Liam McGeary broke his two-fight losing streak with a much-needed TKO win against Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 213 in Hawaii on Saturday. However, the impressive right-hand knockout came with a little controversy.
McGeary scored one of his biggest victories inside Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu when he stopped veteran contender Lawal with a third-round TKO. After the referee went in to stop the match, the 36-year-old returned with what seemed to be an unnecessary ‘sucker punch.’
Early in the light heavyweight fight, ‘King Mo’ kept his distance from McGreary but the latter lowered his stance and aimed at his rival with a long jab and snapping high kicks. Lawal successfully slammed him to the floor after a few strikes but wasn’t able to keep him there.
At the crack of the second round, the New Yorker turned the heat up a bit, spoiling his rival’s attempt to respond. Lawal launched some heavy punches up top but failed to find the mark on the defensive McGeary.
Round two was a series of elbows and jabs from both fighters where ‘King Mo’ went briefly limp on two occasions but didn’t give the referee a chance to halt the action. However, the third round was the plot twist McGeary was waiting for.
A clean right from the winning fighter staggered Lawal on his feet while the following jab sent him crashing to the floor. McGeary struck a high kick that hasn’t landed since his opponent was close to hitting the mat.
Referee Chris West finally jumped in to stop the battle at the third round’s 53-second mark but McGeary halted his victory walk by landing a follow-up right on his opponent on the floor.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 16, 2018
Though some can consider it a cheap shot, it’s difficult to point a finger at McGeary who’s never known for such attitude inside the cage. Bellator President Scott Coker uploaded the footage of the finishing sequence so fans can lend an eye on it once more.
Full Bellator 213 Results:
- Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Valerie Letourneau via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:19 – to defend flyweight title
- Lyoto Machida def. Rafael Carvalho via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Neiman Gracie def. Ed Ruth via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 2:17 – to advance in welterweight grand prix
- Liam McGeary def. Muhammed Lawal via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:53
- Nainoa Dung def. Kona Oliveira via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:05
- Dustin Barca def. Isaac Hopps via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Maki Pitolo def. Chris Cisneros via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:40
- Kai Kamaka III def. Shojin Miki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)