Ukraine has its first major mixed martial arts champion.
Yaroslav Amosov kept his perfect professional record intact and quieted whatever detractors he had left, as he claimed the undisputed Bellator MMA welterweight title with a five-round unanimous decision over Douglas Lima in the Bellator 260 headliner on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Amosov (26-0, 7-0 Bellator) swept the scorecards with 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46 marks from the judges.
Lima (32-9, 14-5 Bellator) was woefully ineffective, his best weapons neutralized by the three-time combat sambo world champion. Amosov held his own in the standup exchanges and completed takedowns in all five rounds, corralling the Brazilian on the canvas for extended periods of time. While his output was far from overwhelming, he stayed busy enough to avoid restarts. Lima made a pass at a Hail Mary armbar in the final minute of the fifth round, and though he had the Ukrainian in legitimate danger, his efforts ultimately proved fruitless.
Meanwhile, Sanford MMA’s Jason Jackson leaned on repeated takedowns, a smothering top game and sporadic ground-and-pound, as he captured a unanimous decision over Paul Daley in the three-round catchweight co-main event at 175 pounds. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Jackson (15-4, 6-1 Bellator).
Daley (42-18-2, 9-5 Bellator) was never afforded the opportunity to establish a rhythm. Jackson nullified the former Cage Rage champion at every turn with level changes, takedowns, positional advances and ground-and-pound. While his efforts did little to please those in attendance, he was virtually flawless from a tactical standpoint. Daley rarely had room to operate and found himself pinned to the canvas for much of the 15-minute affair.
Jackson, 30, has rattled off five consecutive victories.
Elsewhere, Jackson-Wink MMA prospect Aaron Pico flirted with perfection in a comprehensive performance, as he submitted Aiden Lee with an anaconda choke in the third round of their featherweight attraction. Pico (8-3, 8-3 Bellator) brought it to a close 1:33 into Round 3.
Lee (9-5, 2-2 Bellator) was outgunned in every phase. Pico struck for repeated takedowns, paired them with damaging ground-and-pound and shined in the standup exchanges, where he connected with two devastating left hooks to the body. The 24-year-old Californian sprawled out of an attempted takedown in the third round, took top position in half guard and later delivered a series of knee strikes to the grounded Lee’s exposed ribcage. Pico shifted his attention to the neck soon after and cinched the fight-ending choke.
Pico has won four fights in a row, all of them finishes.
Finally, Chosen Few Gym export Mark Lemminger put away Demarques Jackson with punches in the second round of their welterweight showcase. Jackson (11-6, 1-2 Bellator) packed his bags 3:30 into Round 2, the Sanford MMA rep suffering his fourth setback in five appearances.
Lemminger (12-3, 2-2 Bellator) stayed calm under duress and flexed his superiority in the scrambles. He conceded a takedown in the second round, reversed position into half guard and applied his ground-and-pound with punches and elbows. Lemminger eventually transitioned to the back, threatened with a rear-naked choke and then flattened out Jackson. From there, he dropped unanswered punches until referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough.
The victory closed the book on Lemminger’s two-fight losing streak.
In other action, Kyle Crutchmer (7-1, 3-1 Bellator) laid claim to a unanimous decision over Levan Chokheli (9-1, 0-1 Bellator) in a three-round welterweight battle, drawing 30-27 nods from all three cageside judges; Justin Gonzales (12-0, 1-0 Bellator) was awarded a split verdict—29-28, 28-29, 29-28)—over Tywan Claxton (6-3, 6-3 Bellator) in a three-round featherweight confrontation; Bobby King (10-3, 1-0 Bellator) eked out a split decision—30-27, 28-29, 30-27—over Nick Newell (16-4, 1-2 Bellator) in a three-round lightweight tilt; Lucas Brennan (5-0, 5-0 Bellator) submitted Matt Skibicki (4-4, 0-1 Bellator) with an anaconda choke 1:54 into the first round of their catchweight encounter at 150 pounds; Marina Mokhnatkina (5-2, 1-1 Bellator) took a unanimous decision from Amanda Bell (7-8, 3-4 Bellator) in a three-round women’s featherweight affair, sweeping the scorecards with 30-27 marks from all three judges; and Alex Polizzi (8-1, 2-1 Bellator) submitted Gustavo Trujillo (3-2, 0-1 Bellator) with a straight armbar 4:22 into the first round of their light heavyweight pairing.