Training out of Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA gym in Westlake Village, California, United States, Ryan “The Lion” Lilley, 29, of Thousand Oaks, California was one of the winners at “Bellator 214.” It marked his Bellator MMA debut.
Featuring 14 mixed martial arts matches, “Bellator 214” took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 26, 2019. In the third bout of the evening, Lilley faced James “Mooka” Barnes, 36, of Los Angeles, California in the bantamweight division.
Referee Jason Herzog put a stop to the bantamweight bout between Lilley and Barnes after 1 minute and 3 seconds in the first round. The Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA athlete knocked out his opponent via head kick.
The loss downgraded Barnes’ professional MMA record to 11 wins and 4 losses. On the other hand, Lilley now has 10 wins and 4 losses.
“Bellator 214” marked the eighth time Lilley finished a professional MMA bout in the first round. It was also the fifth time he knocked out his opponent in a professional MMA bout.
The Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA fighter has been competing since 2013. He turned professional in 2016.
In 2012, Lilley went to a bar in Thousand Oaks to watch a UFC fight and met a woman who trained at Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA. Now, he is a proud protege of the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas “El Guapo” Rutten, 53, who is originally from the Netherlands but now resides in Westlake Village.
“What he tells me just gives me so much confidence,” Lilley said of Rutten in an interview with My MMA News. “He’s been there for me since day one. Losing my mom and dad and having him in my life, it’s pretty cool to have.”
Lilley is someone who hates losing. The last time he lost was on September 7, 2018 when he was knocked out by Raufeon “Supa” Stots, 30, of Houston, Texas, USA at “LFA 48” at the Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska, USA.
“I’m very competitive,” Lilley told Combat Press. “I always knew I was going to be great at something and I found what I’m great at.”
Here is a clip from Lilley’s victorious Bellator MMA debut: