Fight Facts: Bellator 214

By Jay Pettry Jan 28, 2019

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Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Bellator MMA on Saturday started off the New Year right with a wild show in Inglewood, California, where the organization concluded its heavyweight grand prix. Bellator 214 featured the most first-round stoppages in company history, the quickest finish in a Bellator title fight and an ultra-rare north-south choke.

LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE: Bellator 214 featured 12 first-round stoppages, breaking the record set by Bellator 164 for the most in company history. Only four events combined in Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting and Strikeforce history even featured 11 first-round finishes: WEC 8, WEC 14, WEC 17 and WEC 20. As the UFC implemented rounds starting with UFC 21, those events prior do not apply.

PHONE’S RINGING: This event, after Bellator 16 and Bellator 198, became the third in Bellator history to feature multiple arm-triangle chokes. Jake Hager and Desmond Torres both utilized the maneuver successfully.

BADER TO THE BONE: Bellator’s light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader became the first fighter in the history of the promotion to hold two belts simultaneously by defeating Fedor Emelianenko for the heavyweight title.

DUST IT OFF: The heavyweight championship bout between Emelianenko and Bader was the first title fight in the division since Vitaly Minakov defeated Cheick Kongo at Bellator 115 in 2014. Minakov was stripped of his belt in 2016 after neglecting to defend it.

NO PRESSURE: Bader’s 35-second knockout of Emelianenko tied Brandon Halsey’s rear-naked choke technical submission of Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 109 for the quickest championship win in Bellator history.

BADERTOR: In five appearances with Bellator, Bader has served as the main event four times while also headlining the televised portion of Bellator 180. In his entire 20-fight tenure with the UFC, Bader only headlined four events.

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER: After losing by knockout to Henry Corrales in 67 seconds, none of Aaron Pico’s six career bouts have made it out of the first round, let alone beyond the fourth minute.

SET FIRE TO THE RAIN: After tapping Brandon McMahan with an armbar in the first round, Adel Altamimi has finished his opponent in each of his eight wins. With all five of his losses coming by knockout, Altamimi has never fought beyond the second round.

SHOUTOUT TO JEFF ‘THE SNOWMAN’ MONSON: By putting Jesse Merritt to sleep with a north-south choke, Thor Skancke pulled off the fourth north-south choke in Bellator history.

RAKED OVER THE COALS: Weber Almeida missed weight by 0.8 pounds before facing Odan Ruiz but knocked out Ruiz in the first round. In the last 10 bouts where a fighter has missed weight, the heavy fighter has posted three wins.

MICRO CRO COP: By flattening James Barnes with a head kick in 63 seconds, Ryan Lilley became the third bantamweight in Bellator history to knock an opponent out with a head kick. Previously, Ed West knocked out Joshua Montoya with one at Bellator 91, and fellow Bellator 214 competitor Ricky Bandejas knocked out James Gallagher with one at Bellator 204. While Michele Martignoni also finished Simone D’Anna with a head kick at Bellator 203, Martignoni missed weight, so the fight took place at a catchweight.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 214, Pico (five fights) and Sean Johnson (six fights) had never been knocked out, Bandejas (12 fights) and Ian Butler (10 fights) had never lost on the scorecards and no fighter had ever been rendered unconscious with a north-south choke (Merritt).

NOW YOU DO WHAT THEY TOLD YA: Juan Archuleta made his walk to the Bellator cage accompanied by “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine and won a decision over Bandejas. Over in the UFC, despite 46 recorded uses of Rage Against the Machine with a record of exactly .500, no UFC fighter has ever walked out to “Killing in the Name.”

Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012, and writing for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on Twitter at @jaypettry.
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