Bellator 218 is over. Emmanuel Sanchez just earned another hard fought decision over Georgi Karakhanyan to go up 2-0 between the two. Sanchez gets himself back into the win column after coming up short in his first title fight, and also solidifies himself as one of the top contenders in Bellator’s featherweight division.
In the co-main event, Valentin Moldavsky out-grappled Linton Vassell in a three-round decision, dropping plenty of punches along the way. Having now won all of his Bellator matchups, Moldavsky enjoys a three-fight winning streak. Vassell’s heavyweight debut has been spoiled, and to make matters worse, his losing skid advances to three-straight.
Before that, Anatoly Tokov overcame being dropped in the opening round to realize a second-round submission of Gerald Harris. The 28-3 Tokov has now won four-straight and remains undefeated within the promotion. This win should catapult the Russian right to the top of Bellator’s middleweight division, and Tokov made the most of his post-fight interview by asking for a shot at the belt. Opening up the main card, Norbert Novenyi Jr. picked up another submission victory when he choked out William Lavine in the second round. The 4-0 Novenyi now sits at 2-0 under the Bellator banner.
Emmanuel Sanchez def. Georgi Karakhanyan by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Featherweight
The featherweights went right to work, meeting in the middle of the cage and trading shots. Karakhanyan was the one that switched things up and put Sanchez on his back. Several body punches scored for Karakhanyan as Sanchez looked to tie up. Sanchez landed some chipping shots from his back, but spent a ton of time on bottom.
Sanchez came out for round-two looking to strike but Karakhanyan went for the takedown. Karakhanyan struggled to complete the takedown, allowing Sanchez to rack up some strikes. Back on the feet, it was Sanchez who achieved a slamming takedown. Karakhanyan exposed his back and Sanchez took full advantage of the situation. The fighters exchanged strikes from the position, but Karakhanyan did not free himself until the round was over.
Sanchez pressed forward again to kick off the final round, but Karakhanyan went back to the takedown. Karakhanyan spent a lot of energy working for the takedown as Sanchez defended well. Karakhanyan may have been controlling, but Sanchez was landing pretty much all of the strikes. The referee separated the fighters and Karakhanyan dove in and snagged a takedown. Sanchez scrambled into the top position and began dropping down strikes. Karakhanyan allowed Sanchez to hammerfist him repeatedly, smiling the entire time like a mad man.
Valentin Moldavsky def. Linton Vassell by unanimous decision (29-27 x3): Heavyweight
Vassell took the center of the cage, pumping his jab to keep his foe on the outside. Moldavsky gave up the takedown but was able to scramble back to his feet before Vassell could do anything with the position. Vassell pressed forward and went back to hunting for the takedown to which Moldavsky conceded.
Moldavsky knocked his opponent off-balance early in the second round, but Vassell was the one who took top position. Moldavsky worked back to his feet but totally botched a guillotine to end up on his back again. Vassell ended up getting swept, followed by spending a lot of time and energy preventing Moldavsky from taking his back.
It took less than thirty seconds for Moldavsky to take top position. Vassell struggled to get his opponent off his back and absorbed quite a few strikes. Moldavsky remained active with his ground strikes, constantly pressuring his foe as he looked for submission opportunities. The heat was turned up down the stretch. Moldavsky threw with a bit more horsepower with less than a minute remaining on the clock. Vassell did not return to his feet.
@LDV_TheSwarm with the takedown early in round one!— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 23, 2019
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Anatoly Tokov def. Gerald Harris by submission (Guillotine) at :37 of round 2: Middleweight
The middleweights began trading leather right away, with Tokov backing up his foe. Then BOOM! Harris clipped Tokov and dropped him with a hard left punch. Harris went in for the kill but somehow Tokov survived and scrambled back to his feet. From the clinch, Tokov came up with a short-lived takedown before the clinching resumed. With moments left in the round, Tokov found another takedown and was able to let off some blows before time expired. Tokov staggered his opponent with a combination to get the second round started. As Harris shot in, Tokov locked up a guillotine choke that had Harris dead to rights. Tokov squeezed with all he had and Harris was forced to tap.
Anatoly Tokov now has a 4-0 Bellator record after his 2nd round submission win tonight at #Bellator218.— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 23, 2019
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Norbert Novenyi Jr. def. William Lavine by submission (Arm Triangle) at 4:05 of round 2: Middleweight
Novenyi wasted no time in taking the back of his opponent. Lavine was able to get his back on the mat, but ate several hard shots for his trouble. Back on the feet, Novenyi locked up a standing guillotine, but Lavine hung tough and escaped. A big belly to back suplex resulted in Novenyi taking the back again with about a minute left in the round, but again Lavine was savvy enough to escape the position.
Lavine shoved his foe up against the fence early in the second act, complete with foot stomps. Novenyi made his way to the top position where he began dropping more hammers. From the full mount, Novenyi locked up a super-tight arm triangle, and despite Lavine trying to tough it out, the pressure was too much and he was forced to tap.
@MagicNorbi locks in the submission and walks away with the win tonight at #Bellator218.— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 23, 2019
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@MagicNorbi is landing big shots early in the fight tonight!— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 23, 2019
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- Deborah Kouzmin def. Ky Bennett unanimous decision: (W) 130 pounds
These ladies came to scrap!— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 23, 2019
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- Johnny Eblen def. Chauncey Foxworth by unanimous decision: Middleweight
- John Macapá def. Kevin Croom by unanimous decision: Featherweight
- Jordan Newman def. Joseph Holmes by unanimous decision: Middleweight
- Vladimir Tokov def. Ryan Walker by unanimous decision: Lightweight
- Victoria Leonardo def. Malin Hermanssonby submission (Armbar) at 4:49 of round 1: (W) Flyweight
@VLeo0216 comes away with the armbar win with only ten seconds left in round one here at #Bellator218.— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 22, 2019
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- Nation Gibrick vs. Nick Page: Lightweight
- Aaron Vickers vs. Isaiah Gutierrez: Bantamweight
- Craig Fairley vs. Luis Erives: Lightweight