Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of 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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TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR FIGHTS: 2,711
TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR EVENTS: 246
Bellator MMA put its first belt up for grabs since the coronavirus pandemic with one of the company’s two-division champs returning to his old stomping ground. Bellator 244 featured a shocking end result for a dominant figure with the organization, the grim reminder that Father Time is undefeated and the return to form for a great ex-champ.
AN ELIMINAT0R: Five fighters came into Bellator 244 with perfect records: Yaroslav Amosov, Weber Almeida, Christopher Gonzalez, Vladimir Tokov and Lucas Brennan. The only fighter to lose on the card was Tokov, as he faced Gonzalez and dropped a split verdict.
NUCLEAR NEMKOV: Vadim Nemkov laid waste to Ryan Bader with a head kick and follow-up punches to claim the light heavyweight throne. Across his 12 career wins, the Russian has finished his opponent in 11 of those victories.
THE PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE: Before facing Nemkov, Bader last put his 205-pound strap on the line at Bellator 186 in 2017. Between that match with Linton Vassell and this one with Nemkov, 25 championship fights have taken place inside the promotion.
UNKIND BUDD: By taking a decision over Jessy Miele, Julia Budd earned her fifth win on the scorecards in the Bellator cage. In doing so, she tied Zoila Frausto for the most decision wins for any female Bellator fighter.
BUT WHO CAN SHE FIGHT NEXT? : Budd rebounded from her first loss under the Bellator banner by beating Miele to earn her eighth victory with the promotion. She only trails flyweight queen Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, who has posted 10 wins across her 10 Bellator fights.
LIKE MISSING HEAVYWEIGHT: The match was a catchweight as Miele missed weight, so the bout originally scheduled for 145 pounds is the seventh in promotional history to take place above the highest women’s weight category. The heaviest came at Bellator 129, in the form of a 168-pound catchweight between Jozette Cotton and Holly Lawson.
A TYPICAL ROY FIGHT: By losing to Valentin Moldavsky on Friday, Roy Nelson joined former lightweight contender Roger Huerta and fellow big men Eric Prindle and Josh Burns as one of just four fighters to drop five straight fights in Bellator. However, the 44-year-old “Big Country” has done them all one better—or worse—by amassing a single losing streak, while the others did it across multiple stints in the promotion, with other fights in between.
HUFFING AND PUFFING TO THE BELL: With four decisions across his five Bellator wins, Moldavsky has already taken the third most decisions in Bellator heavyweight history. Only Cole Konrad (five) and Cheick Kongo (seven) have won more judges’ verdicts in the highest men’s weight category.
FIRST-NAME BASIS: Nelson suffered his 16th career defeat at the hands of the judges. All of the other 21 fighters on the card combine for 26 decision losses; leading up to this card, Nelson had 15 setbacks on the scorecards compared to 21 for the rest on Bellator 244.
ALL THESE FLAVORS… In the third round, John Salter tapped out Andrew Kapel with an arm-triangle choke. This is Salter’s 17th stoppage victory among his 18 wins, lifting his finish rate up to 94 percent.
…AND YOU CHOOSE TO BE SALTY: Salter put himself in a seven-way tie for the second-most submission wins in promotional history by submitting Kapel. Goiti Yamauchi is the submission king, with eight throughout his Bellator tenure.
WHY WAS HE ON THE PRELIMS? : Amosov boosted his spotless record to 24-0 by stopping Mark Lemminger at the end of the first round, while recording his 19th career finish. The only fighter with a superior unblemished record in major competition is Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0).
NU-MACHIDA KARATE: Almeida put down Salim Mukhidinov in the first round with punches to earn his fourth knockout across his four career fights. He has never needed to go beyond the 20 second mark of the second frame.
THE FUTURE OF TAM: Gonzalez rose to 5-0 by edging Tokov by a narrow split decision, and across his five wins, four have gone the distance. The Team Alpha Male product started his career with a tapout, and since then, has won four fights in Bellator all by decision.
THE FORCE IS WITH YOU, YOUNG SKYWALKER: Brennan earned his first career knockout victory when he stopped Will Smith with strikes in the second. It marked the first time “Skywalker” had ever needed to fight out of the first round, with all three of his wins coming by stoppage.
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 244, Vladimir Tokov had never been defeated (five fights), Vladyslav Parubchenko had never lost on the scorecards (16 fights) and Smith had never been finished (four fights).