Five Takeaways from Bellator 293

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The dust has settled after an explosive evening of action-packed fights this past weekend at Bellator 293 in Temecula.

Heavyweight Daniel James knocked out Marcelo Golm in main event and Cat Zingano outpointed Leah McCourt in a featherweight co-main event.

Here are our five biggest takeaways from Temecula:

5 Thoughts from an Explosive Bellator 293

Joey Davis Needs to Do More than Outwrestle Foes

Compton’s Joey Davis, who entered the bout a perfect 8-0, took down Jeff Creighton seven times throughout three dominant rounds, but “Black Ice” failed to do much of anything else the entire 15 minutes.

So when the fight went to the judges, Creighton, the biggest underdog on the entire card, got the nod for activity and damage inflicted.

“I stayed busy the entire time,” Creighton said at the post-fight scrum. “I did the most damage.”

It was the right call. Davis landed a mere 11 head strikes the entire bout. While he easily maintained position and dominated the grappling exchanges, control is not enough to win a mixed martial arts bout. Creighton stayed active, throwing punches and elbows any chance he got.

Even as the boo birds voiced their displeasure, Davis appeared to take his foot off the gas in the third round, settling for a decision victory. Fighters should never leave it to the judges.

Compton’s rising star has proved his grappling is second to none, but he is going to need to bring the pain in the future if he does not want to become known as a boring fighter.

Mike Hamel is Building Momentum at Lightweight

Mike Hamel knocked out Nick Browne with a vicious head kick 42 seconds into their lightweight bout.

“I was honestly thinking I was going to go into 15 minutes of hell with that guy,” Hamel said of Browne.

Following Hamel’s first finish in six years, the 30-year-old said he is feeling as youthful as ever.

“I’m getting exponentially better,” Hamel said. “I was once just a wrestler and now I’m head kicking people so watch out.”

Now riding a three-fight win streak, Hamel has not lost since losing a decision to current champion Usman Nurmagomedov. With the likes of Benson Henderson in his corner, Hamel is poised to make a run at the crown.

“The whole division can get it,” he said. “I know I’m that guy that people see on the roster that they don’t want to fight.”

The “King” is the Real Deal

Archie Colgan (7-0) made another statement when he knocked out previously-undefeated scrapper Justin Montalvo in the first round of their lightweight bout.

His fourth straight knockout since joining Bellator, “King” Colgan is here to reign.

A proficient wrestler who has flexed his stellar grappling prowess, Colgan warned the division that he clearly willing to throw hands.

“If you choose not to respect my striking, you’ll regret that,” Colgan said.

Salter Calls It Quits at Best/Worst Time

John Salter announced his retirement to a mixed chorus of cheers and boos.

The boo birds were squawking at the snoozefest Salter and Aaron Jeffery had just put on, but the crowd did not care to break the boos as Salter left his gloves in the cage.

“I know that was boring,” Salter said to start his post-fight interview with Big John McCarthy.

Salter, who ended his career with finishes in 17 of 19 fights, is far from a boring fighter, but the inactivity in his final bout marred what should have been a standing ovation. Salter thanked his family, coaches and training partners before placing his red gloves in the mat. He also tipped his cap to Jeffery.

“He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever fought,” Salter said. “He’s the future of the sport.”

Cat Zingano deserves the title shot

Cat Zingano went three brutal rounds with a very game Leah McCourt, ultimately earning the unanimous decision.

While it was an entertaining and competitive fight, “Alpha” Cat proved she is indeed the top contender for the title, which is currently owned by Cris Cyborg.

“Right now it sounds like it’s a vacant belt half the time,” Zingano said.

Cyborg last defender her title against Arlene Blencowe on April 23. While Zingano’s likely growing impatient, “Alpha” Cat said she’ll stick to Bellator’s plans.

“Of course I want to be the champion,” she reiterated.

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Jonathan Andrade is a longtime sports reporter based in Southern California. A graduate of Cal State Northridge, Andrade was a full-time newspaper reporter in Ventura County for six years. While covering all sports throughout his career, Andrade gravitated to the storylines of MMA. Away from writing, Andrade enjoys time with his wife and son, and produces a YouTube channel all about reselling.

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