacDonald.
“He gives me the bird, he’s flipping me off and then he starts yelling – profanity for one, which is a little low brow to use profanity in any environment. He’s yelling profanity at me: ‘you’re gonna get your ass kicked’. ‘Tito, right now?! I’m in the ring, man. I’ve known you twenty years.’ Tito, I’m a rough guy, man. I will come over there and whip your ass in that little fake suit you got.’ I mean, he’s probably drunk and on drugs. The guy’s a drug addict. He’s a total scumbag. I’d whip his ass any time he wants to do it.”
He then turned his attention to Rory MacDonald, saying, “Rory MacDonald and I are gonna cross paths eventually. Weird, call out a guy that’s at 170-pounds. There’s a story behind it. I’ll come on your show and share the story with you. Rory knows what happened. We have to fight – I have no choice. I have no problem with Rory and won’t pretend I will. Rory and I are going to fight, and he knows it.”
A more likely opponent for MacDonald would be Douglas Lima who successfully defended his welterweight belt against former UFC fighter, Lorenz Larkin on the night, spoiling the latter’s promotional debut and extending his defence record to 3.
Another old school fighter making his debut on Bellator was the Russian legend, Fedor Emelianenko, who was facing Matt Mitrione. The formerly unbeatable GOAT is starting to show his age though and, following a near double knockout which saw both fighters hit the canvas after connecting punches to one another’s faces, Mittrione was first to his feet and pounced on the fallen Emperor, forcing an early stoppage by pounding on his face while it was trapped under his armpit.