Fight Facts: Bellator 217

By: Jay Pettry
Feb 25, 2019

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Bellator MMA on Saturday brought a fight card to Dublin that was jam-packed with local fighters, with great results. Bellator 217 featured a rear-naked choke artist putting one more notch in his belt, a fighter who has scored three first-round knockouts in his first three Bellator appearances and a rare doctor stoppage in the women’s divisions.

LIKE THE OLD DAYS OF PRIDE: In taking its event to Dublin, the promotion placed 11 different fighters from SBG Ireland and its affiliates on the card to compete against others from around the world. SBG fighters went 8-3, with seven finishes.

NOT SLOWING DOWN: Earlier this year, Bellator 214 featured 12 first-round stoppages, and Bellator Newcastle produced nine more. This event also had nine first-round finishes, tying Bellator 199 and Bellator Newcastle for the third-most first-round finishes at an event in promotional history.

TIME TO CULTIVATE MASS: For the first time since Bellator 204 in August, no fighter above middleweight competed at this event.

BUILD THAT DIVISION: With two women’s featherweight bouts scheduled for Bellator 217, this event became the first since Bellator 174 in 2017 to hold multiple bouts at that weight class and the fourth in company history.

WAY TO BOUNCE BACK: James Gallagher tapped Stephen Graham halfway through the first round. In his eight victories, he has submitted seven opponents, all with chokes.

REAR-NAKED JAMES: With Gallagher’s win coming by way of rear-naked choke, he earned his fourth submission of that type in the Bellator cage, tying him for the most all-time with Goiti Yamauchi and John Salter.

ONE-PUNCH WARD: By flattening Jamie Stephenson with one punch at 34 seconds into the first round, Charlie Ward became the second fighter in Bellator history to score three first-round knockouts in his first three appearances, joining Raphael Butler.

BALANCING ACT: Paul Redmond defeated Charlie Leary by decision and earned his 15th career win. In those 15 victories, “Redser” has knocked out five opponents, submitted five more and beaten five others on the scorecards.

TAKE YOUR HAT OFF: In forcing the doctors to intervene on Dutch kickboxer Hatice Ozyurt and call a stop to their bout at the end of the first round, Leah McCourt picked up the fourth doctor stoppage technical knockout in Bellator women’s divisional history.

PROPS FOR TRYING: Starting her career with two decision wins over Lena Buytendijk in 2009 and 2011, Ozyurt has since gone on to lose her next seven MMA bouts by stoppage.

MAKING PROGRESS: When she beat Iony Razafiarison, Olga Rubin picked up her fourth win in the women’s featherweight division, tying Arlene Blencowe for the second-most Bellator victories in the weight class. They trail champion Julia Budd, although one of Blencowe’s bouts was at a catchweight when her opponent came in heavy.

THREE AND THREE: In defeating Razafiarison by decision, Rubin remained unbeaten at 6-0, with half of her wins coming by technical knockout within two rounds and the other half by unanimous decision.

READY FOR ANOTHER LESSON?: Both Ozyurt and Shaun Taylor missed weight for this event and both lost by stoppage. Following their losses, eight of the last 10 Bellator fighters to miss weight have lost.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 217, Adam Gustab had never lost by decision (six fights), Taylor had never been submitted (nine fights) and Ruben Crawford had never competed in Ireland (19 fights).

Contributing Editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012, and writing for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on Twitter at @jaypettry.

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