Fight Facts: Bellator 231, Bellator 232

By Jay Pettry Oct 29, 2019

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, with 25 fights spread throughout two dates. Bellator 231 and Bellator 232 featured the first Suloev Stretch in company history, a former champion who earned a million bucks by getting his belt back and a fighter who missed weight by almost an entire weight class.

Bellator 231

HE FOUND THAT LOVING FEELING: Frank Mir snapped one of the longest losing streaks of his career by taking a decision over Roy Nelson. The last time he had won a fight was his knockout of Todd Duffee in July 2015, and at that time, 12 fighters on this card had yet to make their professional debuts.

YOU NEED 15 MINUTES TO BEAT THAT CHIN: After dropping a decision to Mir, Nelson has lost 15 bouts on the scorecards throughout his career. He has more losses by judges’ verdict than 22 of the 27 other competitors at the event hold in total bouts.

TEN-MINUTE WARMUP: Each of Phil Davis’ last three wins has come in the third round, tying Ben Saunders and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane for the most third-round stoppages in company history. Davis finished Karl Albrektsson with elbows and punches to force the late finish.

STILL PRETTY WONDERFUL: With his win, Davis now holds the second-most victories in Bellator light heavyweight history with eight. Emmanuel Newton also holds eight, while former two-time opponent Liam McGeary has nine.

NO WRESTLING IN BK: Ilara Joanne sprang the upset by tapping Bec Rawlings with a second-round kneebar. She is the first fighter to submit the former Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships titleholder in her 16-fight MMA career.

SHEEBAR: By hitting the ninth kneebar in Bellator history, Joanne became the first female fighter to pull off the submission with the promotion.

EMBRACING THE ‘HEEL’ PERSONA: Jake Hager landed multiple knees to Anthony Garrett’s groin, stopping the fight and resulting in a no-contest. He is the seventh fighter to end a Bellator fight with a groin strike, and five of those now have come from heavyweights.

KIMURASTRAVAGANZA: Two fighters at this event submitted their opponents with kimuras: Connor Dixon and Steve Mowry. Bellator 231 is now the third event in organizational history where multiple kimuras took place in one night, with the first two being Bellator 70 and Bellator 103.

EEP, OPP, ORKHAN, AH-AH!: Dixon needed only 42 seconds to set up the kimura on Orkhan Ismatzade, scoring the quickest submission of its kind on promotional history.

MADE A MIELE OUT OF HER: Jessy Miele took the full 15 minutes to beat Talita Nogueira by split decision and in doing so took Nogueira the distance for the first time in the Brazilian's nine-fight career.

Cole Konrad JR.: By finishing Gokhan Saricam with a kimura, Mowry advanced his undefeated record to 7-0 with seven stoppages. He is now the first fighter in Bellator history to land multiple kimura submissions.

WHO’S DRIVING? OH MY GOD, BEAR IS DRIVING!: Tim Caron scored a unanimous decision victory over Lucas Pimenta Borges, and in the process, “The Bear” earned his first win on the scorecards. All nine of his prior wins came by stoppage.

THE GALAXY IS ON ORION’S BELT: In the card opener, Elise Reed finished Rebecca Bryggman with a standing TKO in the atomweight division. It is the second Bellator bout contested in the 105-pound weight class, with the first coming at Bellator 215 in February, when Lindsey VanZandt knocked out Tabatha Ann Watkins.

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Bellator 232

THE MILLION-DOLLAR PHENOM: Douglas Lima avenged an earlier loss when he beat Rory MacDonald over five rounds to earn the welterweight title, win the 170-pound grand prix and pick up a giant check for $1 million.

HOMEGROWN CHAMPS: By winning the welterweight belt, Lima started his third title reign at 170 pounds, joining Michael Chandler as the only other Bellator fighter to ever serve as champion in a single weight class on three separate occasions.

LENGTHENING LIMA’S LEGEND: With his victory, Lima extends his record for the most wins in Bellator welterweight history (13). Although Lima holds 14 wins under the Bellator banner, his knockout of Jacob Ortiz came at a 180-pound catchweight.

ASSASSINATED THE ASSASSIN: Paul Daley finished Saad Awad in the second round with strikes and picked up his 33rd knockout in his 42 pro wins, lifting his knockout rate to 79 percent.

SAAD BUT TRUE: By suffering a knockout loss at the hands of Daley, Awad became the first fighter in Bellator history to reach 10 defeats with the promotion.

HE IS NOT DISCOURAGED: Of Awad’s 10 defeats in the Bellator cage, five have come by stoppage, tying him with four other fighters for the fourth-most losses inside the distance.

A LESSON IN MIXOLOGY: Patrick Mix tapped Isaiah Chapman with an incredibly rare Suloev Stretch -- a modified kneebar made famous by Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Amar Suloev. Across major MMA organizational history, that maneuver has only been successfully utilized in the UFC by three fighters: Kenny Robertson, Aljamain Sterling and Zabit Magomedsharipov.

ANGOLAN ASSAULT: Mix improved his undefeated record to 12-0 by submitting Chapman. He has tapped his opponent in eight of those 12 wins and holds another victory by knockout.

LIKE FATHERS, LIKE SONS: Two children of notable fighters competed at Bellator 232: Kevin Ferguson Jr. and Lance Gibson Jr. Both won by first-round knockout via elbows and punches, though Ferguson’s victory has since been overturned to a no-contest due to his elbow strikes being deemed illegal.

MARSHWOOD MAN: South Berwick, Maine, native Devin Powell put Marcus Surin to sleep with a mounted guillotine choke, becoming the first fighter in promotional history to hit a guillotine in that unusual position.

HE’S OUT!: Although 40 fights throughout Bellator history have ended at the 5:00 mark of a round -- most by doctor or corner stoppage -- Powell’s finish was the first to end via submission. The call came at 5:00 of Round 2, as he informed the referee that Surin was unconscious. After it was waved off, a dazed Surin shot for a takedown on referee Kevin MacDonald, who stuffed it.

A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER: Vaunted Glory kickboxer Robin Van Roosmalen was set to make his organizational debut against Cris Lencioni in the featherweight division. Before his bout, van Roosmalen came in 9.25 pounds heavy, and the fight was scratched. The commission also mandated that van Roosmalen compete at lightweight going forward.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 231 and Bellator 232, Mandel Nallo (seven fights) and Saricam (four fights) had never been defeated, Chapman (12 fights) and Surin (seven fights) had never been submitted and four fighters had never lost on the scorecards: Nogueira, Borges, John Douma and Tevin Dyce.
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