Juan Archuleta was quick out of the gate, and takedowns were the key as he dominated William Joplin in the opening bout of Bellator 195.
Bellator 195 went down live Friday night from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK. In main card action, featherweights Juan Archuleta and William Joplin threw down early in the night, opening up the show on the Paramount Network. Joplin took the fight on short notice, while Juan Archuleta was undefeated since 2015.
Archuleta was looking to finish the fight early. After Joplin got aggressive in the opening moments of the bout, Archuleta began peppering him with shots along the fence. They went to the ground, with Archuleta going to work in Joplin’s guard. Ground and pound followed, and Archuleta, coached by Joe Stevenson, added a heavy knee to the body of Joplin. Joplin would make it back to his feet, however, and go back on the offensive, launching a couple of overhand rights before shooting in for a takedown. That was stuffed, and it was Archuleta taking Joplin to the ground once more. It was more ground and pound from Archuleta from that point, and though a low blow would briefly stop the action towards the end of the frame, Joplin would find little reprieve in the first.
Archuleta started with a flurry in round two. Joplin was soon on his knees, and Archuleta connected with a high kick partially blocked by Joplin before taking his opponent to the canvas. As Joplin was on his way up during the sequence, he was not a downed oppoent. Joplin struggled to regain his feet, while Archuleta pressured him with punches. Back up, Joplin had to contend with a cartwheel kick attempt, and responded with one of his own. The pair then traded spinning back fists (with Joplin’s not really being a full effort) before they went back to a brief exchange. Then, as he had often in round one, Archuleta again took Joplin down. He’d control Joplin on the ground for a good long while, only to have the ref stand the fight up for a perceived lack of action in the final minute of the round. That was short lived, as Archuleta immediately took Joplin down one more time.
Round three saw Joplin showing serious damage to the left eye, and he was soon in a bit of a firefight with Archuleta. Archuleta then took his adversary down along the cage, and went to work looking for a choke. Joplin survived, but was well behind in the fight. Knees to the thigh rained down as he struggled to make it back up. It was all for not. The lopsided decision was soon in the books, with one judge awarding a nearly unheard of 30-23.
Juan Archuleta def. William Joplin by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-24, 30-23)