Most fans were probably expecting a striking versus jiu-jitsu match when Ralek Gracie took on Hisaki Kato tonight at Bellator 170.
That’s certainly what Bellator was expecting:
Japan 🇯🇵 vs Gracie 🇧🇷
Striking vs Jiu Jitsu@hisakialive vs @RalekGracie #Bellator170 pic.twitter.com/kSuvIfuK0m
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 22, 2017
Instead, what they got was about 13 minutes of two fighters feeling each other out. As the fans booed, demanding they get their tickets’ worth of entertainment, Ralek lifted his knee and threw some side kicks that didn’t seem to cause any significant damage.
Kato threw some strikes as well. Also, to his credit, he came in with a nasty Superman punch at the end of the first round.
But it was too little, too late.
The boos continued into the second round as the fighters did a repeat of the first. The referee even had to stop the match to have a pep talk with the two overly cautious athletes, reminding them that they were here to actually fight. Granted, Hisaki turned up the heat immediately, but the fire went out almost as quickly as it started.
It wasn’t until the last half of Round 3 that fans finally got to see the jiu-jitsu Ralek’s family is famous for. Gracie went in for a takedown, and though it was countered by Kato, Ralek ended up in guard. After some struggle, he passed and easily mounted his downed opponent. Kato held on, but Ralek dominated, peppering his opponent with some heavy shots and what looked like an armbar attempt.
But much like Kato in the first round, it was too little, too late. Hisaki Kato had done enough to impress the judges with his few bursts of action, and he took the fight via unanimous decision.
Winner by unanimous decision: Hisaki Kato!