Bellator 199: Jon Fitch wins in his Bellator debut over Paul Daley

Bellator 199 - Jon Fitch (Credit: Bellator 199)
Bellator 199 - Jon Fitch (Credit: Bellator 199) /

Here is how the co-main event between two highly experienced middleweights, Paul Daley and Jon Fitch, played out at Bellator 199 in San Jose, CA.

While Bellator 199 was headlined by the continuation of the Heavyweight Grand Prix between Ryan Bader and King Mo Lawal, the co-main event featured a matchup that consisted of two warriors in Jon Fitch and Paul Daley.

Daley openly stated before the bout that he is looking to sign a new contract and get “marquee treatment” if he were to pull out a victory over Fitch. The 35-year old native of England had fought in 13 different MMA affiliations, including this being his third year with Bellator. Although he has lost two (Rory McDonald and Douglas Lima) of his last four fights, Daley returned to the cage on Saturday having won his last fight in September 2017 over Lorenz Larkin.

As for his adversary, Fitch, was making his promotional debut. The former UFC title challenger was forced to vacate his World Series of Fighting welterweight title in March when he signed with Bellator. The American Kickboxing Acadamy product had appeared in 11 UFC fights before he made the transition to the WSOF. Fitch came into Saturday night with all the momentum on his side, as he was victorious in six of his last seven fights.

Here is how the co-main event of Bellator 199 between Daley and Fitch played out at the SAP Center in San Jose.

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Round 1

A thunderous roar for the hometown followed fight Fitch as Williams introduced him inside the cage. After a touch of the gloves, commentator Mauro Ranello set the stage and off they went.

Daley started out by not coming out strong, like he normally does, trying to make Fitch figure him out. Daley defended a strong takedown attempt from Fitch. The two engaged along the cage and Daley put all of his weight on Fitch trying to secure the single leg.

After two minutes along the cage, the crowd in San Jose began calling for the fighters to move with some action. Ranello called the first 2:30 as a bit of a “stalemate” on the Paramount Network broadcast.

Fitch loves to take his fighters into deep waters and he tried to do that against Daley. The two stayed continued grapple on the canvas until 0:52 when Jason Herzog broke them up back to the center of the cage. And Daley started to unload on Fitch, highlighted by a thunderous uppercut and a right knee. As the clock ticked down, Fitch controlled the majority of the round on the ground, but Daley finishes out with all the momentum with his shots.

John McCarthy described on the broadcast that the ending for Daley “won him the round”. FanSided scored the round 10-9 Daley

Round 2

Fitch came out shooting for another takedown. After landing some shots in with the ground-and-pound,  Daley was forced to cover up. Fitch continued to try to maneuver himself into a rear-naked choke position.

Daley attempted to get himself free, but the MMA experience of Fitch continued to eat down on Daley and didn’t all Daley to even move. FanSided scored the round 10-9 Fitch 

Round 3

Fitch did just as everyone expected as he scooped up Daley’s legs and swallowed him up on the ground. Daley started taking deep breaths just one minute into the round. With off-and-on boo’s from the crowd, Fitch tried to oblige and provide the fireworks with a barrage of short lefts

The camera was on Daley inside one minute, and the microphone picked up Daley booing himself and saying Bellator was going to lose tons of fans.

Fitch finished the round on top of Daley and the control time over the last two round was strong enough for him to get the win in his Bellator debut.

FanSided scored the round 10-9 Fitch

Official results: Jon Fitch def. Paul Daley via unanimous decision (29-26)