The middleweight contest served as the co-main event of Bellator 205, which aired on Paramount from CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
The two grapplers were comfortable on their feet to start, with Lovato Jr. lacing out high kicks in between big punches, but Salter confident in the pocket and returning fire. Lovato Jr. was a little more wild with his attacks but did land with a few solid kicks to the body, while Salter was more compact in his approach and did find some success with his hands.
The two did briefly clinch late in the frame, but the contest stayed on the feet in the first round.
Lovato Jr. landed a nice right hand to start the second and then slipped to the floor on a kick shortly after, though Salter declined to follow.
The situation was reversed shortly after, as Lovato Jr. threw an elbow that sent an off-balance Salter toppling to the floor. Lovato Jr. grabbed the guillotine as Salter tried to rise and then shortly after dropped to the floor, though Salter controlled the legs and prevented his opponent from grabbing full guard.
After relieving the threat of a choke, Salter was able to work back to his feet and control the body from the outside. When he changed levels to look for a takedown, Lovato Jr. again grabbed he neck and tried to fall to a guillotine, but Salter quickly cleared past the legs and again kept himself safe, finishing n top position at the bell.
Salter looked to push the pace on the feet to start the second, though Lovato Jr. was ready with big counters on the advances. Salter did get inside to the clinch, but Lovato Jr. was able to remain upright. Shortly after, it was Lovato Jr. who was able to bring the action to the floor, stepping over to mount and firing heavy punches, forcing Salter to expose his back. Lovato Jr. tried to soften his opponent up with short punches, teasing an attack on the neck with each move. Eventually, he got the right arm under the neck and worked a tight squeeze. While Salter tried to keep his chin tucked, he was forced to tap with 33 seconds left in the fight.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 205 results include:
- Rafael Lovato Jr. def. John Salter via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:27
- Veta Arteaga def. Denise Kielholtz via submission (standing guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:24
- Patricky Freire def. Roger Huerta via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:43
- Joe Aguirre vs. Stephen Stirewalt
- Bryce Edminster vs. Leon Taylor
- Kyle Frost vs. David Rangel
- Andrew Cruz vs. Nathan Stolen
- Johnny Nunez def. Josh Wick unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Vince Morales def. Justin Hugo via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 29-27)
- Adam Borics def. Josenaldo Silva via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:46
- Steve Mowry def. Ben Moa via submission (Americana) – Round 1, 2:40
- Jarod Trice def. Sean Powers via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Emilio Trevino def. Sua Tuani via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:55
- Twitter reacts to A.J. McKee's brutal KO of John Teixeira at Bellator 205
- Bellator 205 results: Hometown hero Veta Arteaga taps out kickboxing champ Denise Kielholtz
- Twitter reacts to Patricky Pitbull's record-setting KO of Roger Huerta at Bellator 205
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Bellator 205 results: Rafael Lovato Jr. stays perfect, taps out gritty John Salter