Bellator Milan “Gallagher vs. Ellenor” took place Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy. The main event was booked twice before including February of this year but never occurred until now — James Gallagher (10-1) vs. Cal Ellenor (8-2) at Bantamweight.
“Pacino” Ellenor sported the white/black Venum trunks and blue gloves for his long awaited bout with Gallagher, while “The Strabanimal” had the Irish flag on his trunks and raised above his shoulders, complete with a gold trimmed boxing robe he had to remove before being checked at the prep point. Ellenor weighed in at 135.2 for the bout while Gallagher was 136. The biggest difference was the height as Ellenor was 6’0” while Gallagher was 5’8”. The referee for the main event was Todd Anderson.
Both men quickly rushed to the center and traded kicks. Gallagher got a double leg 20 seconds in, and took the back when Ellenor tried to stand up again with both hooks in and a tight body triangle. Gallagher worked to soften him up with hands and elbows from behind. Two minutes in he went for a neck crank but Ellenor fought it off. Ellenor sat up with Gallagher still riding and had nowhere to go. Gallagher dragged him back down and kept fighting to get an arm around or over the neck. In the end he couldn’t stop the final attempt and was forced to tap to the rear-naked choke at 4:31. Marloes Coenen spoke to him next.
“I came in here the best I’ve ever been. They say it’s all talk but I’ve had me mouth shut for months and I still come out here and do it. Silence to the whole fucking division. Silence! Give me a big bag of money and I’ll fight any fooking one of them. Where I come from in Strabane, I’m the toughest motherfucker in the whole thing, and nobody can stop me! I’m just extremely proud of myself. I’ve worked hard. I’m 23 years old. Everybody counts me out but I count myself in every fooking time! Give me that belt. It’s mine.”
Gallagher’s SBG Ireland teammate “Relentless” Charlie Ward (8-4) was also booked for the main card in a bout with the more experienced Andy Manzolo (23-7) at Middleweight. Manzolo sported the black gloves and blue trunks, while Ward’s black trunks had gold accents and he sported the red gloves. Manzolo weighed 184.4 and Ward 186 even for this contest. The referee in charge of the fight was Dan Miragliotta.
Ward tagged Manzolo 44 seconds into the fight, coming directly at him with his stance down and his head lowered, looking for all the world like a bull with his opponent between his horns. Manzolo managed to counter by tripping Ward to the ground when they got to the fence, taking his back with hooks in and looking for the rear naked choke. Manzolo fired away with right hands to the head to soften him up, and though Ward tried to roll through several times Manzolo was able to ride with him and keep the back. Ward finally got on top into closed guard with 40 seconds left but didn’t score, making it a 10-9 round for Manzolo.
Ward overpowered Manzolo against the fence, bending him backward until his body collapsed, although Manzolo was nearly able to sweep before the fence got in his way. Manzolo nearly kicked him off but Ward was able to recover and jump back into the butterfly guard. Ward finally pinned Manzolo against the fence for some heavy blows as the round neared three minutes, but once again Manzolo was nearly able to sweep. He drew a warning for shots to the back of the head, and Miragliotta told him it was his last warning. That spoke to the fact that Manzolo was staying very active off his back. Manzolo looked for an omoplata with short time but Ward defended well. 10-9 Ward.
Both men exchanged a glove tap to open the third round before Ward took him down again. Manzolo was once again told not to aim at the back of the head, even though the last warning was the “last warning.” Ward was content to ride Manzolo and throw occasional lefts and rights to the head, seldom if ever posturing up to unload. Manzolo was almost able to sweep but Ward got back on top with two minutes left. Manzolo’s corner called for him to elbow Ward in the head. Manzolo tried to bring his legs up for a triangle but couldn’t quite get around Ward’s bulging biceps. Ward stood up with 32 seconds left but then got right back into the guard without scoring. Manzolo threw an upkick late and left it to the judges to decide who was the more active fighter in Round 3. They ruled for Ward 29-28 X3.
Last but not least on the main card was Kiefer Crosbie (8-1) versus seasoned veteran Charlie Leary (16-11-1). To date Crosbie’s only loss in the cage came from throwing an illegal knee at Bellator 224. Leary sported white trunks and blue gloves for the fight. Crosbie sported the black trunks and red gloves. Crosbie weighed 159 and Leary 159.2 for this catch weight affair at 160 pounds. The referee in charge of the contest was Todd Anderson.
Crosbie wasted no time trying to crowd Leary and land a heavy combo. Leary was happy to answer back and force Crosbie to backpedal. Crosbie suffered a cut in the first 90 seconds as Leary continued to do good work with the jab and hook, but Crosbie dropped him with a left and came in close to throw elbows. Leary tried and failed to trap him in a headlock. Crosbie smelled blood in the water and came in with kicks and elbows, and Leary again forced him backward with a right hook. Crosbie went for a takedown and Leary grabbed the fence without a warning. Crosbie got hurt with a right hand and Leary poured on the damage with just over a minute left. Leary dropped him again and Crosbie tried to lock up a leg. Leary grabbed the cage again and got a stern warning the second time. Both got to their feet with short time but Leary dropped him and poured it on to the bell. 10-8 Leary.
Todd Anderson called time before the second round could begin. The doctor ruled that due to the cuts and swelling on Crosbie’s face the fight was over, making Leary the winner by TKO. Leary immediately came over to apologize and offer Crosbie a rematch, but after the scintillating striking he displayed in the first round he had nothing to apologize for.
Here are the full results from Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy on Saturday night.
James Gallagher vs. Cal Ellenor — Gallagher sub (rear naked) 4:31 R1
Charlie Ward vs. Andy Manzolo — Ward UD 29-28 X3
Kiefer Crosbie vs. Charlie Leary — Leary TKO (doctor’s stoppage) 5:00 R1
Sinead Kavanagh vs. Katharina Lehner — Kavanagh UD 30-27 X3
Chris Bungard vs. Aymard Guih — SD Guih 28-29, 29-28, 30-27
Carlo Pedersoli Jr. vs. Acoidan Duque — Duque UD 29-27, 30-27 X2
Gokhan Saricam vs. Joffie Houlton — Saricam TKO 2:52 R1
Ashleigh Grimshaw vs. Andrew Fisher — Fisher UD 29-28 X3
Kane Mousah vs. Alessandro Botti — Mousah SD 27-30, 29-28, 29-28
Asael Adjoudj vs. Nathan Jessimer — Adjoudj TKO 2:58 R2
Marek Jakimowicz vs. Curtis Dodge — Jakimowicz TKO 4:45 R1
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