Louis Taylor Dominates at Bellator 84


by Matt Lo Cascio

Welcome back, Louis Taylor. It’s safe to say that Chicago fight fans have missed you. Taylor posted a dominant, knockout win over Joe Vedepo at Bellator 84 in Hammond, Indiana on Friday night.

Taylor had fought just twice since his Strikeforce loss to Joe Riggs in August, 2010. But on Friday he looked like the fighter that wowed fans for years at local shows like Adrenaline, TFC, HFC and C3. After Taylor’s Bellator win, there shouldn’t be any prolonged absence from the cage in 2013. Simply put, Louis Taylor is back.

Taylor struck first in the fight with an outside trip that sent Vedepo to the ground, and Taylor quickly took his back. Vedepo was able to get up, but Taylor used the same move to send him right back down.

After a tape malfunction on Taylor’s right glove was corrected, Taylor yet again employed an outside trip to get Vedepo to the ground.

Louis Taylor vs. Joe Vedepo at Bellator 84With just less than a minute to go in the first round, Taylor threw a series of body and head combos from inside Vedepo’s half-guard. The third shot to Vedepo’s face — a quick, short right-hand — knocked him out. Instead of piling on the punishment, Taylor postured up and put his arms out to signify to referee Gary Copeland that Vedepo was out. The end came at 4:12.

“Short right-hand, scorched him, and (Taylor) looked at the referee like, “I think this is over,” commentator Jimmy Smith said. “Like a boss, man. Love that!”

Play by play man Sean Wheelock added, “Pure class from Louis Taylor. He knew that Vedepo was unconscious, looked at the referee Gary Copeland to stop the fight and did not throw another punch.”

As to why he didn’t keep throwing shots at Vedepo even though the ref hadn’t stopped the fight, Taylor said, “I knew I had the knockout. That’s all I needed.”

Chicago Fight Team’s Roberto Ramirez predicted this type of performance to Chicago’s MMA writer LJ Tabano earlier this week.

“We have been working with Lou and his overall game especially his footwork and boxing,” said Ramirez.  “Our new boxing coach Hector Ramirez (no relation) used to be a coach at Windy City Boxing and has been working with Lou for this fight.  In his last loss we saw some things that we needed to work on and I believe there will be a big difference in his overall MMA game come fight night.”

Taylor credited both Hector and Roberto Ramirez in his post-fight interview.

“Luckily I was able to get that right hand over the top, thanks to my boxing instructor Hector Ramirez and Chicago Fight Team,” Taylor said.

Here’s hoping Taylor gets back into the cage early and often when the new year rolls in.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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