Gegard Mousasi Destroys Rory MacDonald, Retains Middleweight Title in Bellator 206 Headliner

By Mike Sloan Sep 29, 2018
Reigning Bellator MMA middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi utterly dominated Rory MacDonald in the superfight main event of Bellator 206 on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

MacDonald, the current promotional welterweight titlist, could not get past the Dutchman’s reach and never found any rhythm to his offense. “The Dreamcatcher” peppered the Canadian with stiff jabs and leg kicks, but when MacDonald (20-5) missed a rolling leg lock attempt in the second round, he was doomed. Mousasi (45-6-2) wound up on top, moved to full mount and unloaded a thunderstorm of elbows. “The Red King” could not defend himself, and after about a dozen or so elbows connected, referee Herb Dean had to halt the mugging.

The end came at 3:23 of the second, allowing Mousasi to retain his title.

Quinton Jackson evened the score with archnemesis Wanderlei Silva (35-14-1), as he stopped his rival in the co-main event.

Fighting at heavyweight and well past their primes, the two all-time greats took a little while to get started, but when they did, it was like the old days. “Rampage” was the far more powerful of the two, as he rocked Silva on numerous occasions with punches to the head. “The Axe Murderer” constantly stood his ground and delighted the crowd by standing toe-to-toe multiple times in the second round. Jackson (38-13) detonated his vaunted right hand on Silva’s jaw at the midway point but could not put him away with his follow-up barrage. Shortly thereafter, the Memphis, Tennessee, native dropped Silva with another crushing right and kept hammering away with punches until referee Mike Beltran pulled him off.

The end came at 4:32 of the second round, leaving their head-to-head series tied at 2-2.

Douglas Lima was successful in his rubber match with Andrey Koreshkov (21-3), as he submitted him in the final round of their battle in the Bellator welterweight grand prix quarterfinals.

After the rivals fought mostly in the clinch for four-plus uneventful rounds, Lima (30-7) closed the show in the fifth. With “The Spartan” on the canvas in turtle position, the Brazilian seized his back, set his hooks and locked in a textbook rear-naked choke. Koreshkov could not defend it, refused to tap and eventually went to sleep.

The end came at 3:04 of Round 5, as “The Phenom” advanced to the semifinals in the million-dollar tournament, where he awaits the winner of the forthcoming Michael Page-Paul Daley showdown.

Highly touted featherweight prospect Aaron Pico lived up to the hype, as he destroyed dangerous veteran Leandro Higo within a round.

Pico rocked “Pitbull” with a flurry of punches to the head and then dropped him with a right hook to the jaw. Higo (18-5) was in serious peril while the Californian unloaded a tsunami of punches from on top, but the Brazilian somehow managed to spring back to his feet. From there, Pico leveled Higo with punches again and slammed fists into his head until referee Mark Smith finally ended the destruction.

The end came 3:19 into the fight, as Pico soared to 4-1 in sensational fashion.

Keri Melendez remained unbeaten, but she had her work cut out for her against pro debutant Dakota Zimmerman in their women’s strawweight feature.

Melendez utilized a much more diverse striking attack early, but Zimmerman (0-1) nearly scored the upset by catching the Californian in a deep armbar late in the first round. Melendez was saved by the bell and wound up doing just enough on her feet over the final two frames to win a split decision.

One judge saw it 29-28 for Missouri’s Zimmerman, but that card was overturned by the other two cageside officials who turned in scores of 29-28 for Melendez (3-0).

Rising prospect Gaston Bolanos once again was impressive, as he scored his fourth pro knockout in the opening bout on the Bellator 206 main card.

Bolanos, a longtime muay Thai specialist, took his time by picking apart Ysidro Gutierrez with kicks to the legs and sharp punching upstairs. Gutierrez (4-3) was never allowed to find his rhythm in the featherweight contest and was eventually felled by a left hook behind the ear. Once Gutierrez collapsed, “The Dreamkiller” pounced on him and tore into his woozy foe with punches until referee Mike Beltran had no choice but to intervene.

The end came at 1:37 of the second round, moving the Peruvian striker to 4-1.

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