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Kicking off the card, we have an amateur female flyweight bout, as
Maria Henderson, wife of former UFC champion Benson, who will
appear later on the card, faces Collette Santiago. On the one hand,
Henderson was 1-0 as an amateur while Santiago was 0-2 with two KO
losses. On the flipside, Henderson fought at 115 while Santiago
fought at 145, so there will be a large size disparity. Refereeing
this contest will be Mike Beltran. Henderson goes for a leg kick
and Santiago crashes into her, with Henderson falling down, but
Santiago allowing her to get up. Once on her feet, Santiago comes
forward and Henderson gets the bodylock and then an easy trip to
end on top. She takes the back with ease, with virtually no
resistance, and immediately starts looking for the rear-naked
choke. Santiago tries to posture up, but isn't defending
her neck at all. Henderson locks in the choke and Santiago
Maria Henderson celebrates by kissing husband Benson
The Official Result
Maria Henderson def. Collette Santiago via Submission (Rear-Naked
Choke) at 0:40 at Round 1
Moving on to professional MMA, local light heavyweights Deon Clash
(1-0) and Sullivan Cauley (1-0) battle one another where someone
will suffer defeat for the first time. The third man in the cage
will be referee Ryan Brueggeman. Cauley starts out aggressively
with a few jabs and a follow-up cross, but none land. Cauley comes
forward and Clash temporarily comes forward, but Cauley gets up
neatly. Cauley is wild, and is touched by a Clash left hook, though
it isn't hard. Cauley lands a body kick and then clinches, scoring
with a knee. Clash pushes him against the cage and begins grinding
for a takedown. He drops levels and gets a double-leg takedown.
Cauley again posts up well and gets up and now he is the one
pushing Clash against the cage. They separate a litte and Cauley
misses a few punches before Clash clinches again. Cauley lands a
knee to the body as they separate. Cauley lands a check left hook
that gets Clash's attention. A while later, he lands a right cross.
Clash throws a few punches to get into a clinch, but Cauley pushes
him off easily enough. Cauley lands a body kick now. Clash answers
with one of his own, but neither one is particularly hard. Clash
clinches again, but Cauley has an easier time separating now, and
opens up with punches. He nails Clash with a nice combination, who
covers up and retreats. Cauley comes forward again and Clash tries
for a takedown but is stuffed. Now it's Cauley working for a
takedown against the fence, and he nearly gets the single-leg. He
lands several nice short punches, then a knee to the head, and then
yet more punches to the head! Clash manages to clinch again to stop
the punishment. Cauley separates with less than 10 seconds left and
then lands a huge 1-2 that hurts Clash. As he tees off with punches
and elbows, the referee stops the contest with a second or two left
in the round.
An impressive performance by Cauley!
The Official Result
Sullivan Cauley def. Deon Clash via TKO (Punches and Elbows) at
4:59 of Round 1
Now at bantamweight, undefeated prospect Jaylon Bates (3-0) faces
more experienced veteran in Raphael Montini de Lima (5-4). Referee
Jason Herzog will call the action. Montini starts the action with a
nice leg kick that Bates largely eats. Bates is stalking Montini,
but pays for it, getting hit with a nice hook. Bates decides he's
had enough and shoots a nice double-leg that gets Montini down.
Montini postures up, but Bates is able to partially take the back.
They are tangled up next to the cage, with Bates grapevining his
leg inside of Montini's, keeping him grappling. Montini gets out,
and eats a few light knees to the body. Bates manages to get a rear
waistlock and uses it to pull Montini down. However, Montini is on
top of him and partially scrambles back up. Bates is undeterred,
however, and keeps a hold, until finally, he takes the back with
both hooks in! Halfway through the round, and Montini is in a very
bad spot. Montini is fighting the hands well to defend the RNC,
with a baseball grip on one hand. Bates is working hard, and lands
a few short right hands to the head. They're not hard, but may be
annoying enough to get an opportunity at the choke. Bates
transitions from the back to full mount, and Montini's efforts to
get out don't work. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Bates spins into an
absolutely GORGEOUS armbar. It's extended fully and the Brazilian
has no choice but to tap!
While his striking certainly needs
work, Jaylon Bates already has outstanding submission grappling,
which he showed off in style tonight.
The Official Result
Jaylon Bates def. Raphael Montini de Lima via Submission (Armbar)
at 3:49 of Round 1
At lightweight, undefeated Lance Gibson Jr. (4-0), stepson of
former long-time Bellator featherweight champion Julia Budd, faces
a tough test in Raymond Pina (9-4). Keeping them honest will be
referee Mike Beltran. Pina starts energetically, landing a leg
kick. Pina then closes the distance to clinch, with Gibson Jr.
staying upright. Pina gets the trip eventually and is on top,
hammering away with punches to the body. Pina is pressing Gibson's
head against the fence, but Gibson isn't using the opportunity to
try to wall-walk. Like myself, commentator John McCarthy is not a
fan of the body triangle guard that Gibson is using. After a while,
he gives it up and goes to a closed full guard. However, Pina lands
a couple of solid elbows to the head and is steadily chipping away
with punches to the head and body. Gibson tries for an armbar, but
Pina cuts the angle and easily defends. Still, Gibson uses it to
post up and get back to his feet, with Pina still pushing him.
Gibson lands a few nice knees to the body, and then gets off the
cage, where he lands even more of them. Still, Pina isn't fazed and
pushes forward, getting a single-leg takedown. Now Gibson is on his
back in the middle of the cage, and he goes back to the triangle
guard as McCarthy criticizes it further. Pina, meanwhile, scores
with solid left hands to the body. Gibson is locking himself in
with a closed full guard, even when Pina is posturing up
considerably. Pina continues firing punches to the body. He then
lands a nice right hand to the head before going back to left hands
to the body. He sneaks a solid left punch to the body with 20
seconds left. Gibson tries for a possible armbar as the round ends,
but to no avail. 10-9 Pina.
Gibson begins the round with a kick, but it hits nothing but air.
Pina lands a leg kick in retaliation. Gibson lands a punch, then a
body kick, and then a solid left cross that causes Pina to
temporarily clinch. It doesn't work, and soon after, at range,
Gibson partially gets a head kick through. Pina drops levels but in
the process, eats a huge kick from Gibson to the body. Pina is
stunned, and Gibson takes the opportunity to take his back and
locks in a body triangle. He mercilessly pounds away with punches and elbows
as Pina is simply eating them. Mike Beltran has no choice but to
stop the contest.
Nice comeback from Lance Gibson Jr., who
never looked fazed.
The Official Result
Lance Gibson Jr. def. Raymond Pina via TKO (Punches and Elbows) at
1:44 of Round 2
In a clash between female flyweight prospects, Canada's Randi "The
Rose City Phoenix" Field (2-0) takes on Hawaii's Sumiko "Lady
Samurai" Inaba (2-0). Referee Ryan Brueggeman presides over this
one. Field starts off with leg kicks, although they're not
particularly hard. She goes for another one, and Inaba throws a
series of straight punches to counter, although none of them quite
land. Inaba throws punches in punches, but Field barely avoids
them. She lands a nice jab and then follows it up with a head kick
that is barely blocked. A Field leg kick is countered by a jab now,
and they decide to briefly grapple. It's not for long, however, as
they separate. Inaba throws kicks but partially eats a right hand
for her efforts. Inaba leads with a left hook that misses badly,
but partially lands with right hands. Inaba throws a kick that
Field catches, taking Inaba down. However, she doesn't put a body
on her and Inaba immediately gets up. Inaba now pushes Field
against the cage, but they soon separate again. Field touches Inaba
with a right hand, but little more. They're both throwing a lot,
but there have been few solid connects. Inaba clinches and lands a
knee to the body. Field scores with a jab. Inaba lands a front kick
to the body. Inaba connects with a right cross that is one of her
best of the round. Inaba misses a leg kick. Inaba partially lands a
right cross when Field comes forward. Field lands a couple of leg
kicks but then partially eats a right hand. Inaba partially gets a
head kick through and then lands a series of punches that Field
does little to avoid. Inaba then punctuates it with another head
kick that partly gets through and lands a few more punches for good
measure! Field is able to get away, though. With less than 20
seconds left, Inaba lands a big elbow that forces Field to one
knee. She lands hard punches to the body against the cage as Round
1 ends. Almost a 10-8 here. 10-9 Inaba.
Inaba lands a hard jab to begin the round, and Field temporarily
clinches. Inaba lands another head kick that causes Field to back
up. Inaba follows it up with a leg kick and then checks Field's own
attempt. Inaba lands a solid punch combination. Inaba lands another
elbow that hurts Field, as Field goes back to the cage, where she
eats yet another elbow. Against the cage, Inaba lands a number of
solid punches to the body. Field is opened up, and lands a few
knees to the body from a Thai plum. However, this allows Inaba to
scoop up her thigh and get the takedown. Inaba looks vastly better
on the ground, easily slicing through Field's attempt at a heel
hook, and getting to side control. From there, she locks in an arm triangle choke,
moves nicely to the side, and Field quickly taps.
impressive performance by the Hawaiian, showing off both her
striking and grappling.
The Official Result
Sumiko Inaba def. Randi Field via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)
at 2:02 of Round 2
In a middleweight battle, long-time welterweight Javier Torres
(11-5) fights long-time light heavyweight Gregory Milliard (12-6),
whose last outing was a loss to tonight's main eventer Julius
Anglickas. Keeping a keen eye on the action will be referee Jason
Herzog. Torres begins with a very hard leg kick that nearly knocks
Milliard off his feet. The action slows down a little afterwards,
as both men test the range. Milliard lets fly a big right cross and
it partially connects twice. Torres is tough, though, and shows
little effect. Torres scores with another leg kick, although this
one is less thunderous. Torres comes forward with punches, misses,
and Milliard's attempt to get him down is defended. Milliard
partially scores again with that big straight right. Torres
partially lands a left cross of his own, as both men try to
hand-fight and figure out the range. Milliard lands a very light
leg kick. They go for punches but end up in a clinch, with Milliard
having one underhook while pushing Torres against the cage. Torres
is tough, though, and stifles an attempt to force him down. Torres
eventually gains separation. He misses a few leg kicks and then
just barely misses a punch. Torres is now the one pushing Milliard
against the cage. Torres lands a knee to the head against the cage.
Milliard turns him around with about 45 seconds left and works for
a takedown of his own. With 20 seconds left, Torres hits a nice
uchi mata to temporarily get Milliard down. Milliard soon gets up,
though, and pushes Torres against the cage to end the round. Very
close stanza. 10-9 Torres.
Torres comes forward with punches, but Milliard ducks it well.
Milliard lands a light leg kick. Torres goes for a fancy spinning
backfist but it's not even close. Milliard, meanwhile, touches
Torres with a left hand. Torres responds with a straight left that
lands. Milliard goes for a big right hook, but Torres ducks it and
they clinch again. Torres is certainly holding his own against the
naturally much larger fighter. They separate and resume at range.
Milliard goes for a head kick that is blocked and Torres tries one
of his own, also blocked. Milliard misses left hook and Torres
partially counters with a right hook. Milliard goes for a few
straight rights, but Torres avoids them neatly and clinches again,
working for a takedown against the cage as half the round has
already elapsed. Torres works for an outside trip but Milliard's
base is very strong. Torres lands a short knee to the body.
Milliard turns him around with 90 seconds left, and they soon
disengage. Torres circles on the outside, although Milliard isn't
threatening him much. Milliard goes for an off-balance right hook
that doesn't come close to landing. A Milliard body kick is
blocked. They clinch again with 40 seconds left, with Torres again
pushing the Aruban against the fence and landing a few small knees.
Milliard gets double underhooks briefly, but does nothing with it
and they disengage. Milliard misses a kick and Torres a spinning
backfist as the round ends. A very uneventful stanza which is hard
to score. 10-9 Torres.
Milliard scores with a small leg kick and Torres with a body kick
to begin the final round. They then repeat this exchange, after
which they clinch with less than 30 seconds elapsed in the stanza.
Torres throws a few knees, but they're very minor. Torres has the
better head position and continues pushing Milliard into the cage
as the crowd begins to boo. They soon separate back to range.
Milliard throws a right cross that is easily blocked. Both men
throw a few punches but none land. Milliard touches Torres with a
leg kick. Torres lands a body kick, but it's fairly light. Milliard
misses another big straight right, and Torres uses it to push his
opponent back into the cage with half a round left. Torres tries
for a takedown, but he doesn't get very far. Milliard turns him
around with double underhooks and this time really works for a
single-leg. However, Torres has solid balance, hopping on one leg,
and Milliard soon bails with the two back at range. Milliard
partially lands a right hook that catches Torres. Of course, not
long after, they clinch again with a little over a minute left.
They disengage again. Milliard misses another straight right.
Milliard partially gets a front kick through but the follow-up
punch misses. Torres lightly lands a body kick. A 1-2 by Torres
misses. A spinning backfist by Torres misses and then his
double-leg attempt is stuffed. Appropriately, the fight ends with
the two clinching against the cage. 10-9 Milliard (29-28 Torres).
After the fight, Torres takes his gloves off and puts them down at
the cage, likely signaling retirement.
The Official Result
Javier Torres def. Gregory Milliard via Split Decision (28-29,
At lightweight, recent LFA 155 pound champion Nick Browne (11-1),
with the odd nickname of "Nyquil", faces well-traveled Bobby Lee
(12-6), who missed weight by about a pound and is still looking for
his first victory in Bellator, currently being 0-2 in the
promotion. The third man in the cage will again be referee Mike
Beltran. Browne begins with a nice front kick that partially
connects. He then scores with a nice overhand right. Lee
ineffectually flails with a jab. Browne looks good maintaining the
distance and looking for opportunities to land with punches. He
lands a straight right and then another front kick to the body,
forcing Lee to shoot in on a double-leg. They get in a scramble and
Lee has a rear waistlock as Browne stands up. He then gets a nice
mat return. Browne then goes for a Granby roll and attacks a
kneebar. Lee isn't aware of the position and is soon grimacing in
pain. He has no choice but to tap!
grappling by Browne.
The Official Result
Nick Browne def. Bobby Lee via Submission (Kneebar) at 1:38 of
Next up, we have an important contender's match when undefeated
Mukhamed Berkhamov (13-0) faces a very difficult challenge in
former LFA welterweight champion Jaleel Willis (15-2). Overseeing
the two highly skilled grapplers will be referee Ryan Brueggeman.
Willis begins the fight with a leg kick. Berkhamov is stalking him,
and Willis comes forward with an overhand right that catches the
undefeated Berkhamov and knocks him down! Willis dives into top
position. Berkhamov is instantly active off his back, pushing off
continuously with his feet. Willis is unable to do much, and soon
after, Berkhamov attempts an Ezekiel choke, popularized by the
UFC's Alexey Oleynik. Berkhamov soon hip-escapes and gets to the
cage, but Willis, a talented grappler himself, gets the backpack
position and looks for a possible choke. Berkhamov shakes him off
and in an explosive scramble, ends up on top himself! In
half-guard, Berkhamov lands a short elbow. He gets his right leg
free and is in side control now, with Willis close to the cage.
Willis posts up against the cage, giving up his back in the
process. He defends well while trying to get up, although Berkhamov
continues standing over him. Berkhamov lands a knee to the body.
Berkhamov now has farside wrist control on a wrestling ride. He
stands over Willis and lands a few punches and soon pushes him back
down to the canvas. He opens up a little now, landing a few short
punches. With a minute left, Berkhamov locks in a very tight
guillotine standing over a seated Willis, who is trapped against
the fence. There is absolutely no escape and the squeeze is
tremendously tight, and Willis has no choice but to tap!
Incredible grappling, considering Willis is an excellent grappler
himself, but was completely dominated and submitted in less than a
The Official Result
Mukhamed Berkhamov def. Jaleel Willis via Submission (Guillotine
Choke) at 4:05 of Round 1
Finishing off the prelims, highly regarded light heavyweight Karl
Albrektsson (12-3), who owns a split decision win over Bellator 205
pound champion Vadim Nemkov in Rizin all the way back in 2016, is a
solid favorite over long-time ACA light heavyweight champion
Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1). Keeping the big men honest will
be the decidedly smaller, but excellent referee Jason Herzog. Karl
begins with a leg kick. They both try jabs, although neither lands.
Yagshimuradov goes for a huge right overhand, but Karl ducks under
and they clinch along the fence. Karl lands several solid knees to
the body of the shorter man. Karl continues with his knee attack,
alternating blows to the stomach and legs. Yagshimuradov lands just
one knee strike of his own to the bread basket. Yagshimuradov turns
Karl around against the cage. They break, and Yagshimuradov lands a
nice elbow. He then blocks a Karl left hook and is out of range for
a follow-up straight right. Yagshimuradov lands a leg kick and Karl
uses it to try to pursue a takedown, but is stuffed. Karl drops
levels to try for a takedown, but Yagshimuradov widens his base
well. Karl is really working a single, but Yagshimuradov stays
upright. They break and both men miss punches. Yagshimuradov scores
with a nice leg kick that draws Karl slightly off-balance. Both men
throw and miss jabs. Yagshimuradov lands a sharp jab with about 30
seconds left. Yagshimuradov scores with another leg kick, this one
causing Karl to be slightly off-balance. With about 10 seconds
left, Yagshimuradov fires a spinning back-kick but it misses. 10-9
Karl begins with a pawing jab and a light leg kick, more to test
the distance than anything. Karl then scores a more significant leg
kick. Yagshimuradov, for his part, is calm, and then lands a quick
leg kick of his own. Suddenly, Karl lands a big right hand that
drops Yagshimuradov, who is on his knees. Karl swarms with punches
as Jason Herzog takes a very close look. Karl decides to take him
down and is in full mount, raining down furious punches and the
occasional elbow, brutalizing Yagshimuradov. Eventually,
Yagshimuradov manages to get a bodylock that temporarily halts the
damage. He even regains the half-guard as the pace slows with 3:30
left in the stanza. Karl is more economical with his punches,
landing a few short punches to the body. He lands a short elbow to
the head. Yagshimuradov begins working to get back up now, but Karl
has heavy top pressure and is controlling the wrists well, keeping
Yagshimuradov grounded. Karl chips away with short punches and
elbows to the head. Karl expertly gets to mount with 90 seconds
left, but Yagshimuradov is wily and uses it to try a heel hook
attempt. It doesn't work, but he uses it to get up. Yagshimuradov
then goes for a flying knee that partially connects, but Karl uses
it to take him back down. Once there, he lands an elbow to the head
for good measure. He then lands several more punches to the body.
With 30 seconds left, Karl returns to the mount, but yet again,
Yagshimuradov uses it to attack a heel hook! In the ensuing
scramble, he briefly takes the back and then gets a suplex! It's
pretty, but doesn't do much damage. A hard round to score, but
given the knockdown and how close Karl was to a finish, I have it
Karl advances forward with a jab and then a straight right, but all
miss. Yagshimuradov lands a leg kick. They clinch temporarily, but
then disengage. Yagshimuradov lands a sharp right cross that gets
Karl's attention, and soon after, they clinch, with Yagshimuradov
nearly getting the takedown. He has a rear waistlock though, with
Karl forced to defend against the cage. Yagshimuradov disengages
and partly lands a nice head kick as he retreats. Karl is coming
forward, but Yagshimuradov, visibly tired, still gets the better of
it in an exchange of punches, as Karl's head is high and unmoving.
Karl grinds for a takedown against the cage and gets it! He is in
mount and starts peppering away with punches and elbows to the
head. Yagshimuradov looks too tired to do much, but he summons the
energy to try a potential heel hook. This one doesn't get as far,
though, and Karl goes right back to mount, punishing his foe with
punches and elbows. Yagshimuradov finds the perfect moment to push
off, though, and gets back to his feet with a rear waistlock! This
fight is just full of twists and turns. Suddenly, Yagshimuradov
uncorks some big uppercuts that visibly stun Karl. He then follows
it up with a 1-2 with the right cross hurting Karl. Yagshimuradov
then lands a spinning back kick and then badly hurts Karl with a
series of punches as he seems close to a knockout! Karl, however,
clinches, and eventually gets a double-leg to put Yagshimuradov on
his posterior. Karl is able to do little with the position.
Yagshimuradov pushes off and stands up with 10 seconds left as he
desperately chases a knockout, but to no avail. Great fight; a
constant back-and-forth with both men very close to finishes.
Perhaps fittingly, I have it a draw, though if I had to choose a
winner, it would be Yagshimuradov. 10-9 Yagshimuradov (28-28
The Official Result
Karl Albrektsson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via Unanimous
Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kicking off the main card, we have a fascinating grappler vs.
striker match as long-time contender Henry Corrales (18-6) returns
to featherweight to face Vladyslav Parubchenko (15-2). Getting this
assignment will again be Mike Beltran. Corrales lands a light leg
kick and Parubchenko is immediately on it, getting Corrales down.
Corrales posts up and gets to his feet, but Parubchenko breaks his
base and puts him back on his knees. Not discouraged, Corrales gets
up again as Parubchenko holds on to a rear waistlock, while
Corrales tries desperately to break the grip. Parubchenko grinds
and gets a single-leg, but Corrales his a neat switch. Both men get
up and disengage to range. Corrales comes forward with a somewhat
sloppy overhand right that misses. Both men miss straight punches.
Corrales comes forward again, but Parubchenko ducks down neatly.
Corrales scores a nice leg kick and this frustrates a double-leg
shot that Parubchenko is going for. Parubchenko clinches, but
Corrales hits him with a nice uppercut. Parubchenko lands a nice
jab and he uses it to clinch Corrales against the fence. Corrales
manages to push off well and they resume striking. Parubchenko
misses a head kick and that chopping Corrales overhand right
misses. Corrales then lands several hard hooks that appear to get
Parubchenko's attention, who backs off. Corrales comes forward
aggressively and lands a nice overhand right, this one not sloppy
or chopping, that buckles Parubchenko's legs. As the round ends,
they come forward and exchange uppercuts in the clinch. A good
round for the hometown Corrales. 10-9 Corrales.
Parubchenko paws with a few jabs, but none land. Corrales comes
forward brawling, partially landing another overhand right in a
clinch before they disengage. They clinch again and this time
Corrales scores with a nice knee to the body. Both men are cautious
in general to begin Round 2, with neither forcing matters or
overexending. Parubchenko is off-balance with a head kick and
Corrales lands a jab and attempts to get him down. Parubchenko
scrambles well, however, and manages to eventually get away.
Parubchenko throws a combination, but they all miss by a
considerable amount. Corrales scores with a leg kick. Corrales
lands a body punch. Parubchenko tries for a takedown, but Corrales
is in good position, getting low and framing well. He soon gains
separation. He throws a two-punch combination that is mostly
blocked. Parubchenko lands a straight right, but there is little on
it. Parubchenko fires a combination that partially lands, but
again, lacks power. Corrales partially lands a jab. Corrales lands
a nice leg kick and then clips Parubchenko with another overhand
right, perhaps his best connect of the round. Parubchenko misses a
few punches, including a right uppercut. He clinches with about 20
seconds left, but is unable to do anything with it. The round ends.
Very close stanza. 10-9 Corrales.
Parubchenko lands a light jab, but Corrales comes back with a few
short hooks that do more damage. Parubchenko comes forward and
lands a left hook, perhaps his best punch of the night. Suddenly,
Corrales lands a nice left hook that scores a flash knockdown
against Parubchenko. He swarms, but Parubchenko is as tough as
ever, and manages to recover and get up to his feet. Corrales
doesn't push matters, and after some circling, lands a leg kick.
Parubchenko goes for a leg kick, but is countered by a Corrales
right hand. Parubchenko presses forward, and Corrales hits him with
a couple of powerful hooks that stun him. He lands another leg kick
for good measure. He then pours it on, landing two more hard hooks
as Parubchenko looks vulnerable to a finish! He manages to move
around and shake it off and tries for a takedown, but is easily
stuffed. Corrales is looking for the big right hand now, and a few
attempts are very close to finding the mark. Parubchenko lumbers
forward and eats another right hook that could have had serious
consequences. Corrales fires a 1-2 and lands a hard right cross
that pushes Parubchenko straight back into the cage. He presses
forward with punches, missing the straight ones, but landing a left
hook into an overhand right that draws appreciation from the crowd.
Impressive, dominant stanza by Corrales! 10-9 Corrales (30-27
The Official Result
Henry Corrales def. Vladyslav Parubchenko via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
In a battle of former champions, ex-UFC lightweight champion Benson
Henderson (28-10) faces ex-Bellator champion Brent Primus (10-2) in
a battle of two outstanding grapplers with terrific kicks. Primus
is the slimmest of favorites. Refereeing this one will be Ryan
Brueggeman. Primus starts out energetically, throwing a punch
combination that has Henderson retreating, though nothing hard
lands. Primus fires a head kick but Henderson blocks in time.
Henderson tries a head kick of his own, but Primus blocks it.
Henderson scores with a leg kick, but Primus clamps onto a leg to
try to take him down. Henderson keeps his balance, and Primus bails
on the attempt. Primus fires a few jabs, misses, and gets countered
by Henderson's own jab. Primus goes forward with a right cross,
then uses it to clinch. Against the cage, though, Primus lands a
series of hard straight connects, several of them badly hurting
Henderson. Henderson finally manages to get out of there, eating a
lot of damage. Primus comes forward and lands another hard right
cross. Henderson grapples in desperation and gets the double-leg
takedown. Not deterred, Primus works his way up along the cage. As
Henderson keeps pressing, Primus works a possible guillotine
attempt, but he gives it up when it appears he doesn't have it.
Primus gets a kimura grip, but Henderson forces through a takedown.
He gets Primus down, but he is partially on Benson's backs,
torquing his shoulder. Primus eventually manages to stand up and
has Henderson in danger, either taking the back or a possible
armbar. Primus rolls through with an armbar, but eventually loses
the grip. Henderson gets up and lands a hard knee to the head of
Primus as they clinch again. Henderson is on his knees looking for
another possible takedown, but Primus widens his base well, which
looks rock-solid. As the round ends, Primus almost gets Henderson
down by torquing a brutal kimura lock. 10-9 Primus.
Henderson fires a few head kicks to begin the round, but they miss.
A Primus spinning backfist, however, partially lands. Henderson
throws another head kick and this one misses by a considerable
margin. A Primus body kick is solidly blocked. Henderson throws a
1-2 that partially gets through. Both men clinch in the middle of
the cage and Henderson lands an elbow on his way out. Primus comes
forward and lands a decent right cross and then a follow-up left
hook. Henderson lands a solid left hook of his own that backs
Primus up. Primus lands a nice leg kick. Henderson tries another
left hook, but Primus ducks under this one neatly. Primus clinches,
but eats a knee to the body for his troubles. Henderson lands a
knee to the body, but Primus lands several solid punches to the
body. Primus forces a takedown attempt, but is easily stuffed by
Henderson. Primus pushes Henderson against the cage with 2 minues
remaining in the round. Primus fights for underhooks and gets both.
He manages to get Henderson off-balance and instantly takes
Henderson's back with a body triangle, threatening a RNC! Primus
lands several short punches to the head. Henderson decides to stand
up, with Primus in a very solid backpack position, going for the
RNC. Henderson desperately holds Primus' hands, and it appears to
be working, as the seconds tick away. Very difficult round to
score; Henderson was winning early, but Primus stole it near the
end for me. 10-9 Primus.
Primus lands a short right hand to begin the final stanza.
Henderson throws another dynamic head kick and this one partially
gets through. Henderson lands a neat left cross that briefly drops
Primus, drawing an explosion of applause from the crowd. A
Henderson head kick is caught by Primus, and he uses it to get
Henderson to the canvas. He lands some ground-and-pound, but
Henderson continues trying to scramble. He does so and gets up to
his feet. Howver, Primus attacks with a guillotine, going to his
back. Henderson is in deep trouble and while he manages to scramble
up, he ends up on his own back doing so. Primus is now in the
half-guard, landing the occasional punch. With Henderson being
slower in scrambling, Primus takes the opportunity to take
Henderson's back, landing a few short punches for good measure.
Primus is now again attacking a possible RNC. Henderson gets to his
knees, but he has less energy now than he did in round 2 when he
stood up. Primus gets wrist control and returns Henderson to the
canvas. With a tight body triangle locked on, Primus lands some
small, annoying punhces. Primus looks for the RNC, but Henderson is
very smart, not attacking the main choking arm, but the helping
one. Primus isn't discouraged and continues peppering him with
small punches. Eventually, with 30 seconds left, Henderson musters
all his remaining energy and stands up again, with Primus again in
the backpack position. He awkwardly tries to slam Primus, but
simply leaves Primus in the better position, continuing to go for
the choke. The fight ends. I have Primus clearly winning this one,
but Henderson fights are known for some very poor decisions in his
favor, so it's still an open question who will win. 10-9 Primus
The Official Result
Brent Primus def. Benson Henderson via Unanimous Decision (29-28,
Light Heavyweight GP Semifinal:
Bader (204.1) vs. Corey
In a sensational co-main event, perhaps the best in Bellator's long
history, Bellator's former champ-champ Ryan Bader (28-6), recent
king at both heavyweight and light heavyweight, faces elite
contender Corey Anderson (15-5). Both men are world-class wrestlers
and have excellent, dangerous striking, but have the same flaw; a
relatively weak chin. Should be an outstanding showdown. Referee
Jason Herzog will get the best view in the house. After an early
feeling-out period, Bader starts off with a left hook, but Anderson
ducks under and connects with a short right hook behind the ear.
Bader crumbles to his knees and Anderson immediately jumps on him,
pounding away with punches. After a series of lightning blows from
the left and right hands, one after another, Bader is helpless on
his stomach, simply absorbing damage. Jason Herzog has no choice
but to stop it.
What a tremendous, sensational knockout for
Anderson, who appears to be fully realizing his tremendous talent.
A fantastic performance.
The Official Result
Corey Anderson def. Ryan Bader via TKO (Punches) at 0:51 of Round
Light Heavyweight GP Semifinal & Title Fight:
Nemkov (204.7) vs. Julius
Finally arriving at the main event, Bellator's 205-pound world
champion Vadim Nemkov (13-2), who has looked superlative in
Bellator and is undefeated since early in his career in 2016, and
faces replacement Julius Anglickas (10-1), a former LFA 205-pound
champion who has been undefeated since his second professional
outing, also back in 2016. Appropriately, the two big men have a
big ref assigned to them in the venerable Mike Beltran. Both men
trade jabs to begin the contest. Nemkov lands a body kick soon
after. Nemkov pumps out a nice jab, and then tests with a head kick
that is blocked. Nemkov is moving beautifully and goes to work with
the jab, with one partially getting through. After he lands,
however, Anglickas eye pokes him, and they temporarily halt. They
resume soon after and touch gloves. Nemkov pumps the jab and uses
it to land a nice right cross. Nemkov uses his head movement to
avoid Anglickas' punches who is looking slow and stiff by
comparison. However, Nemkov gets over-eager and after a mmissed
right uppercut, drops and hurts Nemkov with a right cross. Nemkov
immediately springs up and starts circling, clearing the cobwebs.
Anglickas comes forward but is unable to get to Nemkov. Nemkov
decides to shoot a double-leg and gets Anglickas to the canvas with
ease. Nemkov then takes the opportunity to partially recover,
taking his time from on top. He eventually throws some textbook
short elbows that partially land, as Anglickas tries to tie him up.
Nemkov postures up for a big punch, and Anglickas neatly uses the
opportunity to get up. At range again, Nemkov lands a hard jab.
Nemkov soon lands another solid jab, although he misses the
follow-up right cross. Nemkov misses a 1-2 and it's Anglickas who
decides to clinch, but soon gets thrown off. Nemkov lands a few
jabs and then lands the follow-up straight right for good measure.
Nemkov then lands another nice 1-2, as Anglickas is now wary.
Nemkov partially lands a left hook. With 10 seconds left, Nemkov
lands a couple of punches that stun Anglickas. Difficult round to
score. Obviously, Anglickas landed the biggest connect, but aside
from that, it was all Nemkov. 10-9 Nemkov.
Nemkov continues working his beautiful jab, and he lands a sharp
one 15 seconds in that snaps Anglickas' head back. Nemkov partially
lands another jab and then follows it up with a head kick that
partly gets through. Nemkov goes for another risky right uppercut,
but isn't countered this time. Nemkov is looking for his right
cross, but is barely missing, as Anglickas ducks just in time. They
clinch, and Nemkov throws a few knees to the legs. Soon, Nemkov
gets a beautiful hip toss, with Anglickas crashing to the canvas.
Nemkov lands a body punch and then a few punches to the head. He
hammers away with a few more punches to the body and then lands an
elbow to the head. Nemkov continues hammering away to the body. The
commentators mention that Nemkov is cut from an unintentional clash
of heads. Nemkov postures up a little and lands several punches to
the head. Anglickas ties him up, but Nemkov goes back to work with
punches to the body. After a brief pause, he chips away with more
punches and elbows to the head. Nemkov finds some separation with a
minute left and starts really laying into Anglickas with punches
and elbows to the head, which Anglickas is defending less and less.
With 30 seconds left, Nemkov starts battering Anglickas with one
punch after another. Anglickas gets away but then eats a bunch of
elbows that have Mike Beltran very, very close to stopping it. He
decides not to, and Anglickas continues to absorb a ton of damage
from elbows and punches. As they get up, it's Anglickas who is far
more cut and bloody, looking like the victim in a slasher film.
Anglickas tries a jab of his own, but Nemkov easily and neatly
moves away. Not 30 seconds in, and Nemkov shoots a double-leg,
easily getting Anglickas down to the canvas. He decides to posture
all the way up for a big punch and nearly eats an Anglickas upkick.
Nemkov then returns to half-guard, and decides to slow down his
pace. He lands a few short elbows to the head. Anglickas tries to
roll to the side, but lacks the energy to do much. Nemkov lands
several hard punches to Anglickas' head. Nemkov then adds a few
solid punches to the body. Suddenly, Nemkov is looking for a
possible arm triangle, squeezing hard. Anglickas hangs tough and
defends. Nemkov moves over to full mount and looks for a possible
armbar, but Anglickas is again tough and determined to survive.
Nemkov decides to roll for it, but Anglickas pursues him and is on
top, looking to cut the angle. Anglickas manages to get out and is
now on top! It's not for long, though, as Nemkov immediately
hip-escapes back up. And it's not long after that before he drags
Anglickas back down. Nemkov now finds himself in near-mount,
landing several hard punches to the head. Anglickas retains
half-guard, and Nemkov patiently continues landing body punches and
the occasional hard elbow. With 25 seconds left, Nemkov again gets
very deep position and again tries for an armbar. Yet again,
Anglickas hangs tough, though. 10-9 Nemkov.
They touch gloves to begin the first championship round. Anglickas
goes for a wild head kick that misses by a country mile. Nemkov
partially touches his foe with a left hook. However, not more than
30 seconds in, he shoots in for a double-leg and gets Anglickas
down yet again. Nemkov lands a few short elbows and then a couple
of hammerfists. Nemkov turns his hips into his punches and mostly
gets through a couple of hard punches. Nemkov then lands a few
punches to the head. Anglickas is incredibly tough to continue
resisting. Nemkov gets separation and Anglickas throws an illegal
upkick, as Nemkov is still on his knees, drawing a warning from
Mike Beltran. Nemkov goes back to work with body punches and is
working towards a crucifix. He eventually gets to side-control and
tees away with right hands, as Anglickas has his arms trapped.
Anglickas tries to push Nemkov, but Nemkov's top control is too
powerful and suffocating. Nemkov tries for an Americana, but
Anglickas, tough as ever, gets out. Nemkov goes back to the hold,
cranking it hard. Anglickas, however, simply grits it out, although
it looks very bad at times. Nemkov continues to torque, and this time,
transitions to a kimura. As he steps over Anglickas, the pressure
is just too much, and the Lithuanian is forced to tap.
dominant display of grappling by Nemkov, and a valiant effort by
Anglickas, who not only showed extraordinary toughness, but had
Nemkov hurt in round 1.
The Official Result
Vadim Nemkov def. Julius Anglickas via Submission (Kimura) at 4:25
of Round 4