(At least it’s better than the UFC Fight Night 39 poster…)
Cheick Kongo failed to capture Vitaly Minakov’s Bellator heavyweight title at Bellator 115. The main event was, essentially, the only noteworthy fight on the card. It didn’t start out this way though. A welterweight tournament semfinal was supposed to take place as well, but Andrey Koreshkov succumbed to the flu. His fight against Sam Oropeza will be rescheduled.
A middleweight tournament semifinal bout was canceled as well. Jeremy Kimball couldn’t make weight against Dan Cramer. Not surprisingly, Bellator wasn’t able to salvage the card on such short notice. What we got was a patchwork card filled with one-off “feature fights” that meant nothing. In case you’re still interested, we’ve recapped it for you:
Johnny Cisneros vs. Mikkel Parlo
First off, this is a catchweight bout as Johnny Cisneros missed middleweight by quite a bit (he weighed in at 193.5 pounds).
The two clinched to start off the fight. Parlo managed to land a double leg but Cisneros sprung to his feet almost as soon as he hit the ground. The two remained clinched. Parlo started to land some nice uppercuts. Cisneros separated and landed a nice uppercut of his own. Parlo clinched, then landed a stiff hook. After 30 seconds of inactivity, the two started exchanging wildly, with several punches snapping Parlo’s head back. There was another pause to the action. Parlo landed an elbow to Cisneros’ head and then took him down. Cisneros got back up, and another insane slugfest ensued. We’re talking just throwing with their eyes closed. In the chaos, Parlo hit another takedown. They were on the ground longer this time, with Parlo chilling in Cisneros’ guard. The latter fighter rose to his feet, and the same pattern of clinch-separate-wild exchange-takedown-get up-clinch-etc. played out until the first round ended.
The second round played out almost exactly like the first, except both fighters were tired now. There was more clinching and eventually Cisneros lacked the energy to return to his feet. Parlo mounted him halfway through the round, though he couldn’t do much with the position. He smothered Cisneros and landed ineffective punches for the remainder of the round.
Parlo’s dominance on the ground continued in the third frame. A wild, overly-aggressive series of punches from Cisneros opened the door for a Parlo takedown. Parlos was content to control things from half guard and mount until the fight ended. Parlo was awarded with a unanimous decision victory.
Kelly Anundson vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Anundson got floored with a leg kick to start things off, but then he landed a clean overhand right. He shots a double leg. Oezdemir sprawled and got pushed all the way back to the cage. Anundson grabbed a body lock and scored a takedown. After some scrambling, the two wound up clinched against the cage again. Oezdemir got up, and then Anundson took him down again, this time slamming him. This was the story of the first round: Anundson landing lots of takedowns and sticking to Oezdemir like animal abuse allegations stick to Michael Vick.
The second round looked like the first, only slower and lazier. I could go into detail but really there’s not much to tell. Anundson controlled Oezdemir until he took his back and sunk in a rear naked choke turned neck crank, bringing this one to an end.
On a side not, Oezdemir wins CagePotato’s official “Most Annoying Surname to Spell Award.”
Herman Terrado vs. Justin Baesman
Terrado threw a right hand and then clinched. The two grappled against the cage. They traded short knees and elbows that didn’t amount to much. Terrado went for a big knee with lots of windup but fell on his ass instead. He jumped up and threw a huge flurry of punches, as if to help was away the shame of slipping. The two clinched again. A guillotine attempt by Baesman went nowhere. Terrado took Baesman down after a lengthy bout of stalling. He advanced to mount, and then Baesman turned to his back. After a failed rear naked choke attempt, Terrado turned back to mount, and then gave up his back a second time. Terrado slipped off Baesman’s back as the round ended.
The second round was uneventful until about halfway through. At that point, Baesman took Terrado to the mat after peppering him. Terrado was clearly exhausted and not capable of defending himself. Baesman landed a series of thunderous elbows. Too many, in fact. The fight really should’ve been stopped, but it continued into the third round, which featured numerous messy grappling exchanges and a plucky armbar escape by Baesman (or embarrassing armbar failure by Terrado, depending on your perspective). In the end, the judges declared it a draw.
The heavyweight title fight started with two karmic nut shots. Minakov landed both a kick and a knee to Kongo’s package. After the second offense, referee Herb Dean deducted a point. The most significant happening was late in the first round. Kongo landed two stiff jabs. Minakov countered with a straight right that floored Kongo. Minakov tried to capitalize by going for a leg lock and failed. Nevertheless, he managed to get on top of Kongo, and finish the round in Kongo’s half guard, reigning punches down on him.
Kongo dragged Minakov to the canvas at the start of the second round. He was unable to do anything with it though. Minakov rose to his feet after about thirty seconds. Minakov pushed Kongo against the fence and landed a clean kene to the gut. Kongo tried to claim it was a nut shot but Herb Dean had none of it, thankfully. Minakov landed a straight right. The Russian was clearly the aggressor, backing Kongo up throughout most of the round. He nailed Kongo with another right which wobbled him. But on the way in, Kongo landed a huge counter left. This didn’t phase Minakov though, who immediately threw Kongo down and quickly took his back. After a few punches, he slipped off and the round ended.
A visibly gassed Minakov managed to trip Kongo at the start of round three. The next two and a half minutes were lay and pray. Minakov eventually stood up, but Kongo stayed grounded to avoid knees to the head. In a reversal of fate, Kongo managed to take Minakov down on a lazy, lazy double leg. Kongo couldn’t take advantage of the takedown. He shot for another double leg, and after a sprawl that seemed like it lasted forever, Minakov pulled off an amazing reversal and wound up on top in north south. He switched to side control but by then the round was nearly over. He did land some pretty hard shots to the body, though.
Exhausted, Minakov was unable to stop Kongo’s takedown in the beginning of round 4. He summoned the energy to stand up, only to wind up on the canvas again after another takedown. Minakov was too tired to do anything except for complain about Kongo grabbing his shorts. Herb Dean warned him like 1,000 times but never deducted a point. After prolonged inactivity, Dean stood them up. Minakov successfully landed an inside trip as the round finished (or Kongo toppled over; I couldn’t tell).
Round 5 was literally five minutes of Minakov on top of Kongo in mount and half guard. Sometimes he threw punches. Sometimes he didn’t.
After the 25 minutes were over, the judges deemed Vitaly Minakov the winner.
Here are the complete results:
Vitaly Minakov def. Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
Herman Terrado drew Justain Baesman (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
Kelly Anundson def. Volkan Oezdemir via submission (neck crank), 3:19 of round 2
Mikkel Parlo def. Johnny Cisneros via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rick Reeves def. James Terry via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Freddie Aquitania def. Josh Appelt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sinjen Smith def. Jason Powell via submission (arm bar), 1:52 of round 1
Benito Lopez def. Oscar Ramirez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)