Despite the highly anticipated Bellator debut of Fedor Emelianenko being canceled due to his opponent, Matt Mitrione, becoming ill just hours before the fight was scheduled to happen, Bellator still produced a night filled with intriguing matchups.
Bellator 172 took place Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Longtime heavyweight standout Cheick Kongo fought Oli Thompson in the co-main event.
Thompson started the fight being the aggressor. Neither fighter landed much offense in the first 90 seconds. Both fighters began to open up and land shots, but then Thompson pursued a clinch and pushed Kongo up against the cage. While up against the fence, Kongo landed an accidental low blow with a knee. Thompson didn’t take long to recover. Kongo landed a straight punch and then followed it up with a takedown. Kongo smothered Thompson on the ground until he was able to work his way back to his feet. The round ended with Kongo landing knees from inside a clinch.
The second round began with Thompson quickly engaging a clinch and pushing Kongo to the fence. Kongo eventually reversed the position and took Thompson to the ground. For almost the entirety of the round, Kongo smothered Thompson with ground-and-pound. Kongo increased his volume as the round went on, and finished the round on top.
Kongo landed hard punches and knees to start the final round. Kongo then landed a takedown once Thompson was close to the cage. From on top, Kongo landed shots at will. Right as it seems the fight is about to be stopped, Thompson did just enough to keep the fight going. The fight ended with Kongo landing strikes with Thompson trying to survive.
Cheick Kongo def. Oli Thompson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)