Fighting in front of a home crowd at 3Arena in Dublin, and aiming to rebound from a title challenge loss, Kavanagh (8-5 MMA, 5-5 BMMA) had plenty of motivation to push through an early knee injury that affected a majority of the co-main event bout against Leah McCourt.
Just over a half-minute into the bout after a couple of strikes were exchanged, McCourt (6-2 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) went for a takedown and brought the fight to the mat. However, Kavanagh remained calm off her back and grabbed a kimura, causing McCourt to roll over and defend the dangerous-looking submission.
With her arm twisted behind her back at one point, somehow, McCourt did not tap and survived to see the second round.
McCourt went back to the clinch early in the second round, and after jockeying for position along the fence, Kavanagh ended up on top after reversing a takedown attempt.
Moments later, Kavanagh landed a few hard punches from the top before being pushed off by McCourt. Kavanagh’s knee, which was giving her trouble after the first round, buckled and she fell to the canvas. Kavanagh would limp to her corner, but continue to the third round.
McCourt immediately targeted the knee with kicks to begin the final round as Kavanagh struggled to move around. McCourt then secured a takedown and began hunting for submissions. Attacking arm holds initially, McCourt went for a kneebar on the injured leg with just over 30 seconds remaining, but lost the position. The fight concluded with Kavanagh raining down punches from the top.
The judges scored the contest 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27 in favor of Kavanagh.
Kavanagh rebounds from her title challenge loss to Cris Cyborg at Bellator 271 with a big win over McCourt on her home soil. After being carried out of the cage, the broadcast team announced Kavanagh’s next contest would be a rematch against Cyborg “very soon.” With no date given, that timeline will depend on the severity of Kavanagh’s knee injury.
For McCourt, the loss marks the first since her professional debut in 2017 and the first under the Bellator banner. She would win her next six bouts, five of which took place in Bellator, before the setback against Kavanagh on Friday.
Up-to-the-minute results of Bellator 275 include:
Sinead Kavanagh def. Leah McCourt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Ciaran Clarke def. Abou Tounkara via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Khasan Magomedsharipov def. Jose Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Jornel Lugo def. Brian Moore via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Brett Johns def. Khurshed Kakhorov via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 3:00
Davy Gallon def. Charlie Leary via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:01
Stephanie Page def. Danni McCormack via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:46
Darragh Kelly def. Junior Morgan via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:47
Vladimir Tokov def. Daniele Scatizzi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gokhan Saricam def. Kirill Sidelnikov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nathan Kelly def. Scott Pedersen via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Lee Hammond def. Jamie Hay via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:32
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Author: Matthew Wells