Nieman Gracie scored the biggest win for a Gracie in MMA in well over a decade by submitting undefeated Ed Ruth. Whenever Ruth would take the fight to the ground, Gracie refused to let him retain balance for any extended period of time and threatened with an early triangle that Ruth escaped. In the fourth round, Gracie was able to take Ruth’s back and secure a rear naked choke victory.
The win is a particularly huge won because it was a quarterfinal matchup in Bellator’s Welterweight World Grand Prix, with Gracie moving on. He’ll take on the winner of 2019’s Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch Welterweight Title fight in the semifinals for a shot at the title as well.
The co-main event saw former UFC Champion vs. former Bellator Champion as Lyoto Machida made his company debut against Rafael Carvalho. The fight was very Machida-esque, and as Machida fights go, it was touch and go, with a close split decision that favored Machida. The 40-year old won his third straight fight, and put him in prime position for a title shot, which he asked for. The middleweight title is set to be contested between Gegard Mousasi, who he beat in 2014, and Rafael Lovato Jr.
Former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary had a rough go of it the last two years, losing three of his last four fights, but managed to rebound against King Mo Lawal. Mo worked the legs of McGeary in the first round, but ate a vicious series of elbows to the head trying to secure a takedown. In round three, McGeary finally put Mo down and almost landed a kick on the way to the mat that could have done some extended damage.
For Mo, it’s the first time he’s lost back-to-back fights in his MMA career, and the first year he’s not walked out of the cage with a win.