Kiefer Crosbie, fighting at a 165lb catchweight, edged past newcomer Huge Pereira at Bellator 227 on Friday.
SBG Ireland’s Kiefer Crosbie, a training partner of Conor McGregor, was back in the Bellator cage on Friday night at the 3Arena in Dublin. There, in his fourth fight for the promotion, he faced promotional newcomer Hugo Pereira. The fight served as the co-main event of the Bellator 227 card, aired via tape delay on Paramount Network Friday night in North America.
Crosbie was on the outside early, and wound up pushed back into the fence by Pereira. The Irish fighter then complained about a foul, possibly a low blow, but the ref instructed the pair to fight on. Once Crosbie was able to create some space, he went to the body with a kick. But Pereira was able to control Crosbie, turning the fight into something of a grinding affair, outside Crosbie’s wheelhouse.
Pereira opened the second round with a little windmill action with his right hand, but stopped short of getting too show-boaty. A good call given Crosbie had the power advantage. Pereira fired an overhand right, and attacked Crosbie’s lead leg. Crosbie returned fire with a high kick, then a kick to the thigh and an axe kick. Opening things up with his kicks, Crosbie would finally connect with a left hand. Crosbie would soon switch stances, taking his lead leg out of firing range. The pair traded kicks, traded strikes, and overall, the second was a very close round.
Round three was quite possibly a tie-breaker, but Crosbie could easily have been down two rounds. The bad news for the Irish fighter, he had a kick caught early, and Pereira planted him on his back. A high closed guard ensued. Crosbie would make it back up, but Pereira would scale his back, looking for a choke. Crosbie, however, would shake him off, sliding out the back. He then worked for a takedown by the fence, only to be reversed. They’d battle to the bell, but you could feel the fight slipping through Crosbie’s fingers in the final frame. Instead, the judges gave him two rounds. Or two of them did, at least. One judge scored the fight a highly dubious 30-27 for Crosbie, giving him a unanimous decision win.
Kiefer Crosbie def. Hugo Pereira by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)