Derek Campos won the rubber match against Brandon Girtz when the cageside doctor halted the action between rounds. Bellator 181 took place July 14th at the WinStar Casino in Thackerville, OK with seven fights webcast at Spike.com, four broadcast on Spike TV, and four “dark” bouts.
It was in the first round that Derek Campos landed a knee to the forehead of Brandon Girtz opening a cut that poured blood immediately. Girtz continued to fight on for one of the most action-packed wars in recent Bellator history with both fighters pushing the pace and staggering each other in the second round. Between the second and third round the cut on Girtz’ head was deemed too much and the fight was halted giving Campos his second victory over his opponent as his record improved to 19-6. Girtz who holds one win over Campos exited the cage 14-7.
The co-main event was much more one-sided as John Salter defeated UFC vet Kendall Grove. Grove started out using his reach advantage to fire off jabs and kicks but once Salter took him down the fight went downhill for Grove. Salter landed a series of strikes before sinking in the rear-naked choke that ended the fight at 4:37 of the first round improving his record to 14-3 with six wins in a row. Grove’s second loss in a row left his record 23-17.
On the undercard ADCC Worlds vet Rafael Lovato Jr. remained undefeated following a quick submission of Mike Rhodes. After a brief standup period Lovato took Rhodes down and quickly sunk in the rear-naked choke for the win at just under two minutes. Lovato now holds a record of 6-0, Rhodes dropped to 10-5.
Up next for the second-largest promotion is a return to the state of New York on August 25th where Andrey Koreshkov faces Chidi Njokuani.
Bellator 181 results
- Kat Collins def. Bruna Vargas by unanimous decision
- Romero Cotton def. Aaron Rodriguez by split decision
- Logan Storley def. Kemmyelle Haley 1:44 R1 by TKO
- Andre Fialho def. A.J. Matthews by split decision
- Valentin Moldavsky def. Carl Seumanutafa by unanimous decision
- Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Mike Rhodes 1:59 R1 by rear-naked choke
- J. Brooks def. Guilherme Bomba by unanimous decision
- Joe Warren def. Steve Garcia by unanimous decision
- Emily Ducote def. Jessica Middleton by unanimous decision
- John Salter def. Kendall Grove 4:37 R1 by rear-naked choke
- Derek Campos def. Brandon Girtz 5:00 R2 by TKO