By the Numbers: John Salter vs. Costello van Steenis

By: Mark Raymundo
Nov 8, 2019

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In only his fifth Bellator MMA fight, Costello van Steenis finds himself in the main event. He will go up against John Salter, who is fresh off a successful headliner in which he submitted Chidi Njokuani. As they get their respective game plans ready for Bellator 233, learn more about these combatants through some of their career-defining numbers.

Age and years of experience

The older of the two middleweights, 34-year-old John Salter was born on March 31, 1985. He is also the more experienced combatant, having debuted professionally at King of the Cage on March 27, 2009. That’s a decade of experience for the Dethrone Base Camp representative, including a three-fight UFC stint. He also fought in Strikeforce once, after which he challenged Kalib Starnes for the Aggression Fighting Championship middleweight strap in Canada and won with a second round TKO.

Born on July 26, 1992, van Steenis is now 27 years old. He made his professional debut in his home country of the Netherlands on April 5, 2014. Since then, he fought in Belgium, England and Poland before getting his biggest break in Bellator.

Bellator experience

Van Steenis first appeared in Bellator on Oct. 20, 2017, winning via TKO over Steve Skrzat at Bellator 185. After four fights in the promotion, he remains undefeated. He scored another TKO over Kevin Fryer before picking up a huge split decision victory over dangerous veteran Chris Honeycutt. In his last fight, he tallied yet another TKO opposite fellow young gun Mike Shipman.

Salter has been fighting in Bellator since Jan. 16, 2015, when he submitted Dustin Jacoby in the second round. He holds impressive victories over the likes of Brandon Halsey, Kendall Grove and, most recently, Chidi Njokuani. His overall Bellator record stands at 6-1.

Wins by knockout

Of Salter’s 16 career wins, seven have come via KO or TKO. His lone Bellator KO was at the expense of Claudio Annicchiarico, whom Salter knocked out less than two minutes into their Bellator 168 encounter. Van Steenis, on the other hand, owns four wins by KO or TKO. More impressive is the fact that three of those were in Bellator, against Skrzat, Fryer and Shipman.

Wins by submission

So far, all of Salter’s victories have come via stoppage. An accomplished grappler with a black belt in jiu-jitsu, he boasts nine wins by submission, five of which occurred in Bellator. As for van Steenis, he has submitted five opponents. In the event that he taps out Salter, it would be his first submission victory in Bellator competition.

Career losses

Van Steenis has lost only once in 13 professional fights. That lone blemish in his career was dealt by Jake Bostwick at the England-based Phoenix Fight Night. In Round 2 of their bout, the half-Dutch, half-Filipino suffered a fractured eye socket but managed to fight through it, eventually losing by decision. Meanwhile, Salter has lost four times in his career. He was knocked out by Gerald Harris and submitted by Rafael Lovato, Dan Miller and Reggie Pena.

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