Liam McGeary showed no symptoms of a Phil Davis hangover.
A little less than four months after relinquishing the Bellator MMA light heavyweight championship to Davis, McGeary rebounded to force a second-round doctor stoppage on Brett McDermott in the Bellator 173 headliner on Friday at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. McDermott met his end 66 seconds into Round 2.
McGeary withstood a knockdown inside the first five minutes and nearly authored two finishes of his own before the fight spilled into a second round. There, he battered McDermott with heavy artillery on the feet, the damage slowly but surely piling up. By the time the referee had the cageside physician examine McDermott, he was bleeding from multiple cuts and his eye had swelled to such a degree that his vision was compromised.
In the featherweight co-main event, blue-chip prospect James Gallagher kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted Kirill Medvedovsky with a first-round rear-naked choke. Medvedovsky conceded defeat 2:53 into Round 1.
Gallagher continued to show improvements on the feet, where he caught the Ukrainian off-guard with his standup before securing a takedown and applying his ground-and-pound. From there, he transitioned to the back, snaked his arms in place and secured the fight-ending choke.
Meanwhile, Iony Razafiarison upset previously unbeaten SBG Ireland standout Sinead Kavanagh, as she cruised to a one-sided unanimous decision in their three-round catchweight battle at 140 pounds. Razafiarison swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-26 and 30-25 marks from the judges.
Kavanagh was a non-factor from start to finish. Razafiarison executed her game plan flawlessly, as she neutralized the five-time national boxing champion with repeated takedowns and suffocating top control. Kavanagh’s frustration built, with seconds turning to minutes and minutes turning to entire rounds. She spent much of the final frame pinned underneath Razafiarison, unable to give the partisan Irish crowd the thrills it sought.
In other action, Alex Lohore submitted Colin Fletcher with a rear-naked choke 2:42 into the second round of their welterweight showcase; and Shay Walsh walked away with a unanimous verdict against James McErlean in a three-round featherweight feature.
The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts served as co-promoter for the event. At BAMMA 28, “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” winner Norman Parke was awarded a majority decision over Paul Redmond in their headliner, the victory bringing with it the vacant BAMMA lightweight belt; Andy Young tapped Dominique Wooding with a rear-naked choke 3:06 into the third round of their co-main event to land the interim BAMMA flyweight title; Damien Lapilus banked a three-round unanimous decision against Ronnie Mann to claim the vacant BAMMA featherweight crown; Tim Barnett brought down Rhys McKee with a knee strike and follow-up punches 4:58 into the third round, as to capture the BAMMA lightweight championship; “The Ultimate Fighter 12” winner Jonathan Brookins picked up a unanimous decision over Decky Dalton in their three-round clash at 145 pounds; Oktawian Daniel Olejniczak wiped out Jonathan Reid with punches 1:47 into the first round of their welterweight scrap; Daniel Rutkowski took care of Niall Smith with punches 2:16 into the third round of their confrontation at 145 pounds; Paul Hughes cut down Adam Gustab with punches 92 seconds into the first round of their featherweight encounter; Will Fleury stopped Kyle McClurkin with punches 2:49 into the first round of their pairing at 185 pounds; Andrew Murphy put away Stephen Kilifin with punches 4:58 into the first round of their featherweight tilt; and Keith McCabe submitted Glenn Irvine with a heel hook 39 seconds into the first round of their catchweight clash at 175 pounds.