Bellator 225 is scheduled to set sail this Saturday, August 24, from the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The night will ‘hopefully’ be capped off with a heavyweight rematch when the 13-6-1 Matt Mitrione and the 28-6-2 Sergei Kharitonov try and actually fight this time. What was supposed to be an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride at the top of Bellator 215 turned out to be an anticlimactic 15-second cup kick, resulting in a disappointing no contest. Hopefully, an early fight-ending foul will be avoided this time around, and these two strikers will slug it out until someone falls or until the final bell sounds.
If you compare resumes, you’ll find that Kharitonov is the one that has the bigger names under his belt. If you use the ol’ eye test, you’ll see that Mitrione is the fighter with more spring in his step, despite being the older of the two combatants. Let’s just again hope that the ending to this one isn’t as bunk as their first attempt at combat.
The heavyweight division will also be featured in Bellator 225’s co-main event when the promotion’s former champ, Vitaly Minakov, collides with legend slayer Javy Ayala. Minakov parted ways with Bellator as the company’s heavyweight king after a decision win over Cheick Kongo back in April of 2014. After catches a bunch of bodies over on the Russian circuit, Minakov returned to Bellator MMA earlier this February, dropping a decision to none other than Check Kongo. Minakov looked like his usual killer-self over in Fight Nights Global, but showed up a bit flat in his return to U.S. Soil and suffered his first professional career loss. The Minakov of old will need to show up if he hopes to get passed giant-slayer Ayala.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag when talking about the MMA career of Ayala. He’s pulled out finishes over Frank Mir and Sergei Kharitonov, but also has been finished a few times in his Bellator career. It seems as if Ayala is beyond capable of beating and losing to just about anyone. Just like how it’s a mystery as to which Minakov will show up, it’s an equal enigma as to which Ayala will grace the Bellator 225 stage.
Before that, the 7-3 Alejandra Lara will be meeting the 4-5 Taylor Turner. Lara debuted for the promotion by submitting Lena Ovchynnikova, but has now dropped consecutive bouts, first to champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, and then recently to Juliana Velasquez. As for Turner, her record isn’t very good, and her level of opposition in her winning efforts is quite low. She did TKO Heather Hardy in her Bellator debut, though. That’s got to count for something, right?
Another dose of heavyweight action will be showcased on Bellator 225 main card when two undefeated big men collide. The 6-0 Tyrell Fortune is squaring off with the 6-0 Rudy Schaffroth. Fortune is one of the greatest wrestlers to ever make the crossover to the sport of MMA. To learn a bit about that greatness, click here. On top of his wrestling pedigree, Fortune has been falling in love with his boxing and doing damage because of it. As for Schaffroth, he is a true heavyweight that will plant his feet and rail off a few haymakers. He does have subs from the top, but getting Fortune to the ground is quite the tall order, especially for a non-wrestler.
Opening up the main card, one of Bellator’s top prospects in Yaroslav Amosov will put his perfect 21-0 record on the line against the always tough David Rickels. Amosov has been all aces thus far under the Viacom banner. He’s picked up back to back decision wins over tough vets Gerald Harris and Erick Silva. Going back the other way, his opponent Rickels has always been an excellent barometer of just how good of a fighter someone is or isn’t. Traditionally, the power strikers have been the ones to nuke Rickels with mostly everyone else coming up short. Can Amosov add some power to his volume or will Rickels dish out the first loss of the Ukrainian’s career?
For an in-depth breakdown of each Bellator 225 tilt, check out The MMA Vivisection with Bloody Elbow’s own Zane Simon, Vic Rodriguez, and Eddie Mercado. Be sure to subscribe to our secondary YouTube channel to stay up to date with all of our live video content. Stay glued to Bloody Elbow for all of your event coverage including play-by-play, results, highlights, and more!
Paramount main card: 9:00 PM ET
- Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov: Heavyweight
- Vitaly Minakov vs. Javy Ayala: Heavyweight
- Alejandra Lara vs. Taylor Turner: (W) Bantamweight
- Tyrell Fortune vs. Rudy Schaffroth: Heavyweight
- David Rickels vs. Yaroslav Amosov: 175-pounds
Online prelims: 5:45 PM ET
- Nick Newell vs. Corey Browning: Lightweight
- Sabah Homasi vs. Micah Terrill: Welterweight
- Mike Kimbel vs. Chris Disonell: 140-pounds
- Khonry Gracie vs. Oscar Vera: Welterweight
- Ricky Bandejas vs. Ahmet Kayretli: Bantamweight
- Timothy Johnson vs. Zu Anyanwu: Heavyweight
- Austin Vanderford vs. Joseph Creer: Middleweight
- Aviv Gozali vs. Eduard Muravitskiy: 165-pounds
- Jon Manley vs. Thiago Rela: 175-pounds
- Kastriot Xhema vs. Connor Dixon: 165-pounds