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Bellator 273 results and highlights: Ryan Bader keeps HW title with grueling win over Valentin Moldavsky

Check out the results and highlights from the Bellator 273 main card, where Ryan Bader won a unanimous nod over Valentin Moldavsky to retain his heavyweight title in the main event.

Bellator 214 Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Bellator 273 was a pretty fun card overall, with a variety of finishes and even one technical decision. The featured matchup was heavyweight unification bout that witnessed the champion, Ryan Bader, endure a grind in order to walk away with a unanimous decision over the interim champ, Valentin Moldavsky.

Bader rocked Moldavsky right away with some heavy leather, but Moldavsky recovered enough to find a takedown and survive. The second and third rounds were better for Valentin. He was able to stick Ryan in a vicious cycle of getting taken down and getting back up. Things changed in the championship rounds, though, when Bader came up with some huge takedowns in the fourth, and then some strong strikes in the fifth.

Ryan has now officially defended his heavyweight crown, since his last fight at this weight ended in a no contest. Speaking of Cheick Kongo, the promotion brought him into the cage tonight after the fight to announce him as the next challenger. They had him face off with an exhausted Bader, who quickly walked away after the shortest bit of trash talk from his former opponent. After a lifetime of cutting weight, Ryan Bader has made a home for himself at the top of Bellator’s heavyweight division.

Before that, the co-main event witnessed longtime MMA veteran, Benson Henderson, pulling off a split decision victory over a previously streaking Islam Mamedov. This fight enjoyed several fun scrambles that included back and forth submission threats. We got close guillotines and leg locks from Bendo, plus a couple of RNC attempts from Mamedov. The night belonged to Henderson, who broke up a three-fight losing skid to raise his stock as he decides what to do with his future.

In the featherweight division, Henry Corrales won a unanimous technical decision over Aiden Lee, after Lee was unable to continue from an inadvertent eye poke in the third round. Henry scored an early knockdown in the fight, but from there the match became pretty competitive. Lee was launching head kicks from range, while Corrales was working his calf kicks. The eye poke came in the third, and since two-rounds had already been completed, the final round was scored up to the point of the accident. Nobody likes this ending, but Corrales has now won two straight.

Kicking off the Bellator 273 main card, Sabah Homasi made quick work of Jaleel Willis, sniffing out an arm triangle at just 1:42 into the opening act. Homasi was working his calf kicks right away, without any of them being checked. Willis then got caught out of position, so Homasi used the moment to hit a suplex and take the back. He then locked up an arm triangle on his way on top, and it wasn’t long before Willis was tapping.

On the prelims we saw former UFC fighter, Enrique Barzola, make good on his promotional debut by stopping Bellator’s former bantamweight champion, Darrion Caldwell, with ground strikes in the third round. The most impressive part is that Enrique used his wrestling on a former NCAA national champion to get the job dine here, with a little help from his pressure and gas tank.

Main card:

Ryan Bader def. Valentin Moldavsky by unanimous decision (48-47 x3): Heavyweight title

Benson Henderson def. Islam Mamedov by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Lightweight

Henry Corrales def. Aiden Lee by unanimous technical decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight

Sabah Homasi def. Jaleel Willis by submission (arm triangle) at 1:42 of round 1: Welterweight


Enrique Barzola def. Darrion Caldwell by TKO at 3:01 of round 3: Bantamweight

Chris Gonzalez def. Saad Awad by KO at :36 of round 1: Lightweight

Dalton Rosta Duane Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight

Nikita Mikhailov def. Blaine Shutt by TKO at 3:23 of round 3: Bantamweight

Lucas Brennan def. Ben Lugo by submission (slick ass arm triangle) at 2:27 of round 1: Featherweight

Sullivan Cauley def. Ben Parrish by TKO at 4:35 of round 1: Light heavyweight