WATCH: Bellator NYC Highlights
Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 took place on Saturday night and featured the exact amount of craziness expected from a big-scale Bellator event.
The main event went on without a hitch, however, as Chael Sonnen dominated Wanderlei Silva on the way to a unanimous decision victory.
In the co-main event, Matt Mitrione knocked out legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in the first round. The finish came moments after a rarely-seen double-knockdown, as both Mitrione and Fedor dropped to the canvas. It was Mitrione that recovered faster, however, and jumped on the Russian legend to finish the fight.
Michael Chandler’s lightweight title defense against Brett Primus was supposed to be the surest victory on the card, with Chandler being one of the promotion’s poster boys and a proven elite champion. Primus, on the other hand, entered the fight with a solid record but was relatively untested.
As the fight showed, anything can happen in the cage: early in the first round Chandler appeared to take an awkward step and injure his ankle, and for minutes he struggled to stand while warding off Primus’s attacks and even hurting the challenger with a right hand. Eventually, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight as Chandler’s ankle injury rendered him unfit to continue.
Finally, one of the most talked-about prospects in the sport of mixed-martial-arts had his debut, and it did not go according to plan. 20-year-old Aaron Pico entered the cage with fans watching eagerly to see if he was the next great thing that his coaches and the media had proclaimed him as.
The pressure may have been too much for Pico, who was stunned with an uppercut by Zach Freeman seconds into the fight. Freeman, a veteran of ten pro bouts, jumped on a guillotine right away and Pico was forced to submit.