Fight Facts: Bellator 262

By: Jay Pettry
Jul 19, 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 strong after three weeks off with an event that promised action and largely delivered by night’s end. More than half the bouts on the card ended by knockout, including a few top-ranked fighters making their cases to return to the top of their divisions. Bellator 262 featured a champion facing a tough test trying to establish her legacy, a rare stoppage after tapping to strikes and leg kicks putting in work.

Tastes Chalky: All nine of the fighters closing as betting favorites won their matches at Bellator 262, with the Adil Benjilany-Johnny Soto fight a pick-em. An all-chalk nine-fight parlay would have provided a +767 line, meaning betting $100 for each favorite to win would have netted a person an additional $767.

The Mike Brown Effect: American Top Team had an excellent showing at Bellator 262, with all three fighters out of that camp winning. Johnny Eblen, Said Sowma and Cody Law all emerged victorious in back-to-back-to-back fights.

It Should Reach Eight At Least: For the sixth event in a row, Bellator staged a title fight for a headliner. This span of championship main events is now the longest in company history, passing a pair of five-card stretches of Bellator 111 to 115 and 134 to 138.

Legacy Commencing: Juliana Velasquez became the fourth woman in Bellator history (Julia Budd, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Cristiane Justino) to ever successfully defend her title, doing so by split decision over Denise Kielholtz.

Not Everyone Gave It to Velasquez: Pushing her record to a perfect 12-0, Velasquez defeated Kielholtz on close scorecards. Since joining the promotion in 2017 and rattling off two stoppages, Velasquez has left her fight in the hands of the judges in four of her last five outings.

Pair of Sevens: At the end of the night, both Velasquez and Arlene Blencowe earned their seventh wins under the Bellator banner. Both women are now tied for the third-most victories in women’s divisional history, trailing Budd (nine) and Macfarlane (10).

More Homegrown Talent: Finishing Matt Mitrione in the first round, Tyrell Fortune earned his 11th win inside the Bellator cage. The Arizona Combat Sports fighter has never competed in any cage besides Bellator, and he now holds the second-most wins of any fighter to exclusively compete with Bellator. A.J. McKee celebrates the top spot at 17.

Fortune vs. Kongo, Let’s Go: With 11 victories under his belt, Fortune is within one of the promotion’s record for the most wins above 206 pounds. Cheick Kongo is the winningest Bellator heavyweight at the moment.

An Unfortunate Headbutt: The fight was officially deemed a knockout even though “Meathead” tapped on the mat; Fortune earned his seventh knockout as a Bellator heavyweight. Fortune remains on top with the most stoppages due to strikes in divisional history, putting more space between himself and Javy Ayala and Vitaly Minakov.

They All Say Matte: 2021 is now the fifth year in company history – joining 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2018 – in which more than one fighter tapped out to strikes, following Mitrione’s surrender to Fortune’s punches. Earlier this year, Christopher Gonzales forced Roger Huerta to tap to punches.

The Fists Hurt More: More heavyweights have submitted to strikes than any other weight category in company history, as Mitrione joins a lineup that includes Kelvin Doss, Tracy Willis Karl Etherington and Frank Mir.

Brought to You by the Pitbull Brothers: Lifting his career finish rate to 85 percent, Matheus Mattos blew C.J. Hamilton away with punches in the second round. In the process, “Adamas” earned his first stoppage win since 2016.

A True Perennial Contender: By stepping into the cage on Friday night, Blencowe tied Macfarlane for the most appearances of any female fighter in organizational history with 11.

Blenblowout: Blencowe knocked Dayana Silva out in the third round with a barrage of punches, earning her fourth stoppage – all by knockout – while on the Bellator roster. She now sports the most knockouts as well as the third-most finishes among all women to fight for Bellator.

Johnny Niner: Eblen, taking a decision over Travis Davis, is now a perfect 9-0 as a pro. Since start his career with four straight stoppages, he has gone the distance in four of his last five.

Silly Lines: Both Law and Diana Avsaragova clocked in as -1165 betting favorites ahead of their matchups with Theodore Macuka and Gabriella Gulfin, respectively. Like all of the other 11 Bellator fights this year with odds for one fighter above -1000, Law and Avsaragova won.

Charlie Chopper: For the seventh time in Bellator history, a fight ended due to leg kicks. Charlie Campbell chopped Nick Giulietti down with kicks and punches to the body, becoming the only fighter to ever notch two leg kick-related finishes in company history – he finished Nainoa Dung with these strikes in 2020.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 262, Kielholtz (eight fights) and Johnny Soto (five fights) had never dropped decisions, Hamilton had never been knocked out (23 fights) and Silva had never lost consecutive bouts (15 fights).

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