What a dramatic night of fights at Bellator 265.
Cheick Kongo fought through some early adversity and submitted Sergei Kharitonov with just one second left in the second round of their scheduled three-round heavyweight fight. Logan Storley earned a split decision victory over Dante Schiro, while Marcelo Golm and Jornel Lugo saw their fights against Billy Swanson and Keith Lee end in emphatic fashion inside of one round.
Here is how the fights played out.
Main Card Results:
Cheick Kongo def. Sergei Kharitonov via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:59 of Round 1
Kharitonov did much of the damage in the opening round as he connected often with stiff jabs and leg kicks. Kongo responded with some jabs of his own, but Kharitonov was getting out of the way and kept popping the jab. He stunned Kongo coming in with a right hand and Kongo backed up to the cage. Kharitonov throws another stiff jab and connected with a head kick that grazed the eye of the Frenchman and may have injured him. Kongo turned his back to Kharitonov, who swarmed and tried to get the late stoppage, but he ran out of time. Good round for Kharitonov.
Kharitonov continued to pop Kongo with the jab. Kongo started to come alive and landed some knees to the body of Kharitonov. He then threw in a few combinations for good measure. Kongo turned the corner near the middle of the round and actually hurt Kharitonov with a right hand. He threw a couple more and went in for a double-leg takedown. Kongo landed some ground-and-pound but shifted his focus to getting a submission. Kongo then secured a rear-naked choke and Kharitonov was forced to tap out with just one second left in the second round. What a fun end to a fight between two heavyweight staples.
Logan Storley def. Dante Schiro via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Storley outwrestled and controlled Schiro in a performance that was not well-received by the crowd in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It did not take long for Storley to shoot in for a takedown and go to work from side control, but Schiro was doing good work from the bottom. Storley peppered Schiro with a few right hands to the body. Schiro tried to get up from his back, but Storley kept him down as the first round came to a close. Storley was forced to work a bit harder to get a takedown against Schiro in the second round, but got it eventually and resumed his control from top position. There was a lull in the action and the referee stood them up, much to the dismay of Storley, who thought he was still doing enough to keep the fight grounded. Schiro landed a body kick before the time expired. Storley and Schiro traded some kicks in the beginning of the third round before the fight is brought back to the ground, but it is getting harder to take it there. Schiro did much better at stuffing the takedowns from Storley and even tried finishing the fight with some elbows to the side of the head, but it was probably not enough to steal the fight. That last round definitely belonged to Schiro, though.
Storley was declared the winner by way of split decision. The welterweight contender said he was disappointed and embarrassed by his performance, but he returned to the win column after being dealt the first professional loss of his career to Yaroslav Amosov.
Marcelo Golm def. Billy Swanson via technical knockout (punches) at 4:57 of Round 1
Swanson came forward and fired off a leg kick, but missed his intended target in Golm. Swanson followed up with an overhand right, but Golm took advantage and clinched with his opponent. He threw a knee and two right hands while tied up right before they break. Swanson kept relying on his kicks that were doing little to no damage and Golm targeted the head and body with straight right hands and knees. Golm hurt Swanson with some combinations and the latter responded by clinching up against the cage with the former. Golm was clearly getting the better of Swanson and it was not long before the Brazilian went in for the stoppage. Swanson was dropped near the end of the round and Golm finished with a flurry of punches that saw the referee step in with just three seconds left. A successful promotional debut from the American Top Team product.
Jornel Lugo def. Keith Lee via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 5:00 of Round 1
Lugo found success with the jab throughout the fight. Lee responded with some counters, but none of them seemed significant enough to really phase Lugo. Lee tried to incorporate some takedowns and was stuffed by Lugo, who kept popping him with that jab. Toward the midway point of the round, Lee rushed forward and was dropped by a right hand from Lugo. Lugo followed Lee to the ground and immediately secured a D’Arce choke, but would let it go and the pair returned to their feet. Lee was able to connect with an overhand right on Lugo, who returned the favor with another jab. Lee shot in for his second takedown, only to have his back taken by Lugo. Lugo secured a rear-naked choke and it is tight. Lee was choked unconscious but woke up after a brief period and stumbled to his corner. The referee realized that Lee was out and waved the fight off. Lugo became the first person to finish Lee in his professional career and saw his overall record improve to 7-0.
Preliminary Card Results:
Fabio Aguiar def. Taylor Johnson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mike Hamel def. Bryce Logan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Archie Colgan def. Ben Simons via technical knockout (punches) at 4:04 of Round 1
Duane Johnson def. Deven Fisher via submission (D’Arce choke) at 1:04 of Round 1
Bailey Schoenfelder def. Kory Moegenburg via technical knockout (punches) at 4:11 of Round 1