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: 2,799
TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR EVENTS: 253
Bellator MMA welcomed a huge new signee to its roster against a longstanding, feared name of the sport at Bellator 251. The new man instantly staked his claim towards the top of the division, challenging all comers at the end of a somewhat uneven card. The event featured a glorious soccer kick knockout, a heavyweight prospect struggling to shed that label and an unusual distinction for a Bellator veteran.
Prototypical Glass Cannon: Losing by knockout due to elbows against Corey Anderson, only six of Melvin Manhoef’s 50 career fights (12 percent) have ever reached the scorecards, win or lose. Just two of his last 10 fights have gone the distance dating back to 2014.
Say It Ain’t Sowma: Taking a contentious decision over Said Sowma, Tyrell Fortune emerged with a unanimous verdict over the Bellator debutant. The win was Fortune’s ninth on the roster, further cementing his place with the second-most wins as a Bellator heavyweight. Cheick Kongo holds 12, and only two heavyweights on the roster even have six – Javy Ayala and Vitaly Minakov.
He Was Very Fortunate: The decision win Fortune’s third, he already sits with the fourth-most wins on the scorecards in divisional history with Mike Wessel and Muhammad Lawal. Valentin Moldavsky (four), Cole Konrad (five) and Kongo (seven) all have earned more.
And He Has Two More Wins Than Paige: Austin Vanderford is now a perfect 10-0 by beating Vinicius de Jesus on the scorecards. Vanderford joins multiple other fighters on the Bellator roster with unbeaten records after 10 career bouts, including Juliana Velasquez (10-0), Logan Storley (11-0), Usman Nurmagomedov (11-0), Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0), A.J. McKee (16-0) and Yaroslav Amosov (24-0). Of note, Storley and Amosov meet in a week.
No Yellow Card: When Derek Anderson punted Killys Mota to earn the stoppage, he earned just the third soccer kick knockout in Bellator history. The first came when A.J. Matthews finished Charlie Rader at Bellator 70 in 2012, and another resulted from Yusuke Yachi over Hiroto Uesako using a differing ruleset at Bellator 237 in Japan in 2019.
We Have an Old Saying Too, Georgi, And You’re Full of It: Winning a split verdict over Bryce Logan, Georgi Karakhanyan earned his seventh win inside the Bellator cage. This appearance his 16th under the Bellator banner, he has the fewest wins of any fighter with at least 15 Bellator fights.
Tougher Competition Up Here: Including a loss to Cameron Olson in 2016, Julius Anglickas started his career with eight bouts that did not go the distance. Since then, Anglickas signed with Bellator and has won two decisions, including one over Alex Polizzi at this card.
The 0 Hunter: In his last four fights, Anglickas has removed three opponents from the ranks of the unbeaten. He tapped out Clayton York, then beat Jordan Young and Polizzi.
Hawaiian Elbow Doesn’t Have the Same Ring to It: Stopping Jessica Ruiz with one second left in the first round with elbow strikes, Sumiko Inaba is the first woman in Bellator history to score a literal last-second stoppage in a round. Of note, Valeria Loureda did stop Tara Graff in August at the 5:00 mark of the second stanza.
Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 251, Polizzi had never been defeated (seven fights); de Jesus (12 fights), Jessy Miele (13 fights) and Piankhi Zimmerman (10 fights) had never lost consecutive bouts and Sowma had never lost by decision (seven fights).