Justin Wilcox and Joe Taimanglo threw down tonight at Bellator 103 in the Featherweight tournament semifinal. The winner of this fight was guaranteed a shot in the final alongside the winner of tonight’s other semifinal bout, Patricio Freire vs Fabricio Guerreiro. Wilcox is coming off an incredible comeback victory over Akop Stepanyan, while Taimanglo is on a 10-fight win streak.
Round 1 saw a bevy of strikes landing for Joe. Wilcox was not a fan of the punches he was eating, and got a takedown with about 2:30 to go in the first round. Wilcox was looking for an arm triangle choke, but could not finish it in half-guard. The round ended with Wilcox seemingly getting poked in the eye, which allowed Joe to get up. That round will be an interesting one to score because Wilcox did not do much on top, while Joe dominated him in the stand up. I say 10-9 Wilcox because judges usually see top control as more important than effective striking.
Round 2 saw Joe again beating Wilcox on the feet with nice straight punches. Wilcox held his own before going for a takedown. Wilcox briefly got Joe’s back before he wiggled free. After an exchange, Wilcox finally go the takedown into half-guard again. Once again, Wilcox did basically nothing on top. Joe got up with a little more than a minute to go. After a nice knee by Joe, he was taken down again. I would say another close round, but another 10-9 for Wilcox. This fight is not very good.
Round 3 took about 20 seconds before Wilcox got the takedown once again. Joe was threatening with a guillotine, but could not get it. Wilcox was fishing hard for the arm triangle again, but could not get it. Wilcox simply is not throwing any ground and pound at all. Wilcox passed into full mount with about 2 minutes to go. Wilcox finished the fight on top. With that, Justin Wilcox will win 30-27 Unanimous Decision on my card