Fight Facts: Bellator 215 & 216

By Jay Pettry Feb 20, 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 Friday and Saturday brought a doubleheader to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, that included some major heavyweight matchups and a welterweight tournament quarterfinal. Bellator 215 and Bellator 216 featured an incredibly rare no-contest stoppage in one main event, a fighter who delights in taking rematches and a slew of undefeated fighters trying to keep their records intact.

MORE DOUBLEHEADERS THAN BASEBALL: With Bellator 215 taking place on Feb. 15 and Bellator 216 following on Feb. 16, it marked the fifth occasion the promotion has scheduled events on consecutive days -- a tradition first beginning at Bellator 166 and Bellator 167 in December 2016. Three of those five doubleheaders have taken place in the same venue on back-to-back nights.

Bellator 215

RIGHT TO THE PENINSULA SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR: Bellator 215 marked the second main event in organizational history to end with a no-contest due to a foul after Matt Mitrione landed an accidental groin kick on Sergei Kharitonov. The first occurred at Bellator 59 in 2011, when Thiago Santos also struck Eric Prindle in the groin. Also, the Bellator 133 main event is now officially recorded as a no-contest, but that was due to victor Alexander Shlemenko failing a drug test and his win getting overturned.

STORMING THROUGH COMPETITION: Logan Storley came into his bout against Ion Pascu unbeaten. When he dominated Pascu on the scorecards, “Storm” upped his record to 10-0 and has now finished his opponent in seven of those 10 bouts -- all by technical knockout.

STEPPING OUT FROM BEHIND HER SHADOW: By finishing Cody Jones with an arm-triangle choke in Round 1, Austin Vanderford -- husband of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Paige VanZant -- remained undefeated at 7-0, with five stoppages all coming within two rounds.

LIKE A YOUNG POLAR BEAR: In tapping Darion Abbey with a kimura, Steve Mowry became the second fighter in Bellator history to submit an opponent with a kimura and another with a keylock. The first: Cole Konrad.

WE WILL LEIBROCK YOU: Amanda Bell scored the fourth-fastest knockout in Bellator’s women’s featherweight division when she stopped Amber Leibrock at 3:52 of the first round. The quickest came by Stefanie Guimares, who knocked out Yvonne Reis with a knee in 49 seconds at Bellator 12. Reis missed weight by half a pound.

WHAT'S SMALLER THAN AN ATOM?: The bout between Tabatha Ann Watkins and Lindsey VanZandt marked the first atomweight fight in Bellator history. One previous bout took place at a 110-pound catchweight between Ashley Cummins and Nicole Smith at Bellator 157, but none had taken place at 105 pounds.

ITTY BITTY LIVING SPACE: VanZandt’s knockout of Watkins marked only the fourth time in Bellator history that a fighter at 116 pounds or below -- male or female -- knocked out an opponent. Bellator 138 in 2015 featured a single men’s strawweight bout, as Miles McDonald submitted Dan O’Connor in the third round.

GOOD MAN: Matt Probin walked out to “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins from the “Top Gun” soundtrack and beat Ali Zebian on the scorecards. Over in the UFC, every recorded fighter to ever walk out to a Loggins song has won.

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Bellator 216

LAY IT ALL ON THE LINE: Bellator 216 began with three undefeated fighters sporting records of 13-0 or better -- Michael Page (13-0), Vitaly Minakov (21-0) and Yaroslav Amosov (20-0) -- and of the three, only Page and Amosov stayed unbeaten.

A LITTLE HOUSEKEEPING: In edging Paul Daley on the scorecards, Page advanced to the semifinals of Bellator’s welterweight grand prix, where he will next face Douglas Lima at Bellator 221 in May. On the other side of the bracket, first-round victor Neiman Gracie is waiting to face the winner of the bout between champion Rory MacDonald and Jon Fitch at Bellator 220 in April.

WINNER BY A HAIR: In his 10th Bellator outing, Page triumphed over Daley after a closely contested decision. Page became only the second fighter on the active roster to maintain an unblemished record after at least 10 bouts in the Bellator cage, joining A.J. McKee (13-0).

REVENGE TOUR: When facing a former opponent in a rematch, Mirko Filipovic has emerged victorious every time. “Cro Cop” notched his seventh win when facing an opponent for a second time and eighth in rematches total -- he beat Josh Barnett three times in Pride Fighting Championships -- after defeating Roy Nelson by decision. Nelson previously knocked out “Cro Cop” at UFC 137 in 2011.

NOT BAD FOR AN OLD MAN: In beating Nelson on the scorecards, “Cro Cop” recorded his first decision win since beating Barnett at Pride Final Conflict 2005. In that span, Filipovic finished 20 opponents.

WORLD TRAVELER: “Cro Cop” became the first fighter in MMA history to record wins inside the UFC, Pride, Rizin Fighting Federation and Bellator.

CUT THE CHEICK: An 18-fight veteran in the UFC, Cheick Kongo left that organization with a record of 12-5-1. Since joining Bellator, Kongo has amassed 14 bouts and equaled his number of victories in the Octagon with his decision win over Minakov.

BELLAKONGO: By defeating Minakov, Kongo further extended his record for the most promotional wins for any Bellator heavyweight with 12. While Konrad holds seven Bellator wins, among fighters on the current Bellator roster, only Javy Ayala and fellow Bellator 216 competitor Tyrell Fortune own even six wins in the division.

CHEICK PLUS PLUS: Kongo extended his winning streak to eight fights, giving him more Bellator wins on this streak than any other heavyweight has in total in company history.

DOESN'T BEND THAT WAY: Forcing the referee to intervene to rescue Kastriot Xhema from a kneebar, Justin Sumter’s technical submission victory was the first of its type to occur in Bellator history. It was also the seventh kneebar seen in the Bellator cage; the first six victims tapped to the maneuver.

FORTUNE FAVORS THE KNOCKOUT: In demolishing Ryan Pokryfky with punches 2:21 into Round 1, Fortune tied the record for the most knockouts in Bellator heavyweight history with four, joining Kongo, Minakov and Ayala.

TWIST-OFF NOT POP TOP: By performing a rare neck crank submission on Pat Casey, Nekruz Mirkhojaev earned the fourth such victory by a lightweight fighter -- more than any other division. Only one other division has seen multiple neck crank submissions before: welterweight. Both were performed by Gracie.

GOOSEBUMPS EVERY TIME: In making his walk to the cage or ring to “Wild Boys” by Duran Duran in all but one of his career MMA bouts, “Cro Cop” has now used his legendary walkout song 51 times in his MMA career. His lone song change took place at Pride Shockwave 2005, where he used Croatian rapper Shorty’s track “Dodi u Vinkovce” before facing off against Mark Hunt.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 215 and Bellator 216, the promotion had never held consecutive events at the Mohegan Sun Arena (18 events), Ion Pascu (27 fights) and Leibrock (five fights) had never suffered consecutive defeats, Page had never fought beyond the third round (13 fights) and Minakov had never been defeated (21 fights).

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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