Bellator 216 is underway and just witnessed Mirko Cro Cop and Roy Nelson go the distance in the co-main event. A lot of clinch fighting took place with nether man really getting rocked, but each man scoring. After it was all said and done, the judges awarded Bellator newcomer Cro Cop the decision victory. Crop Cop remans undefeated in rematches, and has now won ten-straight.
After a five-year hiatus from the promotion, Vitaly Minakov returned to Bellator and went the full 15-minutes with five-year Bellator veteran Cheick Kongo. It was a bit of a slow fight, with each man finding a few moments of their own. When the dust settled, it was Kongo who walked away with the decision victory, and just might be next in line to face Bellator’s recently crowned king, Ryan Bader.
Yaroslav Amosov overcame getting touched up early to have a dominant second and third round against Bellator newcomer/MMA veteran Erick Silva to win a unanimous decision. The victory moves Amosov to 21-0 and advances him up another rung of Bellator’s welterweight ladder. Opening up the main card, Taekwondo standout Valerie Loureda made good on her professional/promotional debut with a first round stoppage of Colby Fletcher. The future looks bright for the 20-year-old Loureda, who showcased a fluid and varied striking attack.
Mirko Cro Cop def. Roy Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Heavyweight
Nelson pumped his jab as he pressed Cro Cop against the fence to start the fight. Despite the pressure of Nelson, Cro Cop did a good job of staying in open space. The clinch was actually initiated by Cro Cop, where he landed some stinging uppercuts. Nelson spent a substantial amount of time with his back to the fence, and then ate a brutal liver kick once he did get to open space.
Cro Cop pressed his foe up against the fence again in the second frame, landing a variety of hard blows before Nelson escaped. Cro Cop attacked high and low with kicks, but Nelson responded with some knees that scored. Another patented Cro Cop high kick was launched in the closing moments, and Nelson responded with his version of a head kick that missed badly.
The final round opened up with Nelson initiating the clinch and landed a set of uppercuts before they broke apart. Nelson began searching for takedown, forcing a fatigued Cro Cop to fend off the constant attempts. With about one minute remaining in the fight, Nelson found his takedown, but didn’t really do anything with it before the clock ran out.
Cheick Kongo def. Vitaly Minakov by decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Heavyweight
Minakov struck first with a right hand that staggered Kongo. Over-committing on a punch resulted in Kongo clinching up with the former champ. An accidental knee to the cup from Minakov brought the bout to a brief halt, but the action resumed. Kongo looked to counter strike as Minakov pressed forward, almost exclusively throwing a right hand.
Minakov continued to predominantly throw his right hand into the second act, but wasn’t finding much success. With neither man wanting to make a mistake, quite a bit of measuring went on to the crowd’s dismay. In the final minute of the round, Kongo exploded and landed a two-piece to the face of Minakov. Another set of punches scored for Kongo before time expired.
Kongo attacked the leg of Minakov to begin the final round, but after eating a few of them, Minakov blasted a takedown and took top position. From the top of half guard, Minakov started working for an Ezekiel choke. Kongo was able to free himself from the hold, even if he was still stuck on the bottom. Kongo managed to work his way to his feet where he aggressively started landing brutal uppercuts and knees as the sand ran out of the hourglass.
@Kongo4Real is your winner in the heavyweight feature fight at #Bellator216 tonight.— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 17, 2019
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Yaroslav Amosov def. Erick Silva by unanimous decision (29-28 x2; 29-27): Welterweight
Silva opened up the first round with a heavy leg kick that got the attention of Amosov. The punches of Silva bloodied up the face of Amosov within the first two-minutes of the fight. Just past the midpoint of the round, Amosov switched gears and initiated a clinch exchange. Amosov got his striking going a bit before the bell sounded, but the bulk of the damage for the round was dished out by Silva.
Amosov came out for round-two looking to close the distance. Silva exposed his back and found himself stuck beneath the Sambo world champion. When Silva went to explode up to his feet, Amosov suplexed him right back to the ground. Silva did not return to his feet until time expired.
Silva blasted his foe with a thudding leg kick that caused Amosov to switch positions. Amosov used his punches to close the distance, but Silva was crafty enough to return to open space. Nothing was done by Silva back on the feet before Amosov rushed in and secured a takedown. Silva couldn’t stop the rag dolling, as Amosov imposed his will as the clock dwindled down.
Valerie Loureda def. Colby Fletcher by TKO at 2:55 of round 1: (W) Flyweight
The flyweights went right to work, trading blows back and forth. Loureda let off a couple of flashy Taekwondo kicks, and also showcased some rather fast hands. Fletcher was game, landing straights and elbows of her own, but the combination striking of Loureda proved to be too much. Loureda linked a punching flurry with a body kick, which knocked Fletcher to the ground. A barrage of hammerfists blasted Fletcher until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
- Demetrios Plaza def. Andrews Rodriguez by unanimous decision: Welterweight
- Justin Sumter def. Reginaldo Felix by submission (RNC) at 3:27 of round 2: Middleweight
@FortSumterMMA with the finish in the second round of his prelim bout!— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 17, 2019
Prelims are going strong on our app https://t.co/rOLSxx3D5k & simulcast on @DAZN_USA https://t.co/nYWevM68WM.#Bellator216 #BellatorWGP pic.twitter.com/bxSQ23w65i
- Camron Lochinov def. Kastriot Xhema by submission (Kneebar) in round 1: 165 pounds
Kemran Lachinov gets his W via knee bar in our #Bellator216 prelims tonight.— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 17, 2019
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- Tyrell Fortune def. Ryan Pokryfky by TKO at 2:21 of round 1: Heavyweight
Tyrell Fortune with the dynamite W at #Bellator216 tonight!— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 17, 2019
Prelims are live now on our app https://t.co/rOLSxx3D5k & simulcast on @DAZN_USA https://t.co/nYWevM68WM!#BellatorWGP pic.twitter.com/t14Fr0CxjT
- Vinicius de Jesus def. Rodolfo Barcellos by TKO/KO at 3:46 of round 1: Welterweight
Vinicius De Jesus comes away with a brilliant performance tonight in our prelims at #Bellator216!— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 17, 2019
Prelims are live now on our app https://t.co/rOLSxx3D5k & simulcast on @DAZN_USA https://t.co/nYWevM68WM!#BellatorWGP pic.twitter.com/c2Iah3piTF
- Jesse Kosakowski def. Rodolfo Rocha by submission (RNC) at 3:05 of round 2: Middleweight
@JesseJames_Koz has a scintillating Bellator debut by way of an RNC.— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 17, 2019
Prelims are live now on our app https://t.co/rOLSxx3D5k & simulcast on @DAZN_USA https://t.co/nYWevM68WM!#Bellator216 #BellatorWGP pic.twitter.com/Z9bacO7rmt
- Nekruz Mirkhojaev def. Pat Casey by submission (Neck Crank) at 1:18 of round 3