‘The Black Mamba’ Frans Mlambo opened the Bellator 227 main card with a decision victory over Dominque Wooding.
Bantamweight action at Bellator 227 saw Frans Mlambo face Dominique Wooding in the televised card opener. Mlambo, another product of SBG Ireland, had won his promotional debut back in June. Wooding, from England, had also won his Bellator debut earlier in the year, at the promotion’s Birmingham show in May.
After two successful coming out parties, one fighter was set to suffer their first loss in Bellator. Both did their best to avoid it, of course.
Mlambo found himself outside early, Wooding firing off a leg kick. But it was Mlambo who connected first, still in the opening minute. That right hand sent Wooding falling back, though he was quick to regain his feet. From there, Mlambo tied his opponent up against the fence, with the pair trading body shots, then punches upstairs. But still in the clinch, Wooding ate a low blow, leading to a break in the action.
On the restart, Wooding took control, getting Mlambo to the canvas, taking the back with one hook in. Mlambo fought that off but gave up his neck in the process.
Surviving the opening frame, they’d head to the second, where Wooding once again got in the driver’s seat. Having moved past the early knockdown, Wooding began utilizing his pressure game, grinding away at Mlambo, driving him into the cage. Mlambo tried dropping elbows and hammer fists, but he was penned in.
The final minute of the second saw the pair open up, trading heavy leather along the fence. But just as things were getting going, it was Mlambo being hit low. Back underway, Mlambo, who had fanned on a head kick earlier, fired a couple of leg kicks, perhaps setting up another head kick attempt — but the round would wind down first.
After some back-and-forth, the third saw Mlambo look for a takedown as Woodling came forward, leading to a clinch. Wooding’s back was to the cage, with Mlambo taking control, firing knees. After breaking, Woodings would try a switch kick, but Mlambo was able to evade it. He was not, however, able to evade a takedown with ninety seconds left in the bout. He’d make up for that by firing away til the final bell.
Frans Mlambo def. Dominique Wooding by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28)