Fight Facts: Bellator 220

By Jay Pettry Apr 30, 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 wrapped up the quarterfinals of its welterweight grand prix amid a strange turn of events in San Jose, California. Bellator 220 featured the most draws in promotional history, a woman who has broken practically all of the records for female fighters and a muay Thai convert who is racking up knockouts.

REALLY?: Bellator 220 featured three fights that were scored as draws, the most in promotional history. No previous event had ever had even two draws.

A DRAW IN ANY LANGUAGE: Out of the following promotions -- Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride Fighting Championships, Strikeforce, World Extreme Cagefighting, One Championship, Invicta Fighting Championships, KSW and Dream -- only the UFC (UFC 22 and UFC 216) and Pride (Pride 1 and Pride 4) featured events that had multiple draws on a single card. Four bouts from Professional Fighters League 10 in 2018 ended via draw and several other PFL events had multiple draws, but each of those were two-round fights.

NEEDS CLARIFICATION: The main event between Rory MacDonald and Jon Fitch went to a controversial majority draw, becoming the first title fight in Bellator history to ever end in a draw. As a result, MacDonald retained his belt and advanced in the welterweight grand prix.

YOU KNOW NOTHING, JON FISH: In vying for the Bellator welterweight strap, Fitch became the first fighter in MMA history to ever compete for UFC, PFL and Bellator titles.

QUITE ANTICLIMACTIC: As the main event and the first postlim between Ignacio Ortiz and Roger Severson were both scored draws, those back-to-back fights marked the first time in company history in which two straight fights ended as draws. None of the aforementioned promotions besides Pride and the Professional Fighters League have ever seen two fights in a row scored as draws.

PAGING DR. EASTMAN: Women’s flyweight champion lima-Lei Macfarlane slashed open the forehead of challenger Veta Arteaga with an elbow, forcing the doctor to intervene in the third round. It was the fourth title fight in Bellator history to end in a doctor stoppage but the first in women’s divisions.

ILIMINATING THE COMPETITION: After finishing Arteaga to successfully defend her flyweight crown, Macfarlane now holds the following Bellator records for female fighters: most fights (nine), most wins (nine), most finishes (seven), most finishes in title fights (four), most title defenses (three) and most third-round stoppages (three).

HOW MACFAR CAN SHE GO?: Macfarlane remained unbeaten at 10-0 by stopping Arteaga. Across those 10 fights, she has finished eight opponents, including each of the last five.

THE SPLIT-DECISION KING RETURNS: Benson Henderson left the UFC tied for the second-most split decision victories (four) in the organization’s history with John Howard and Rashad Evans while trailing only Gleison Tibau, who had five. Since then, Henderson has fought to three more split decisions in Bellator. However, he picked up his first split decision win in the Bellator cage when he edged Adam Piccolotti.

GROUND DOWN HIS GEARS: When he finished Liam McGeary at 4:11 of the third round, Phil Davis picked up the third-latest stoppage in Bellator light heavyweight history.

BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE: McGeary suffered an injury to his jaw in losing to Davis, becoming the first Bellator fighter to lose via jaw injury. Only one other injury to the head of a fighter has taken place in the Bellator cage, and it occurred one month ago at Bellator 219, where A.J. Matthews injured his eye while facing David Rickels.

BEHOLD THE DREAMKILLER: After smashing Nathan Stolen in the first round, Gaston Bolanos has recorded all five of his career wins by knockout within two rounds.

A RIGHTEOUS DRAW: The fight between Ortiz and Severson was scored a unanimous draw, becoming the first such bout in Bellator history.

HERZOG ZWIE-ED: After stopping Diego Herzog in the third round, Jordan Williams has now finished his opponent in seven of his eight wins.

START OFF WITH A NAP: When Aviv Gozali put Travis Crain to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the first round, Bellator 220 became the first event since Bellator 93 in 2013 in which the card opener resulted in a technical submission.

CATCHWEIGHT WATCHERS: Five fights at Bellator 220 took place outside of standard weight classes, with two fighters missing weight for their respective bouts and three scheduled at catchweights. This event became the 10th in promotional history to feature at least five catchweight affairs, but it was well shy of the record (eight) set at Bellator 175.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 220, Arteaga had never been finished (seven fights), Stolen had never been knocked out (11 fights) and Paradise Vaovasa had never been submitted (10 fights).

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working 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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