Melvin Guillard is the first to make his way to the Bellator Cage inside Mulvane’s Kanas Start Arena looking extremely calm as if he is going to get his morning coffee. Perhaps even too relaxed in a worrisome type of way. He is sporting shorter hair than usually and in a shade of orange as opposed to his traditional blonde hair color. People have questioned how hard the veteran on 53 fights has prepared for this fight as he is already scheduled to fight in Korea fifteen days from now.
For what is undoubtedly the biggest fight of Dallas, Texas native Chidi Njokuani’s career, he walks out looking stoically focused. His confidence surely at an all-time high after going 3-0 in the promotion and losing only 2 bouts in the last 6 and a half years. Chidi, whose middle name is Godson, says a prayer before he steps onto the canvas where 6′ 3″ “Chidi Bang Bang” appears to be almost as tall as the cage post. In his first ever Bellator Main Event, Njoukuani will enjoy an 8-inch wingspan and 6 inches in height advantage, as well as and a pound and a half over his opponent. The fight is being contested at an 180 lbs catchweight as opposed the earlier agreed upon 175 lbs catchweight due to the Njoukuani taking the fight on short notice, and also perhaps because of Guillard’s well-documented history of missing weight.
As the introductions take place Guillard appears a little nervous as he paces back and fourth, and Njokuani is now the fighter looking quality looking cool and collected. As the third man in the cage “Big” John McCharthy calls them to the center for the ceremonial touching of the gloves, the size difference between the two men is almost as great as you will ever see it.
The first round starts with Guillard cautious circling on the outside not looking eager to mix it up just yet against the longer man. It is a very slow start for the first minute and a half. Through the first minute and a half, only two or three of the body kicks thrown by Njoukuani have found their target. As the boos start reigning in from the crowd who has just watched their hometown hero, David Rickels, win in the co-main event, “Big” John halts the fight and warns the men to start engaging. As Njokuani throws a kick that partially lands Melvin shoots for a takedown which he misses terribly. He ends up pinned on the cage where he lands a knee to the groin of his taller opponent. John McCarthy again calls to stop the action momentarily. When the action resumes a good body kick from the Texan lands as “The Young Assassin” shoots again and this time is successful. Guillard’s upper hand is extremely short lived as the bigger and stronger Njokuani almost immediately gets back to his feet. With less than two minutes left it has been Njokuani is clearly winning the round by staying at range landing a very high percentage of kicks. Mostly to the midsection with a few bouncing off his opponent’s shoulders. After a big shot rattles Guillard he is back against the cage and soon sitting on his rear end. Just as it looks like Njokuani may finish him, “Chidi Bang Bang” illegally knees the grounded fighter just as Melvin appeared to be trying to rise to his feet but did not. McCarthy calls yet another stop to the action and gives Chidi a stern warning. At the end of the round, Guillard attempts to start moving forward to pressure his man but Njokuani continues to throw an array of kicks and knees to his body and then ties Melvin up again. This is very close to 10-8 round under the new scoring system. The only thing Melvin did of any substance was secure one brief takedown which is not to be taken into account under the new scoring criteria because the round was predominate a striking affair.
The second has a quicker start that the first frame as Njokuani continues keeping Guillard at the range, but this time he is using punches instead of kicks. The veteran shoots for another takedown which is easily reversed by the power of the oversized and more natural welterweight. Njoukuani works some left hands to the body and elbows to the face before scrambling to partial side control. He then moves to a North-South position momentarily before trying to take Melvin’s back. Guillard rolls out the of the position getting back to his feet. Then he is right back down, again absorbing some light ground and pounded from Chidi. The crowd begins to boo again, this time for a much shorter period of time, as Njokunai postures up, picks his shots a with better precision and puts more power behind them. It is still somewhat sloppy work on the ground but it is having the desired effect. Back to their feet just as the rounds ends and the Muay Thai expert lands a hard left kick to the liver that almost buckles the veteran who noticeably winces and clutches his right side as the bell sounds. Guillard was very lucky that there was no more time on the clock or this fight could have been over.
Njokuani 10-8 (Njokuani 20-16)
The former UFC is looking like he has already been defeated as it comes out for the start of the third. He immediately starts circling, this time at a faster pace from even further outside. Moving frantically to both left and right to avoid his fresher adversary. Njokuani walks down his gassed opponent and lands a couple more body kicks followed by a knee to the body. The body kicks over last 10 minutes have noticeably sapped the former title contenders energy. Njokuani closes the distance and ties up Melvin. When Guillard attempts to spin free Chidi snatches him for the back and basically ragdolls him to the floor. Guillard puts up some very decent defense from his back in half-butterfly guard but it is not enough to avoid some damage. More punches find their home from Njoukuani, who continues to mix in both blows to the body and head causing Guillard to sustained a cut around his eye. An exhausted Guillard tries valiantly to avoid the mixture of body and head work by creating some space but has little success due to the size of his opponent and the damaged he has taken to his body. Njokuani chooses to stand where he employs an ax kick to get back on top on a of his nearly defeated foe. After more slow paced ground work the referee calls for a standup with only 30 seconds remaining. Guillard catches Chidi’s final kick and takes Njoukuani’s back looking for a choke but it with too little effort and far too late as the final bell rings.
Njokuani 10-9 (Njokuani 30-25)
The official scores read 30-25, 30-24 and 30-26
Chidi Njokuani defeats Melin Guillard via Unanimous Decision
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams
Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.
Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.
Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.
Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.
⭐️ F I G H T W E E K ⭐️ . . Tickets/ T-shirt’s / Afterparty info at www.heather-hardy.com 🥂 link is in my bio 🥂 . . @bellatormma @dymatize @lululemon @jlewbags @rgfa @gleasonsgym @shihandevon . . #heatherhardy #heathertheheat #teamheat #boxing #femaleboxing #girlboxer #boxinglife #boxinghype #boxingnight #boxingday #boxinggloves #boxingfanatik #boxer #boxingfitness #womensboxing #boxeo #wmma #mma #teamrenzogracie #bjjgirls #womensmma #renzograciegirls
Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.
Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.
There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.
But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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