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Bellator 172: Thomson vs. Freire Parting Shots

By on February 20, 2017

pitbull 2Bellator 172 wasn’t without its share of controversy, including an accidental headbutt that would be the beginning of the end for lightweight Josh Thomson in his bout with Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.

Freire had won the first round pretty clearly, but Thomson came out for round two with renewed vigor and a steady diet of strikes for his opponent. However, that all changed when the two clashed heads, followed immediately by a damaging left hook from Pitbull. From there, an uppercut was all she wrote as Freire was able to stop the former Strikeforce champion in the second round.

“I could have changed a couple little things,” said Thomson. “The only difference was I thought I got hit with a headbutt first before I went down.” Freire took a different view of the incident, saying the he didn’t think that the headbutt was a deciding factor in the fight.

In either case, it appears that Bellator is already moving forward with a bout between Freire and Michael Chandler for Chandler’s lightweight title.

Not Feeling Too Well

Matt Mitrione has elaborated on the illness that cost him his chance to face Fedor Emelianenko. Mitrione said that a kidney stone led to his decision to pull out, noting that Bellator did everything possible to extend Mitrione’s time frame and allow him to fight. Ultimately, Mitrione wasn’t able to pass the stone until Sunday, while he’ll have surgery this week to have several others removed that are currently in his kidney.

It’s important to note that it was Bellator, not Mitrione himself, that ultimately pulled the plug on the bout.

Quick Shots

–I’m not sure I’d want to see Josh Koscheck fight again at this point. Quite some time ago, it was fun to cheer against Koscheck as the type of big-mouthed villain figure that we also got in the form of Michael Bisping. Unfortunately, Koscheck’s string of knockout losses is now more sad (and scary, even) than anything else.

–If you ever need proof that refereeing is a tough job, Bellator 172 provided plenty of proof. From the headbutt that wasn’t clearly seen in the main event to the decision to call in a doctor to inspect the hematoma above Brooke Mayo’s left eye in her fight against Veta Arteaga, it was clear that both events led directly to the results of the fights. Even worse, veteran ref “Big” John McCarty was involved in both.

It’s easy for someone like me to say, “There were 56 seconds left; they couldn’t have let Mayo fight? She was up two rounds to none!” But refs and ringside doctors aren’t instructed to officiate according to the situation of the fight – they’re expected only to follow the rules and protect the fighters. Sure, we often see this get stretched, such as when refs allow fighters to absorb a little more punishment before stopping title bouts, but what we saw last weekend was just two professionals doing their jobs.

Beautiful Loser Award

Mayo is the clear winner here. She ate a lot of right hands from Arteaga, but I had her winning the fight before the swelling above her eye led to Arteaga winning the bout.

Movin’ On Up Award

Mauricio Alonso looked fantastic while taking apart UFC veteran Josh Koscheck in their bout. A win over Koscheck doesn’t mean what it used to, but the victory gives Alonso three in a row and may give him the chance to move on to something better next time around.

Holy $#!% Award

I’ll give this one to Anatoly Tokov, who folded up Francisco France in a fight where France strangely insisted upon charging wildly at Tokov again and again like a T-1000. The TKO in the main event was impressive, too, but the headbutt kind of stole some of its shine.

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