Former UFC competitor Michael McDonald’s Bellator MMA debut was a successful one, as he scored a win over Peter Ligier in the main event of Bellator 191, which took place on Dec. 15 from the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.
“I was happy with the performance,” McDonald said after the fight. He ate some heavy punches. I hit him hard enough to break my right hand again, so he’s very durable and I expected that from him. I’ve seen him get put down and keep coming.
He was very impressive, I’m honored to have fought him and he really stepped up to the occasion. I think that I have some pretty high accolades for a bantamweight, but I really have no idea how that stacks up to the other guys in my division. We will let this hand heal up and find out soon.
McDonald rocked Ligier early in the opening round with a couple of shots to the face, but Ligier was able to recover and the two ended up in the clinch. McDonald briefly wrestled Ligier to the ground, but Ligier was able to get back up and push McDonald to the cage. McDonald reversed but failed to get another takedown before the end of the first.
The two spent approximately the first 90 seconds of the second round against the cage before McDonald is able to land a toss and follow up with a hard knee. McDonald then scored a takedown and was in complete control on the ground until Ligier managed to get the action back on the feet. After more grappling against the cage, time was called after McDonald ate a shot to the groin. McDonald, however, recovered and was able to fire away before the end of the second.
McDonald got two takedowns early in the third, despite developing a bad cut on the head from a Ligier elbow, but not much action happened in the third. Most of the third saw grappling on the ground while referee Big John McCarthy called for work. In the last 60 seconds, McDonald attempted a guillotine choke but couldn’t get it in.
All three judges awarded the bout to McDonald with scores of 30-27.
Valerie Letourneau, also making her Bellator MMA debut, was successful in the co-main event against Kate Jackson. Letourneau set the fight’s tempo early on, and she overwhelmed Jackson with strikes. And each time Jackson tried to get something going, it seemed like Letourneau was there with a counter-strike or reversal. All three judges awarded the bout to Letourneau 30-27.
Bellator 191 Results:
Bantamweight: Michael McDonald def. Peter Ligier via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Women’s Flyweight: Valerie Letourneau def. Kate Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight: Mohammad Yahya def. Ash Griffiths via TKO (Rd. 1, 3:26)
Heavyweight: Philip De Fries def. James Thompson via submission (guillotine) (Rd. 1, 1:33)
Lightweight: Jeremy Petley def. Lewis Monarch via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)