Ryan Bader advanced to the semi-final of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix, as he defeated Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision at Bellator 256.
Machida was beating up the body of Bader in round one, landing some hard kicks that reddened Bader’s torso. After struggling to close the distance in the second round, Bader secured his first takedown of the fight and started to land some ground and pound.
The tide was turning as Machida was struggling to defend Bader’s takedowns. ‘Darth’ continued to grind out Machida on the ground landing short shots, and the final three rounds were scarcely competitive. Machida was noticeably exhausted and Bader poured on the punishment on his way to victory, nine years removed from losing to Machida by KO back in the UFC.
Bader will face the winner of Corey Anderson vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov, which takes place at Bellator 257 on April 16, in the semi-final.
In the co-main event, Liz Carmouche spoiled the Bellator debut of Vanessa Porto, outstriking the former Invicta FC flyweight champion to win a unanimous decision. Also of note was Adam Borics’ win over Jeremy Kennedy, Cat Zingano getting an easy armbar win over Olivia Parker to likely clinch a title shot at women’s featherweight, and Dan Moret getting an upset win over Japanese submission specialist Goiti Yamauchi.
Check out the full results for Bellator 256 below:
Ryan Bader def Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)
Liz Carmouche def Vanessa Porto via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Adam Borics def. Jeremy Kennedy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Cat Zingano def. Olivia Parker via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 2:56
Dan Moret def. Goiti Yamauchi via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Dalton Rosta def Tony Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Talita Nogueira def Jessica Borga via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Jornel Lugo def. Cass Bell via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Cody Law def Nathan Ghareeb via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jaylon Bates def Jeffrey Glossner via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 2, 1:27
Nainoa Dung def Izzy William via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Diana Avsaragova def Tara Graff via KO (punch) - Round 1, 0:29
Diana Avsaragova was swiftly victorious in her #Bellator debut at #Bellator256 tonight.— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) April 9, 2021
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John Douma def Will Smith via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)