Fight Facts: Bellator 238

By: Jay Pettry
Jan 28, 2020

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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 Saturday kicked off 2020 with a stellar card that carried major implications at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Bellator 238 featured the first title change in the company’s women’s featherweight division, an impressive performance in the featherweight grand prix quarterfinals and a plethora of unconscious fighters by night’s end.

SLEEP NOW IN THE FIRE: Bellator 238 was the seventh event in organizational history to feature multiple technical submissions. Sergio Pettis and Emilee King put Alfred Khashakyan and Ava Knight to sleep with chokes.

MAWWIAGE IS WHAT BWINGS US TOGEVAH TODAY: Jason King and his wife, Emilee, competed on the main card of this event, making them the first married couple to ever fight at the same Bellator event. While Emilee emerged victorious, Jason lost by first-round knockout.

YOUR TURN, CEJUDO: Cristiane Justino is the first fighter in MMA history to ever win belts with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Strikeforce, Invicta Fighting Championships and Bellator.

BELLAFORCE SPECIAL: “Cyborg” also became the first fighter, male or female, to win belts with the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator. The only other fighter to garner titles in both the UFC and Bellator was Eddie Alvarez, who did so first with Bellator in 2009. In addition, Dan Henderson won a tournament championship with the UFC, as well as belts in Strikeforce and Pride Fighting Championships. Gegard Mousasi captured gold with Strikeforce, Bellator and Dream.

I AM THE CAPTAIN NOW: “Cyborg” in victory became the second women’s featherweight champion in Bellator history. Budd initially earned the belt at Bellator 174 in 2017, when she knocked out Marloes Coenen.

BUILT FOR DESTRUCTION: Justino’s stoppage of Budd was her 18th, lifting her impressive finish rate to 82 percent. All 18 of her finishes have come by knockout.

THOSE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS: With Justino scoring the finish at 1:14 of the fourth round, the bout was the 11th in organizational history to end in Round 4. Budd and Michael Chandler are the only two fighters to be involved in multiple fourth-round stoppages. Both won one and lost the other.

NOBODY MAKES ME BLEED MY OWN BLOOD: Budd’s defeat was her first since Ronda Rousey submitted her at Strikeforce Challengers 20 in November 2011. At that time, only seven of the other 29 fighters on this card had made their professional debuts.

EASY TO LEARN, TOUGH TO MASTER: With both of her previous stoppage losses coming in 14 seconds and 39 seconds, the bout with Justino was the first one Budd lost that went at least 40 seconds.

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, INTO THE OTHER FRYING PAN: By defeating Adam Borics, Darrion Caldwell advanced to the semifinals of the featherweight grand prix. He will take on another undefeated fighter in A.J. McKee at a date to-be-determined. Both of the bouts on the other side of the bracket will go down at Bellator 241 in March.

DARRION GRACIE: The rear-naked choke finish marked the sixth time Caldwell has submitted an opponent under the Bellator banner, tying him with five other fighters for the second-most submission victories in promotional history. Only Goiti Yamauchi (eight) holds more.

PERFECT NO MORE: Borics suffered his first career defeat after 15 fights when he tapped to Caldwell’s choke. Prior to the loss, “The Kid” had won each of his first 14 bouts, including five with Bellator. Only three went the distance.

CHANGE IN COMPETITION: For the first time in 10 outings, a Pettis fight ended inside the distance, win or lose, as he put out Khashakyan with a guillotine choke. The last time Pettis stopped an opponent came at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 8 in 2013, when he tapped James Porter with a kimura in the first round. Pettis secured all nine of his UFC wins by judges’ verdict—a record for the most wins without a finish.

THE KING LORDS OVER THE KNIGHT: After lifting her record to 4-4 by rendering Knight unconscious with a rear-naked choke, King has both won and lost three bouts by submission and one on the scorecards.

MR. MIYAGI WOULD BE PROUD: Ricardo Seixas put away Dominick Clark with a front kick and follow-up punches in 34 seconds. He is the first fighter in Bellator history to finish his opponent with a front kick.

PICOSLAMMED: In eight career fights, Aaron Pico has still yet to fight beyond the second round after knocking out Daniel Carey 15 seconds into the second frame. All five of his wins have come by knockout.

HEY HEY, JAY-JAY: Jay-Jay Wilson improved his undefeated record to 5-0 by submitting Mario Navarro with an armbar. Each of his five victories have come by stoppage.

MIGUEL JACOB’S LADDER: By taking a decision over David Pacheco, Miguel Jacob Elmokdisi Neto advanced to 4-0, and all four of those wins have come on the scorecards. Both of his amateur bouts also went the distance.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 238, Brandon Bender had never lost by decision (13 fights), Adel Altamimi had never been submitted (14 fights) and Wilson had never competed beyond the first round (four fights).

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