Cheers to Friday, cheers to everyone who successfully bore their bedraggled bodies through another week for some much-deserved rest, cheers to the comeback trail, and cheers to those Russian MMA organizations that so often play host to the champs and would-be contenders of yesterday. Let's jump in.
Headlining the latest Plotforma S-70, Russian juggernaut Evgeny Erokhin added another name fighter to his growing list of victims as he bested Emanuel Newton (26-11-1, 8-4 Bellator, 1-0 IFL) by unanimous decision. After a 5-4 start to his career, Erokhin has gone unbeaten in his last eleven; a surge that includes victories over Jeff Monson, Brett Rogers, and Mike Kyle. Newton, with a solid if understated resume, is probably a more relevant talent of any of them. The former Bellator light-heavyweight champion has struggled of late, however, leaving Bellator earlier this year following a three fight slump. He's 1-1 since then.
In the night's co-main event, former UFC welterweight Adlan Amagov (14-2-1, 3-1 Strikeforce) moved up to light-heavyweight to submit Dirlei Broenstrup (14-4-0) with an armbar in Round 1. Amagov was released from the UFC despite a 2-0 start with the organization; this is his first fight since then.
The event also saw Akop Stepanyan (24-8, 1-4 Bellator) put himself on a two-fight win streak taking a split-decision over Thiago Meller (22-8, 0-1 Bellator). Stepanyan's disappointing run in Bellator came to a close in 2013, but he's gone 11-2 since then, including victories over UFC vets Andre Winner, Eddie Yagin, and Will Chope.
And earlier, Team Bodyshop's Jesse Juarez (23-12, 6-2 Bellator) dropped fell to the strikes of Alexei Ivanov (8-3-0). With this latest setback, Juarez slips to 1-2 since parting ways with Bellator last year. As for Ivanov, he's won five in a row, all by (T)KO.
Meanwhile, in the main event of RFA 42, Christos Giagos (13-5, 1-2 UFC) improved to 2-1 in his post-UFC career with a unanimous-decision-worthy effort over Arthur Estrazulas (8-3-0).
And at Absolute Championship Berkut 43, former Bellator mainstay Brett Cooper (22-12, 7-5 Bellator, 1-0 IFL) claimed a valuable unanimous decision win over Beslan Isaev (34-8-0), who had entered the fight with ten straight victories to his name. Cooper is 2-2 since his last appearance in Bellator in 2014.
Dragon House 23,
- Mauricio Alonso (12-7, 0-1 Bellator) defeats Justin Baesman (19-10-1, 0-1 WSOF, 2-2 Bellator) by unanimous decision to win the middleweight title. Alonso has won two straight, Baesman has dropped just as many in a row.
- TUF: Latin America alum Alexander Torres (5-3, 0-1 UFC) defeats Derek Hyatt (5-2-0) by unanimous decision. Torres has won two straight and is 3-1 since his lone UFC appearance; Hyatt had previously won four in a row.