Bellator 222 took place at the Madison Square Garden in New York and the card was filled with exciting fights from top to bottom. The card saw some spectacular knockouts.
The main card started with Darrion Caldwell taking on Kyoji Horiguchi for the Bellator bantamweight title. Both fighters had previously fought before at RIZIN FF where Kyoji had beaten Caldwell via submission.
This fight, however, went full five rounds. Caldwell who comes from Wrestling background controlled the fight with his wrestling abilities for the first two rounds. But by the third round, Caldwell had spent most of his energy on the ground and his gas tank was going low and this time Horiguchi fought back and started to avoid Caldwell’s takedowns. However, throughout the fight, Caldwell put Horiguchi on the matt numerous times but failed to finish him and in return, Horiguchi fought back with elbows and short punches whenever he saw an opening.
— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) June 15, 2019
By the end of five rounds, Horiguchi had done enough damage to win the fight on points as the judges awarded him 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrion Caldwell via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Up on the main card, Juan Archuletta made a huge statement when he brutally knocked out Eduardo Dantas in the second round. With this knockout win, Juan is now riding on an 18-fight winning streak.
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE 🧨 Juan Archuletta KOs Eduardo Dantas pic.twitter.com/Keq4rTu2O5
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The fight started with both guys putting pressure on one another landing hard body and head shots, with just few seconds remaining on the clock in the second round, a hard right-hand by Archuletta put down Dantas. After the fight, Juan called out the newly crowned bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Juan Archuleta def. Eduardo Dantas via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 4:59
Then it was time for Dillon Danis’ second professional fight. For the second time in the row, Danis submitted his opponent for the second time in the row. He fought Max Humphrey.
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The fight was fully dominated by Dillon Danis. He controlled the fight on the ground and on the feet. with just a minute remaining on the clock, Danis broke Humphrey’s hold on his arm, he extended the submission by going belly down on the mat until Max tapped out with just 30-seconds remaining on the clock.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Dillon Danis def. Max Humphrey via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:28
In the co-main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida took on veteran UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen. Right from the opening round, Lyoto Machida showed him dominance with crisp takedowns of Sonnen.
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) June 15, 2019
Say goodbye to The Bad Guy
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 15, 2019
In the second round, it was the same scene and a dominant flurry of punches with the stoppage coming at just 22-seconds into the second round. Sonnen took two hard knees to his face. After the stoppage loss, Sonnen announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Lyoto Machida def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (knee, punches) – Round 2, 0:22
In the main event, Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald took on Neiman Gracie. Both fighters started off early utilisation of their jabs. Although Rory landed some fine punches, it was Neiman Gracie’s kicks which were bothering Rory.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) June 15, 2019
Then Gracie tries to pressure in the third round, but Rory keeps landing clean punches which result in swelling of Gracie’s eyes. MacDonald then follows up with kicks and then slams him down. But out of nowhere, Gracie explodes into an armbar attempt to a flower sweep and then back to an armbar that gets locked in, but Gracie failed to get a submission as Rory gets out of the lock.
By the end of the fifth round, even though Gracie is having his moment’s it’s still not enough to get a win as the judges have it a unanimous decision victory for MacDonald.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Rory MacDonald defeats Neiman Gracie via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
- Champ Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie – for the welterweight title; Grand Prix semifinal
- Lyoto Machida def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (knee, punches) – Round 2, 0:22
- Dillon Danis def. Max Humphrey via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:28
- Patrick Mix def. Ricky Bandejas via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:06
- Juan Archuleta def. Eduardo Dantas via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 4:59
- Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrion Caldwell via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) – to win the bantamweight title
- Taylor Turner def. Heather Hardy via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:53
- Adam Borics def. Aaron Pico via knockout (flying knee) – Round 2, 3:55
- Valerie Loureda def. Larkyn Dasch via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Lindsey VanZandt def. Rena Kubota via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:04
- Haim Gozali def. Gustavo Wurlitzer via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:02
- Mike Kimbel def. Sebastian Ruiz via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
- Robson Gracie Jr. def. Oscar Vera via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:15
- Marcus Surin def. Nekruz Mirkhojaev via split decision (30-27, 27-29, 29-27)
- Phil Hawes def. Michael Wilcox via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- John Beneduce def. Kenny Rivera via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Kastriot Xhema def. Whitney Francois via TKO (puches) – Round 2, 3:17
- Brandon Polcare def. Brandon Medina via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:33