Bellator 204: “Caldwell vs. Lahat” takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Aug. 17, 2018) at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Expect a war in the Paramount Network-televised main event as dominating Bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell (12-1) moves up to 145 pounds for a non-title match with Noad Lahat (12-3). In addition, South Dakota’s own Logan Storley (8-0) will look to extend his undefeated streak against elder statesman and Bellator veteran A.J. Matthews (9-7). His record does not begin to tell his story as several split decisions have not gone his way, so Storley is in for a challenge tonight.
Bellator 204’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card, including the online “Prelims” undercard that starts at 7 p.m. ET.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 204) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show — it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 204 QUICK RESULTS:
Darrion Caldwell vs. Noad Lahat — Caldwell TKO R2.
Logan Storley vs. A.J. Matthews — Storley TKO 3:56 R2.
James Gallagher vs. Ricky Bandejas — Bandejas KO 2:49 R1.
Tywan Claxton vs. Cris Lencioni — Claxton 30-27 X3 UD.
David Michaud vs. Corey Davis — Michaud KO 1:42 R1.
Jason Jackson vs. Jordon Larson — Jackson TKO 3:52 R1.
Troy Nawrocki vs. Omar Morales — Morales KO 0:58 R1.
DeMarques Jackson vs. Bryce Logan — Jackson SD 28-29, 29-28, 30-27.
Micah Peatrowsky vs. Keith Phathaem — Phathaem UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Tyler Ray vs. Seth Bass — Ray KO 3:30 R1.
Romero Cotton vs. Willie Whitehead — Cotton TKO 4:12 R1.
Lloyd McKinney vs. Robiel Tesfadelt — McKinney sub (arm triangle) 4:17 R3.
Wyatt Meyer vs. Jeff Nielsen — Nielsen TKO 2:53 R1.
BELLATOR 204 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Darrion Caldwell vs. Noad Lahat
Lahat is 12-3 out of Samaria, Israel. Caldwell is the Bantamweight champion and 12-1 overall fighting out of Rahway, New Jersey. Lahat has black trunks and blue gloves for our main event. Black/red trunks and red gloves for Caldwell. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran. Both men touched gloves during final instructions.
Round 1: Caldwell starts with a leg kick and a high kick. Lahat shoots, Caldwell sprawls, and he’s on top 36 seconds into the round looking to pass. Caldwell jumps over one leg and briefly has half guard but Lahat recovers. Caldwell tries to make a move again at 2:08. Lahat almost gave up side control but once again recovered back to guard. Caldwell is winning on riding time but isn’t satisfied with that and steps back at 3:10 looking to improve position. The crafty Lahat puts him right back in full guard again when he tries and even tries to trap the head. Caldwell slips out. One minute remains. Caldwell had half guard for about a second. It’s a 10-9 round for Caldwell but Lahat did a good job of stifling his offense.
Round 2: Caldwell threw a head kick but it was merely a prelude to his takedown at 0:11, getting Lahat off balance by defending the strike. Lahat tries to sit up against the fence and Caldwell grinds him back down to the mat. Lahat sits up again and Caldwell works to his back and gets one hook in. He’s thinking rear naked choke but Lahat rolls to his back to avoid it, but when he scrambles Caldwell jumps on his back and throws multiple right hands until Beltran saves a defenseless Lahat from more blows. It’s all over in Sioux Falls.
Final result: Darrion Caldwell wins by technical knockout in the second round.
Logan Storley vs. A.J. Matthews
Matthews is 9-7 out of Samar, Philippines. Storley is 8-0 out of Webster, South Dakota. Both men are sporting black trunks. Storley has the red gloves and Matthews the blue. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Both men are bouncing on their feet at the start, with Storley gradually pushing Matthews backward until he lands a leg kick, then ducking under a punch to take Matthews to the ground. Matthews tries to get back up to one knee but Storley keeps hammering away at his thighs then jumps to his back to wrestle him to the ground. Matthews gets to one knee again as the fans chant for Storley. Matthews gets up and immediately goes backward to the ground again with Storley on top in half guard. Right elbows and right hands are pounding on Matthews as he turtles up. Herzog is taking a close look. Matthews survives the first storm but a second wave is coming. Left hands are jacking him up from behind. Left elbows follow. Storley drags him back to the ground, sits on top and pours on more right hands. Herzog is giving Matthews every chance. Matthews hasn’t been finished but hasn’t had a single second of offense either.
Herzog calls time because of a left knee to the head of a grounded opponent and sends Storley to his corner. When Matthews finally gets back up there’s a big knot on the right side of his head from the knee. He tells the doctor he’s good to continue, tells Herzog he’s good to continue, and we resume action with just over a minute left. Storley takes Matthews down sinks in a rear naked choke and squeezes for all he’s worth. Matthews survives it. The crowd chants KNOCK HIM OUT as Storley rides on top for the duration. I’m honestly not sure if that’s 10-8 or 9-8. I didn’t see Herzog signal a point deduction but even if he did I’d still have had Matthews down 2 for how little he did – Storley wins R1 either way.
Round 2: Storley gets a takedown 16 seconds into R2 and drives knees to the ribs from side control. Storley works his way to Matthews back and is firing away uncontested right hands to the head of Matthews as Herzog looks on with just under half the round to go. The right elbows that Storley is landing are pretty nasty. The crowd is roaring for it. He jumps on top in half guard and delivers even more of the same. Matthews may be too tough for his own good. Finally the ref steps in and saves A.J. from the beating with slightly over a minute left.
Final result: Logan Storley wins by TKO at 3:56 of the second round.
James Gallagher vs. Ricky Bandejas
Bandejas is 10-1 and fights out of Brick, New Jersey. Gallagher is 7-0 and fights out of Strabane, Ireland. Bandejas sports black trunks and blue gloves. Gallagher has the yellow trunks and red gloves. He runs over to get in Bandejas’ face and start yelling at him and officials have to pull them apart. It happens AGAIN during the commercial break. The referee (hopefully) in charge of this contest is Bobby Wombacher.
Round 1: Gallagher hits a few leg kicks, Bandejas trips him to the ground at 14 seconds, Gallagher pops right back up. Bandejas pushes him into the fence for a breather. Both men spend a moment on the ground. Bandejas drops him with a right hook and then rocks him again with a kick to the chin and pounds it out on the ground. IT IS ALL OVER. Replay shows us the first right hand that dropped Gallagher, the left kick to the chin that wobbled Gallagher, and the vicious onslaught that followed with multiple lefts to the head while Gallagher was down. The Sioux Falls crowd is chanting U-S-A over and over.
Final result: Ricky Bandejas finishes James Gallagher by KO at 2:49 in the first round.
Tywan Claxton vs. Cris Lencioni
Lencioni is in the black trunks and blue gloves. Claxton has black/red trunks and red gloves. Lencioni’s record is 4-1 and he fights out of Canby, Oregon. Claxton is 2-0 and he fights out of Cleveland, Ohio. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Glove tap gets us underway. Lencioni throws a couple of head kicks early. Claxton wings out an overhand right. Claxton gets a takedown to side control off another head kick attempt and stacks Lencioni up to smash right hands. Lencioni is trying to push off the fence with his feet and simultaneously lock up an arm. Claxton drives knees to the ribs from side control. They end up North-South, Claxton pulls his leg free, then smashes home a left hook before they reset. Lencioni tries to spin his way toward Claxton. Lencioni lands a couple of leg kicks. Claxton pops two rights and a left. Lencioni throws a knee. Claxton looks like a matador as he ducks the charging bull and Lencioni crashes into the fence. Lencioni throws more head kicks. Body kick by Claxton as he circles. Lencioni answers in kind. Claxton ties up with him against the fence and Lencioni presses him with the hooks but Claxton presses back for a takedown into his guard. Claxton backs away from upkicks at 4:27 and mocks Lencioni, causing the crowd to erupt. 10-9 Claxton. Lencioni looked like he wanted to keep swinging after the bell but Beltran got between them.
Round 2: Claxton gets a takedown nine seconds into the round. Lencioni is trying to hold onto his wrists and pull on his head to keep it chest to chest. Claxton tries to posture up to no avail. Beltran is staring at them both like he’s about go warn them to get busy. Claxton backs up and throws one down the pipe then backs away from the upkicks. He goes back down again to half guard as Lencioni tries to hang on. Claxton transitions to full mount and almost takes the back as Lencioni rolls but ends up reset into the guard. Lencioni throws pitter-pat shots off his back. Claxton stands up and drops more right hands on his head before going back into the guard, where more shots follow. Lencioni is breathing hard. Claxton works the body then goes left right to the head. 40 seconds left as Claxton stands up then drops back down as Lencioni tried to spin. He was almost sitting on Lencioni’s face. Lencioni lost this entire round. 10-9 at least.
Round 3: There’s an attempt at a glove tap but I don’t think they connected. Claxton is tagging Lencioni with his hands and punctuates it with a high kick. Claxton doubles up on the simultaneous jab and leg kick. Lencioni tries a spinning backfist and Claxton takes him down immediately. Claxton stacks up his hapless foe and mauls him with the elbow until Lencioni can get him to guard. That just makes Claxton back up and drop a right hand down the pipe. This fight has become rinse, lather, repeat. Whenever Claxton needs to he backs up, whenever he does he gets back on top in guard. Off his back Lencioni can do little to stop Claxton from doing whatever he wants. Now he’s worked his way to a mounted crucifix. Lencioni gets his arm free but all he’s doing for the last 20 seconds is defending. Claxton tries hard to finish in the closing seconds but Lencioni is totally turtled up. There’s still bad blood between the two after the bell.
Final result: Tywan “Air” Claxton wins via 30-27 unanimous decision.
David Michaud vs. Corey Davis
Blue gloves and black trunks for Davis. Black trunks and red gloves for Michaud. Michaud is 12-4 and Davis is 3-0 fighting out of Omaha, Nebraska. Michaud fights out of Pine Ridge, SD. Our referee is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: No glove tap. Michaud gets touched early and the two clinch up against the fence jockeying for control. Michaud pushes forward and gets a takedown but Davis quickly scrambles back to his feet. Davis lands a right hand. Davis goes for a single leg and tries to get a hook in from behind. Michaud is holding his base well as Davis tries to climb on him from behind. Michaud escapes lights him up with a right hand and pours on the kill shots as the partisan crowd at Sanford Pentagon erupts for the stoppage. The replay shows Michaud bucking Davis off by throwing his weight backward into the fence then clipping him with a right hand right behind the ear when he got free. Perfect timing.
Final result: David Michaud wins via first round knockout at 1:42.
Jason Jackson vs. Jordon Larson
Black trunks and blue gloves with a record of 7-3 out of Miami, Florida for Jackson. White trunks and red gloves for Larson out of Sioux Falls with a record of 9-4. Our referee for this fight is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: No tap as Larson charges quickly to the center. Larson circles and lands a leg kick. Jackson with a leg kick. Larson shoots for a single and Jackson gets out. Jackson throws the right hand. The crowd is cornering again, this time for Larson. Larson lands a left jab and circles away then comes over the top with a right arm. Jackson keeps pressuring forward. Larson shoots again and Jackson shrugs it off. Jackson with the left jab and Larson returns fire. Jackson tags Larson. He’s trying to cut Larson off against the fence. Jackson continues to throw rights to the hand and body. Larson drops for the double and turns Jackson around but again he slips away. Larson gets rocked and Jackson pours on hammers against the fence until Beltran waves it off, stunning the home town crowd into abject silence.
Final result: Jason Jackson wins via first round technical knockout at 3:52.
Troy Nawrocki vs. Omar Morales
Nawrocki is in the red trunks and blue gloves. Morales is in the green trunks and red gloves. Nawrocki is 3-0 and he fights out of Bellevue, Nebraska. Nawrocki is 6-0 and he fights out of Miami, Florida by way of Venezuela. Our referee is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Nawrocki is looping out a right hook but he gets caught by one that’s flush and a second that drops him to the canvas. This one’s over quick.
Final result: Omar Morales wins via knockout at 0:58 of round one.
DeMarques Jackson vs. Bryce Logan
Black trunks and blue gloves for Jackson, black and red for Logan. Jackson is 8-2 out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Logan is 9-2 out of Doland, SD. Our referee is Bobby Wombacher.
Round 1: Glove tap starts it off. Logan lands the first leg kick. Logan with a leg jab to the face. Jackson works his jab and suddenly pushes Logan into the fence for a flurry but he weathers the storm. Logan works back to the center. Left high kick stuns Jackson. Logan comes forward but doesn’t land a kill shot. Jackson answers with a right and a knee that seems to have the same effect. Logan and Jackson tie up on the fence. They finally break at 2:33. Both men trade jabs. Jackson unloads with a flurry and Logan dances backward then tags Jackson with a hook. Logan stumbles throwing a leg kick but recovers. Left hook by Jackson as he pushes Logan to the fence. Logan with a leg kick, Jackson with big strikes, Logan with a body kick. Logan shoots for a double and misses but throws a strike on the break. Every person in the building seems to be cornering Logan tonight. 10-9 Logan.
Round 2: Jackson comes out jabbing and throws the right hook. Logan throws a kick at the knee and a jab to the body. Jackson and Logan trade hard jabs. Jackson throws a shot as Logan turns and the fans complain about a shot to the back of the head. Wombacher wasn’t going to call that — it wasn’t intentional. Body shot for Logan is answer with a jab and a leg kick. Logan is trying to keep his hands high but Jackson is getting through the defense enough to leave redness on Logan’s face. Logan lands leg kicks inside and outside to Jackson’s left leg. Jackson with hands and a knee up the middle. Jackson starts complaining about being poked in the right eye. Wombacher does nothing. Leg kick for Logan. Body kick for Logan. Jackson hammers with lefts and rights. Logan is now bleeding from the nose. His defense is dropping as well. Jackson keeps landing the left repeatedly. He stings Logan with a hard right before R2 ends. 10-9 Jackson.
Round 3: Glove tap opens R3. Jackson is immediately head hunting with his left hand. Logan is backing up toward the fence. He misses wildly with a right hook. Right hook for Jackson. Jackson is keeping the pressure on. Repeated left jabs to the chin. Logan keeps trying to force his way to the center but winds up retreating and looking to counter strike. The crowd is begging him to keep the center. That’s going to be hard to do as Jackson just single legged him to the ground with only 2:20 left. Jackson works his way to the back looking to sink in a rear naked choke. Logan spins his way to the top and the crowd explodes like he just finished the fight. He’s got 50 seconds left to work. Even if he throws a strike that misses they are so happy just to see him on top. Shame for them he wasn’t on top for the majority of the round. 10-9 Jackson.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 Logan, 29-28 Jackson, 30-27 for Jackson by split decision.
Micah Peatrowsky vs. Keith Phathaem
Blue gloves, record of 2-0, fighting out of Fremont, Nebraska is Peatrowsky. Red gloves, record of 0-1, fighting out of Sioux Falls is Phathaem. Jason Herzog is our referee. Black trunks for both men.
Round 1: Tap of gloves gets us underway. Phathaem lands the first leg kick. A second leads to an exchange of fists. Phathaem dances back and forth feinting with his hands. Peatrowsky charges in and eats a hard one to the chin before he resets. Peatrowsky with the jab and leg kick. Phathaem circles and looks for an opening but Peatrowsky lands a hard right. Now it’s Peatrowsky trying to shadowbox, feinting low and then firing high. Peatrowsky tries a spinning back kick. Peatrowsky tries to push Phathaem toward the fence with no success. They keep meeting back in the middle. Clean left hand for Peatrowsky. Phathaem lands a leg kick and eats a flurry in response. Peatrowsky makes him back up with a right hand flush. He paws with the left hand to get the range. Peatrowsky is getting the better of the exchanges as this round wears on. 10-9 Peatrowsky.
Round 2: Another glove tap to start R2. Peatrowsky wastes little time unloading with combos pushing Phathaem backward into the fence. Phathaem tries to turn it around into a takedown. Peatrowsky widens his stances but Phathaem keeps digging. He just can’t get him off his feet. He gets close and then Peatrowsky spins back to his feet. Jason Herzog calls time to check the tape on Peatrowsky’s left hand and then signals to continue. Phathaem lands a right and a leg kick but as usual Peatrowsky gives harder firepower in return. Peatrowsky is clearly the aggressor now. He accidentally lands a groin shot but Phathaem waves it off. Phathaem misses an overhand right and lands a push kick. Peatrowsky with a combo. Peatrowsky gets stunned by a right hand. Phathaem follows with an uppercut but inexplicably switches to leg kicks instead of going for the kill. Peatrowsky seems recovered as the clapper sounds. Spinning heel kick from Peatrowsky. I don’t think Phathaem stole the round when he froze Peatrowsky but a judge might. 10-9 either way.
Round 3: One last glove tap. Phathaem immediately goes for a right to the head and Peatrowsky fires a combo back. Leg kick by Phathaem. Phathaem lands an uppercut going backwards as Peatrowsky pushes toward him. Jumping left hand from Peatrowsky lands hard. Body kick for Phathaem. It’s still a 2-for-1 combo as Peatrowsky gives more than he gets whenever he’s touched. Phathaem lands a clean left jab. He goes for it again and eats a combo. He lands another and may have hurt Peatrowsky a bit. Leg kick by Phathaem. Phathaem is the aggressor at this point. Clean right hook lands. Peatrowsky looks gassed. Phathaem probably needs a to land a home run. He nearly does with a hard right hook and starts swinging for the fences but can’t drop Peatrowsky before the bell. 10-9 Phathaem.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Phathaem.
Tyler Ray vs. Seth Bass
Bass is in the blue trunks and gloves. Ray is in the black trunks and red gloves. Our referee for this fight is Mike Beltran. Bass’ record is 4-2 and he fights out Omaha, Nebraska. Ray’s record is 2-1 and he fights out of Boca Raton, Florida.
Round 1: Glove tap. Ray is quickly trying to find a home for the right hand buts it’s the left that touches the chin as he follows up with kicks. Bass pushes forward but his chin keeps getting touched. Ray shoots and pushes Bass into the fence. Ray digs and gets the single leg takedown. Bass traps an arm and flips over but Ray escapes and gets side control. Now Ray may be trying to return the favor. Ray wins up in half guard but it’s a better position for him to land hands and elbows to Bass’ head. Bass moves him to full guard and Ray comes over the top with big right elbows and one more big right hand that shuts down the fight.
Final result: Tyler Ray wins by knockout at 3:30 of round one.
Romero Cotton vs. Willie Whitehead
White trunks and blue gloves for Whitehead. Black trunks and red gloves for Cotton. Whitehead missed weight by 15 pounds (200.2 to 185.4) but both men still agreed to the bout. Whitehead is 2-2 and Cotton is 2-0. Whitehead fights out of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Cotton fights out of Hutchinson, Kansas. Our referee is Bobby Wombacher.
Round 1: No glove tap. No surprise either. Whitehead takes the center and Cotton circles around him before throwing a leg kick. Cotton eventually changes the dynamic and pushes Whitehead to the outside before landing a few hands. They go into the fence and break clean. Whitehead with a low kick. Cotton shoots and easily gets a takedown, landing a left to the chin on top. Whitehead gives up side control and Cotton mashes on his face with the right hand, elbow, forearm, everything. He’s looking for a mounted crucifix. Whitehead gets him back to half guard then full. Cotton is trying to posture up and drop bombs. Whitehead is trying to hand on and survive. Cotton gets up and takes the back. Whitehead stands and slips out with just over a minute left. Cotton clips him with a right and multiple knees then drops hammers on him from behind as the ref quickly runs over to save Whitehead. Cotton is extremely pleased and starts miming celebrations to the crowd before tossing his mouthpiece into the center of the cage. The slow motion of the final 2-3 left hammerfists that Cotton landed leave little doubt in the stoppage. Whitehead was defenseless.
Final result: Romero Cotton wins via first round knockout at 4:12.
Lloyd McKinney vs. Robiel Tesfadelt
McKinney is in the red gloves and Tesfadelt the blue. Tesfadelt is 2-1 in the red trunks and fights out of Sioux Falls. McKinney is in the black trunks, 7-5, and fights out of Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
Round 1: Tesfadelt comes out swinging and McKinney tries to keep him at range with a high kick and body kicks. Tesfadelt ties up after landing a big right hand and takes McKinney down. He wants to pass but McKinney keeps his knees up high. Eventually he moves to half but McKinney stands up. Tesfadelt tries to turn it into a choke but loses it and McKinney takes his back. One hook is in. Tesfadelt is trying to turn over on top. McKinney is going for the rear naked choke. Tesfadelt pushes off the cage with his feet to escape then slams McKinney to the ground. He’s on top in half. McKinney tries and fails to trap an arm. McKinney gets him back to full guard as the action stalls out. McKinney goes for an arm late but the bell sounds. 10-9 round for Tesfadelt.
Round 2: McKinney paws at Tesfadelt with low kicks. Tesfadelt throws high in response. Tesfadelt is knocked back by a body kick. McKinney lands a good right hook. Tesfadelt closes the distance, McKinney goes for a takedown and Tesfadelt traps the head. McKinney pops out and is on top. He’s in side control. Tesfadelt moves him to half guard but isn’t going much of anywhere. McKinney with right hands to the head. Tesfadelt moves him to full guard. He’s still on his back. The crowd behind press row is acting like his corner man telling him to get to the cage and wall walk. He’s trapped McKinney’s head again for a moment but once again he pops out. McKinney can’t stop him from spinning on top but McKinney sweeps him and puts his back against the fence. 10-9 McKinney.
Round 3: Tap of gloves to start our final round. Tesfadelt misses a single leg attempt. His leg kick connects. McKinney airs a spinning high kick. They clinch up and McKinney pushes Tesfadelt into the cage. Tesfadelt makes him break with a knee to the body. McKinney throws a high kick. Tesfadelt clinches but McKinney takes him down. The ref calls for more work as McKinney gets stuck trying to pass but he’s in half guard eventually throwing elbows to the ribs. Tesfadelt scoots backward trying to get to the fence. McKinney hits a hard reverse elbow to the head and takes the back as Tesfadelt tries to stand. Knees to the butt. (Seriously.) More knees from McKinney. McKinney winds up on top in half guard as Tesfadelt tries to get up. He’s got an arm triangle choke. Tesfadelt taps out!
Final result: Lloyd McKinney wins via submission (arm triangle choke) 4:17 R3.
Wyatt Meyer vs. Jeff Nielsen
2-0 record for Nielsen out of Sioux Falls in the blue gloves. SD. 1-0 record for Meyer out of Wahpeton, ND in the red gloves.
Round 1: Early takedown finds Nielsen on top passing to side control and securing the position. Meyer is trying to buck him off but Nielsen moves to his back looking to grab the left arm while rabbit punching him in the head. Meyer is eating lots of right hands and trying to cover up. It’s a pretty one sided beating so far. He stands up and Nielsen puts him right back on his knees and keeps hammering away. The ref is taking a close look. Nielsen gets the right hook in and left hands finish the fight from there.
Final result: Jeff Nielsen wins by technical knockout at 2:53 of the first round.