Fight Facts: Bellator 225

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 26, 2019

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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 staged an incredible first event under the jurisdiction of the Connecticut Boxing Commission. Bellator 225 was composed entirely of finishes, the fastest submission in company history and the rare occurrence in which every single betting favorite came out on top.

A CUT ABOVE: All 14 bouts at Bellator 225 ended before the final bell. Only three cards in promotional history have kept every fight out of the hands of the judges, with Bellator 36 and Bellator 168 being the others. However, Bellator 36 in 2011 was comprised of seven total fights, while Bellator 168 in 2016 included five MMA bouts.

NO ONE’S EVER DONE THAT: Across modern major MMA organizational history, no event from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting or Strikeforce had ever featured that many fights ending before the judges got involved.

THE HEAVIES: In those major promotions, UFC Fight Night 55 in 2014 featured 11 fights with 11 finishes -- the highest number of stoppages at a modern UFC event. While UFC 2 featured 15 fights all ending before the final horn, there were no time limits or judges to otherwise conclude those fights. The most in Pride came at Pride 28 in 2004, with nine fights that all ended by stoppage. At WEC 14 in 2005, all 13 fights ended before the final horn, although one was declared a no-contest due to an accidental headbutt. Two Strikeforce events each had 10 pro fights that ended in a finish: Strikeforce “Tank vs. Buentello” in 2006 and Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg” in 2011.

WORLDWIDE MMA: While KSW had one event -- KSW 2 in 2004 -- in which every fight was a finish, several other major organizations have not. No World Series of Fighting-Professional Fighters League, Rizin Fighting Federation, Dream or Invicta Fighting Championships shows to date have had finishes in every fight on their respective cards.

IF ONLY THEY HAD MORE FIGHTS BILLED: This event tied Bellator 199 for the second-most finishes at one show in company history. Only Bellator 157 in 2016 had more, as 15 of its 16 fights ended via stoppage.

FRENETIC PACE: With 14 finishes in total, the results were split down the middle, with seven fights ending by tapout and another seven ending via strikes.

THEY KEPT SAYING ‘MATTE’: Seven competitors were forced to tap on the card, tying four other events for the third-most submissions at a single Bellator show.

GOING BACK TO WHERE IT STARTED: From Jon Manley's rear-naked choke of Thiago Rela to Yaroslav Amosov’s brabo choke of David Rickels, five consecutive submissions were performed in the Bellator cage at one point. This was the first time we have seen five straight submissions since Bellator 1 in 2009, when we saw a triangle choke, an armbar and three rear-naked chokes.

BOOKIES NAILED IT: Of the eight fights with available betting odds for Bellator 225, seven odds-on favorites won and managed to finish their respective foes. The lone pick-’em fight was the main event, where Sergei Kharitonov and Matt Mitrione both closed at -110.

WE DO HAVE WEIGHT CLASSES FOR A REASON: Although no fighter missed weight, this event featured five bouts slated at catchweights outside of standard weight classes -- one shy of the record set at Bellator 178. Bellator 225 tied Bellator 182 for the second-highest number of previously scheduled catchweight contests on a card.

WHO SAID MITRIONE HAD THE STRIKING ADVANTAGE?: Kharitonov knocked out Mitrione in the second round to record the victory and in doing so earned his 27th stoppage in 29 wins to increase his sky-high finish rate to 93.1 percent.

NO NEED TO DRAG THINGS OUT: Vitaly Minakov dispatched Timothy Johnson in less than two minutes, earning his 20th career finish across his 22 wins and 14th inside the opening round. He has only gone the distance three times, including twice against Cheick Kongo.

HEY, LIGHTHEAD! HEY, CHRISTMAS TREE!: Amosov remained unbeaten at 22-0 when he tapped Rickels in the second round. The only fighter with a better undefeated record than “Dynamo” in any major MMA promotion is UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0).

LIKE LEARNING YOUR ALPHA BRABO CHARLIE’S: In utilizing a brabo choke to secure the finish, Amosov earned the third-latest submission of its kind in promotional history. The only two to come later were Derrick Adkins over Chris Jones 4:09 into Round 2 at Bellator 166 in 2016 and Frans Mlambo over Nathan Greyson 4:22 into the second round at Bellator 223. No Bellator fighter has scored a brabo choke win after the second stanza.

BUILDING THE BELLATOR BRAND: Tyrell Fortune advanced to 7-0 with his submission over Rudy Schaffroth, scoring his fifth finish in those fights. All seven wins have come under the Bellator banner.

NEWELL WORLD ORDER: Nick Newell forced Corey Browning to submit with a first-round arm-triangle choke in his promotional debut. Thirteen of his 16 career wins have come by finish, including 11 by tapout. This was his first by arm-triangle. He has now submitted opponents in six different ways.

CALL ME ‘MR. VANZANT’ … I DARE YOU: Austin Vanderford scored a doctor stoppage victory at the end of the second round when Joseph Creer was unable to continue due to cuts. This improved his record to 8-0. He has finished six of those eight opponents within two rounds.

HOMISSILE: Needing only 17 seconds to finish Micah Terrill, Sabah Homasi laid waste to his opponent to score the fourth-fastest knockout in Bellator welterweight history.

IMANARI WARRIOR: By hitting an Imanari roll to secure a heel hook in only 11 seconds, Aviv Gozali landed the fastest submission in Bellator history. Notably, Wendle Lewis tapped to strikes in nine seconds against Justin Burlinson at Bellator 223, but those types of stoppages are officially ruled technical knockouts via submission to strikes.

PALHARES WOULD BE JEALOUS: Across the major promotions mentioned earlier, no fighter has ever successfully landed a leg-based submission quicker than Gozali over Eduard Muravitskiy. Justin Martin tapped Eric Martin with a heel hook in 14 seconds at UFC 12 in 1997. Ikuhisa Minowa submitted Stefan Leko with a 27-second heel hook at Pride Shockwave 2004. It took 43 seconds for Dan Molina to hit Rafael del Real with a heel hook at WEC 23 in 2006. Edson Berto needed 47 seconds to heel hook Victor Valenzuela at Strikeforce-EliteXC “Shamrock vs. Baroni” in 2007. Masakatsu Funaki gave Minowa a quick heel hook loss of his own in 52 seconds at Dream 6 in 2008. Finally, Tomasz Narkun forced the tap to kneebar from Charles Andrade in 62 seconds at KSW 27 in 2014.

EIGHT DOWN FOR ED: Muravitskiy started his career at 8-1 with eight stoppage victories, with his lone blemish being a split decision loss in 2012. After his submission defeat to Gozali, he has dropped eight consecutive bouts.

THE GRACIE TARGET: Oscar Vera was submitted by Khonry Gracie via first-round armbar in the card opener. Vera has now tapped out to an armbar in both of his professional fights, and both losses have come to Gracies.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 225, Schaffroth (seven fights) and Creer (seven fights) had never been defeated, David Rickels had never been submitted (28 fights) and Mike Kimbel (four fights) and Ahmet Kayretli (12 fights) had never been knocked out.

NOW HE’S BACK ON HIS FEET: Kharitonov elected to use the ever-popular “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor as his walk-in track and went on to score a knockout of Mitrione. It is one of the most frequently used walkout songs over in the UFC, where at least 17 different fighters have used that song throughout the promotion’s history.

WE ARE ALL GENKI: Doing his best Genki Sudo impression with a helmet-mask combo inspired by Buckethead and a “We Are All One” flag carried by a teammate, Rickels entered with “What is Love” by Haddaway playing behind him. However, he was unable to live up to the greatness of his entrance and lost by submission.

HE WAS LOOKING FOR A SOUL TO STEAL: Vanderford walked out to an unusual choice of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band and finished Creer. In seven recorded uses of songs by The Charlie Daniels Band in the UFC, no fighter has ever won after entering to the band.

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working 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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