Fight Facts: Bellator 229

By: Jay Pettry
Oct 8, 2019

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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 Friday took to Temecula, California, with a card offering an unusual broadcasting schedule that had something for everybody. Bellator 229 featured a fighter earning the most submission victories in promotional history, two brothers who won on the same night again and the fastest flying knee finish the organization has seen.

BACKLOADING THE SHOW: With two fights on the prelims and another four on the main card, Bellator 229 featured a whopping seven postliminary matchups. Only two other previous events have featured more postlims than prelims and main card fights combined: Bellator 156 and Bellator 219, both in California, with seven postlims compared to six on the main card and prelims.

SOME OF US HAVE TO WORK IN THE MORNING: Although this card featured seven postlims, it is not the most the company has ever proffered at an event before. Bellator 199 in May 2018 had eight, while Bellator 192 had nine.

I’M NOT SURPRISED …: Five fighters came into Bellator 229 with unblemished records of 3-0 or better: Keri Melendez, Joey Davis, Johnny Eblen, Vladimir Tokov and Jay-Jay Wilson. All five came out with their unbeaten records intact.

GOITI GRACIE: Goiti Yamauchi submitted Saad Awad with an armbar in the first round, earning his seventh submission under the Bellator banner. With the win, he now celebrates the most submission victories in company history, breaking a tie held by five other fighters, including Michael Chandler and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

SUBMITTING PEOPLE IS WAY EASIER: Yamauchi earned his 20th stoppage across 24 victories with his submission of Awad. All but one of his finishes have come by submission, with his lone knockout coming at Bellator 109 in 2013 over Saul Almeida. Yamauchi remains the only person to have ever stopped 31-fight veteran Almeida with strikes.

ASSAILING AN ALARMED AWAD: Awad was forced to submit verbally due to an armbar, making him the second fighter in promotional history to verbally tap to a submission hold. Joe Warren famously was the first, shouting out to a kneebar from Marcos Galvao at Bellator 135 in 2015.

ALAS, POOR AWAD!: The loss was Awad’s ninth inside the Bellator cage, as he recaptured the record for the most defeats in Bellator history.

WHEN I WAS A YOUNG WARTHOG …: When Joe Schilling won the Glory Kickboxing middleweight tournament in September 2013, 12 fighters on this card had yet to take their first pro MMA fight. Unfortunately for Schilling, he lost to Tony Johnson by one-punch knockout.

THE FAMILY TOKOV: For the second time, brothers Anatoly Tokov and Vladimir Tokov appeared on the same card, and for the second time, both brothers won. In each, Anatoly has finished his opponent in the second round, while Vladimir has captured a decision.

THE WRESTLER IS ADAPTING: Joey Davis needed exactly 60 seconds to land a flying knee on Jeff Peterson’s chin, earning the quickest flying knee knockout in promotional history.

BLACK ICE MAKES THEM FALL DOWN: Davis has earned all six of his career victories inside the Bellator cage, and with his fast finish of Peterson, he now holds four first-round knockouts. Only five other fighters in Bellator history have more first-round knockouts than “Black Ice” does: Awad, A.J. McKee, Andrey Koreshkov, Mike Richman and Michael Page.

WIN FOR THE KIWIS: Still early in his career, which began in June 2018, Wilson improved his record to 4-0 with a rear-naked choke of Jorge Juarez. Needing 93 seconds to secure the choke, that fight is now the longest of his career. Wilson has recorded all four of his wins by quick stoppage.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 229, Koreshkov (25 fights), Adel Altamimi (13 fights) and Brandon Hastings (nine fights) had never lost on the scorecards, Juarez had never been submitted (five fights) and Hracho Darpinyan had never been knocked out (27 fights).

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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