Fight Facts: Bellator 237

By: Jay Pettry
Dec 30, 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 ended its year with the promotion’s first trip to Japan and did so inside the home arena of Pride Fighting Championships. Bellator 237 featured stoppage records set all over the card, one of the winningest fighters in company racking up one more victory and the return of the soccer kick knockout.

PRIDEFORCE: This was the first event in organizational history to take place in Japan, going down at the Saitama Super Arena. Bellator has now traveled to nine countries in its over 10-year existence.

THE SPIRIT OF JAPAN: Five bouts ended by clean knockout, tying Bellator 204 for the second-most such KOs at an event in company history. Bellator 170 in 2017 saw six fights end via knockout.

NAKANOMORE-A: Although unrelated, Yusaku Nakamura and Keita Nakamura both competed on Bellator 237. Both men dropped unanimous verdicts.

A RUSSIAN 30-PACK: In the headliner, Fedor Emelianenko laid waste to Quinton Jackson with punches in less than three minutes. Emelianenko recorded his 30th career stoppage by finishing Jackson. Fifteen of those finishes have come by strikes, with the other 15 coming via submission.

PRIDE MAY HAVE VERY WELL DIED: The stoppage marked the first time “Rampage” had been finished with strikes since Mauricio Rua knocked him senseless with soccer kicks in 2005. Out of the 25 other fighters competing on Bellator 237, only three were professionals the last time Jackson was knocked out.

THE OUTLAW IS IN IRONS: Michael Chandler flattened Sidney Outlaw in the opening round to earn his 17th career win inside the Bellator cage. “Iron Mike” now has the second-most wins in company history, with only Patricio Freire holding more (18).

BY BELLATOR, FOR BELLATOR: Chandler’s finish was his 12th under the Bellator banner, setting the record for the most stoppages in organizational history and breaking a tie with Freire and A.J. McKee.

IF ONLY THERE WAS A BELLATOR HALL OF FAME …: The appearance for Chandler was his 22nd in Bellator, tying him with Freire for the second-most all-time. They trail only David Rickels (23).

PAGING DR. VENOM: Michael Page earned his ninth knockout as a Bellator fighter when he stopped Shinsho Anzai with one punch in Round 2. “Venom” joins Douglas Lima and Patricky Freire with the most for any Bellator fighter.

RECYCLING CENTER: Page earned his 10th finish under the Bellator lights, becoming the fifth fighter in company history to accomplish this feat.

MASTER OF THE MYSTIC ARTS: MVP has finished six opponents via clean knockout in Bellator, tying Lima for the most such victories with the organization.

TURN THE PAGE, WASH YOUR HANDS: Page is the first fighter in Bellator history to ever score three consecutive KOs, as he has stopped Richard Kiely, Giovanni Melillo and now Anzai in rapid succession.

GOITI GRACIE: By tapping Daron Cruickshank in the first round, Goiti Yamauchi recorded his eighth Bellator submission win. In doing so, he extended his lead for the most in Bellator history.

A REGULAR FLORIAN: The tapout was Yamauchi’s fifth by rear-naked choke, setting the record for the most such finishes in promotional history.

10-8 ABS: Kana Watanabe remained undefeated as a professional at 9-0-1 when she stopped Ilara Joanne with punches in the third round.

SLOW YET METHODICAL: With 21 seconds left in their bout, Watanabe finished Joanne and earned the fifth-latest stoppage by any female Bellator fighter. It was also the third-latest finish in a women’s non-title bout.

GAMING THE SYSTEM: Both Yamauchi and Lorenz Larkin missed weight by over a pound, and both men defeated their opponents. Each of the last six Bellator fighters to miss weight have won their bouts.

MAKE UP YOUR MIND: While the first six main card bouts aired on traditional Bellator services, the subsequent eight postlims—seven MMA bouts and one kickboxing—were contested under Rizin rules but not televised outside of Japan. Although originally slated to air on the Bellator YouTube page, Rizin officials nixed this plan hours before the event went live due to contractual obligations.

YOU DROPPED THE BALL … AND HE KICKED IT: In the last postlim, Yusuke Yachi smashed Hiroto Uesako with punches and a devastating soccer kick to earn the knockout in the third round. The finish was not the first via soccer kick knockout in Bellator history. A.J. Matthews previously punted Charlie Rader at Bellator 70 in 2012.

KANNA KIMURA: Kanna Asakura hit Jayne Hinshaw with a kimura in Round 3, landing the second submission of its kind in Bellator women’s divisional history. Kaline Medeiros tapped Sarah Payant with the first one at Bellator 140 in 2015.

I’M LITERALLY GRASPING AT STRAWS: The bout between Jarred Brooks and Haruo Ochi was contested inside the men’s strawweight division, making their meeting the second between men in Bellator to take place below 125 pounds. The first came at Bellator 138 in 2015, when Miles McDonald tapped Dan O'Connor with a rear-naked choke.

ACHILLES’ LAST STAND: Shoma Shibisai submitted Sergey Shemetov with an Achilles lock 49 seconds into the first round. The maneuver was the fourth in organizational history, with two now coming by heavyweights and the other two at 170 pounds.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 237, Ryuichiro Sumimura (21 fights) had never been knocked out, Hinshaw (seven fights) had never been submitted and Yusaku Nakamura (23 fights) had never lost on the scorecards.

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