Bellator 223 featured Gegard Mousasi and Rafael Lovato Jr. in a title bout and European stars Paul Daley, James Gallagher, Melvin Manhoef, but Jorge Kanella and Alfie Davis became a big — and weird — topic on social media throughout the night.
Davis and Kanella met in a lightweight bout in the preliminary portion of the event in London. The London Shootfighters talent came out victorious via decision, but a kick thrown by Kanella in the third round went viral. The reason? The Brazilian apparently kicked his opponent in the perineum.
Speaking with he media in a post-fight scrum, Davis addressed the situation.
“It was like, the bum, right at the bottom of the balls,” Davis said (h/t MMAjunkie). “If you’re standing up with someone on the floor, you do not go straight line like that. You’re never taught that because it’s a foul. … It slid up. So when I stood up, it was right in the gooch. It’s normally pleasurable for a man, isn’t it? The gooch. We all enjoy the gooch, but not when you’re getting kicked straight in it.”
Kanella told MMA Fighting he was superior in the first couple of rounds and shouldn’t have been deducted a point for the controversial kick in the final round, meaning a 29-28 score in his favor.
“I kicked his butt, and that’s normal. That’s not illegal,” Kanella said. “If you watch the video, I didn’t kick him where he says it was. Watch the video, I kicked his butt. He was faking it to get a point deducted, and it worked.”
Davis won the fight via unanimous decision (29-27 x3).
The Brazilian, a natural featherweight who moved up to 155 pounds for the chance to compete under the Bellator banner, signed a one-fight deal with the promotion. Now, his manager Leo Gosling in hoping to get him another shot in the circular cage, this time at 145 pounds.
“The judges’ decision was unfair, but what can I do? It’s always the same when you’re fighting in enemy territory,” said Kanella, who dropped to 8-8 as a professional fighter with the defeat. “They are always biased. I knew I’d only win if I got the knockout or the submission.”