Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell Gallery

Bellator 186 Ed Ruth
Ed Ruth. Credit: Mike McClory/Cageside Press

Bellator MMA had a big night at Penn State on Friday, with two title fights and a host of big names showing up at the Bryce Jordan Center.

With four stoppages among the five main card fights, and a thunderous flying knee heard around the world earlier in the night, Bellator 186 was a successful night for Scott Coker and co. The event was further buoyed by the atmosphere, as PSU came out to cheer on alums Ed Ruth and Phil Davis, proving to be a raucous but generally good-natured crowd throughout the night.

In the main event, light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader was successful in his first title defense, falling back on his wrestling game to grind away at challenger Linton Vassell until he could get him in position to pound him out. It was another success story for “Darth” Bader, who is now on a four fight win streak split between the UFC and Bellator. Up next for Bader will likely be an encounter with King Mo, but for now, Bader gets to bask in the glory of his first defense of the belt.

In the co-main event, Bellator crowned its inaugural women’s flyweight champion. Hawaiian Ilima-Lei Macfarlane opened strong, then took her foot off the gas as Emily Ducote began to rally back. Macfarlane, however, would storm back in the fifth round, submitting Ducote to capture Bellator gold and make history in the process.

It was a successful night for Penn State alumni as well, as both Phil Davis and Ed Ruth were victorious at the event.

Earlier in the evening, the biggest story was that of Tywan Claxton – whose flying knee finish of Jonny Bonilla-Bowman immediately went viral!

Check out our gallery from the Bellator 186 proceedings below!