Fight Facts: Bellator 261

By: Jay Pettry
Jun 28, 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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TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR FIGHTS: 2,898
TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR EVENTS: 262

Bellator MMA put on not the first interim title fight in company history, but the fourth, when it opened its heavyweight belt up for dispute on Saturday. Bellator 261 saw finishes both exceptionally early and extremely late as fighters made their claims on ranked spots with Bellator. This event brought about the fifth champion in Bellator heavyweight history, one of the quickest knockouts seen among female fighters and one of the speediest knockouts across the board.

Valentin’s Day: Valentin Moldavsky became the fifth heavyweight to hold a Bellator title when he beat Timothy Johnson for the interim strap. He joins a club populated by Cole Konrad, Alexander Volkov, Vitaly Minakov and current inactive champ Ryan Bader.

Belt Was Getting Moldy: With Moldavsky the fifth titleholder in Bellator heavyweight history, that division has still awarded the fewest belts of any men’s division. There have been just eight championship bouts in Bellator heavyweight history, and no man has defended his throne more than once.

Thin Record Book: In his sixth appearance with the promotion, Moldavsky won for the sixth time. He is now tied with four other fighters for the fourth-most wins in Bellator heavyweight history, behind Konrad (seven), Tyrell Fortune (10) and Cheick Kongo (12).

Slow and Steady Won the Race: Five of Moldavsky’s six Bellator wins have come on the scorecards, and he joins Konrad for the second-most decision victories in divisional history. Kongo’s seven stands above the pack.

Last Thing to Go is the Power: Storming out of the gate to take out Kana Watanabe in 35 seconds, Liz Carmouche earned her first knockout win since she pounded out Jessica Andrade in July 2013. At that time, just seven of the other 19 fighters who competed at this event had made their pro debuts.

Like a Girl-Rilla: The 35-second beatdown for Carmouche clocked in as the fifth-fastest finish – and fourth-fastest knockout – in Bellator women’s divisional history. The quickest came in 2019, when Arlene Blencowe obliterated Amanda Bell in 22 seconds.

Watana Get Away? The loss for Japan’s Watanabe marked the first time she has suffered a loss as a pro. Before the Carmouche fight, Watanabe had won 10 fights, and after the draw she suffered in 2018, she won a rematch three months later against Yukari Nabe.

The Jury’s Still Out: With 16 seconds left on the clock, Sidney Outlaw tapped Myles Jury out with a rear-naked choke. In victory, “Da Gun” scored the ninth-latest finish in Bellator non-title history, along with Bell’s 4:44 finish of Janay Harding and Cody Law’s knockout of Kenny Champion at the same time.

Too Soon for Jon Jones Comparisons: In five Bellator appearances, the 22-year-old Christian Edwards has won five times. His whole career has come inside the Bellator cage, including his decision win over Simon Biyong on this card.

What Would You Like on Your Tombstone? Taylor Johnson put Lance Wright away in the first round with a rear-naked choke, and throughout the career of “Tombstone,” he has finished his opponent in all seven of his wins.

Hokit Religions and Ancient Weapons are No Match for a Good Samuels at Your Side, Kid: Spoiling the MMA debut of Isaiah Hokit, Corey Samuels demolished Hokit in 10 seconds. The knockout is tied as the seventh-fastest in organizational history. A trifecta of six-second knockouts holds the pole position.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 261, Keoni Diggs had never been defeated (nine bouts), Biyong had never lost on the scorecards (eight fights) and Bobby Lee had never dropped consecutive bouts (17 fights).

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