Fight Facts: Bellator 254

By Jay Pettry Dec 14, 2020

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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TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR FIGHTS: 2,826
TOTAL NUMBER OF BELLATOR EVENTS: 256

Bellator MMA put on its final event of the year with one last title fight between a pair of women with perfect records. Bellator 254 featured an intriguing international co-main matchup, the coronation of a new champion and a host of undefeated fighters keeping their streaks alive.

Strategery: Every unbeaten fighter matched again a fighter with losses on their record won at this event. Two other bouts featured undefeated opponents squaring off, with six of eight bouts including at least one fighter with an “0” in their ledger.

Queen V: Juliana Velasquez is now just the second flyweight queen in Bellator history, after dethroning Ilima-Lei Macfarlane by decision.

Eleven-Up: Velasquez is a perfect 11-0 as a pro now that she has beaten Macfarlane, and the Brazilian fought 25 full minutes for the first time in her career.

You Almost Hate to See It: Velasquez vs. Macfarlane is the first women’s championship bout in company history to take place between two undefeated fighters. Among all Bellator fighters, only Ben Askren against Lyman Good in 2010 and then later against Andrey Koreshkov in 2013 were other title fights featuring battles of the unbeaten.

A Bridge Too Macfarlane: Although in a losing effort, Macfarlane set foot inside the Bellator cage for the 11th time. This sets the new record for the most women’s bout appearances in company history, breaking a tie held with Arlene Blencowe.

Note: This Magomedov is #79175 for the auto-tag tool in the CMS The MM Invasion: Neither Magomed Magomedov nor Matheus Mattos had ever competed in the U.S. when they both make their Bellator debuts at this event. Russia’s Magomedov captured a unanimous verdict over his Brazilian foe.

Stiff Upper Lip: Linton Vassell clobbered Ronny Markes to record his second victory at heavyweight. The Brit raised his finish rate to 80 percent with a win, and exactly half of his stoppages have come by knockout with the other half by tapout.

He Said Training Was Harder: By tapping out Justin Sumter in the first round, Romero Cotton advanced his young record to 5-0, with all five taking place in the Bellator cage.

Take Your Time, Hurry Up: After a back-and-forth slugfest, Shamil Nikaev won a decision over Kemran Lachinov to improve his spotless record to 10-0 as a pro with one no contest. The Belgian fighting out of Russia has gone the distance in 10 of 11 career bouts, including each of his last seven.

The Truth Works Quickly: Grant Neal lifted his record to 5-0 with a tapout of Maurice Jackson in the second round. Making his pro debut in February 2019, “The Truth” has gotten in all five of his fights since Maurice last competed – in 2018 against Melvin Guillard.

The Law, Not So Much: At 4:44 of Round 3, Cody Law finished Kenny Champion with punches. Only two non-title featherweight contests have ended later, and both came at the 4:54 mark: Blair Tugman over Tom English at Bellator 178 in 2017, and Rob Whiteford over Sam Sicilia at Bellator London in 2019.

Luckily No COVID Scratches: Two matches were scratched within one day of the event: Nate Andrews vs. Goiti Yamauchi was nixed when Yamauchi came in nearly seven pounds overweight, and Davion Franklin vs. Anthony Garrett was cancelled on fight night when Garrett failed his medical tests.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 254, Macfarlane had never been defeated (11 fights), Mattos had never lost on the scorecards (14 fights) and Sumter had never been submitted (10 fights).

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