On Saturday, May 14, Bellator MMA returned to San Jose to bring fight fans Bellator 154 live from the SAP Center.

In the main event, fans witnessed a number one contender’s matchup between former UFC ight heavyweight Phil Davis and former Strikeforce champion ‘King Mo’ Muhammed Lawal.

Davis (16-3) most recently won Bellator’s one light heavyweight tournament in September where fans saw him finish both of his opponents in the first round. Davis was expected to face Lawal (19-4) in the tournament’s final round before a rib injury forced Lawal out of the bout. Davis would go onto knockout Lawal’s replacement opponent Francis Carmont just over two minutes into their fight.


Andre Fialho vs. Rick Reger

From the onset, Fialho left Reger with no openings to land any sort of significant offense. Fialho moved forward, seemingly at will, with power shots that stifled Reger and gradually took their toll. Once Fialho sensed that Reger was rocked, the Portugese-born fighter kept the onslaught of power shots coming until Reger crumpled to the floor, and landed one hammer fist for good measure before the referee intervened.

Saad Awad vs. Evangelista Santos

Both men started off in a clinch battle after a brief exchange in the standup, but Santos took the fight to the ground. Awad made it a point to hunt for the arm and lock up an armbar, though he proved unsuccessful. Santos attacked the leg, looking to secure a leglock, but his commitment to the leglock was met with resistance in the form of ground and pound. Santos kept looking for the leglock, even while taking what seemed like a minute’s worth of serious punishment from Awad, but Awad remained relentless as he kept the barrage coming, forcing referee Jason Herzog to call the bout.

Adam Piccolotti vs. Ray Wood

Wood came out with intentions of providing a competitive fight everywhere, but Piccolotti had other plans. Piccolotti caught a kick from Wood and turned the bout into his forte, an all-around grappling battle, once he took the Amarillo product to the ground. Wood attempted to stave off Piccolotti’s efforts, but would find himself caught in a standing rear naked choke and being forced to tap on the way down.

Phil Davis vs. Muhammed Lawal

Davis got off to a slow start in the opening frame, as his attempts to kick Lawal’s legs and his body were met with counter-right hand shots from the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion. Lawal’s counter-right became an obstacle throughout the fight, but as the second round progressed, it became something that Davis would overcome, as his kicks and his hand began to find the mark. Davis kept the activity going in round three, as he kept up the leg and body kicks, but his most significant moment of the fight came when he landed a short right hand and an uppercut before taking Lawal down. Davis proceeded to look for a kimura and an armbar, and while he could not force a submission with either, Davis’ constant pressure and ability to keep his distance paid dividends towards a unanimous-decision win, which ultimately cemented his position as the top contender for Bellator’s light-heavyweight crown.


Main Card

Phil Davis def. Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Adam Piccolotti def. Ray Wood by submission (rear naked choke). Round 1, 3:17
Saad Awad def. Evangelista Santos by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:17
Andre Fialho def. Rick Reger by knockout (punch). Round 1, 2:11.

Prelim Card

Joshua Hardwick def. Jorge Acosta via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:21
Victor Jones vs. Anthony Taylor
Danasabe Mohammed vs. Martin Sano
Josh Paiva vs. Steve Gruber
Sam Spengler def. Doyle Childs by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Josh San Diego vs. Jeremiah Labiano
Mark Dickman def. Thomas Diagne by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 3:05
Jaimelene Nievara def. Stephanie Frausto by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 2:43
James Chapman vs. Sean Tucker