Fight Facts: Bellator 252

By: Jay Pettry
Nov 16, 2020

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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Bellator MMA revived its featherweight grand prix at Bellator 252, with a pair of quarterfinal matchups that went largely as expected. The next semifinal on tap at a future date, the champ defended his title and carved a path in the record books. The event featured the new winningest fighter in company history, an undefeated fighter who put other promotions on notice and a betting favorite far and above most others.

Rewriting the History Books: With a first-round knockout of Pedro Carvalho in the books, Patricio Freire is now the winningest fighter in Bellator history. His 19 victories in the Bellator cage breaks a tie held with former Bellator staple Michael Chandler. Only A.J. McKee (16) remains on the roster with more than 15 wins.

Chasing Chandler: The finish for “Pitbull” is his 12th on the Bellator roster, putting him one shy of Chandler’s all-time record.

Brothers Running the Show: By finishing Carvalho with strikes, Freire earned his eighth knockout under the Bellator banner. He trails only Douglas Lima, Michael Page and his brother Patricky Freire, all of whom have notched nine.

Pitbull with a Golden Crown: Champ-champ Freire extended his lead for the most victories in Bellator title fights with his defense of the featherweight strap. His eight championship wins put him above Chandler (6), while only one active champion has at least five: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

Still Two Wins from a Title Shot: Yaroslav Amosov captured a narrow split verdict over Logan Storley to lift his unblemished record to 25-0. The only fighter in a major promotion currently sporting a more impressive unbeaten record is Khabib Nurmagomedov at 29-0.

Yaroslowing Down: The Ukrainian started his career with nine consecutive finishes, but in his six bouts with Bellator, Amosov has gone the distance four times.

Work the Body: Needing 25 minutes to defeat Daniel Weichel, Emmanuel Sanchez earned his eighth decision win under the Bellator lights. The only fighter with more decision victories across company history is Joe Warren (nine).

Uneven Bracketology: With both Freire and Sanchez winning to advance in the quarterfinals, the two will square off at an undetermined date in one semifinal. A.J. McKee will meet Darrion Caldwell on the other side of the bracket in the semifinal at Bellator 253 in a week.

He Messed With De Jesus: Aaron Pico folded John de Jesus in the second round with an overhand right and follow-up punches. All seven of Pico’s wins have come by stoppage, but this was the latest he has ever competed, win or lose. His loss against Adam Borics took him to 3:55 of the second frame, and this bout lasted 17 seconds longer. He has still never been to Round 3 after 10 fights.

Your Winnings Are Measured in Picodollars: Pico closed as an overwhelming -1175 favorite before clobbering de Jesus. In comparison, the last Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter at least that wide of a favorite was Livinha Souza (-1500) against Alex Chambers at UFC Fight Night 127 in 2018.

Her Precision Is Very Precise: Just over three minutes is how long it took for Keri Melendez to tap out Emilee King with a rear-naked choke. Now a perfect 5-0 in MMA, the Skrap Pack representative has two rear-naked choke finishes to her credit, taking place within 16 seconds of each other.

Marshwood Man: Dropping a decision to Luis Muro, Devin Powell retired inside the Bellator cage. With a 10-5 record throughout many significant organizations, the South Berwick, Maine, native is one of a small number of fighters to notch wins in the UFC, Bellator and the World Series of Fighting.

A Soothing Victory: A unanimous decision win for Jornel Lugo is his third in a row on the scorecards, as he took a clear-cut verdict over Schyler Sootho. Lugo started his career with a pair of first-round finishes and gone the distance ever since, to lift his spotless record to 5-0.

Force Persuading Judges: Lucas Brennan need three rounds to defeat Andrew Salas to advance his young unbeaten record to 4-0. This bout was the first for “Skywalker” to go beyond the second round.

Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Welterweight: 170-pounder Roman Faraldo hit a flying knee on Pat Casey to earn the knockout at the midpoint of the fight. Across all flying knee knockouts throughout Bellator history, more have taken place in the welterweight than any other by a wide margin. One-third of these types of finishes have come at welterweight.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 252, Carvalho (14 fights) and de Jesus (21 fights) had never been knocked out, Storley (11 fights) and Sootho (four fights) had never been defeated and Khonry Gracie (three fights) had never been finished.

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