What Happened to Bellator 172? [RECAP]
What was supposed to be one of the biggest nights in Bellator MMA’s history blew up in their faces—through no fault of the promotion’s. Headliner Matt Mitrione was forced to pull out of the fight set for last Saturday night just hours beforehand due to what turned out to be kidney stones.
“Meathead” said during an interview on MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour that he didn’t start having issues until the day before 172 (Friday.) He said that he passed the stone on Sunday while in the airport.
Mitrione was still figuring out a way to compete, even while sitting in a hospital before the fight was called off by Bellator President Scott Coker. Bellator wants to rebook this money match-up for a later date.
“We’re going to reschedule it,” Coker said to USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com. “We’re going to try and work something out with the building here to reschedule it and have it here in San Jose sometime in the next couple of months. That’s not guaranteed, … (but) when we reschedule it, whether he fights Matt or not depending on Matt’s health, it will be special because anytime Fedor fights, it’s a big, big, big thing.”
The co-main event, Josh Thompson vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, was moved up the card.
Thompson vs. Pitbull
Bellator 172 might have left some with a bad taste in their mouths, but the co-main event turned out to be a hidden gem: essentially a #1 contender fight to see who will next face lightweight (155-pound) champion “Iron” Michael Chandler.
Both men come into the scrap with nice résumés (Thompson with ten submission wins and Pitbull with 10 KO/TKOs.) However, Pitbull already has a history with Chandler thanks to a vicious KO loss in St. Louis that resulted in Chandler being champion for the second time.
Thompson is darting in and out, landing inside leg kicks. He goes to the head with a minute already off the clock, but Pitbull gets an arm up in time to block it. Pitbull seems to overreach on a combo and Thompson gets underneath him. They tie up but almost instantly separate.
They dance, but Pitbull is getting the better of the UFC veteran when it comes to connecting leather to face. He kicks “The Punk” in the ribs and then drops him with a jaw-dropping right hook. Thompson scrambles, hunting for a takedown or leg lock. They feint away most of the last minute. The Brazilian blocks another high kick and punctuates the stanza with a right hand.
The low kicks continue in the second and Pitbull is backpedaling. The two clash heads when Thomson steps further inside his adversary’s range. Off the headbutt comes a left hook to drop Thomspon again. He recovers and once more shoots in for a takedown. When he does, a right uppercut finishes him. Pitbull gets in a couple shots and then is pull off by referee “Big John” McCarthy.
Patricky Freire def. Josh Thompson via KO at 0:40 of Round 2
Koscheck vs. Alonso
The other notable bout of the evening was the highly anticipated Bellator debut of UFC veteran Josh Koscheck. After some delay, the 39-year-old Koscheck, who has a well-documented history of injuries, had his first fight in over two years—and it did not go well.
Koscheck backs Mauricio Alonso against the cage but it’s Alonso who lands first with a pair of rights. Roughly midway through the round, Koscheck is only landing single shots and being countered by the rising volume of Alonso.
Both fighters are warned for having open hands/extended fingers when setting up their punches. Koscheck suffers a low kick and is then put on a knee after taking Alonso’s right cross. Koscheck is running for cover now, and eventually, he stands up again just before being floored with a right uppercut. Alonso ends things with ground n’ pound. Koscheck curls up, trying to protect an eye after taking a punch, and McCarthy waves off the contest.
It’s been roughly five years since a Koscheck win.
Mauricio Alonso def. Josh Koscheck via TKO at 4:42 of Round 1
“I think I had a great career, but you miss it,” Koscheck said MMAJunkie before his fight. “When you’re away from it for a while, you miss the excitement of the crowd, you miss the competition. I compete every day in my businesses, but it’s different. When you’re out there putting it on the line in front of all those people, it’s a different taste. I missed it, so here I am.”