Bellator 182 is in the books as the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York witnessed Andrey Koreshkov in top form as he dispatched Chidi Njokuani with viscous ground and pound in the opening round of the main event. The co-main event of the evening saw Fernando Gonzalez score a 3rd round submission of Brennan Ward, after arguably being down 2 rounds on the scorecards. Join us back here for the next event, Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Freire on September 23, 2017.
Andrey Koreshkov def. Chidi Njokuani by TKO at 4:08 of round 1: Welterweight
Njokuani opened the bout with a few chopping leg kicks as Koreshkov pressured forward. Koreshkov snuck his way on the inside and shot for a single leg, and briefly achieved the takedown, before Njokuani sprung back up to his feet. Koreshkov landed a gorgeous spinning backfist on the break, and followed up with a flying knee to the body, and right to a takedown, not allowing Njokuani a chance to breathe. Off the strength of another takedown, Koreshkov went H.A.M. with his ground and pound, dropping elbow after elbow, while Njokuani simply covered up, prompting the first round stoppage.
Check out Koreshkov looking like he wants another crack at that Bellator welterweight belt:
Fernando Gonzalez def. Brennan Ward by Submission (Guillotine) at 1:02 of round 3: Catchweight of 178
Ward kickstarted the fight with a rarely seen head and arm throw of his opponent, but allowed Gonzalez to return to his feet. Ward pressed forward with clean boxing combinations, as Gonzalez sat back, throwing heavy strikes to keep his opposition honest. Gonzalez got caught with his back to the cage, and Ward took advantage with a brief takedown, but did nothing with it before returning back to his feet.
Believe it or not, Ward found himself in a second round, and began said round by achieving another brief takedown up against the cage. On the feet, Gonzalez found himself often waiting on his opponent, as Ward worked behind his jab, being the busier fighter, and even scoring a late takedown to put a stamp on the round. The final round did not last very long, as Gonzalez aggressively responded to a double leg attempt by jumping on a Guillotine Choke, and picking up the tap.
Gonzalez needed a finish, and boy did he get it:
Check out Ward’s sick head and arm throw:
Bruna Ellen def. Veta Arteaga by Split Decision(29-28 x2, 28-29): (W) Flyweight
Ellen found early success in the fight with her counter striking, popping off on her opponent as Arteaga pressured forward. The opening round was more than likely iced with a late takedown, complete with some ground and pound. Ellen scored another takedown as her opponent rushed forward, and transitioned to the back, but Arteaga was able to scramble into top position. Arteaga got busy with some quality ground strikes, racking up points as the round came to a close. Arteaga came out aggressive to open up the third round, but Ellen was able to slow down the pace by clinching up against the fence. Open space was realized as both flyweights landed their own shots, but Ellen realized a takedown with about 2 minutes remaining in the fight. Ellen stood up, and allowed Arteaga to return to her feet.
A.J. McKee def. Blair Tugman by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26 x2): Featherweight
McKee came out looking to stay on the outside, launching all sorts of rangy kicks to force his opposition to respect the space. Tugman found his way on the inside and shot in for the takedown, but McKee sprawled properly, and returned to his feet following a bit of control. Tugman landed a few punches on the feet, but McKee seemed to be the much busier fighter in the opening round, finding top position a few times. To start off the second stanza, McKee stood in the center of the cage, and continued to fire off kicks in his opponent’s direction, as Tugman struggled to manage the range. Tugman eventually grabbed ahold of his foe, and shoved McKee’s back up against the cage for the final minute of the round.
Early in the third frame, McKee returned the favor by stuffing Tugman up against the cage, and leaving him leaking blood from a brutal elbow to the face. To avoid a takedown, Tugman committed full on to a Guillotine Choke, but didn’t have his legs/hips engaged whatsoever, allowing McKee to escape into top position. Tugman attempted a leglock in the closing moments of the round, but it was too little too late, as McKee went home with his Ben Askren tying 9th consecutive Bellator win. McKee stated that he injured his left hand in the bout, which could prolong the return of the young and undefeated fighter.
Watch AJ McKee drop a bow on ‘em:
Rainey walking his foe into a head kick:
Joey Davis def. J.T. Roswell by KO: Catchweight of 175
Matt Secor vs. TJ Sumler: Welterweight
Josh Ricci vs. Billy Windrum: Flyweight
Jessica Sotack vs. Kristi Lopez: Flyweight
Alex Potts vs. Brandon Polcare: Bantamweight