Former Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary has hit the first rough patch of his career, with losses in two of his last three fights. Those defeats came to Phil Davis via unanimous decision and Linton Vassell via triangle choke submission. McGeary needs to improve his performance if he wants to get back in the title hunt in 2018.
The 6-foot-6 Brit in his latest assignment will lock horns with Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 194 on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, where a win figures to keep him in the discussion at 205 pounds. Their matchup plays third fiddle to the Roy Nelson-Matt Mitrione headliner and Patricky Freire-Derek Campos co-main event.
Ahead of McGeary’s critical battle with Nemkov, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
1: Decision win to his credit. McGeary has gone the distance in victory only once, a unanimous verdict over Emanuel Newton at Bellator 134 bringing him the promotion’s light heavyweight crown.
1: Championship reign. McGeary held the Bellator light heavyweight belt from Feb. 27, 2015 to Nov. 4, 2016.
1: Successful title defense. McGeary retained his 205-pound championship by submitting Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer Tito Ortiz with an inverted triangle choke at Bellator 142 in September 2015.
2: Bellator appearances in Europe. McGeary defeated Brett McDermott by second-round technical knockout in a 215-pound catchweight clash at Bellator 173 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before losing to Vassell by submission at Bellator 179 in London.
2.5: Submission attempts per 15 minutes, according to FightMetric.
3: Bellator tournament wins. McGeary defeated Mike Mucitelli, Egidijus Valavicius and Kelly Anundson in the 2014 Bellator Summer Series light heavyweight tournament. He won all three fights inside one round.
5: Victories by submission. They account for 42 percent of his career total. McGeary’s victims were Anundson, Ortiz, Najim Wali, Shaun Lomas and Grzegorz Janus.
8: First-round finishes on his resume. McGeary has delivered five of those wins in 91 seconds or less.
10: Consecutive wins to start his career. McGeary debuted on May 8, 2010 and pieced together a 10-fight winning streak before bowing to Davis at Bellator 163 six-plus years later.
11: Submission attempts in a single fight, a Bellator record. McGeary set the mark against Newton in their five-round encounter a little less than three years ago.
35: Years of age. McGeary was born in Norfolk, England, on Oct. 4, 1982.