Busy Bellator Weekend Sees New Champion, Legend Retires
In an action-packed weekend for Bellator MMA, a veteran contender rises to the occasion, an MMA legend retires in the cage and a new champion is crowned.
Bellator 245 kicked off the weekend of fights on Friday with four main card fights. The story of the night came during the main event when MMA veteran Phil Davis narrowly defeated Lyoto Machida to stay in the running for Light Heavyweight gold down the line.
This was actually the second time Davis defeated Machida, his first time being the UFC 163 seven years ago. Davis spent five years in the UFC before moving to his current promotion. Since jumping to Bellator in 2015, Davis has won nine of his past 11 fights. This sets him up to be tied with Liam McGeary for the most wins in Bellator’s Light Heavyweight division.
Although this was a huge win for Davis, it was devastating for his opponent, Machida. He joined Bellator in 2018 and split his four fights 2-2. The 42-year-old has been a professional fighter for over 16 years. With his recent skid, it appears that the end is near.
On Saturday, Bellator hosted another full card with a Bantamweight title on the line. Before the main event, Jon Fitch announced his retirement from MMA.
Despite losing to Neiman Gracie via submission, Fitch announced to the world that his long MMA run will be coming to an end. Fitch has been a professional fighter for 18 years and spent time with the UFC, Bellator and WSOF among others.
“It’s been a long journey,” Fitch told John McCarthy in the post-fight interview. “My body’s been through a lot. I’m looking forward to the future outside of the cage. It’s just time to go.”
Although he couldn’t walk away with a win, his legacy in the fight game will live on.
To end the promotion’s two days of fights, Bellator 246 ended with a championship bout for the vacant Bantamweight title. Through five rounds, it was Juan Archuleta who handed Patchy Mix his first career loss via unanimous decision.
Archuleta really relied on body shots to disable Mix. One judge scored the contest 49-46 and the other two scored it 48-47.
Despite the outcome, Mix was in control for the first five minutes. He was able to take Archuleta down and search for submission attempts right off the bat. However, his attempt at a rear-naked choke came too late as the first-round bell saved Archuleta.
The second round was much of the same story, but Archuleta showed marked improvement in stopping submission attempts and doing damage in the clinch. This was the pivotal round as many people thought this was going for Mix’s. However, the judges thought differently.
This was a big point of controversy because it gave Archuleta a scoring edge for the rest of the bout.
Now, Archuleta will start his reign on top of the Bantamweight Division. This title fight proved to be an exciting fight to end Bellator’s busy weekend.