25 February 2017 | 12:00 am
Brett McDermott took his light heavyweight main event against former champion Liam McGeary on just two days’ notice. On paper, he should’ve had no chance.
But McDermott (7-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) gave McGeary an early test, knocking him down quickly into the fight, and wasn’t afraid to stand and trade with him. Ultimately, though, McGeary (12-1 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) cut McDermott up, then got a TKO win in the second when the cageside doctor said McDermott’s cuts were impairing his vision and were too bad to go on. The stoppage came at the 1:06 mark of the second.
Bellator 173 took place Friday at SSE Arena Belfast in Northern Ireland. The main card aired on Spike via tape delay in the U.S.
After the win, McGeary was informed he’ll be fighting May 19 at Bellator 179 in London against England’s Linton Vassell (17-5 MMA, 6-2 BMMA). The winner of that fight could move on for a shot at the light heavyweight title, which McGeary lost to new champ Phil Davis this past year.
The two big men got going straight away. McDermott drilled McGeary with a right hand and sent him straight to his back. McGeary got back to his feet, but circled outside to make sure he had time to recover. The two continued to slug, but two minutes in, McGeary clipped McDermott with a head kick. Somehow, McDermott walked through it and tossed McGeary to the canvas. He kicked at his legs, then let the taller former champ back up. And that was a mistake. With blood coming from around his right eye, McDermott ate a massive knee and tumbled to the canvas. McGeary went to the ground with him and worked for submissions, including an armbar. McDermott finally cleared his arm, but then had to worry about a triangle choke from McGeary working off his back.
The doctors looked at McDermott before the second round, checking not only the cuts around his eye, but his nose, which appeared to take the brunt of McGeary’s knee in the first. McGeary picked McDermott apart in the second, and the cut on his eyebrow opened further. Referee Dan Miragliotta had the doctor come in to check again, and he saw enough damage to put a stop to things.
McGeary got back on track after losing the light heavyweight title to Davis in November, which was the first loss of his career. McDermott has alternated wins and losses for his past eight …
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