Kato KOs Schilling At “Bellator Kickboxing 2”
They say it’s never over in a fight until the bell rings. For Hisaki Kato, that could not be any more true, knocking out Joe Schilling with a single second left in their main event of Bellator Kickboxing 2 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Both fighters started the match aggressively trading, looking for a knockout as soon as possible. Schilling was landing solid shots, enough to cause a large knot on Kato’s forehead to grow. By the second, neither man had slowed down and continued trading good shots. Always pushing forward, it would only be a matter of time before someone went down, and that honor went to Joe Schilling. During an exchange, Kato drilled his opponent with a spinning backfist that was so hard Schilling was spasming on the ground. Referee “Big” John McCarthy had no choice but to call the match off, in favor of Kato.
Kato has now defeated Schilling twice, once in MMA and once in kickboxing.
Raymond Daniels continues to be the human highlight reel for the promotion, easily dispatching Stefano Bruno in the first round of their match. It was all about the spin moves for Daniels, who completely outmaneuvered Bruno throughout the short fight, never in the same spot too long. A multitude of spinning techniques were utilized, but a spinning back kick to the ribs is what put Bruno down for good. Daniels celebrated in the ring with more fancy flips to the delight of the audience in St. Louis.
Keri Melendez was victorious in her pro debut against Washington’s Sarah Howell. Despite a two-inch height disadvantage, Melendez’s crisp strikes and quick footwork kept her in and out of Howell’s reach. Trying to cut the distance, Howell spent the fight coming forward but was rewarded with stinging punches and kicks that rocked her. The kicks of Keri caught Sarah at will, as did the body shots that piled up and gave her some problems in the second. Physically spent by the third round, Melendez was connecting with nearly everything undefended, and in desperation with 30 seconds to go, Howell and Melendez began to trade until the bell rang.
The judges all saw it the same way, giving her the unanimous decision and a great first start in the company.
It was Amsterdam vs Italy when Denise Kielholtz met Gloria Peritore in a flyweight kickboxing battle. Both fighters were aggressive for every minute of this three-round affair, with Peritore using very effective high kicks and push kicks to keep the 4x world champ at a good distance. Kielholtz stayed flat-footed compared to her more spry opponent, and was very aggressive with her combinations as she looked for a KO win.
Round two saw “Miss Dynamite” start loading up with heavier punches that rocked Peritore, and the third saw even more of those. Those hard shots gave the Italian a bloody nose that she had to contend with for the remainder of the fight, but it never broke her will as she continued to connect with those high kicks. While she went high, Kielholtz went low and swept the legs out from under her during one exchange towards the end of the last round. After three exciting rounds, the judges gave the split decision win to Gloria Peritore, the third loss ever for Kielholtz.
Kevin Ross accumulated the higher strike count in his bout against Justin Houghton. Ross implemented various heights for his lead leg kicks, which went unchecked by Houghton. Justin was not afraid to trade with Kevin, but ate multiple strikes each time he exited the range of his opponent. Houghton found his mark with a leaping knee, but Ross continued to do more damage through the bout, becoming more aggressive after each round and using longer combos as he relaxed in the ring.
The third round saw the big strikes fly, Houghton throwing more effective punches and Ross using big kicks and straights to stalk Houghton from the center of the ring. Exhausted, Houghton was barely able to block most of Ross’ attacks, which led to an unofficial knockdown in the last 30 seconds of the fight. Desperate, Houghton tried unloading more but ate a punch that dropped him right before the fight ended.
The last round was enough to ensure victory for Kevin Ross, who took the unanimous decision. He improved to 27-6 overall, 2-0 in Bellator Kickboxing.
Hisaki Kato defeated Joe Schilling via KO 2:59 R2
Raymond Daniels defeated Stefano Bruno via TKO 1:45 R1
Keri Melendez defeated Sarah Howell by unanimous decision
Denise Kielholtz defeated Gloria Peritore via split decision
Kevin Ross defeated Justin Houghton via unanimous decision