Sunday, November 28, 2021

Bellator 163: Don’t Sleep On Liam McGeary-Phil Davis (Editorial)

We’ve had a bit of a break from MMA here recently, but starting Friday night, it’s back to the grind.

First up is Bellator 163 with a main event between light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary and top contender Phil Davis. The bout airs on Spike from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

I’m not going to try and convince you that McGeary-Davis and Bellator 163 will be better than UFC 205 next week. There’s really no way to even try and mimic what the UFC is putting on in Madison Square Garden.

But if we look at these never several weeks of action as dinner, McGeary and Davis could just be your favorite appetizer.

This is McGeary’s second title defense after winning the belt from Emanuel Newton. He destroyed Tito Ortiz last year, but suffered an MCL injury and has been sidelined since. Davis, meanwhile, signed with Bellator after his UFC contract expired and promptly claimed the role of No. 1 contender by winning a one-night tournament.

Instead of waiting on the sidelines for McGeary, “Mr. Wonderful” put his status on the line vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal earlier this year and claimed a decision.

If you have yet to see the 34-year-old McGeary in action, prepare to be impressed. The 6-foot-6 big man from England is an all-around athlete. Training out of Team Renzo Gracie and Gracie Barra, McGeary has won all 11 of his pro bouts.

He signed with Bellator in 2013 with just three fights under his belt and has been on an absolute tear ever since. McGeary’s first nine pro wins were all finishes, including five knockouts. After being pushed the full 25 minutes with Newton 2015, he choked out Ortiz with an inverted triangle last September.

And the resume of Davis is ultra-impressive as well.

A former NCAA national wrestling champion from Penn State University, Davis has won three straight since his last fight inside the Octagon to Ryan Bader. He began his MMA career 9-0 before falling to Rashad Evans via decision, rebounding with three wins in four fights before competing with the best of the best at 205 pounds.

Davis has fought Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, who is another former UFC champion, along with title contenders Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira. He holds wins over Teixeira, Machida and Alexander Gustafsson.

So, if you’ve got nothing better to do on a Friday night, tune in to Spike and see two of the best light heavyweights in the world – not currently in the UFC – compete for gold.

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