Fight Facts: Bellator 226

By: Jay Pettry
Sep 10, 2019

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all 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 returned to San Jose, California, with a card jam-packed with fights. Bellator 226 featured the most submissions in promotional history, a few ultra-rare maneuvers being executed and an unfortunate ending to a long night.

PROGRAMMING OVERKILL: Bellator 226 featured 20 MMA bouts throughout the seven-hour night. Although a few events in Bellator history featured more total fights when adding kickboxing matches, this is the highest number of MMA contests put on at any Bellator card. Bellator 199 and Bellator 223 previously had 19 each.

CAN’T TAP FAST ENOUGH: Bellator 226 had nine bouts end via submission, technical or otherwise, setting the record for the most in company history. No previous event has had more than eight.

JUST GETTING STARTED: The Bellator welterweight grand prix had every fight go five five-minute rounds, but in the opening round of the featherweight tournament, all but one will last three five-minute rounds. The lone exception is Patricio Freire-Juan Archuleta, as “Pitbull” will be attempting to defend his featherweight strap throughout. Once they reach the quarterfinals, the remaining fights will be five-round affairs.

KINGSLAYERS: Two former Bellator featherweight champions were ejected from the tournament after suffering defeats at this event. The only remaining competitor in the field who has held the belt previously is current two-division king Freire, who will be putting the belt on the line each time he fights.

CASS AND CAREY: Two fighters -- Daniel Carey and Cass Bell -- scored technical submission victories when they put their opponents to sleep with guillotine chokes. This event is one of six in promotional history to have multiple technical submission victories in a night. It is the second to have two by guillotine, along with Bellator 200.

NOW WE HAVE TO RUN IT BACK …: For the third time in Bellator history, a main event ended in a no-contest, as Ryan Bader accidentally poked Cheick Kongo in the eye. The first came at Bellator 59, where Thiago Santos landed a groin strike on Eric Prindle. The next came at Bellator 215, where Matt Mitrione did the same to Sergei Kharitonov. Of note, the Bellator 133 headliner is also now listed as a no-contest, as it was overturned later after Alexander Shlemenko failed a post-fight drug test.

‘THE KID’ IS BECOMING ‘THE MAN’: With less than a second left at the end of Round 2, Adam Borics finished former champ Pat Curran with strikes. Borics improved his unbeaten record to 14-0, and all five of his Bellator appearances have ended by stoppage.

LIKE THE MOTHER IN ‘BRAZIL’: Pedro Carvalho advanced in the featherweight grand prix by securing a face crank submission on Sam Sicilia. This was the second submission of this type performed in Bellator. Justin Tenedora executed the first against Roque Reyes at Bellator 172 in 2017.

‘AIR’ WAS GROUNDED: Emmanuel Sanchez became the first fighter to ever defeat Tywan Claxton when he tapped him with a triangle choke. Prior to this fight, Claxton had won all five of his appearances -- each taking place in Bellator -- with four knockouts.

BOLANOS BUSTED: Gaston Bolanos closed as a massive -1200 favorite against Carey in the Bellator 226 main card opener, but the +775 Carey put him to sleep with a guillotine choke in the first round. From a betting perspective, this is slightly less significant than Matt Serra finishing the -1300 Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69 in 2007.

DIAPHRAGM EXCAVATOR: In being forced to tap out after catching a knee and several follow-up shots, Jonathan Adams became the first flyweight in company history to tap to strikes. Prior to this, only one fighter below featherweight had ever submitted to strikes: Joe Warren against Shawn Bunch at Bellator 210.

IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT, DON’T LOOK IT UP: In a postliminary match, Albert Gonzales threw a leg kick that struck Tyson Miller in the knee, instantly snapping the bones in Gonzales’ leg in a gruesome injury. This horrible scene was reminiscent of other similar occasions in the past, including Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman and Corey Hill-Dale Hartt in MMA and Tyrone Spong-Gokhan Saki in kickboxing.

BULLDOGS ON PARADE: Pulling off a submission never before seen inside the Bellator cage, Batsumberel Dagvadorj tapped James Terry with a bulldog choke. An unusual submission maneuver, we have seen it performed a few times by the likes of Ben Askren (against Robbie Lawler at UFC 235), Jon Fitch (against Brian Foster at PFL “Daytona” in 2017) and Carlos Newton (against Pat Miletich at UFC 31 in 2001).

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 226, Curran (31 fights) had never been knocked out, four fighters had never been defeated and four others had never been submitted.

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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