It was to be a showcase of Bellator's top bantamweights, and the "Baddest Man on the Planet" turned into the maddest man on the planet.
In a rematch to their 2011 fight at Bellator 41, champion Joe Warren succumbed to challenger Marcos Galvao in his first bantamweight title defense. As Galvao torqued Warren's knee for a submission, Warren let out a scream, which promoted referee John McCarthy to stop the action. Warren protested immediately, but the fight was declared over, and Galvao became Bellator's new 135-pound champion.
"I respect Joe Warren, I respect him a lot, he's a nice guy," Galvao said in the post-fight interview, partially through his translator. "He talks because he's promoting fights. But he has to admit, it was a verbal submission. He didn't tap, but it's a verbal submission, so that's the same."
The 32-year old Galvao has now won four fights in a row. Warren, meanwhile, drops his first fight since a 2012 knockout at the hands of Pat Curran while still competing as a featherweight.
That headlining fight was overshadowed by the co-main event -- a fight that was billed as a potential title eliminator at 135 pounds -- between LC Davis and Hideo Tokoro. In what was a frenzied back-and-forth battle where the tables were turning throughout, it was the emotional Davis who got his hand raised. Davis did just enough to outpoint the ever-threatening veteran Tokoro.
He won a split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Since signing with Bellator, Davis has now gone 3-0.
Meanwhile, UFC veteran Francis Carmont made good in his Bellator debut against Guilherme Viana. Carmont got off to a methodical start, but staggered Viana in the second round with a big right hand. It looked like he had the Brazilian on the ropes, but Carmont opted to change levels and take Viana to the canvas, where he recovered enough to survive.
Viana rallied in the final round, threatening to sink a rear-naked choke for a couple of minutes, but Carmont held on for a unanimous decision. The judges had it 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. The victory ended a three-fight losing streak for Carmont (23-10).
To kick off the main card, Ryan Couture wasted no time in submitting MMA veteran Dakota Cochrane. Couture took Cochrane's back and sunk a rear-naked choke in the first round. With the victory, Couture improves to 10-3, and has now made it four wins in a row.