By Patrick Lujan
“The Guamanians come to bang, man,” said a commentator of Bellator 116, describing Baby Joe Taimanglo’s style of fighting against UFC veteran Rob Emerson in a bantamweight clash at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif.
The more experienced Emerson came away with the unanimous decision, however, with a tough fought 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 win.
BJT had a couple of head-and-arm throws in the opening round that were neutralized by some hard standup hits from his taller opponent. Taimanglo slapped on a late rear-naked choke that Emerson was able to wade out until the bell.
The second round was more of the same as Taimanglo nearly pulls off another choke, only to have Emerson rattle ‘The Juggernaut’ with some hard rights.
Both fighters stayed on their feet in the final round with Emerson being more of the aggressor and landing several body hooks and coming forward throughout.
At the end, referee Big John McCarthy raised the hand of Emerson in victory as he improves to 16-10, including five in a row.
Taimanglo has dropped his second straight unanimous decision and falls to 19-6-1.
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