The Mohegan Sun Arena was the setting for Bellator 194, which witnessed Matt Mitrione go the distance with Roy Nelson in their heavyweight GP opening round main event rematch. When the dust settled, and despite one judge’s score of a draw, it was Mitrione that walked away with the decision, and will now face the winner of Ryan Bader vs. King Mo in the semi finals. In the co-main event, Patricky Freire had a phenomenal performance in his rematch with Derek Campos, realizing a 1st round TKO as a result of some pretty precise power punching. “Pitbull” is now on a 3-fight winning streak and could very well be next in line for a shot at the lightweight belt.
Heather Hardy picked up a lackluster decision over fellow pro boxer Ana Julaton, but perhaps their future boxing match will produce a much more thrilling affair. Vadim Nemkov was firing on all cylinders, earning a huge win over Liam McGeary with a brutal leg attack that had the former light heavyweight champion hobbling to the referee for help. Nemkov would not exit the fight unscathed, however, revealing an insanely swollen foot, more than likely as a result of the billion or so kicks he threw/landed. Ty-wan Claxton opened up the main card by following up his flying knee debut with a dominant ground and pound finish of Jose Antonio Perez in the 2nd round.
Matt Mitrione def. Roy Nelson by Majority Decision (29-28 x2, 28-28): Heavyweight GP Opening Round
Mitrione unloaded a lengthy flurry in the 1st minute of the 1st round, landing several stinging shots, but the granite chin of Nelson is 2nd to none. Nelson slowed up the pace of the main event by shoving his foe up against the fence and realizing a takedown. “Big Country remained on top for the remainder of the round, but wasn’t able to get off much of any damage.
The striking of Mitrione was dialed in to start the 2nd round, particularly his lead uppercut, and Nelson had few answers for the continued pop-shotting from the outside. An answer finally materialized in the final minute of the round in the form of a takedown, but just like the 1st round, Nelson was unable to deal out any substantial damage before time ran out.
Mitrione stuffed the initial takedown attempt from Nelson and returned to his outside attack, but he failed to stop the 2nd attempt and found himself on his back with just over 3 minutes left in the round. Nelson moved into the mounted crucifix and started unleashing a barrage of unblocked ground strikes. Mitrione did climb back to his feet, just to be dragged back down, and finish the 3rd round on his back.
Patricky Freire def. Derek Campos by TKO at 2:23 of round 1: Lightweight
It was a bit of a slow start to this lightweight rematch, but when “Pitbull” found his opening, he made it count! Freire ate a punch early in the 1st round, but he returned fire with a debo left hook that dropped Campos. “Pitbull” allowed his rocked opponent to stand back up, and then unleashed a series of uppercuts that sat him right back down, sealing the deal.
This isn’t Deja Vu or a glitch in the Matrix, Patricky Pitbull just TKO’d Derek Campos for the 2nd time:
Heather Hardy def. Ana Julaton by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27): (W) Flyweight
It was Julaton who clinched up in the 1st 30 seconds of the fight, shoving her opponent up against the cage. Hardy threatened with a Guillotine attempt and ultimately used it as a way to find top position, before switching to a Rear-Naked Choke attempt before time expired.
Julaton scored a takedown inside of the 1st minute of the 2nd frame, but Hardy worked diligently into top position once again, dropping down quite a bit of volume. Hardy returned to the RNC, but Julaton hung tough and spun around into the full guard to finish the round in the dominant position.
Again, Julaton returned to grinding on Hardy up against the fence, but this time the referee stepped in and separated them due to a lack of activity. That didn’t deter Julaton from her gameplan, as she went right back to the wall and stall tactic as before, even after getting separated by the ref a couple more times.
**It should be noted that Hardy officially weighed in at 126.25 pounds
Vadim Nemkov def. Liam McGeary by TKO (Leg Kicks) at 4:02 of round 3: Light Heavyweight
Both athletes came out looking to throw their punches, with each man scoring with heavy right hands. It was Nemkov who took command of the center of the cage, forcing McGeary to back up to the fence. Nemkov began chopping down McGeary with several unchecked leg kicks, and even blasted a last second takedown before the end of the opening round.
The hands of Nemkov were on point to start the second stanza, cracking McGeary to the point where the former champ clinched up and pulled guard. A Triangle attempt was all it took for Nemkov to bail on the ground game and return to his feet, where he continued to attack the lead leg of McGeary.
McGeary ate a heavy and well placed leg kick to open up the final round, and began noticeably limping as a result. The kicks didn’t stop, and no checks were to be seen as Nemkov continued to batter the lead leg, finally forcing McGeary to turn away and hobble towards the referee before collapsing to the canvas. The referee stepped in and began attending to the mangled leg of the former light heavyweight champion.
Ty-wan Claxton def. Jose Antonio Perez by TKO at 3:39 of round 2: Featherweight
Perez was all defense throughout the opening round, and even defended the same flying knee that Claxton used to win his pro debut in spectacular fashion. Claxton hit a strong double leg, planting his opponent on the mat, and rained down some pretty hard elbows while also holding down half guard.
Claxton ducked under a looping hook to pick up a takedown to half guard within the 1st minute of the second round. The elbows came back out to play, as Perez had few answers for the top control, and Claxton was able to fire at will. Perez was warned multiple times to improve upon his position, but the strikes of Claxton proved to be too much, and the referee mercifully stepped in to stop the fight.
Ross Richardson def. Ron Leon by KO at 1:41 of round 2: Lightweight