Bellator 222: Rory MacDonald retains title at Madison Square Garden

It was a spectacular night in New York City. And not for the first time.

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Canadian star Rory MacDonald retained his Bellator welterweight title and advanced to the final of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix tournament at Bellator 222 on Friday night.

Former UFC star MacDonald handed Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Neiman Gracie the first defeat of his MMA career as he outpointed him over five rounds in the main event at Madison Square Garden.

But that was just the final act of a spectacular night in New York City.

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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “the Dragon” Machida showcased some of his spectacular skills as he connected with a pair of flying knees en route to a second-round TKO finish of fellow UFC vet Chael Sonnen.

“The American Gangster” ended up on the losing end, and placed his gloves down inside the cage as he announced his retirement, calling time on one of the most colourful careers in MMA history.

Rising star Juan “The Spaniard” Archuleta claimed the knockout of the night with a stunning one-hitter quitter as he finished former Bellator bantamweight champ Eduardo Dantas with one second to go in the second round.

Archuleta extended his incredible win streak to 18 in a row with this incredible right hook as he sent his man for a nap in front of more than 10,000 people.

New boys claim quick-fire submissions

Jiu-jitsu ace – and training partner of Conor McGregor – Dillon Danis had another easy night as he finished Max Humphrey via first-round armbar finish in his second appearance for Bellator.

Danis, an elite grappler who is making his first tentative steps into MMA, made it two wins out of two by dominating Humphrey on the mat to earn a first-round finish and continue his progression.

There was another first-round sub on the main card, as undefeated Patrick Mix defeated Ricky Bandejas via rear-naked choke in just 66 seconds.

Recap the night’s best moments here…

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