Derek Campos and Brandon Girtz delivered a bloody war at Bellator 181 in Thackerville, Oklahoma, ending their trilogy in a spectacular way.
A war is exactly what took place when both fighters traded blows repeatedly in the opening minutes of the fight. It seemed that Campos was winning after the first round as he was able to generally land a higher volume of strikes, which forced Girtz onto the back foot on numerous occasions.
A sequence in the first round where Campos landed a head kick, caused Girtiz to react with some huge right hands — from this point, the war became bloody as both men stood in close quarters, landing shots at will.
However, Campos would land a knee to the head of Girtz, which left a severely deep cut on his forehead. The doctor was required to check the nasty cut of Girtz, but at first, he was cleared to continue and he battled on, landing a solid takedown attempt on Campos. But his time would soon run out between rounds two and three, with the doctor advising referee John McCarthy to stop the fight, as the blood continued to pour from Girtz’s head.
In a highly anticipated co-main event at Bellator 181, John Salter faced veteran Kendall Grove in a key bout in Bellator’s middleweight division.
Despite the first minutes being spent as a feeling-out process, Salter eventually shot and landed a takedown on the gargantuan Grove. Salter then sunk in a rear-naked choke and finished the fight with just 23 seconds left of round one.
Salter insisted that champion Rafael Carvalho can not keep hiding from him and that after the victory over Grove, that fight has to be the next made.
Jessica Middleton stepped in on short notice for the absent Valerie Letorneau when she faced Emily Ducote at Bellator 181.
Despite coming out firing, Middleton was outclassed with Ducote showing off her strong ground game with excellent wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Ducote cruised to a unanimous decision victory, refusing to call anyone out post-fight.
Wiley veteran Joe Warren puts on a wrestling clinic as he defeats Steve Garcia via unanimous decision. Garcia entered his 18th Bellator fight, a record tied by only David Rickels and Patrcio Friere.
Warren set a divisional record with 13 bantamweight appearance and with 13 competition wins to his name sees him tied with Michael Chandler (13) and one behind Freire (14).
Other notable wins included BJJ ace Rafael Lovato Jr with a first round submission and prospect Logan Storley with a quick first round finish on his Bellator debut.