Liam McGeary bounced back in a big way after losing the light heavyweight title in November.
McGeary, who lost the title to Phil Davis at Bellator 163, stopped Brett McDermott in the second round at Bellator 173 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Englishman overcame a back-and-forth first round — in which he was knocked down at one point — to batter “The Spartan” with heavy shots. He nearly put McDermott away in the first round after landing a devastating knee to his head, which smashed his nose.
The damage to McDermott’s face was a concern between rounds, as doctors evaluated whether he could continue or not. Early in the second round — with McDermott’s eye nearly shut and several ugly cuts spilling blood — cageside physicians called an end to the bout at the 1:06 mark, due to a large cut over McDermott’s right eye.
McDermott took the fight on three days notice.
For the 34-year old McGeary (12-1), it was his eighth finish in the Bellator cage, and his fifth via TKO or KO.
Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Ireland’s own featherweight upstart James Gallagher was able to breeze through Kirill Medvedovsky to the delight of his faithful. The 20-year old “Strabanimal” dominated the action on the feet before overwhelming Medvedovsky on the ground.
He put the Ukrainian fighter away with a first round submission (rear naked choke) at the 2:53 mark to keep his record perfect (6-0).