Patricky Freire outstruck Josh Thomson, scoring a knockout 40 seconds into the second round last night at Bellator 172 in San Jose, California. After a relatively uneventful three minutes, Freire landed an overhand right counter that floored Thomson. Thomson recovered though, finishing out the round with some limited offence.
In the second round, the two clashed heads, which knocked Thomson down. “The Punk” got up, but appeared to be still feeling the effects and went for a takedown, which “Pitbull” landed a perfectly timed uppercut to force referee John McCarthy to stop the bout.
“S–t happens. This is the game,” Thomson said in the post-fight press conference. “I could have changed a couple of little things, you know..The only difference was I felt like I got hit with the headbutt before I went down. All that aside, he was fighting a good fight before that. I could complain about it, but the issue is I felt like it was the headbutt that got me first. I know he hit me again after that. It’s the fight game. What are you going to do? It happens in boxing, it happens in MMA. S–t happens.
Asked whether the headbutt was a factor in the finish, Thomson admitted that he felt it was.
“He hit me a good one. We banged heads pretty hard He definitely rocked me. It is what it is. Put it this way, I had people coming to me telling me it was a pretty intense headbutt. I knew that it rocked me, but I was like Okay, I can still go. But he then hit me again right away, so it is what it is. This is the fight game. This is what happens. You can’t whine about it, cry about it. This is it.”
Freire was happy with his performance and seemed to disagree about the headbutt’s impact.
“He didn’t even know it was a headbutt until he saw it in an Instagram clip when he got to the locker room,” Freire said through an interpreter. “I didn’t even know there really was a headbutt like I said, but I don’t feel it defined the fight,” he said.
Former UFC contender Josh Koscheck also suffered a disappointing first-round knockout loss to Mauricio Alonso in a welterweight contest.
The late-hour cancellation of the Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione main event put a damper on the event, but president Scott Coker said Bellator is working to have an announcement in the next few weeks about when and where Fedor will fight.
In other bouts:
PATRICKY FREIRE DEF JOSH THOMSON VIA KO R2 0:40
CHEICK KONGO DEF OLI THOMPSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-2,6 30-25, 30-25)
ANATOLY TOKOV DEF FRANCISCO FRANCE VIA TKO R2 2:24
VETA ARTEAGA DEF BROOKE MAYO VIA TKO R3 4:04
MAURICIO ALONSO DEF JOSH KOSCHECK VIA TKO R1 4:42
NIKKO JACKSON DEF CESAR GONZALEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
JJ OKANOVICH DEF ZACH ANDREWS VIA SUBMISSION R2 2:26
JAMES TERRY DEF JC LLAMAS VIA TECH DECISION (30-2,7 30-2,7 30-27) R3 0:37
GASTON BOLAOS DEF ABNER PEREZ VIA TKO R1 4:53
MARTIN SANO VS DIEGO HERZO MAJORITY DRAW (27-28, 28-28, 28-28)
ABRAHAM VAESAU DEF DOMINIC SUMNER VIA KO R1
The next Bellator event is Bellator 173, scheduled for Feb. 24 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland. The main card will be broadcast live on Spike starting at 9 p.m. ET. Chris Fields (11-7-0) takes on Liam McGeary (11-1-0) in the light heavyweight main event.