Corey Anderson made a successful Bellator MMA debut against Melvin Manhoef in the headliner of Bellator 251.
Anderson (14-5) immediately took down Manhoef (32-15-1, 2 NC) and pummeled "No Mercy" with punches on the ground. This cycle was repeated in Round 2, but "Overtime" was able to land several huge elbows that forced the referee to step in at 2:34.
The co-main event saw heavyweights Tyrell Fortune and Said Sowma face off. Fortune (9-1, 1 NC) was able to get back into the win column after suffering his first defeat earlier this year. However, Sowma (6-2) made the bout a competitive one and was the more active fighter later on. After 15 minutes of action, all three judges scored the bout 29-28 Fortune.
Middleweight prospect Austin Vanderford stayed undefeated against Vinicius de Jesus. The one-sided affair lasted a full 15 minutes as Vanderford (10-0) was able to outgrapple de Jesus (9-4). Vanderford took a unanimous decision victory earning scores of 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
The main card opened up with a welterweight bout between Derek Anderson and Killys Mota. Anderson (17-3, 1 NC) snapped a six-fight decision streak by knocking out Mota (12-2) with a beautifully-timed soccer kick at 4:27 of Round 2. While there was some initial confusion on whether it was legal or not, the KO stood after instant replay was consulted.
In preliminary action, Georgi Karakhanyan (30-11-1) won a close split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) over Bryce Logan (12-5); Alex Polizzi (7-1) suffered the first loss of his career losing a unanimous decision to fellow light heavyweight prospect Julius Anglickas (9-1), who earned 30-27 scorecards across the board; Janay Harding (6-5) picked up three 30-27 scorecards in a unanimous decision win over Jessy Miele (9-5) at featherweight; Ali Zebian (5-2) outworked Piankhi Zimmerman (5-5-1) to earn a unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) in their lightweight bout; Jaylon Bates won a dominant decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27) over Joseph Supino in what was the debut bout for both bantamweights; and Sumiko Inaba made a successful pro debut by picking up a last-second Round 1 TKO win over fellow flyweight Jessica Ruiz (0-2).