There were no title fights at Bellator 116, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth watching. The heavyweight tournament semifinals took place on the card, as well as a single welterweight tournament semifinal.
How was it? Read the recap and find out!
Mighty Mo shot for a single leg right out of the gate. Mo couldn’t get Volkov down, but managed to keep him pressed against the cage for the first half of the round. Volkov landed a knee to the body in the clinch, which caused Mo to back off. Then, Volkov hit a tremendous round kick to Mo’s face and knocked him out cold. He hit Mo so hard that the shockwaves made Mo’s belly fat jiggle. Easily one of the best head kick knockouts of the year so far, if not ever. Holy crap. Here’s a GIF (via @ZProphet_MMA)
Volkov, Bellator’s former heavyweight champ, will now be going to the season 10 tournament finals.
Coy controlled almost the entire first round via lay and pray. Eventually, McDonough managed to escape Coy’s clutches. With about a minute left, he managed to hurt Coy with an uppercut–badly. Coy was faceplanted on the mat and taking loads of punches, but the ref let it go on. Coy managed to recover and take McDonough down again by the round’s end.
The second round didn’t last long. Perhaps Coy wasn’t so composed after all. McDonough landed a hook that sent Coy to the floor. After that one punch, the fight was stopped.
Adam McDonough will be meeting the winner of Andrey Koreshkov vs. Sam Oropeza (which will take place later in the season) in the welterweight tournament finals.
After an eternity, Matyushenko vs. Beltran started (seriously it felt like an hour of shitty commercials). The first round lacked action. Both men snapped jabs. Both reached with looping hooks and, for the most part, missed by miles. Eventually (and thankfully), the feeling out process sorted itself out, and the fighters engaged with a little more zest. Neither landed anything significant, but it was more fun to watch. The rest of the first round played out like this. Each guy threw big punches but didn’t land too many.
Matyushenko hit Beltran with a stiff jab and an uppercut to start the round. The two started to get more aggressive in round two. There was close to zero technique, but at least it wasn’t a staring contest. Matyushenko backed up Beltran with a flurry and landed a few punches. Beltran countered with his own. Eventually, they started just swinging at random. They might as well have had their eyes closed, to be honest. Matyushenko shot for a takedown from 30 light years away and Beltran stuffed it with zero effort. Beltran and Matyushenko both started breathing heavy as the round ended, making their punches super-labored and slow. The fight got less fun to watch as the seconds passed.
Round 3 was much of the same, but Beltran decided to work the body instead of constantly throwing at (and missing) Matyushenko’s head. Matyushenko shot in, but Beltran reversed him. In the scramble, Beltran wound up on top in side control. He transitioned to north-south and sunk in a north-south choke, earning the submission win. Vladimir Matyushenko’s last fight ends in defeat. And Beltran will meet Alexander Volkov in the heavyweight tournament finals.
Ivanov attempted to rush Johnson and ate an uppercut. Still, he managed to successfully clinch Johnson and keep him against the cage. It didn’t take long for him to hit a single leg and drag Johnson to the floor. Ivanov dropped for a leg lock but botched it. He wound up with Johnson on top of him, hitting him. However, Johnson’s lack of grappling enabled Ivanov to rise to his feet without harm, and then even put Johnson in a guillotine. To escape, Johnson body slammed Ivanov in what was the most awesome guillotine escape I’ve ever seen (it was the closest thing to a pro wrestling body slam you’ll see in MMA–here’s the GIF, again via Zombie Prophet). But Ivanov’s superior grappling skills allowed him to turn the tide. He got back to his feet after the slam, clinched Johnson, and landed a judo throw. A few moments later, he submitted Johnson with an effortless keylock.
Here are the complete results:
Blagoi Ivanov def. Lavar Johnson via Submission (keylock), 4:08 of round 1
Joey Beltran def. Vladimir Matyushenko via Submission (north-south choke), 3:06 of round 3
Adam Mcdonough def. Nathan Coy via KO (punches), 0:30 of round 2
Alexander Volkov def. Mighty Mo via KO (head kick), 2:44 of round 1
Brandon Halsey def. Joe Pacheco via Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Karo Parisyan def. Ron Keslar via KO (punches), 4:05 of round 2
Rob Emerson def. Joe Taimanglo via Unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ricky Rainey def. Andy Murad via TKO (head kick and punches), 1:11 of round 1
Phelipe Lins def. Travis Clark via Submission (rear naked choke), 0:40 of round 1
Rodney Wallace def. Carlos Eduardo via Unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight Brandon Bender vs. Mario Navarro
Middleweight Dave Vitkay vs. Keith Berry