Bellator 245, the promotion’s penultimate event on the Paramount Network saw Phil Davis earn the second victory of his career over former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Friday’s card from the Mohegan Sun Arena featured a rematch from UFC 163 in August 2013 where Davis won by unanimous decision that evening seven years ago. The decision was hotly debated with scores provided to MMA Decisions that evening all reflecting a win for Machida.
On Friday night, it was Davis winning by a split decision as judges Dave Tirelli and Bryan Miner scored the fight for Davis while Douglas Crosby had it 29-28 for Machida. The difference was the opening round where Miner and Tirelli had it for Davis and Crosby for Machida. The judges agreed on round two for Davis and round three for Machida.
The 35-year old Davis improves to 22-5 (1 No Contest) while securing his third consecutive victory and overall Bellator record of 9-2. With two previous losses to Ryan Bader, it wasn’t looking likely that Davis would get another fight with Bader but may have a better opportunity at the title with Vadim Nemkov’s recent win over Bader to become the new Bellator light heavyweight champion. However, Davis does have a split decision loss to Nemkov that occurred in November 2018.
Machida, 42, falls to 26-9 and registers his second consecutive loss after attempting to rebound for his split decision loss to Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi last September. He holds a 2-2 record since joining Bellator.
In the co-feature, Cat Zingano made her Bellator debut defeating Gabby Holloway by unanimous decision. On Thursday, Holloway missed weight for the fight by 4.7 pounds.
Zingano had not fought since December 2018 with Friday’s victory a welcome change after going 1-4 over her last five fights in the UFC going back to February 2015 when she challenged then-bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, at UFC 184.
Given the depth at the division, it would seem likely Zingano would be on the fast-track to challenge for the women’s featherweight title. On Friday, the promotion announced that current champion Cris “Cyborg” will defend the title on October 15th against Arlene Blencowe.
Bellator 245 was hit with the two fights ruled no contest due to accidental groin shots. The first occurred on the prelims involving Tyrell Fortune and Jack May and then a repeat of the same outcome for the Raymond Daniels vs. Peter Stanonik fight on the main card.
Bellator returns Saturday night with Bellator 246 for their final broadcast on the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) with Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix competing for the vacant bantamweight title. The seven-fight card also features Jon Fitch taking on Neiman Gracie and the promotional debut of Liz Carmouche against DeAnna Bennett.
Here are the complete results from Bellator 245:
*Phil Davis def. Lyoto Machida by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Cat Zingano def. Gabby Holloway by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
*Taylor Johnson def. Ed Ruth by inverted heel hook at 0:59 of Round 1
*Raymond Daniels vs. Peter Stanonik ended in a no-contest at 1:00 of Round 2 due to an accidental groin shot
*Alex Polizzi def. Rafael Carvalho by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Leslie Smith def. Amanda Bell by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Tyrell Fortune vs. Jack May ended in a no-contest at 2:42 of Round 1 due to an accidental groin shot
*Keith Lee def. Vinicius Zani by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)