Join us tonight (Friday, April 13th) on Bloody Elbow for live results, streaming preliminary card action and detailed play-by-play as Bellator 197 takes place at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri. In the main event, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler takes on replacement opponent Brandon Girtz, after current champion Brent Primus pulled out due to injury. The co-main event sees rising featherweight prospect A.J. McKee take on dangerous veteran Justin Lawrence.
The preliminary card begins at 7 PM ET in the video below, while the main card airs live on Paramount Network at 9 PM ET/PT.
Join us and let us know what you think of tonight’s fights. Be sure to check out The MMA Vivisection with Zane Simon, Victor Rodriguez, and Eddie Mercado before the event begins.
Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)
Michael Chandler vs. Brandon Girtz
Round 1 – Chandler feeling out in the first 30 seconds as Girtz misses a one-two combo. Low blow from Girtz on a kick brings a brief break to the action just 50 seconds into the round. Replays during the break in the action showed Chandler rolling his ankle as he did in the Primus fight. Chandler lands a head kick as the action resumes and Girtz tries to explode with some punches in return but does not land. 40 seconds later, Chandler with an accidental eye poke and the action halts again. The action resumes once again and Girtz lands with an overhand before Chandler tries to walk him down again. Girtz with a counter shot that lands and then walks forward landing a few more hard shots. Chandler looking like he’s struggling to get off and Girtz is getting his shots off much more quickly. Chandler with a punch and follows that in with a quick slam takedown and he gets an arm crucifixed. Chandler throws a few blows, jumps to the side with an arm triangle choke and this one is over as Girtz is choked out cold.
Michael Chandler defeated Brandon Girtz via technical submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:00
A.J. McKee vs. Justin Lawrence
Round 1 – The mullet-wearing Lawrence stalks while McKee moves around the outside of the cage. Lawrence tags McKee hard with a body kick. McKee being careful with Lawrence throwing a variety of kicks. McKee throws some shots that turn Lawrence against the cage and it’s Lawrence that shoots before separating and moving back to cage center. Hard body kick by McKee. Lawrence throwing a lot of return combinations at the incoming shots from McKee, but it’s McKee actually landing the heavier shots. Both men land right hands along the cage and move back to center. Both men fire some good punches and kicks and the action is consistent and flashy both directions. McKee’s sense of distance is a thing to behold so far. McKee lands a side kick to the body and the round comes to the end with two hard body kicks by McKee. 10-9 round for McKee on the Bloody Elbow card.
Round 2 – Round 2 starts with the sense the fight could end in an instant either direction. McKee throws some capoeira kicks that don’t land. Lawrence catches a body kick and counters with a left hook. Lawrence with a two punch combo and he bails out to avoid a return shot. McKee is stuffed on a takedown and moves back to the outer edges of the cage. McKee is keeping the jab as a feature weapon, tagging Lawrence from ranges he can’t handle. Lawrence eats a leg kick and he is clearly hurt. He is moving and hopping, trying to figure out how to handle the difficulties he’s having. Hard head kick by McKee. It appears the issue with Lawrence is he rolled his ankle (per Bellator commentary by John McCarthy). Lawrence seems to have gotten over the initial shock from the ankle injury as he throws s hard counter shot to a McKee body kick. Big kick from McKee lands to the head of Lawrence again. Another 10-9 round for McKee.
Round 3 – McKee looking for a takedown early in Round 3. Lawrence is defending capably so McKee starts to hammer the thighs with knees. The battle for the takedown has continued for more than 90 seconds. Lawrence finally finds a way out and eats a kick to the face for his trouble. Hard body kick by McKee. Lawrence is starting to look a bit defeated and McKee keeps poking with side kicks and jabs. Lawrence tries to bait McKee into a slugfest in the final stretch but can’t get anything done. 30-27 for McKee on the Bloody Elbow card.
A.J. McKee defeated Justin Lawrence via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Logan Storley vs. Joaquin Buckley
Round 1 – Buckley refused to touch gloves to start the fight but within a minute is on his back after a Storley takedown. Storley is quickly to half guard where he works punches to the body and head as he appears to be working toward a head and arm choke but abandons the possible set up to get into a better spot for his ground and pound. Buckley tries to get to his feet and eats some heavy punches and has his back taken. Buckley keeps fighting to get to his feet and just as he turns to escape his back being taken, he’s dumped again. On top of the takedown, he immediately has his back taken again. Storley gets side control but voluntarily moves back to half guard. Storley with some big punches as he jumps to mount for the final 10 seconds of Round 1. Easy 10-9 Storley.
Round 2 – Storley wastes no time working for the takedown to start the second round, driving Buckley to the cage. Not a ton of action through the first half of the round with Storley taking the fight to the ground and staying tight, throwing short punches. Buckley can’t do anything off his back and Storley isn’t doing much to try for a finish as the crowd starts to loudly boo the bout. Storley advances to mount, but continues not posturing up. Storley finally postures up for a few punches and elbows to end the round. 10-9 Storley again.
Round 3 – Storley charges for the takedown, Buckley almost reverses but again gets put on his back as the crowd boos once again. Buckley throwing elbows and punches to the side of Storley’s head, trying to make anything happen in a frustrating fight. Storley to side control again. Buckley tries to stand and gets his back taken once again. Crowd is now chanting Buckley, but his efforts have been meaningless over 13 minutes of the fight and aren’t likely to change in the final two. Storley moving between positions a lot and barely throwing strikes at this point, content to cruise to decision. Fight ends, easily 30-27 Storley but he made no fans tonight as the crowd showers him with boos.
Logan Storley defeated Joaquin Buckley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Devon Brock
Round 1 – “Baby Slice” coming forward and taking a few wide shots from Brock in the opening moments. Slice continuing to try to walk Brock down and starting to mix in a few punches that land. Wide overhand right cuffs Brock and drops him. Slice follows to the ground, moves to mount where he pounds with punches and elbows before transitioning to the back and sinking in a rear-naked choke for the first-round finish. Nice stuff from slice.
Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson Jr. defeated Devon Brock via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:34.
Online Prelims (7 PM ET, some prelims may not be broadcast)
Rebecca Ruth vs. Juliana Velasquez – Juliana Velasquez wins by TKO (body kick) – Round 3, 0:19
Derek Anderson vs. Zak Bucia – Derek Anderson wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Josh Sampo vs. Dominic Mazzotta – Dominic Mazzotta wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jordan Howard vs. Eric Ellington – Eric Ellington wins by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Adam Cella vs. Dewayne Diggs
Justin Robbins vs. A.J Siscoe
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