Paul Daley was nearly as savage with the microphone as he was with his right hand.
The British knockout artist finished Andy Uhrich with one uppercut at 2:00 of the first round Friday night in the main event of Bellator 148 in Fresno, Calif. Then, he took aim at Josh Koscheck, the hometown boy sitting cageside.
"Crotchek, Crotchek, Crotchek!" Daley shouted into the microphone during his post-fight interview with Jimmy Smith.
The two men have a long history, going back to Koscheck's win over Daley in the UFC six years ago. Daley took a swing at the trash-talking Koscheck after the bell and was banished from the UFC immediately after.
Koscheck was supposed to fight in the main event of this card against Matt Secor, but pulled out due to an injury. Daley hammered his rival repeatedly leading up to the card because of that. And then he hammered the ill-equipped Uhrich with a lethal uppercut to put him out.
Daley addressed the Fresno crowd and asked them to look at what he did while Koscheck sat idly by "looking like a muppet" with his big head.
"He wouldn't have been able to do what I did today," Daley said. "You guys would be sleeping in your seats right now. But luckily the British boy came to the cage to entertain and knock people out like I always do."
Daley (38-13) has now won three straight since coming to Bellator and five in a row overall. He should probably get the next welterweight title shot, but it's more likely he'll face Koscheck in a grudge match some time in the future. Maybe back in Fresno.
"I'm going to be 2-0 [against Daley]," Koscheck said into the camera Friday night.
In the co-main event, Paul Bradley put a stop to the Chris Honeycutt hype train by TKO at just 40 seconds of the first round. The previously undefeated Honeycutt shot in for a takedown, Bradley caught him with a left hand and then pounced and landed some more. Honeycutt faceplanted to the mat.
Afterward, Bradley went nuts, jumping on the cage and screaming at fans. Honeycutt is a Fresno native. The crowd booed Bradley vociferously and he took umbrage in his post-fight interview.
"Me and Chris had some bad blood," he told Smith. "It's fighting and entertainment. How are you gonna boo a guy who just comes in here trying to perform?"
Bradley and Honeycutt fought to a no contest in July when the two accidentally clashed heads and the doctor called the bout off due to a Bradley cut. Honeycutt was clearly winning that fight, but Friday it went a vastly different way. Bradley pulled off the big upset.
Bradley (23-6) has only one loss in his last five Bellator fights and this victory puts him in the welterweight title conversation. Honeycutt (6-1), a protégé of Koscheck, was dominant in his first two Bellator bouts and was looking good against Bradley the first time around, too.
Bellator nabbed an early Knockout of the Year when Patricky Freire laid out Ryan Couture with one thunderous right hook. Couture slumped to the mat, head first in a scary scene at 3:00 of the first round. Afterward, an emotional "Pitbull" said he had put aside some personal issues and was ready to make a run in the Bellator lightweight division.
"I'm gonna kill everyone," he said through a translator.
Freire (15-7), the brother of former Bellator featherweight champion Patricio, has won five of seven in Bellator. Couture (10-4), the son of MMA legend Randy, won four in a row coming in.
It surely wasn't pretty, but Tony Johnson picked up a TKO at 4:24 of the third round against Raphael Butler in a grinding main card opener. Butler, a boxer, actually initiated the grappling early against Johnson, a decorated wrestler. But Johnson dominated the second and third rounds en route to a stoppage, albeit a bit of a soft one.
Johnson (10-2), an American Kickboxing Academy product, has now won three in a row. Butler (9-2-1) has lost two of three after going without a defeat in his first four Bellator bouts.
In the featured prelim, Ilima MacFarlane, known for her role in the infamous Xplode Fight Series viral knockout video, beat Amber Tackett via submission at 2:09 of the first round. MacFarlane is now 2-0 in Bellator and a rising prospect in the developing flyweight division.