Bellator 243 just wrapped up from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut with former lightweight champion, Michael Chandler, knocking out Benson Henderson in the first-round of their rematch. Bendo seemed up to the task at hand, launching strong body attacks in Chandler’s direction. It was a sinister left hand behind a jab that dropped Henderson, and it was the followup blows that put him out. Chandler has now picked up back to back wins, which is exactly the way you want to respond when you’re gunning for a new contract.
In another quick finish, the co-main event of the evening took place in the heavyweight division and also ended in the first round. Timothy Johnson handily controlled Matt Mitrione on the ground before unleashing a ton of devastating strikes to force the finish. It was an accidental headbutt that led to Johnson taking top position in the first place, but since the referee didn’t see the collision of skulls, the fight went on. After two rough first-round hiccups in a row, Johnson has now realized his second-straight first-round finish for Bellator.
Also on the main card, Myles Jury took a hard fought split decision over a very game Georgi Karakhanyan. Jury landed the better of the strikes both on the feet and on the ground, earning one score of 30-27 and one of 29-28. The third judge saw the fight 30-27 for Karakhanyan. That’s so 2020! Nonetheless, Jury has now won back to back fights in his new home, both over Bellator mainstays in Brandon Girtz and now Karakhanyan.
Opening up the Bellator 243 main card, Sabah Homasi leaned on his grappling to take a unanimous decision over Curtis Millender. Homasi was able to negate his opponent’s reach advantage by controlling the distance and keeping Millender defensive for a large chunk of clock. Homasi is now 2-0 in his current run under the Bellator banner.
**See complete results below
Michael Chandler def. Benson Henderson by KO at 2:09 of round 1: Lightweight
Chandler pressed forward as he usually does, but Bendo was waiting for him with a bunch of body kicks. Henderson was looking sharp and dialed in, but then a nuclear left hand was launched from Chandler behind a jab. The punch caught Bendo clean, dropping him down to one knee. Chandler pounced right away with a hammer to the forehead, sending Henderson facedown. A series of followup strikes landed before the referee had a chance to stop the fight.
Timothy Johnson def. Matt Mitrione by TKO at 3:14 of round 1: Heavyweight
The heavyweights collided heads early in the first round, knocking Mitrione to the floor and gifting Johnson top position. Johnson held down the position, controlling Mitrione and dishing out heavy leather. The barrage got worse the longer fight went on, to the point where the referee had to intervene to protect Mitrione.
Myles Jury def. Georgi Karakhanyan by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 27-30): Lightweight
The fighters got busy right away, trading combos and landing solid shots. Karakhanyan was working his leg kick and trying to come over the top with his right hand. Jury was looking to out-slick his foe with sharp counters. Karakhanyan closed the distance and looked to take the match to the floor by clinching against the cage, but Jury did a great job of fighting off the takedown and returning to open space. Jury landed a few combos before Karakhanyan unsuccessfully tried again for the takedown, causing a small cut around Georgi’s eye.
Jury opened up the second round with an assortment of kicking techniques. Karakhanyan just sort of stayed on the outside taking it, before he finally closed the distance against the fence. He wasn’t able to keep Jury pinned to the cage, and began to get picked apart on the feet. Karakhanyan landed a big overhand right to enter the clinch, and actually got himself a takedown, albeit short-lived. Jury had a turn grinding away against the cage. He landed some sneaky elbows and other chipping shots before Karakhanyan reversed the position again.
Karakhanyan pressured right away in the final frame, but had to walk through some elbows to close the distance. After stuffing the takedown, Jury held Karakhanyan against the cage and scored with some more softening strikes. In open space, Jury landed some more heavy step-in elbows. Karakhanyan jumped a guillotine, but Jury remained composed, escaped, and then enjoyed top position. Jury dropped a barrage of elbows from Georgi’s full guard, and then controlled Karakhanyan for the remaining few seconds of the fight.
Sabah Homasi def. Curtis Millender by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Welterweight
Millender took command of the cage early, using his long punches to keep Homasi on the outside. Homasi would land a couple of kicks here and there, and then on the board with a takedown. He landed a couple of blows from the top, while Millender utilized heel strikes to the hamstring from the bottom of full guard. Homasi went back to the takedown in the second act. He planted Millender on his back and chipped away with a few strikes for a large chunk of the round. Millender eventually reversed into top position and worked for a D’arce, followed by a guillotine attempt, before the bell.
The takedown wasn’t readily available for Homasi in the final round. Millender fought hard to stay on his feet and began to pressure. He started to let his strikes fly, and Homasi responded with finally getting his takedown. Millender instantly threatened with another D’arce, but Homasi defended well and scrambled into top position. Millender muscled his way to his feet and got back to pressing his foe, but Homasi managed to get the fight back to the floor. Homasi transitioned to the back, but ate quite a few hammerfists as Millender defended.
- Adam Borics def. Mike Hamel by split decision: Featherweight
- Chris Lencioni def. AJ Agazarm by unanimous decision: Featherweight
- Valerie Loureda def. Tara Graff by KO at 5:00 of round 2: (W) Flyweight
- Grant Neal def. Hamza Salim by unanimous decision: Light Heavyweight
- Charlie Campbell def. Nainoa Dung by TKO at 1:42 of round 2: Lightweight
- Dalton Rosta def. Mark Gardner by TKO at 5:00 of round 1: Middleweight