Apr. 10—Cody Law didn’t get the headkick knockout that he predicted, but the Forest Hills graduate did score his third consecutive victory in Bellator MMA on Friday night.
Law won all three rounds on all three judges’ cards to beat featherweight Nathan Ghareeb by unanimous decision at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“Not my best, but I won and am getting experience,” Law said in his post-fight press conference.
According to statistics posted on the live YouTube stream, Law accumulated 10:21 seconds of ground control while Ghareeb didn’t have any. Law landed 40 strikes to 30 for his opponent and 30 punches to 13.
Law, who was a state champion wrestler at Forest Hills and a Division II national champion at Pitt-Johnstown, improved to 3-0-0 in his professional career. Ghareeb (2-1-0) was the first opponent to go the distance with him.
“I landed some big shots,” Law said, although he couldn’t say why he was unable to get the knockout he sought. “Maybe just a lack of experience. Maybe I need a little bit more time in there.”
Law took control from the outset. He landed a straight right hand 30 seconds into the fight that left Ghareeb flexing his jaw, then took him down with about 3:45 remaining.
He landed a number of strikes, including a strong right hand with 1:40 left in the round.
Round 2 played out in a similar fashion, with Law landing a nice left-right combo early.
He then went for a big uppercut that missed. Law ducked a kick attempt by Ghareeb, a former Division III wrestler with a purple belt in jiu jitsu, and picked up another takedown around the three-minute mark. Ghareeb spent the rest of the round on his back, with Law landing a solid elbow with 1:20 remaining and several shots in the final 20 seconds, although none did much damage.
The third round brought more of the same, with Law employing a ground-and-pound strategy that easily won the round.
“I couldn’t really get my stuff off,” Law said. “I got stuck in guard too much.”
Law said before the fight that taking on a southpaw for the first time would be a learning experience. Afterward, he acknowledged that going the distance is as well.
“It’s important,” he said. “I don’t want to go to decision, but if I’m going to, why not now?”
Law is highly regarded as an up-and-coming star in Bellator, and he was asked when he’ll get a shot at one of the bigger names in the promotion.
“Maybe this year,” he said. “It depends what Bellator has in mind and what my coaches have in mind. I’m ready to fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Law is midway through his six-fight contract with Bellator, and he said he might be able to close out that deal in 2021. Training in South Florida with American Top Team, Law won’t feel outmanned no matter who he takes on in the cage.
“I feel battle-tested,” he said. “I feel like anybody they put me up against, I’ve faced better in practice.”