Fight Facts: Bellator 258

By Jay Pettry May 9, 2021

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 staged the final bout of its light heavyweight grand prix quarterfinals with a short-notice replacement that still delivered. The action was fairly consistent throughout the course of the night, and both heavy favorites and massive underdogs got their hand raised at Bellator 258. This event featured a surprising medical anomaly, a destroyer one right hand away from knocking out anyone in the world and a new sheriff in town at 135 pounds.

Doctor, Doctor: Bellator 258 became the second event in company history where multiple bouts were stopped by the doctors. This first occurred at Bellator 181 in 2017, although this card was the first time it has happened in back-to-back fights.

Johnny Bravos: Three men named Johnny competed at Bellator 258. The trio of Johnny Eblen, Johnny Campbell and Johnny Soto emerged victorious, with the latter two scoring massive upsets.

The Pettis Prince Ascends: After five hard-fought rounds, Sergio Pettis claimed the Bellator bantamweight throne from Juan Archuleta. In doing so, he became just the second man to beat “The Spaniard” on the scorecards – the first was current two-division champ Patricio Freire at featherweight.

At Least He’s Winning: The finish rate for “SP” dropped to 33 percent after his decision win over Archuleta. Pettis has beaten just one opponent inside the distance since before his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2013.

The Opposite of Ring Rust: Pettis has now gone the distance in 11 of his last 12 bouts dating back six years. His lone stoppage in that span came over Alfred Khashakyan in early 2020.

Rumblin’, Bumblin’ and Definitely Stumblin’: Ninety seconds into the second round, Anthony Johnson smashed Jose Augusto Azevedo Barros with one punch. The knockout rate for “Rumble” lifted to 74 percent in the process, and each of his last six victories have come by strikes.

The Kenny Lofton of MMA: Successful in his Bellator debut, Johnson is now a member of a small group of fighters that have won in the UFC, World Series of Fighting and Bellator. He joins names like Jon Fitch, Rory MacDonald and David Branch.

Tuck in That Chin: In Johnson’s 19-fight UFC career, he had never been knocked down. In his first Bellator fight, Augusto dropped him with a left hook.

No Brackets Busted: The Bellator light heavyweight semifinals are now official after this event: on one side of the bracket, Ryan Bader will square off against Corey Anderson. On the other, Johnson will face champ Vadim Nemkov. The winner of those two matches will meet for the title and the $1 million prize.

Showstopping Cut: Thanks to elbows from his back that slashed open Patricky Freire, Peter Queally put himself on his first win streak since 2017. Each of his last three victories have come by knockout – before this run, all 10 wins for “The Showstopper” came at the hands of the judges.

Cut, Print, and That’s a Wrap: When the doctors intervened due to a cut on Freire’s head, it marked the 50th doctor stoppage technical knockout in Bellator history.

Busy Dog: In an unsuccessful outing, Freire appeared for the 22nd time in the Bellator cage. Only David Rickels and Michael Chandler (23 each), and brother Patricio Freire (24), have competed more times under the Bellator banner.

Pitbummer: The loss for “Pitbull” was his eighth on the Bellator roster, tying Brandon Girtz for the fourth most in company history. Georgi Karakhanyan and Derek Campos both have suffered nine defeats with Bellator, while Saad Awad has fallen short a record 10 times.

Olaf Alfonso Felt That: A head kick that smashed the nose of Derek Anderson forced the doctors to call the fight between rounds, awarding Michael Page the knockout victory. Page is now the first fighter in Bellator history to amass 10 knockout victories, breaking a tie held with Douglas Lima and the aforementioned Freire.

This Competition Suits Him: Page has now stopped 11 different foes across his Bellator career. He stands alone with the fourth-most finishes in Bellator history, trailing only A.J. McKee (12) and Chandler and Patricio Freire (13 each).

Why Rank Him at 170? The match between Page and Anderson was a catchweight contest intentionally scheduled at 175 pounds. “MVP” tied the Bellator record of three for the most wins in fights booked outside a standard weight class, along with seven other fighters including Chandler and Ed Ruth.

One Judge Was Playing Game Boy: Dropping a split verdict to Lorenz Larkin, Rafael Carvalho lost his second split decision as a Bellator fighter. In doing so, he tied 15 other fighters for this spot – no competitor in organizational history has lost three separate split calls.

Splitvalho: Win or lose, Carvalho has now been involved in the second most split-decision bouts in promotional history. Four of Carvalho’s Bellator matches have split the judges; Daniel Weichel has been involved in the most (five).

All Mixed Up: Rebounding from his first career defeat, Patrick Mix hit an arm-triangle choke on Albert Morales. The submission was Mix’s 10th, but it was his first with this maneuver.

Slaying a Demigod? Check: Eblen is now a perfect 8-0 as a pro after smashing “Demigod” Daniel Madrid with punches. The finish was Eblen’s first on the Bellator roster, as he won three unanimous verdicts after starting his career with four consecutive first-round stoppages.

Oh Henry! By tapping out -900 favorite Henry Corrales in the second round, the +600 underdog Campbell notched one of the 10 largest betting upsets in Bellator history. The most substantial underdog to cash came at Bellator 90 in 2013, when Emanuel Newton clocked Muhammed Lawal with a spinning back fist.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 258, Augusto (10 fights) and Anderson (21 fights) had never been knocked out, Soto had never gone the distance (four pro, four ammy fights) and Weber Almeida had never been defeated (five fights).

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