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Bellator 256 ‘Bader vs. Machida 2’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring



Sherdog's live Bellator 256 coverage kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. ET.

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John Douma (135.4) vs. Will Smith (134.6)

Round 1

To kick things off, Douma (4-2 | 1-1 Bellator) and “Sriracha” Smith (3-2 | 0-1 Bellator) meet in a bantamweight contest. Bryan Miner is your referee. They exchange jabs and low kicks from matching orthodox stances. Smith lands a long jab to the body, then one to the head. Douma is pursuing as Smith gives ground and throws more jabs. Smith with heavy feints, briefly switching stances. Not much damage from either man halfway into the round, but Smith’s jabs are easily the most effective weapon. Douma drops for his first takedown attempt and hauls Smith to the canvas at the base of the fence. He lands a couple of heavy punches to the head and Smith turns, exposing his back. Douma jumps on, sinks his hooks and works for a rear-naked choke or perhaps a neck crank. One minute left. Smith is fighting off the choke, throwing the occasional punch over his shoulder as the bell sounds. 10-9 Douma.

Round 2

Douma is aggressive to start Round 2, coming forward with his left jab in Smith’s face. A kick strays to Smith’s sriracha bottle, and we have a break in the action. They resume, and Smith is throwing outside kicks to both legs of Douma, who is bleeding from the nose as well. More than half the round down, and Douma shoots a long double-leg. He gets in on Smith’s hips, but Smith fights it off. Douma turns the corner and takes Smith’s back. He hoists Smith for a slam, but is forced to settle for simply dragging him back down. Douma has his hooks in once again, working for the choke again. Under a minute left, he gives up the choke but ends the round in back mount, throwing punches to Smith’s head. 10-9 Douma.

Round 3

The final round begins, and it’s Smith again scoring with the jab, sticking it right in Douma’s reddened face. Smith comes forward with a sharp one-two, then lands another. Smith has largely abandoned the kicks of the first two rounds, choosing to swing with big punches. Halfway into the round, Smith is scoring with the punches. Douma is bleeding from the nose as well as possibly the mouth. 90 seconds left, Douma has yet to try for a takedown, and suddenly it’s Smith dropping levels for an easy double-leg in the center of the cage. Smith in Douma’s full guard. Douma tries for an armbar, but Smith sniffs it out and moves to side control. He ends the round, and the fight, throwing hammerfists from side control. 10-9 Smith (29-28 Douma)

The Official Result

John Douma def. Will Smith by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Diana Avsaragova (125.8) vs. Tara Graff (125.2)

Round 1

Russian flyweight prospect Diana Avsaragova (2-0) makes her Bellator MMA debut against Tara Graff (1-2 | 0-1 Bellator), whose work as a foil for another Bellator belle, Valerie Loureda, apparently earned her a return engagement. Kevin MacDonald will oversee the proceedings. Graff comes forward immediately, throwing hooks with both hands. Avsaragova gives ground, retreating to the fence before circling away. Avsaragova times Graff’s next charge and drops her with a brutal right-hand counter. Graff gets back up only to walk into another right hand that knocks her out cold. Sensational debut for the 22-year-old prospect who, believe it or not, comes billed as a wrestler.

The Official Result

Diana Avsaragova def. Tara Graff R1 0:29 via KO (Punch)

Nainoa Dung (155.9) vs. Isaiah William (156)

Round 1

Next up it’s “The Baby-Faced Assassin” vs. “Izzy,” as Nainoa Dung (3-2 | 2-2 Bellator) faces Isaiah William (4-3 | 0-0 Bellator) in a match of guys who really should have had to fight the original owners for these nicknames. The lightweights go to work under the watchful eye of Bryan Miner. Both men set up in orthodox stance and it’s Dung who scores first with a couple of jabs. William comes forward and throws a kick that falls short, and Dung springs in with a quick three-piece. William with a front kick up the middle, which also falls short. Clear advantage in speed as well as reach for the Hawaiian in the early going. Dung throws a fast left high kick that glances off William’s guard. William throwing kicks and being countered with one-twos, over and over. Dung starting to land some low kicks of his own, suddenly blasts William with a lead left hook to the liver, which he doubles up to the head, dropping him. William springs back up. Two minutes left, William drops levels and trips Dung to the canvas in the center of the cage. William in half guard, looking to set up an arm triangle, Dung rolls him over and William stands, throwing kicks to the supine Hawaiian. A kick lands on the cup, and we get our second low blow break of the evening. Miner restarts the action with 37 seconds left on the clock. William comes forward, and again it’s Dung stinging him with punches. The round expires. 10-9 Dung.

Round 2

Dung comes out southpaw to open Round 2 and throws a left head kick that William blocks. Dung stings William with a left cross. William keeps marching forward, landing a side kick, but thus far he’s having trouble navigating the range and speed of Dung. Dung lands another left hook to the liver. William drops levels and runs Dung to the floor. Dung grabs a guillotine choke, which he does not abandon even as William lands in side control. Dung lets go and gats half guard. William is on top, against the cage, with half a round to work. William with heavy top pressure, using a forearm to the chin and throat, before beginning to set up another head-and-arm choke. Dung bucks him off and again it’s Williams standing over him, throwing kicks as Dung responds with upkicks. Under a minute left, William dives in with a standing-to-ground punch that lands hard. Dung squirms as William jumps on him and seizes a front headlock. Dung escapes, stands over William and is throwing punches as the round expires. 10-9 William.

Round 3

Dung zaps William with another southpaw left straight. William lands a shot to the body. Dung shoots for a takedown which William sprawls on easily. William gets a front headlock, then spins to north-south. After a moment, he moves to side control. William drops short, grinding elbows to Dung’s head. Dung explodes, bucks William off, and ends up, for the third straight round, on his back with William over him, exchanging kicks. William tosses the legs aside and drops right into side control. Dung is bleeding from the nose. Dung throws his legs up looking for perhaps an armbar, and William moves to north-south. Dung bucks again, and this time scrambles to top position, where he sets up in three-quarter guard. Dung sitting upright in William’s guard, throwing occasional punches. They stand at the clapper and William comes forward with one last glancing punch before the final bell. 10-9 William (29-28 William).

The Official Result

Nainoa Dung def. Isaiah William via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jaylon Bates (136) vs. Jeffrey Glossner (137.8: Missed Weight)

Round 1

Bantamweight prospect Bates (1-0 | 1-0 Bellator) faces LFA vet Glossner (2-1 | 0-0 Bellator), who returns to action after over a year away, more than a pound overweight. Bryan Miner, hopefully wearing his FitBit, draws ref duty once again. Bates charges right in and trips Glossner to the floor, but Glossner is ultra-active from the bottom, squirming and keeping his hips moving as Bates tries to move him to the fence. Bates grabs Glossner’s neck, but Glossner pops his head out. Bates stands over Glossner, throwing some kicks. Halfway point of the round, Bates dives back in behind a nasty standing-to-ground punch and lands in side control, throwing punches. Bates is raining down heavy shots, and Glossner turns and grabs a single-leg. Bates stands and throws a few more kicks to the downed Glossner, then lets him stand. 30 seconds left, Bates hauls Glossner back to the canvas with a body lock, ending up in full guard. A frenetic round of ground work ends there. 10-9 Bates.

Round 2

After a break for the cageside doctor to check on Glossner and for Bellator play-by-play man Mauro Ranallo to drop a Gordon Lightfoot reference, Round 2 begins. Bates takes Glossner down immediately. Glossner locks up Bates’ right leg with a figure-four, then abandons it, and Bates is on top, looking for an anaconda choke or possibly a Japanese necktie. It doesn’t appear completely locked in, then it does, and with Bates’ crushing pressure on top, it’s more than enough to get Glossner to tap. Dominant night of work by the 24-year-old wrestling phenom.

The Official Result

Jaylon Bates def. Jeffrey Glossner R2 1:27 via Submission (Japanese Necktie)

Cody Law (145.2) vs. Nathan Ghareeb (143.8)

Round 1

Someone’s “0” has got to go as Law (2-0 | 2-0 Bellator) and Ghareeb (2-0 | 0-0 Bellator) take to the cage for a featherweight scrap. Ref Todd Anderson draws his first assignment of the night. Law stalks around the center of the cage as Ghareeb slides around the outside. Both men in orthodox stance. Law lands a hard right hand. 90 seconds in, former NCAA Div. II champ Law secures a takedown. He’s heavy on top, chest to chest as Ghareeb is active with his hips. Law stands over Ghareeb, throwing kicks to his legs. Law tries to dive into side control, but Ghareeb intercepts him and gets full guard again. Ghareeb active and aggressive off his back, but as Law lands a couple of shots from the top, he closes his guard and uses his arms to try and control Law’s posture. Ghareeb throws a few strikes off his back, but Law is landing the much heavier shots. 30 seconds left and it’s still Law in Ghareeb’s full guard near the fence. Ghareeb’s legs sneaking up again in the closing seconds. The round ends. 10-9 Law.

Round 2

Ghareeb comes out southpaw to start Round 2, but the first strike landed it a right high kick by Law. Law just misses with a huge right uppercut. A minute and a half in, Ghareeb is coming forward throwing right kicks to the leg and body. Law steps in under a glancing Ghareeb head kick and gets an effortless takedown. Law in Ghareeb’s full guard. Ghareeb again very active on the bottom, looking to sweep or at least keep Law reactive and off-balance, but Law stays low, chest-to-chest and very heavy on top. Two minutes left, Law begins to posture up more fully, dropping bigger strikes with his elbows and fists. Law passes to half guard, still throwing a constant stream of short strikes. Ghareeb stuffs him back to full guard, and a moment later the round ends. 10-9 Law.

Round 3

Round 3 begins with Ghareeb, surely aware he is down two rounds to none, coming forward with purpose. Ghareeb throws a left head kick followed by a right kick to the body, both of which glance off of Law. Law gets an easy takedown about a minute in, but lands with Ghareeb perilously close to taking his back. Law is patient, sorts out the position and moves to side control. Half the round gone, and Law is in side control, landing short elbows and looking perhaps to isolate an arm. Law lands a couple of heavy elbows as Ghareeb regains full guard. 90 seconds left, Law is driving Ghareeb into the fence, putting all his weight on the other man, then moves to half guard. Ghareeb is ultra-game from the bottom, constantly trying to better his position, but Law moves to mount with 30 seconds left. Law throws a couple of punches before Ghareeb slides out the back. Law jumps back on him, landing a few more punches before the bell. Completely suffocating work from Cody Law. 10-9 Law (30-27 Law).

The Official Result

Cody Law def. Nathan Ghareeb via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Cass Bell (135.6) vs. Jornel Lugo (135)

Round 1

Bantamweight up-and-comer Bell (5-1 | 5-1 Bellator) meets “A-1” Lugo (5-0 | 1-0 Bellator), the second man on the card named after a condiment. Dan Miragliotta is the referee. It’s Lugo landing first in the early going with calf kicks to the outside of both of Bell’s legs. Bell reaching with long jabs and a lead right that nearly has him off balance. Halfway through the round, Lugo’s left kicks to Bell’s right leg are already telling a story. Lugo switches stances, catches a Bell kick and returns with a harder kick of his own, this time to Bell’s right leg. 90 seconds left, Bell rushes forward with punches, but Lugo circles out and avoids being run into the fence. Lugo switching stances, throwing jabs from both sides in the final minute. They clinch, Lugo pushing Bell into the fence. They exchange knees and short punches until the round ends. 10-9 Lugo.

Round 2

Bell in southpaw, Lugo in orthodox stance to open Round 2. Lugo throws a right kick to the body, then one to the inside of Bell’s lead right leg. Lugo switches stances and lands a left straight. Bell springs forward with a left hook that catches nothing but air. Lugo coming forward, throwing his right jab. Lugo throws a right high kick that misses, and Bell rushes in for a takedown. Lugo sprawls beautifully and Bell can’t secure anything. Halfway through the round, this is becoming a clinic on the feet for Jornel Lugo. Lugo fighting southpaw, lands a couple of sharp jabs before switching stances. Lugo stalks forward, throwing single jabs and straights. Bell jumps in and throws a one-two shortly before the bell. 10-9 Lugo.

Round 3

Lugo changes levels about 30 seconds in and drops Bell to the canvas. He moves instantly to side control. Bell scrambles up, but Lugo jumps on his back and hauls him back down. Lugo passes to half guard at the base of the fence, then to side control. Lugo moves to Bell’s back and sinks a hook. Bell stands, and Lugo lands a couple of punches on the way up, then trips Bell back to the floor. Lugo in Bell’s full guard. Bell’s hips are active, looking to come up and threaten with a triangle or armbar, but Lugo keeps his head in Bell’s chest, throwing punches to the ribs. Lugo moves to side control again, controlling Bell’s far arm and throwing knees to the ribs. Bell gets to his seat and Lugo gets on Bell’s back, sinking his hooks once again. Lugo gets a body triangle, throwing punches to Bell’s head and softening him up for a choke. He goes for it at the 10-second clapper, but the final bell rings as Bell strains and squirms. Dominant stuff from Lugo. 10-8 Lugo (30-26 Lugo).

The Official Result

Jornel Lugo def. Cass Bell via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Talita Nogueira (146) vs. Jessica Borga (145.2)

Round 1

Former Mundials and ADCC champ Nogueira (7-2 | 1-2 Bellator) looks to end a two-fight skid against Borga (3-2 | 1-0 Bellator) in a featherweight contenders’ match. Dan Miragliotta on duty as referee. They exchange low kicks in the early going from matching orthodox stances. 90 seconds in, it’s still mostly an exchange of single kicks. Borga catches a kick and drives Nogueira to the fence. “Treta” with an overhook as Borga tries to use head position to open the taller woman up for strikes. Miragliotta breaks up the clinch and restarts the women in the center of the cage. Borga is the first with a body kick, and Nogueira replies with a leg kick. A minute left and it’s Borga coming forward, throwing kicks and her right straight. She drives Nogueira to the fence again, and Nogueira uses a hip toss to fling her to the ground. 30 seconds left and Nogueira is on top, north-south, throwing punches as the bell sounds. 10-9 Nogueira.

Round 2

Borga rushes forward with a pair of hooks and drives Nogueira to the fence. She pulls the Brazilian to the floor and actually takes her back. Nogueira calmly removes Borga’s hooks and stands. Nogueira keeps the overhook, tosses Borga back to the ground and sets up in half guard, out to the side, trying to trap an arm and pass to side control. She drops a couple of elbows, then punches to the ribs. Borga has Nogueira’s right leg locked down, but is otherwise just hanging on. Nogueira spins to the other side and starts throwing punches from the back. Miragliotta stops the action and Nogueira jumps up to celebrate, but it’s a punch to the back of the head. There’s a warning and a pause, and then they start again standing. Nogueira walks forward with very very wide hooks, which land on the exhausted-looking Borga. Nogueira runs Borga to the fence, then peels her away and trips her to the ground in the middle of the cage. 30 seconds left and Miragliotta has to stop the action again for a blow to the back of the head, deducting a point this time and starting them once again on the feet. At the 10-second clapper, Nogueira gets another hip-throw takedown. The bell sounds. 9-9 round due to the point deduction.

Round 3

Though clearly exhausted, Borga charges forward and clinches with Nogueira against the fence. Nogueira tries another judo throw, but Borga is wise to it. A minute in, it’s all grinding clinch work, as Borga fights for head position and Nogueira throws short knees. “Treta” tries another hip throw, but Borga counters with an overhook and they pop back to their feet. Nogueira reverses position and pushes Borga to the fence, then finally gets a body lock and trip, landing on top. Nogueira is heavy on top, pushing down on Borga’s head with a forearm while using her free hand to punch the body. Nogueira is far out to the side, looking to trap an orm. Just over a minute left and Nogueira stands over Borga, who is looking for a Hail Mary upkick. Nogueira dives into her guard, tosses her legs aside and moves to the back. She has one hook, then two. 30 seconds left, Nogueira with a body triangle. She’s looking for the rear-naked choke, but the bell sounds. 10-9 Nogueira (29-27 Nogueira).

The Official Result

Talita Nogueira def. Jessica Borga via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

Dalton Rosta (185.5) vs. Tony Johnson (185.2)

Round 1

Homegrown middleweight prospect Rosta (4-0 | 4-0 Bellator) and DWCS alum Johnson (8-3 | 2-0 Bellator) square off in the featured prelim, with Kevin MacDonald set to officiate. Rosta marches forward on the taller Johnson, both men fighting orthodox. Rosta throws jabs and one-twos while Johnson throws kicks and looks for a counter left. Rosta throws a fast outside calf kick to Johnson’s lead left leg. Rosta lands a right hook and is just missed by a huge uppercut coming the other way. Rosta clinches, shoves Johnson to the fence and drops for a single-leg. Johnson fights it off and they break. Rosta ducks in with a jab to the body. There’s a break for MacDonald to return Rosta’s mouthpiece. Rosta lands a leg kick, but Johnson counters with a two-punch combo that clearly hurts. Johnson lands a glancing right head kick, then a one-two. Rosta comes back with a one-two of his own. Johnson lands a high kick off Rosta’s guard at the 10-second warning, followed by a body kick. Rosta lands a push kick up the middle right before the bell. 10-9 Johnson.

Round 2

Rosta comes forward early, his guard very high, perhaps recognizing Johnson’s commitment to high kicks in the first round. A minute in, both men are landing single kicks and jabs. There’s a break for an inadvertent low blow to Rosta, our third of the evening. Johnson slides around the outside, throwing one-twos when Rosta comes forward. Rosta drops levels and gets a double-leg takedown against the fence. Johnson uses the fence to stand and Rosta gets his back. Johnson spins out and they reset in the middle of the cage. Rosta steps forward and nails Johnson with a left to the body, probably his best strike of the fight so far. Rosta tries a superman punch that just glances off. Johnson steps in and lands a one-two against Rosta’s high guard. Johnson lands a body kick underneath the guard. Rosta lands a spinning back kick to the chest of Johnson. 30 seconds to go and Johnson is marching forward. He throws a high kick that is blocked, and the bell sounds. Very close round. 10-9 Rosta.

Round 3

Round 3 begins with Johnson again advancing, feinting, but it’s Rosta who lands first with a left and a right. They exchange jabs and one-twos. Johnson throws a high kick as Rosta drops for what looks like half a slip, half an Imanari roll, but he gets Johnson to the fence and switches to a double-leg. After a bit of a struggle, he elevates and dumps the taller man on the ground. Johnson fights back to his feet, and they separate. Johnson marches forward with body kicks and one-twos, halfway through the round. Rosta shoots another double-leg and gets Johnson to his seat against the fence. Johnson gets back to his knees, gets his hips back and sprawls. Under a minute left, Rosta is still working for the takedown and he gets it. 30 second left, Johnson stands back up, and Rosta is still at his hips, working for the takedown. The bell sounds. 10-9 Rosta (29-28 Rosta).

The Official Result

Dalton Rosta def. Tony Johnson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Goiti Yamauchi (155.8) vs. Dan Moret (155.6)

Round 1

The main card kicks off with lightweights Yamauchi (25-4 | 10-3 Bellator) and Moret (14-6 | 0-0 Bellator), with Miragliotta the third man in the cage. Moret comes forward and throws a left body kick. He follows it up with a left outside leg kick. Yamauchi drops for a single-leg, but Moret lands on top and Yamauchi kicks him off. Moret knocks Yamauchi down with a right hand, and gives chase, but Yamauchi is already back up, clinching and looking for another single-leg as he recovers. Yamauchi throws a flying knee, transitions to pulling guard, and ends up on his back with Moret over him. Yamauchi sweeps, takes Moret’s back in a flash, and sinks both hooks. Moret tripods in the middle of the cage with 90s seconds left, Yamauchi on his back, trying to isolate an arm with a kimura. He gets it, and tries to torque it away from Moret’s body, but Moret is wise to it. Yamauchi is so high on Moret’s back that his own head is actually resting on the canvas. Moret shrugs him off and ends up on top, seated on top of Yamauchi and throwing punches. The bell sounds. 10-9 Yamauchi.

Round 2

Yamauchi uses an ankle pick and overhook to drive Moret to the ground, moving quickly to side control. Moret is on his back, with both feet on the cage, as Yamauchi isolates the far arm. Moret uses the fence to bridge and throw Yamauchi off, but the Brazilian grabs a front headlock. He threatens with an anaconda choke, then bails and moves to the back. He sinks one hook, then abandons it. Half the round gone, and Yamauchi is on Moret’s back, both men still on their feet. Yamauchi peels Moret off the fence enough to hop on his back and sink both hooks. He hauls him down, and throws a couple of heel strikes to the solar plexus, B.J. Penn style, while looking to take the neck. A minute left in the round. Moret is surviving capably, fighting off the hands, but little more. Yamauchi switches to a body triangle with 30 seconds left, throwing punches from back mount at the bell. 10-9 Yamauchi.

Round 3

The final round kicks off with Moret coming forward. Yamauchi shoots a double-leg right away, but Moret sprawls all over it and ends up in top position. Perhaps by mutual assent, they stand immediately. Yamauchi drives Moret to the fence, dropping to Moret’s hips. Moret uses a forearm to frame Yamauchi’s face and neck, keeping them apart. He meets Yamauchi with a knee to the jaw as Yamauchi tries to drop levels again. Less than half the round left and Yamauchi is still working for the takedown as Moret wide-legs. Moret trips and lands on top in Yamauchi’s half guard. 90 seconds if he wants to win this fight. Yamauchi’s guard is wide open and he’s not doing much besides controlling Moret’s posture with one arm. Moret is heavy on top, but not offering much else. Moret postures up to try and rain down some blows, but Yamauchi pivots and looks for an armbar. With five seconds left, Yamauchi slips out the side and takes Moret’s back. The bell sounds. 10-9 Yamauchi (30-27 Yamauchi).

The Official Result

Dan Moret def. Goiti Yamauchi via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Cat Zingano (145.2) vs. Olivia Parker (145.4)

Round 1

Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Zingano (11-4 | 1-0 Bellator) welcomes Parker (4-1 | 0-0 Bellator) to the new promotion. Todd Anderson is available, if necessary, to save someone from unnecessary damage. Zingano clinches in seconds, pushes Parker to the cage, and wants the takedown. Parker holds her own, reversing Zingano against the fence, but “Alpha” eventually gets a trip and lands in full guard. A minute gone. Zingano passes to half guard and is ultra-heavy on top, looking for an arm-triangle. Zingano looks to pass to mount, and Parker denies her for a second, then surrenders the position. Zingano in full mount. Parker turns her back and Zingano takes it, but can’t secure it and Parker spins around, ending up in Zingano’s guard. Zingano pins Parker’s right arm, swings her hips around for an armbar and goes belly-down. It’s beautifully smooth and so tight that Parker can barely move her other hand to tap. Nice quick night of work from Cat Zingano.

The Official Result

Cat Zingano def. Olivia Parker R1 2:56 via Submission (Armbar)

Adam Borics (145.8) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (145.7)

Round 1

Prospect-turned-contender Borics (16-1 | 7-1 Bellator) looks to keep the momentum of a three-fight win streak going against former PFL standout Kennedy (16-2, 1 NC | 1-0 Bellator). Kevin MacDonald is the referee. They exchange crisp three-piece punch combos in the early going, both out of orthodox stance. Borics lands a low calf kick to the outside of Kennedy’s lead left leg, then another. Kennedy returns fire with one of his own. Kennedy drops for a takedown against the fence, but Borics fights him off with underhooks, then reverses position. Borics now pushing Kennedy into the cage. Under two minutes left, and MacDonald stops the action for a knee to the cup of Borics. When they restart in the center of the cage, they go back to exchanging low calf kicks. Borics lands a stinging counter right. Kennedy comes in behind a jab, drops levels and pulls Borics down with a double-leg. Borics fights back to his feet as the bell sounds. 10-9 Borics.

Round 2

Borics lands an outside leg kick. Kennedy responds with a right-hand counter. A minute in, there’s a lot of feinting on both sides, but not a whole lot being thrown. Borics bounces into range and lands an overhand right. Both men land low kicks. Kennedy comes in looking to clinch, but Borics slides away easily. Borics’ jab is beginning to land with increasing frequency and effect, reddening the face of Kennedy. Two minutes left, it feels as though neither man has really gotten comfortable, but especially not Kennedy. Borics lands another hard calf kick, then a lightning jab. Borics tries his vaunted flying knee with a minute left, but he’s out of range. Borics lands a high kick that hurts. Kennedy moves at the waist, evading the swarm of hooks that follow, but that was the best single strike of the fight so far. The bell sounds. 10-9 Borics.

Round 3

Kennedy fights like a man who knows he needs to do something big, coming straight forward and landing a sharp lead left to open the final round. Borics throws an outside low calf kick to Kennedy’s left leg that takes his base from under him. Kennedy goes down and Borics follows, ending up in half guard. Borics throws short strikes to the head and ribs. Kennedy sweeps to top position and Borics stands. It’s Kennedy pushing Borics into the cage as Borics defends with an overhook. 90 seconds left. Kennedy trips Borics, who goes to his seat. Kennedy is lacing Borics’ legs while Borics tries to use the fence to stand. Kennedy grabs an ankle to deny him. Borics pops back to his feet, tries another flying knee, and gets shoved back to the fence. The round expires. 10-9 Borics (30-27 Borics).

The Official Result

Adam Borics def. Jeremy Kennedy via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Liz Carmouche (125.4) vs. Vanessa Porto (126)

Round 1

The main event sees veteran multi-divisional contender Carmouche (14-7 | 1-0 Bellator) welcoming the Invicta record book owner Porto (22-8 | 0-0 Bellator) to the round cage. Kevin MacDonald is on ref duty, and we’re off. Carmouche bounding around the outside, throwing southpaw jabs. Porto throws a couple of low kicks early that have Carmouche reacting. Carmouche switches briefly to orthodox, but for the most part she is fighting out of the southpaw stance and circling briskly to the right. Carmouche rushes forward with a lead right hand that falls short. Carmouche trying for the right several times in the first half of the round. Porto throws a right kick to the ribs. Porto comes forward with more kicks, with both legs. Carmouche is back to orthodox stance. Porto rushes forward for a takedown, but the bell sounds. 10-9 Porto.

Round 2

Carmouche is active to start Round 2, bouncing between stances and throwing a hard jab. Carmouche runs Porto to the fence. They exchange knees to each other’s’ legs and body. Carmouche has an underhook and a leg, looking to dump the shorter woman to the floor. She switches to a single-leg. Porto looks for a front headlock, but Carmouche lifts and slams her, breaking the grip. Porto bounces back up, and they’re exchanging knees in the clinch again. Half the round down, and it’s been more tense than dynamic so far. They separate and return to kickboxing. Porto lands a right hand, Carmouche lands a harder one in return. Porto has found the range and rhythm for her kicks again, darting in with both legs to tag the lead leg of Carmouche. The 1-second clapper sounds. Carmouche lands a final low kick before the bell. 10-9 Carmouche.

Round 3

Round 3 begins with Carmouche in orthodox stance, circling on the outside and throwing outside low kicks. She switches to southpaw. Porto circles with her, darting in to land her own kicks. Carmouche slips and falls to her seat, Porto goes after her, but Carmouche grabs a single-leg as they stand and now it’s Carmouche pressing Porto against the fence, looking for the takedown. Porto denies her, and Carmouche clinches. Each woman with an underhook, trading knees. Just a minute left, and the pace of the fight stays insistently in second gear. The women finish the fight as they spent most of it: clinched, kneeing one another. 10-9 Carmouche (29-28 Carmouche).

The Official Result

Liz Carmouche def. Vanessa Porto via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Light Heavyweight WGP Quarterfinal Bout:
Ryan Bader (205) vs. Lyoto Machida (204.6)

Round 1

The Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix kicks off with a five-round clash between Bellator heavyweight titleholder Bader (27-6, 1 NC | 5-1, 1 NC Bellator), who was until a few months ago the two-division champ, and former UFC 205-pound ruler Machida (26-10 | 2-2 Bellator). Nearly nine years on from their first meeting, a spectacular knockout win by Machida in the UFC Octagon, the 37-year-old Bader and 42-year-old Machida meet again. Dan Miragliotta gets the final referee assignment of the night. Machida is southpaw, hands outstretched, bouncing outside in his trademark stance. Bader orthodox, coming forward and pawing with the lead hand. Over a minute in, the first real strike landed is a left leg kick by Machida. Bader rushes forward with punches and Machida is nowhere to be found. Machida lands a left body kick to the open side. Bader comes forward with punches again, and Machida again slides out the side. Bader’s right side is already wearing the signs of Machida’s kicks. Bader charges in and manages to clinch momentarily, but Machida shucks him off. Machida comes off the fence and explodes out with a superman punch that misses, but backs Bader up. Bader pops in and lands two right hands to the face, then a lead left. Machida lands a high kick and a jumping knee, and at the 10-second clapper, Bader grabs a front headlock against the fence. He looks to knee the head, but Machida plants a hand on the canvas to forestall any attempt. The bell sounds. 10-9 Machida.

Round 2

Machida goes back to work in Round 2, feinting, throwing his fast left kick to the body of Bader. Bader comes forward with a lead left, which falls short. Machida slaps with another body kick. And another. Bader charges forward with a right hand, swinging at air. Machida bounces around the outside some more. He lands another body kick, partly blocked. Machida lands a superman punch. Bader comes forward with a double-leg and drives Machida to the canvas against the cage. Two minutes left. Bader gets essentially a folkstyle wrestling referee’s position, throwing punches to Machida’s head. Machida tries to control Bader’s wrist, then gets up, but Bader hauls him back down and throws more punches. The round expires with Bader in control, throwing short punches. 10-9 Bader.

Round 3

Both men’s movements have slowed as Round 3 begins, but it’s more apparent in the movement-heavy karateka. A minute in, Bader runs in behind a big right hand — which lands — and scoops Machida up for an emphatic double-leg takedown. Bader is in side control near the fence, throwing short punches. He has Machida’s far arm pinned, preparing to throw unblocked strikes to the face, but Machida squirms and forces Bader to adjust. Bader throws a brutal-sounding punch to the body. Machida manages to stuff Bader to full guard, but Bader passes back to side control. Bader lands who massive punches to the face of Machida, who is now bleeding from the nose and mouth. Bader still in side control, dropping some big elbows just before the 10-second clapper. The round ends that way. Huge round for the American. 10-8 Bader.

Round 4

Machida is sporting a serious shiner on the left eye and some seriously deep breathing to open the championship rounds. Bader comes forward, breathing heavily himself, and lands most of a three-piece. Machida returns fire, but his footwork no longer keeps him out of harm’s way, and Bader gets his hands on him, lifts and dumps him to the canvas. A minute gone in the round, it’s Bader on top in half-guard against the fence, trying to trap an arm while throwing short elbows and punches. Machida is moving and squirming, denying Bader the completely dominant positions he wants, but not doing much beyond surviving. Machida manages to get Bader to full guard, and closes his guard. Bader is still posturing up, however, dropping heavy elbows, forearms and punches. Bader passes to half guard, still throwing heavy offense from the top. A minute left, and the feeling is that one big punch might end this. Bader gets control of Machida’s right wrist with his own right hand, but lets go and returns to throwing elbows and punches to the body. The bell sounds on another dominant round by the former champ. 10-8 Bader.

Round 5

The final round opens up with Bader looking tired, while Machida looks wobbly and exhausted. The same is in Round 4, Bader comes in behind a right hand, secures a double-leg, and easily lifts and dumps Machida to the canvas at the base of the fence. Bader laces the right leg of Machida and immediately resumes the pounding. Machida gets to his knees with Bader stuck to his back, then to his feet, wisely leaving a hand planted to avoid being kneed. Bader hauls Machida back down and throws a couple of rights to the head, one of them sickeningly loud. Machida gives up mount, then his back. He throws a nice no-look elbow that cracks Bader in the face, but Bader is undeterred. Machida gets to his knees, and Bader brings him back to the mat yet again. Bader is heavy on top, chest to chest, throwing short elbows to the body. Machida throws some heel strikes from the bottom. Bader moves to half guard, and Machida throws strikes from the bottom. They’re exchanging leather at the final bell, and Ryan Bader should be advancing, awaiting the winner of the Corey Anderson - Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov quarterfinal later this month. 10-9 Bader (49-44 Bader).

The Official Result

Ryan Bader def. Lyoto Machida via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)
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