Bader, Bellator 186
Ryan Bader victorious at Bellator 186. Credit Bellator MMA

Ryan Bader continued his dominance of the light-heavyweight division with his first title defence against Linton Vassell at Bellator 186.

With his title win at the University Park, Pennsylvania, Bader continues his fine run of form, with his fourth consecutive win.

Vassell started positively, using his range to kickbox on the outside, landing eye-catching shots. However, minutes later, Bader took control with his renowned wrestling.

Bader continued in the second, landing strikes on the ground and with just over a minute left on the clock of round two, landed unanswered strikes, forcing the referee to call a halt to proceedings.

The female flyweight title was on the line at Bellator 186 when Emily Ducote faced Ilima-Lei Macfarlane for the second time, with Macfarlane coming on top in the first bout.

Macfarlane took the fight to her opponent in the first round, with constant knees in the clinch and persistent yet effective striking. In the final ten seconds, Macfarlane tried for an armbar but didn’t finish the submission before the bell.

With blood seeping from the nose of Ducote in the second, Macfarlane was keen to utilise the opportunity and throw jabs to the nose before landing a right hook. Ducote started to come into the fight with leg kicks but was still losing, badly.

History repeated with rounds three and four all seemingly going to Macfarlane who dominated the entirety of the fight with her with a mixture of effective striking and smothering Ducote on the floor.

In round five, Macfarlane got the finish she was searching for, this time being successful in her armbar attempt after a triangle attempt led to the armbar attempt.

Macfarlane becomes the inaugural Bellator female flyweight champion.

An evidently pumped Phil Davis faced Leo Leite for the first time since losing the title to Ryan Bader by split decision.

From the off, Davis looked to fight on the outside, using his range to outbox his jiu-jitsu based opponent. Though occasionally coming into the clinch to maintain control, Davis pursued this method the whole fight.

Whilst never looking like finishing his opponent, the 33-year-old looked exemplary in his striking and cruised to a rather easy unanimous decision victory with all three judges giving “Mr Wonderful” every round.

Ed Ruth turned hometown hero when he knocked out Chris Dempsey in front of the Penn native.

Ruth dominated the first round. After a kick to Dempsey’s body, Ruth took his back whilst stunned and pursued to punish his opponent before he eventually made his way to his feet prior to eating a few shots before the bell.

Ruth continued to dominate striking in the second and just 27 seconds into round two, he then landed a stunning right straight to the temple of Dempsey, forcing him to the ground and stopping the fight in the process.

A knockout of the year contender occurred on the night with Tywan Claxton producing a dazzling finish of opponent Jonny Bonilla-Bowman in the very first round.

Claxton, on his professional debut, took the concept of a flying knee to a whole new level when he launched himself into the air, propelling all his weight into one of the most perfectly executed knees in mixed martial arts history.

Bellator 186 main card results:

Light-Heavyweight title contest – Ryan Bader def. Linton Vassell via TKO (Punches) – (Round 2 – 2:53)

Flyweight title contest – Ilima Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote via submission (Armbar) – (Round 5 – 3:42)

Light-Heavyweight contest – Phil Davis def. Leo Leite via decision (Unanimous) – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Middleweight contest – Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via KO (Punch) – (Round 2 – 0:27)

Lightweight contest – Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (Punches) – (Round 1 – 1:07)

Bellator 186 preliminary results

Catchweight contest (165) – Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 2 – 1:09)

Featherweight contest – Mike Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’arce choke) – (Round 2 – 2:07)

Bantamweight contest – Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (Doctor stoppage) – (Round 1 – 2:37)

Welterweight contest – Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via decision (Unanimous) – (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Featherweight contest – Tywan Claxton def. Jonny Bonilla-Bowman via KO (Flying Knee) – (Round 1 – 1:27)

Featherweight contest – Frank Buenafente def. Francis Healy via decision (Unanimous) – (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Featherweight contest – Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via decision (Split) – (29-28, 28-29. 29-28)

Middleweight contest – Joshua Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 2 – 1:25)