In a highly-competitive heavyweight main event at “Bellator: Dynamite 2,” “Rampage” Jackson (37-11) edged out Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1) with a split decision victory (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) on Friday night inside Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
With the win, “Rampage” extends his current winning streak to five, proving once again why he is one of the most dangerous athletes on Bellator MMA’s roster. Jackson also improves his promotional mark to an undefeated 4-0, with multiple wins coming via first round knockout.
After the fight, “Rampage” made it clear he intends on returning to action sooner, rather than later. “I’m going to go home to Orange County, take a little vacation, then come back bigger and better than ever,” he said.
Missouri’s own “Iron” Michael Chandler (15-3) gave his hometown fans exactly what they came for, reclaiming the vacant lightweight belt with a ferocious first-round knockout punch. The new 155-pound kingpin finished Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (16-8) just 2:14 into the evening’s co-main event, giving him six total knockouts during his seven-year professional career.
The loss is the eighth of “Pitbull’s” illustrious career and puts an abrupt end to his recent string of two consecutive victories. After the win, Chandler stuck a backflip in the center of the cage as St. Louis Cardinal’s legend Ozzie Smith looked on, emulating the famous celebration Smith made famous during his MLB career.
Kicking off the main card, Matt Mitrione (10-5) was able to absorb an early blow from Carl Seumanutafa (10-7) just 20 seconds into round one and answered with a flash of brilliance 3:22 into the opening frame. The come-from-behind knockout victory is the ninth of that variety and tenth of Mitrione’s career. “Meathead” proved his ability to outlast yet another opponent in what will surely go down as one of the greatest Bellator MMA debuts of all time. Now, Mitrione sets his sights on returning to the cage as quickly as possible, with the goal of winning Bellator gold on his mind.
In the second MMA battle of the evening, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (4-0) was able to continue her rapid ascension to the top of the women’s flyweight division and remain undefeated with an impressive rear-naked choke submission over Rebecca Ruth (6-2). MacFarlane’s remarkable ground game and jiu-jitsu skill set was on full display tonight, forcing the veteran Ruth to tap out three minutes into the second round. For Ruth, the loss is just the second of her career and first since 2014. The win is “The Ilimanator’s” third since joining the promotion and is her first submission victory of the rear-naked choke variety.
Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 Main Card Results:
Quinton Jackson def. Satoshi Ishii by split decision, (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Michael Chandler def. Patricky Freire by KO (punch) at 2:14, R1
Kevin Ross def. Justin Houghton by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Rebecca Ruth by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:00, R2
Gloria Peritore def. Denise Kielholtz by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Matt Mitrione def. Carl Seumanutafa by KO (punch) at 3:22, R1