Former Bellator interim welterweight champion Logan Storley stuck with what he knew best to halt the charge of a resurgent Brennan Ward at Bellator 298.
South Dakota’s Storley was on home territory at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, and a boisterous crowd were in “Storm’s” corner as he used his seasoned wrestling skills to help him to a second-round TKO finish, and the 15th win of his career.
That’s not to say the bout was plain sailing for the former belt-holder. Ward started the better of the pair, and kept the fight on the feet through the early exchanges, using his height and reach advantages to score well with his jab.
But Storley has proved over the years to be both patient and relentless, and that combination was prevalent again as he gradually worked his way into the bout and, mid-way through the round, he landed the takedown he’d been waiting for. With the fight on the mat, Storley looked much more at home.
It was a similar story in Round 2, with Ward looking comfortable on the feet, but eventually Storley found a route to a takedown and sent Ward to the canvas again. Words were exchanged, with Ward seemingly trying to goad Storley into a stand-up battle. But “Storm” was too smart for that, and kept the fight in his wheelhouse.
Having established a dominant position, Storley then loaded up with some heavy ground strikes that had Ward desperately trying to work his way out of danger. Storley kept things right where he wanted them, though, and continued to rain down strikes until referee Jason Herzog waved off the bout with 55 seconds of the round remaining.
Ward wasn’t happy with the timing of the stoppage, but Storley’s control on the mat, coupled with his heavy ground strikes, proved to be enough to secure a crucial victory as he showed that he’s still very much a factor at the top of the Bellator welterweight division.
With Storley’s only two career losses coming against the undefeated welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov – and with Bellator’s medium-to-long-term future very much up in the air, it remains to be seen how things will pan out for Storley as he looks to earn a shot at championship gold again. But that victory, on home soil, will certainly have given the Kill Cliff FC man plenty of satisfaction.
Elsewhere on the card, former interim heavyweight champion Valentin Moldavsky pitched a shutout to defeat Steve Mowry in the co-main event, while Aaron Jeffery handed fellow middleweight contender Dalton Rosta his first professional loss after their bout went all the way to the judges’ scorecards.
The event also saw the return to action of Ireland’s James Gallagher, with the former bantamweight contender making a winning return to featherweight with a split-decision win over James Gonzalez.
The main card opened up with a unanimous decision victory for lightweight contender Sidney Outlaw, who shut out Islam Mamedov on the scorecards to claim his 17th pro win.
Bellator 298: Official results
- Logan Storley def. Brennan Ward via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 4:05
- Valentin Moldavsky def. Steve Mowry via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Aaron Jeffery def. Dalton Rosta via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- James Gallagher def. James Gonzalez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Sidney Outlaw def. Islam Mamedov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Justine Kish def. Diana Avsaragova via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Enrique Barzola def. Jaylon Bates via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Lucas Brennan def. Weber Almeida via knockout (knee) – Round 3, 3:32
- Kasum Kasumov def. Josh Hill via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Vladimir Tokov def. Jairo Pacheco via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Leandro Higo def. Nikita Mikhailov via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:50
- Alfie Davis def. Aalon Cruz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Katerina Shakalova def. Dayana Silva via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Sullivan Cauley def. Hamza Salim via technical submission (arm triangle) – Round 1, 4:24
- Marcirley Alves da Silva def. Jerrell Hodge via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:53
- Jordan Oliver def. Andrew Triolo via submission (arm triangle) – Round 1, 1:05
- Michael Blockhus def. Eli Mefford via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:43