Bellator 188’s co-main event featured a welterweight showdown between Arsen Faitovich and Haim Gozali in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Airing via tape delay (the show went down Thursday in Tel Aviv), Bellator 188 was the second straight Bellator event to air after the action was already over. Unlike Bellator 187, however, there was no buzz from the antics of a certain Irish UFC champion. Having lost its main event of Patricio Pitbull vs. Daniel Weichel to injury, Bellator 188 was forced to stand on its own, despite the loss of its biggest stars.
The co-main event of the evening saw 44-year old Israeli Haim Gozali return to the Bellator MMA cage to meet Ukraine’s Arsen Faitovich.
Gozali, who walked out to a song written specifically for him and performed live, clearly had the crowd on his side. He would look to close the distance on Faitovich early; the Ukrainian would look to go to the ground, but Gozali proved comfortable off his back. Big mistake by Faitovich landing the takedown, as Gozali instantly had him trapped in a triangle. Working on the arm-bar at the same time, it was the triangle that finished the job, as Faitovich went out.
“When I’m on the ground, it’s like a shark in the water” Gozali said after the bout.
Haim Gozali def. Arsen Faitovich by submission (triangle choke), Round 1, 0:45