Fight Facts: Bellator 235, Bellator 236

By: Jay Pettry
Dec 24, 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 Friday and Saturday visited Hawaii for a doubleheader that had its fair share of stumbles. The Bellator 235-Bellator 236 twin bill in Honolulu featured a slew of unbeaten fighters who kept it rolling, a champion who continues to set records and an unfortunate fight-night withdrawal.

NO SURPRISES: Five fighters came in to these events with undefeated records of 5-0 or better, and all five escaped with them intact.

STILL NO EXCUSE: All three fighters that missed weight over these two shows—Toby Misech, Alejandra Lara and Swayne Makana Lunasco—won in dominant fashion. Two of those three came in over five pounds above the bantamweight limit.

Bellator 235

WHY ARE YOU THE WAY THAT YOU ARE?: Misech starched Erik Perez in the impromptu Bellator 235 headliner, becoming the first man to finish Perez with strikes in his 26-fight career, which includes nine appearances in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

DANCING AND COUNTING: By capturing a decision over Veta Arteaga, Lara earned her ninth career victory. She holds four knockout wins, three by submission and now two on the scorecards. She has only been finished once as a professional.

‘BLACK ICE’ IS SLICK: Joey “Black Ice” Davis finished Chris Cisneros with first-round punches to improve his unblemished record to 7-0. Five of those wins have come by knockout, with all five occurring in the opening frame.

RODE OUT THE STORM: After 15 minutes, Joseph Creer handed Jered Gwerder his first career defeat. All four of Gwerder’s previous wins came by first-round knockout, with no fight lasting longer than 2:22.

GREEN WITH ENVY: For the first time in his career, Cass Bell not only had to go into the third round but the full distance. Bell beat Pierre Daguzan by decision.

IS IT A HEAVYWEIGHT PROBLEM?: On the night of the event, original headliner Josh Barnett fell ill and was not medically cleared by the commission. This fight-night cancellation is reminiscent of several other fighters who fell out of bouts hours before competing, including Matt Mitrione, Stefan Struve and Kevin Randleman.

Bellator 236

SOUNDS GOOD IN THEORY: On the 236 main card, the final five bouts of the night closed with betting odds. Each favorite was a minimum of -420, and a five-fight underdog parlay bet of $10 would have netted approximately $56,521 if each underdog scored a victory. Not a single underdog won.

MAYBE CARMOUCHE CAN STAND A CHANCE: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane advanced her undefeated record to 11-0 when she blanked Kate Jackson over five rounds. It was the third time to date that she has reached the scorecards, but she had never gone five full rounds.

THE MACFARLANE ERA: The victorious flyweight title defense for Macfarlane was her fourth, and she now owns the most successful consecutive championship defenses in Bellator history, along with Ben Askren.

AHEAD OF THE PACK: Macfarlane has won 10 bouts inside the Bellator cage, further bolstering her records of any female fighter in Bellator: most fights (10), most wins (10), longest winning streak (10), most title defenses (four) and most wins in title fights (five).

A.J. GETS AN A: A.J. McKee won his 16th bout in as many attempts by tapping Derek Campos with a third-round armbar. All 16 of his appearances have come under the Bellator banner.

HONORARY ‘PITBULL’: With his win, McKee tied Michael Chandler for the second-most victories in company history. Only Patricio Freire holds more (18).

‘MANDINGO’ HE IS NOT: The armbar was McKee’s 11th stoppage under the Bellator lights, tying him with Chandler and Freire for the most in organizational history. McKee accomplished this feat faster than the two before him, with Chandler needing 19 appearances and Freire needing 21.

HE WANTS TO FIGHT EVERYONE: McKee earned a spot in the featherweight tournament semifinals by coming out on top, and he will next face the winner of Adam Borics vs. Darrion Caldwell. Those two will square off in January 2020.

LONG IN THE TOOTH: Sixteen-fight Bellator vet Campos made his walk to the cage with as much experience with the promotion as all 18 of the fighters competing earlier in the night put together (18 Bellator bouts).

CRUDDY FOR CAMPOS: The loss was Campos’ eighth as a Bellator fighter, tying him with Georgi Karakhanyan for the second-most in organizational history. Saad Awad holds the unfortunate distinction of suffering 10 defeats in the Bellator cage.

CAIN ONLY GOT TO 9-0: In taking a decision over Bruna Ellen, Juliana Velasquez lifted her record to 10-0. It includes five wins inside the Bellator cage. The only female fighters with more wins than Velasquez are Macfarlane, Julia Budd (seven), Arlene Blencowe (six) and Zoila Frausto (six).

PRETTY ZANY: Zach Zane won the first fight in his career by decision when he defeated Nainoa Dung. The previous 13 wins in Zane’s career all came by stoppage, including 10 via tapout.

LIKE HIS STRINGS GOT CUT: On the lone postliminary match, Chas Dunhour leveled Nate Yoshimura with an elbow in the second round. Dunhour picked up the fifth knockout in flyweight history and the first in Round 2. It marked only the third time a single elbow has rendered a Bellator fighter unconscious.

I WANNA BE A ROBOT: After tapping Kealii Kanekoa with a rear-naked choke, all four of Benjamin Wilhelm’s career wins have come by tapout.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellators 235 and Bellator 236, Gwerder (four fights), Braydon Akeo (three fights) and Dung (three fights) had never been defeated, Arteaga had never dropped consecutive bouts (eight fights) and Scott Hao had never been finished (six fights).

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