Fight Facts: Bellator 255

By: Jay Pettry
Apr 5, 2021
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 came back after several months off to deliver the first of many blockbuster cards containing high-stakes tournament matchups. The first show back, Bellator 255, brought finishes of all kinds, with a huge headliner along with multiple promising prospects on their ways up. This event featured an elusive superman punch knockout, representatives of several famous families and a slew of achievements for a man named “Pitbull.”

No Value to Be Found: Four fighters throughout the card closed as betting favorites of -1000 or above, and unsurprisingly, all four won in dominant fashion. In comparison, only two Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts dating back to the beginning of 2020, over a stretch of 52 events, saw favorites that lopsided.

The Last King of Bellator: Patricio Freire remained the winningest fighter in company history by submitting Emmanuel Sanchez. The Brazilian elevated his record to 20 victories under the Bellator banner and became the first fighter on the roster to notch 20 wins.

Some Prize: After overcoming Sanchez in the semifinals, Freire will now face the undefeated A.J. McKee in the finals at a future date. The winner will be the Bellator featherweight tournament champ and divisional kingpin as well as $1 million richer.

Thirteen Ghosts: Thirteen of Freire’s 20 Bellator wins have come inside the distance, tying him with Michael Chandler for the most stoppage victories in organizational history.

25 Coming Soon: “Pitbull” also reclaimed the top spot for the most appearances in Bellator history, as his rematch with Sanchez was his 24th bout inside the Bellator cage.

Slept Sanchez: With his finish registered as a technical submission as Sanchez was rendered unconscious, Freire is the fourth Bellator fighter to put a foe to sleep in a championship bout. Eduardo Dantas, Pat Curran and Brandon Halsey are the first three, and Freire is the first to do so since 2014.

He Even Moved Up to 155 Along the Way: During his current title reign at featherweight — his second overall — Freire has defended his title five consecutive times. In doing so, he now has amassed the most back-to-back title defenses in Bellator history.

Equal Opportunity Annihilator: The submission was the Brazilian’s fifth under the Bellator banner. Only 10 fighters on the roster have landed more submissions, including fellow Bellator 255 competitor Neiman Gracie (seven) and record holder Goiti Yamauchi (eight).

You Best Protect Ya Neck: Three of Freire’s five Bellator submissions have now come by guillotine, as “Pitbull” previously tapped Henry Corrales and Daniel Straus with the same maneuver. Freire now sits in sole possession of the record for most guillotine chokes in Bellator history.

NeckOn, Apply Directly to the Forehead: Of the 15 technical submissions via guillotine choke in Bellator history, not a single one has occurred beyond the 2:35 mark of Round 2. The choke-out by “Pitbull” over Sanchez was the 13th to take place in the opening frame.

My Last Name Is a Killing Word: Usman Nurmagomedov remained a flawless 12-0 as he picked apart Mike Hamel to win a one-sided decision. The win on the scorecards was just the Dagestan native’s second as a pro, lowering his overall finish rate to 83 percent.

Kana Katastrophe: Kana Watanabe has still yet to lose after 11 fights as a pro, after she emerged with a split verdict over Alejandra Lara.

His FF ID Number is 79175: Closing as an unbelievable -3050 favorite over C.J. Hamilton, Magomed Magomedov tapped out his opponent in the second round. “Tiger” claimed the throne as the largest betting favorite in Bellator history.

Supermanned That Bro: Mandel Nallo smote Ricardo Seixas with a superman punch, earning the second finish of this kind in Bellator history. Hisaki Kato pulled off the first on Joe Schilling at Bellator 139 in 2015.

Murdalizer-Lite: Across his 15 career wins, Khalid Murtazaliev has only needed to involve the judges twice now. The onetime UFC fighter needed all three rounds to defeat Fabio Aguiar.

No Roger, No: Late into the third round, Roger Huerta surrendered to punches from Christopher Gonzalez after giving up his back. He is the first Bellator fighter to tap to strikes since Daniel Gonzalez forced Jonathan Adams to say “matte” at Bellator 226 in 2019.

TAM Isn’t Dead: Gonzalez remained unbeaten in his sixth pro fight by forcing Huerta to submit to punches. It marked the Team Alpha Male prospect’s first stoppage due to strikes.

Wilson! Wilson! Putting Jonathan Wilson away in the first round with an arm-triangle choke, Jose Augusto Azevedo Barros kept his 100 percent finish rate intact. Each of his wins have come before Round 3.

Pretty Gudde Knockout: A perfect 5-0 by dropping Trevor Gudde three times en route to the stoppage, all five of Roman Faraldo’s career wins have come by knockout prior to the third round.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 255, Sanchez had never been finished (24 fights), Fabio Aguiar had never lost on the scorecards (18 fights) and Wilson had never been submitted (12 fights).

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