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Pedro Carvalho (144.75) vs. Jay-Jay Wilson (146.75: Missed Weight)
Round 1First fight up at Bellator 257 is a featherweight contenders’ matchup between undefeated prospect Wilson (7-0) and Carvalho (11-4), who has plummeted from headliner to curtain-jerker since his last fight. Kevin MacDonald draws the referee assignment for this opening bout. Wilson hits a double-leg takedown immediately and plants Carvalho on his seat in the middle of the cage. Carvalho pops up, but Wilson takes his back standing, sinks both hooks and hauls him back down. Wilson with a body triangle. Just 90 seconds in, and Carvalho is in all kinds of trouble. Carvalho spins around and is in Wilson’s guard. Carvalho on top, against the fence. Wilson briefly goes to rubber guard, but gives it up and goes back to full guard. Carvalho throws a few short punches, but is too busy defending himself in Wilson’s aggressive guard to do much more. Wilson looks for an armbar briefly, but can’t secure it. 30 seconds left and it’s still Carvalho on top, in Wilson’s closed guard. The round expires. 10-9 Wilson.
Round 2Wilson lands a spinning backfist right out of the gate which lands, stunning Carvalho. Carvalho goes staggering away and Wilson is all over him, swarming with punches. They clinch against the fence and Wilson uses a whizzer to toss the still-dazed Carvalho to the canvas. He lands in full mount, throws a few more punches and MacDonald dives in for the stop. Dominant work by Jay-Jay Wilson.
The Official ResultJay-Jay Wilson def. Pedro Carvalho R2 0:53 via TKO (Punches)
Saul Rogers (145.75) vs. Mads Burnell (146)
Round 1It’s England vs. Denmark as Rogers and Burnell stake their matching 14-3 records in a featherweight preliminary bout. Todd Anderson is the referee. Rogers takes Burnell down immediately and grabs a front headlock as Burnell gets back up. He keeps the headlock even as Burnell moves to top position, but wisely lets go as Burnell passes to half guard. Two minutes in, it’s Burnell on top, trying to pass Rogers’ butterfly guard. He does pass, and briefly gets Rogers’ back, but Rogers rolls through, stands up and uses another double-leg to dump Burnell to the mat. Rogers on top, two minutes left in the round, and Burnell kicks him off and pops back up. They exchange punches for a moment, and a Burnell leg kick nearly takes Rogers’ base out from under him. They collide near the fence and Rogers grabs a Japanese necktie. It looks tight as they fall to the canvas, with Rogers’ neck at an alarming angle, but the Mancunian is calm as he defends and pops his head out. The round expires with Burnell on top. 10-9 Burnell.
Round 2Rogers zaps Burnell with a lead right hand, then another. Rogers shoots another double-leg, but Burnell uses an underhook to turn him over, landing on top. Burnell is on top, in Rogers’ half guard. Rogers regains full guard, but as he tries to insert a knee shield, Burnell passes to side control. Burnell throws a couple of punches, as Rogers tries to get back to guard. Rogers turns and Burnell is out to the side, nearly on his back, throwing hard punches to the head. Rogers turns back into him, and it’s Burnell still in side control. Burnell on Rogers’ back with one hook in against the fence, throwing punches. He gets the other hook and cinches up a rear-naked choke. Rogers fights briefly, but is tapping a second later. Outstanding ground work by the Dane.
The Official ResultMads Burnell def. Saul Rogers R2 4:08 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Karl Albrektsson (205.75) vs. Viktor Nemkov (206)
Round 1The older Nemkov brother (30-7-1) and Albrektsson (10-3) square off in a light heavyweight contest. Mike Beltran will keep things clean. They touch gloves and commence exchanging jabs and low kicks from orthodox stance. Nemkov catches a kick and throws a counter over the top. Albrektsson changes levels for a takedown, but Nemkov grabs a guillotine and stands him up, Albrektsson is driving Nemkov into the fence. Nemkov still holding onto the choke, but Albrektsson elevates him and dumps him. Nemkov closes his guard and squeezes. Nemkov finally lets it go, and it’s Albrektsson on top in full guard. He drops an elbow and a couple of short punches. Another elbow from the Swede. Nemkov still with closed guard, trying to tie up Albrektsson’s wrists. A minute left and Albrektsson is still chipping away with short elbows. Albrektsson goes to posture up and Nemkov kicks him off. Nemkov throws a couple of upkicks, but Albrektsson dives back into his guard behind a punch. The round ends. 10-9 Albrektsson.
Round 2Tentative work on the feet in the first minute or so, with neither man landing much of consequence. Albrektsson shoots a takedown and Nemkov once again counters with a guillotine. This time he lets go within seconds, however, as Albrektsson completes the takedown. Albrektsson in Nemkov’s half guard against the fence. He resumes dropping elbows, and one of them cuts the Russian. Nemkov is bleeding, not offering much from his back other than to survive. Nemkov tries to stand and Albrektsson grabs a front headlock briefly, then an overhook. Nemkov gets back to his feet. Albrektsson pushes him into the fence. They disengage and return to striking in the center of the cage. A minute left. Albrektsson lands and outside leg kick, then one to the body. Nemkov returns fire with a hard leg kick. He catches Albrektsson’s next kick and counters with another overhand right. The bell rings. 10-9 Albrektsson.
Round 3Nemkov’s jab is in Albrektsson’s face to start the final round. Albrektsson shoots a takedown and once again, Nemkov grabs a guillotine. He holds onto the neck as Albrektsson completes the takedown, but lets go a moment later. Albrektsson in Nemkov’s full guard at the base of the fence, dropping elbows from top position. Albrektsson passes to half guard, and he is heavy on top, chest to chest. Nemkov doing little to escape, but throws some punches that curl around Albrektsson’s head to hit the opposite ear. Two minutes left and Albrektsson is still on top, still throwing enough elbows to stave off a standup by Beltan, who is hovering over the proceedings. With a minute left, Albrektsson appears to be contemplating an arm-triangle, but nothing comes of it and he postures up to drop another elbow. 20 seconds left, and the fight ends with Albrektsson throwing punches to the body and one final elbow to the face. 10-9 Albrektsson (30-27 Albrektsson).
The Official ResultKarl Albrektsson def. Viktor Nemkov via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lance Gibson Jr. (155) vs. Marcus Surin (155.25)
Round 1It’s a lightweight match next, as Surin (5-2) takes on second-generation prospect Gibson (3-0). Dan Miragliotta is the referee. Gibson is southpaw, Surin orthodox. Gibson bounces around the outside, landing a hard body kick. They clinch and Gibson takes Surin’s back standing. Surin turns to face him, but Gibson drives him to the fence and lands a hard knee up the middle. They disengage and Gibson lands another body kick. They clinch again, and Gibson frames and lands a couple of level elbow strikes. Surin drops levels for a takedown, but Gibson gets an underhook and shucks him off easily. They separate. Surin lands an elbow on the break, and Gibson nails him with yet another body kicks. Two minutes left. Gibson goes upstairs with a kick that is blocked, then lands one to the outside of Surin’s right leg. Gibson is walking Surin down with kicks. Under a minute left and Gibson begins opening up with his hands, landing a couple of clean, straight punches. Gibson with a knee up the middle. The bell sounds. 10-9 Gibson.
Round 2Gibson just misses with a murderous lead right hook, then lands a body kicks. Surin is standing tough in the pocket, looking to counter, but is just a hair behind in every exchange. Gibson catches a finger to the right eye, and Miragliotta pauses the action so that he can recover. The pause ends up being more of an intermission, as the cageside doctor comes in to confer with Gibson. When they resume, Gibson goes right back to nailing Surin with body kicks to the open right side. Gibson grabs a Thai clinch and throws a knee up the middle. Gibson looks to take Surin’s back standing, but Surin denies him. 90 second left, and Gibson is driving Surin into the cage, throwing knees to his legs. Surin with a nice uppercut to the body. Gibson grabs a rear waistlock and Surin tries an inside switch. Gibson manages to drag him down with 20 seconds left. The round ends with Gibson on Surin’s back with a leg ride. 10-9 Gibson.
Round 3They touch gloves to open the third round. Gibson throws a low calf kick, switches stances and throws with the other leg. Surin drops for a takedown, but Gibson is all over it. He looks to be working for an anaconda choke, but gives it up a moment later. They clinch against the fence. Gibson grabs a single-leg and runs Surin to the ground at the base of the cage. Gibson stands, evades an upkick, and Surin stands as well. Surin walks Gibson down, as Gibson circle out and flicks out his left body kick. 90 seconds left, Surin drops for a single-leg, hauls Gibson down, but Gibson uses a body lock to deny him the takedown. Surin takes Gibson’s back. 45 seconds left, he’s looking for a choke as Gibson tries to escape out the back door. Surin loses the choke, but throws punches to the head of Gibson. Gibson stands and a few seconds later, the bell rings to signify the end of the bout. 10-9 Gibson (30-27 Gibson).
The Official ResultLance Gibson Jr. def. Marcus Surin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Raymond Daniels (169.75) vs. Peter Stanonik (170)
Round 1Daniels (2-1) and Stanonik (4-4) face off in what should be a welterweight striker’s delight, with Todd Anderson officiating. Daniels slides around the outside of the cage, throwing low kicks, as Stanonik comes forward, pumping his jab. Daniels misses with a spinning heel kick, but lands a knee to the body that freezes Stanonik. He stands and comes forward, and Daniels lands a knee to the head. Stanonik goes down and Daniels is all over him with ground-and-pound. Anderson is right there, telling Stanonik he needs to move. Stanonik does, and Daniels lets him up. Daniels lands a couple more blistering low kicks. Stanonik clinches and forces Daniels to the fence, landing a nice knee. They disengage. Daniels nails him with another kick. He picks Stanonik’s right knee and runs him to the canvas. He’s in half guard, throwing short strikes. The round ends. 10-8 Daniels.
Round 2The doctor warns Stanonik between rounds that he can't take another round of punishment like that or the fight will be stopped. Stanonik backs Daniels up with a flurry of hooks, but Daniels’ head movement is on point. Stanonik charging forward, and Daniels gives ground and circles out. Daniels times the onrushing Texan for an easy takedown in the center of the cage. Daniels in Stanonik’s full guard, throwing short elbows. Stanonik controls Daniels’ posture with both arms behind Daniels’ neck, and Daniels changes to throwing punches to the ribs. Stanonik looks for an armbar, but Daniels extricates his arm. They stand with half the round left. They clinch and Daniels uses a trip to bring Stanonik back to the floor. Daniels in Stanonik’s half guard, and he pins Stanonik’s arm with his outside leg, opening him up for unblocked elbows. Anderson is looking on closely as Daniels advances to crucifix position. Stanonik is hanging on for dear life, using his arm to control Daniels’ posture as much as he can. Daniels is still hammering away as the round ends. 10-8 Daniels.
Round 3The doctor checks on Stanonik again, and for a moment it looks as if the fight will be stopped. However, Stanonik trudges out for another round of punishment. Daniels lands a nice three-piece combo, then cliches with Stanonik against the fence and hauls him to the canvas again with a nice outside trip. Daniels in Stanonik's half guard, throwing punches and elbows. Stanonik throws a punch from his back that lands. Daniels gets the crucifix again for a moment, but Stanonik frees his arm. 90 seconds left and Daniels postures up and drops a huge punch. Stanonik throws his hips up for an armbar, but there's nothing there. Daniels is looking to advance position, but Stanonik sits up and sweeps to top position. He has 30 seconds to work, but Daniels reverses him. The final bell sounds on a complete mauling. 10-9 Daniels (30-25 Daniels).
The Official ResultRaymond Daniels def. Peter Stanonik via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Grachik Bozinyan (170) vs. Demarques Jackson (170.75)
Round 1Bozinyan and Jackson face off in a welterweight clash, with Mike Beltran drawing ref duty. They’re both throwing hard right off the bat, both out of orthodox stance. Jackson nails Bozinyan with a right. Bozinyan takes a hard leg kick, then lands a stiff right hand. Jackson shoots a double-leg and after a struggle against the fence, it’s Bozinyan who lands in top position. Boxinyan in half guard, trying to land strikes. Jackson stuffs him back to full guard. Bozinyan heavy on top, driving towards Jackson’s head as Jackson controls his posture with an arm behind the neck. Bozinyan drives Jackson all the way to the fence, where Jackson sits up, but can’t stand because Bozinyan has his legs laced. 90 seconds left and Bozinyan throws a punch to the head, but Jackson pops up to his feet. Bozinyan has an overhook, looking for a hip throw, but Jackson squashes it and lands on top. They stand with under 30 seconds left and are swinging as the bell sounds. 10-9 Jackson.
Round 2Jackson lands a right cross and a jab to open Round 2. He stings Bozinyan with a low calf kick. Bozinyan drops levels for a takedown and gets Jackson down at the base of the fence. Bozinyan in Jackson’s full guard, throwing punches and elbows, looking to pass to half guard. He passes. He tries to move to mount, but has to settle for taking half guard on the other side. Bozinyan drags Jackson away from the fence and starts to throw punches, but Jackson scoots back to the fence and tries to stand. He ends up seated against the fence in much the same position as Round 1, with Bozinyan locking his left leg down and preventing him from standing. He finally explodes to his feet, and Bozinyan is looking to drag him back down. Bozinyan uses an overhook to force the action back to the canvas, and they’re near the center of the cage. Bozinyan in Jackson’s full guard. 30 seconds left. The round ends that way, with Jackson throwing some Kevin Holland-esque slaps to the ears of Bozinyan. 10-9 Bozinyan.
Round 3Jackson again aggressive to open the final round, and Bozinyan is circling out. Bozinyan zaps him with a right hand, and Jackson drops for a low single. Bozinyan fights it off and they clinch against the fence. Bozinyan presses Jackson into the cage, throwing elbows. They move away from the fence, and Bozinyan looks for a takedown, but Jackson executes a ridiculous reversal, more or less taking Bozinyan’s back in midair. Jackson has a neck crank, which looks uncomfortable but not fight-ending. Bozinyan reverses, spinning into guard, but Jackson takes his back again. Jackson looks for a rear-naked choke, but it’s closer to a neck or face crank again. Bozinyan again spins into Jackson’s guard with 45 seconds left. Both men look exhausted, Bozinyan throwing slow punches to the ribs as the final bell sounds. 10-9 Jackson (29-28 Jackson).
The Official ResultGrachik Bozinyan def. Demarques Jackson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Steve Mowry (247) vs. Shaun Asher (247.25)
Round 1It’s time for some heavyweight action, as the undefeated Mowry (8-0) takes on the 13-3-1 Asher. Todd Anderson is your referee. And luckily, Anderson isn’t far from the action as Mowry levels Asher with a step-in knee to the face in the very first exchange of the fight! Asher drops like a sack of rocks, and Mowry is right on top of him, throwing punches and hammerfists to the dazed Ohioan. There’s no recovery going on, and Anderson dives in for the stoppage. Brutal stuff from the 6-foot-8 wunderkind.
The Official ResultSteve Mowry def. Shaun Asher R1 0:55 via TKO (Knee and Punches)
Julius Anglickas (205) vs. Gregory Milliard (205.5)
Round 1Light heavyweights Anglickas (9-1) and Milliard (12-5) square off, with Dan Miragliotta the third man in the cage. It’s tense kickboxing in the opening minute, with both men throwing jabs and one-twos out of orthodox stance. Milliard clinches, and Anglickas runs him to the fence and gives him a hard knee up the middle. Anglickas muscling Milliard around in the clinch, using an underhook and head position to control Milliard. Miragliotta separates them and the retake the center of the cage with two minutes left. Milliard is feinting and throwing low kicks, while Anglickas sticks his jab into the face and body of the shorter man. 30 seconds left and Anglickas comes forward, clinching and running Milliard to the fence. The bell sounds. 10-9 Anglickas.
Round 2Between rounds, Anglickas’ corner asks for more kicks, and he obliges, throwing a whipping outside leg kick to open Round 2. Milliard looks to counter with punches, and just misses with a big one. 30 seconds in, Anglickas drops levels and plows Milliard to the canvas. Anglickas trying to pass to mount, but Milliard defends by tying up his arms. Anglickas in Milliard’s half guard, two minutes in. Anglickas drives Milliard to the fence, looking for openings to drop elbows. Anglickas is heavy on top, driving a forearm into the chin and neck. Milliard bucks and moves them away from the fence, but they scoot back there right away. Milliard gets his back to the fence and tries to wall-walk, but his leg is tied up by Anglickas and he’s stuck. Under 30 seconds left. The round ends in the same position. 10-9 Anglickas.
Round 3Anglickas lands a long straight right hand, then drops levels for another effortless takedown. They are against the fence, with Anglickas in Milliard’s full guard. Anglickas lands a punch. Milliard pops up to one knee, but Anglickas takes his back as he stands. Three minutes left, Milliard turns in to Anglickas and they break. Before Milliard can land a single punch, Anglickas shoots another double-leg and drives him right back to the ground. Anglickas in Milliard’s full guard. Milliard trying to lock him down with wrist control. Anglickas postures up and Milliard pushes him off with feet on the hips. Anglickas dives right back into Milliard’s guard. Anglickas is heavy on top, chest to chest with his head under Milliard’s chin. A minute left. Milliard closes his guard, then opens up and explodes out, but Anglickas follows and keeps his hips over his opponent’s. Anglickas passes to half guard at the 10-second clapper. The bell marks the end of the fight. 10-9 Anglickas (30-27 Anglickas).
The Official ResultJulius Anglickas def. Gregory Milliard via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Julia Budd (145.25) vs. Dayana Silva (144.75)
Round 1The top prelim features former featherweight champ Budd (14-3) as a massive favorite over the debuting Silva (9-5). Kevin MacDonald will oversee the fisticuffs. Both women are in orthodox stance to kick things off, and it’s Silva coming forward, throwing low kicks and feinting with her hands. Budd lands a hard outside leg kick. Silva snaps out a jab that falls just short. A minute and a half in, and neither woman has really started to pull the trigger. Budd lands a glancing left hook. The round is half gone, and Silva lands a low calf kick. Silva bounces into the taller woman’s range and lands a right hook. Budd lands a hard low kick and Silva counters with a right hook. Silva whiffs on a huge right hand. Budd lands a left hook at the 10-second clapper. The bell sounds on a very tentative round. 10-9 Budd.
Round 2They touch gloves to open the second round, and resume kickboxing. Silva lands a looping overhand right. Budd lands a sharp left jab. Budd with another heavy low kick. Silva still throwing that big right hand, but even when it lands, there just isn’t much behind it. Budd feinting kicks and landing her jab. Budd drops levels and grabs a double-leg, then switches to a single. Silva defending against the fence, throwing short elbows, but Budd drags her down. Budd takes Silva’s back as she stands. Budd with a rear waistlock, throwing knees to the legs of Silva. Budd steps out and tosses Silva to the canvas. She lands in half guard, throwing short punches as the round ends. 10-9 Budd.
Round 3The final round begins with another touch of gloves, and Budd backs Silva up with a push kick up the middle. Silva darts forward with a double jab. Budd counters with a body kick. Silva still coming forward with punches, and Budd still giving ground and returning fire with kicks. A minute and a half gone, and Silva is the busier woman. Budd lands a low kick and a left hand. Silva marching forward at the midpoint of the round, throwing looping punches with both hands. Silva lands a low kicks. With 90 seconds left, the pace is the same as ever. Silva lands an overhand right. The corners are yelling urgently, but the fight is still glacial. Budd shoots a takedown with 15 seconds left. Silva uses an overhook to pop back up, and they finish the fight standing. The bell sounds on a fight that will probably make nobody happy. 10-9 Silva (29-28 Budd).
The Official ResultJulia Budd def. Dayana Silva via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Paul Daley (174.75) vs. Sabah Homasi (175)
Round 1The well-traveled Daley (41-17-2) meets the 15-8 Homasi in a 175-pound catchweight meeting of knockout artists. Kevin MacDonald waves them into action, and Homasi lands first with a left body kick. Homasi with a kick upstairs that is blocked, then a left inside leg kick. Daley hasn’t thrown a strike yet. Homasi rushes forward and nails Daley with a sweeping right hand that rocks him badly. Homasi all over him against the fence, trying to finish, but Daley gets to his feet and staggers away. Homasi launches a flying knee to the midsection, then drops Daley with another punch. Homasi is throwing punches, Daley squirming and trying to get out of danger. Daley somehow survives, but he’s still down with Homasi in his guard. Half the round gone, and Daley stands. They clinch, then disengage. Homasi slips on a kick, but Daley doesn’t give chase. The pace has slowed with a minute left. Both men in orthodox stance, feinting. Daley runs Homasi to the fence and takes a rear waistlock. Daley knees Homasi to the head, then again. A third time, and Homasi is hurt. Daley pursues and tries to finish, but Homasi recovers. The bell sounds on a wild round. 10-9 Homasi.
Round 2Homasi comes out southpaw, but switches to orthodox and throws a right uppercut. Daley levels him with a right-hand counter. Daley jumps on him, flailing with hammerfists, but Homasi recovers. Daley catches a left kick with his left hand, lets it go and nails Homasi with a left hook. Homasi drops in a heap, Daley follows up with a few punches, and MacDonald has seen enough. Incredibly slick stuff from the 38-year-old “Semtex” — that’s C-4, for us Yanks — and a sensational end to a crazy fight.
The Official ResultPaul Daley def. Sabah Homasi R2 1:44 via TKO (Punches)
Veta Arteaga (124.5) vs. Desiree Yanez (125.75)
Round 1Arteaga (5-4) welcomes Combate Americas veteran and habitual strawweight “Dirty Dez” (5-2) to the Bellator cage. Todd Anderson is your referee. The women meet and swing wildly. Arteaga throws three hooks, at least one of which lands. Yanez pushes her to the fence, but Arteaga shoves her away and they reset. Arteaga zaps Yanez with a left hand. Yanez feinting but not throwing much. Arteaga lands a low kick, then runs into a right-hand counter from Yanez. Two and a half minutes in, Yanez comes forward and whiffs with a big right hook. Yanez reaches with the jab, then another. She lands a jab to the body. Arteaga comes forward and tries to clinch, but Yanez punishes her with a couple of uppercuts and Arteaga retreats. A minute left and Arteaga is coming forward, feinting and throwing one-twos. Yanez misses a counter left hook. Yanez shoots for a takedown with 30 seconds left, takes Arteaga’s back on the way down, and is in back control looking for a choke when time expires. Close round. 10-9 Yanez.
Round 2They touch gloves to open Round 2 and then immediately go back to swinging. Arteaga drops the onrushing Yanez with a right hand, and jumps into her half guard. Yanez scrambles back to her feet, eats another strike for her trouble and then is shoved into the fence by Arteaga. Arteaga hauls Yanez back to the floor, takes her back and slaps on a choke. Yanez fights it off, gets back to her seat, but Arteaga is still on her back with one hook in, working for a rear-naked choke. Two minutes gone, and Yanez spins back to guard. She gets to her knees, with Arteaga holding a front headlock. Arteaga lands two illegal knees to Yanez, who is officially grounded with a hand on the canvas. Anderson pauses the action, checks on Yanez and deducts a point from Arteaga, who likely could not see the hand but nonetheless did damage. They return to the feet, and Yanez drops levels for a takedown. Arteaga stands her up, but they end up on the fence. Arteaga pushes Yanez off and they return to the center of the cage. 90 seconds left. Arteaga lands a right cross, and takes a left jab from Yanez. Arteaga is cut somewhere over the eyes, but she’s still the aggressor as time expires. 9-9 round.
Round 3Another touch of gloves, and the final round is on. Yanez shoots a takedown immediately and gets it, driving Arteaga to the canvas and setting up in her full guard. Arteaga is active from the bottom, using an omoplata to sweep and return to her feet. Arteaga tags Yanez with a punch combination and pushes her to the fence. Yanez reverses position, uses head position to stand Yanez up and lands a couple of short punches to the face. They separate and Yanez lands a jab. Arteaga returns serve with a right hand. Halfway through the round, Arteaga is coming forward, throwing. She lands a lead left to the gut, then nails Yanez with a counter right when she tries to land her own punch. Yanez clinches and shoves Arteaga to the fence. Arteaga reverses her, then pushes her away. Yanez tries a tired-looking level change, but there’s nothing doing. They clinch near the fence and Arteaga is working for a takedown when the bell sounds. Thanks to the point deduction, Arteaga will have to settle for a draw in a fight that looked a lot like a win, on our scorecard at least. 10-9 Arteaga (28-28 Draw).
The Official ResultVeta Arteaga def. Desiree Yanez via Majority Decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Light Heavyweight WGP Quarterfinal Bout:
Anderson (204.75) vs. Dovletdzhan
Round 1Your second Light Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal features former UFC contender Anderson (14-5) welcoming ACA standout and general tournament wildcard Yagshimuradov (18-5-1) to the FightSphere. Anderson’s jab is in the face of Yagshimuradov early, both men in orthodox. A minute and a half in, neither man has committed to more than the occasional single strike. Anderson lands a glancing front kick up the middle. Yagshimuradov has just barely missed several times with his right uppercut. Anderson drives Yagshimuradov into the fence, landing a knee to the gut. Anderson still diligent with the jab, and thus far, that and his superior reach have been enough to keep Yagshimuradov on his heels. At the one-minute mark, Anderson lands a hard leg kick. He comes back with an immediate head kick, but can’t connect. Anderson landed a left jab followed by a left straight, and just eludes the right uppercut that comes back. At the 20-second mark, Yagshimuradov throws a furious spin kick that lands on Anderson’s guard, but clearly hurts nonetheless. The bell sounds on a cautious first frame. 10-9 Anderson.
Round 2Anderson drives Yagshimuradov to the fence, looking to throw short strikes. He appears to contemplate dropping for a takedown, but Yagshimuradov pushes him off and they set up in the center of the cage again. Anderson’s jab is still a constant presence, and thus far, Yagshimuradov has not had any success landing the counter right he is clearly loading up for. Anderson whiffs on a head kick. Yagshimuradov lands a right hand. Anderson comes in for a takedown, grabbing a double-leg against the fence. Yagshimuradov defends ably with an underhook, but Anderson turns the corner and gets him to the canvas. Anderson passes to mount. One minute left. Yagshimuradov is shrimping, squirming, trying to present a moving target, but Anderson is postuing up and dropping jackhammer elbows. Yagshimuradov survives to the bell, but not much more than that. 10-9 Anderson.
Round 3Yagshimuradov looks recovered to begin Round 3, but Anderson barrels forward and lands a three-piece against the fence. Yagshimuradov slides out the side, but Anderson gives chase, clinches Yagshimuradov and dumps him to the canvas. Anderson sets up in half guard, dropping punches and elbows. Yagshimuradov turns to the side, then to his knees, and Anderson is all over him, throwing punches from a leg ride. Yagshimuradov goes to his back, but the barrage of ground-and-pound forces him to give his back. Anderson keeps hammering away, and Yagshimuradov turns back into him, clinging for life. Anderson muscles Yagshimuradov’s head away from him and lands a final flurry of punches that spur referee Anderson into action. Brutal display of ground-and-pound by “Overtime,” who advances to meet Ryan Bader in the grand prix semifinal.
The Official ResultCorey Anderson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov R3 2:15 via TKO (Punches)
Light Heavyweight Title Fight and WGP Quarterfinal Bout:
Nemkov (204.5) vs. Phil Davis
Round 1The main event will yield the third semifinalist of the ongoing 205-pound tourney, but is also a title fight in its own right, as Nemkov (12-2) places his belt on the line against Davis (22-5, 1 NC) whom he defeated via split decision in their first meeting two and a half years ago. Dan Miragliotta draws the final refereeing assignment of the evening. They touch gloves, and set up in matching orthodox stances. Nemkov comes forward with a one-two that falls short and a head kick that glances. Nemkov with his first kick to the lead calf of Davis. Davis pops Nemkov with a jab. Nemkov lands another calf kick. Nemkov comes in and lands a right hand, evading the standing elbow that Davis sends back. Nemkov catches Davis off-balance with a short right hand, sending him stumbling. Halfway into the round, it’s Nemkov landing first and more effectively in most of the exchanges. Nemkov comes in with a triple jab and a right cross that misses. Davis’s jab lands twice. Nemkov comes back with another calf kick. Davis throws a kick to the body. A minute left, and Davis lands a solid low kick. Nemkov lands a crisp jab. Davis lands another kick to the body. Nemkov slips on a kick with seconds left. Davis gives chase, but the round expires. 10-9 Nemkov.
Round 2Davis sends a kick up the middle, Nemkov sends a high kick, neither of which land with much authority. Davis blocks a high kick and lands a hard right-handed counter. Nemkov throws another kick that lands on Davis’ high guard. Nemkov is bleeding from outside the left eye. Nemkov lands a one-two, and Davis comes back with a body kick. Nemkov seems to be out-throwing Davis by about two to one, and even the strikes that aren’t hurting Davis are catching him off balance. Nemkov drops Davis with a pair of punches and dives onto him, but Davis works back to his feet. Davis grabs a single-leg against the fence, but Nemkov fights it off. Davis switches to a double-leg, Nemkov goes for a guillotine choke, and Davis gives up on the takedown. They separate and they’re striking with 45 seconds left. Davis is bleeding from the nose or mouth. Davis tries for another takedown, but Nemkov shucks him off and throws a knee up the gut. The bell rings. 10-9 Nemkov.
Round 3Round 3 starts with Nemkov coming forward, working his jab. Nemkov comes forward with a left jab, then a right high kick that glances harmlessly. Davis misses with a right cross. Davis catches Nemkov with a painful-looking hard calf kick on his planted front leg. Nemkov lands a lead left hook. He misses with a right hook. Two minutes down, and Davis is feinting with his hands, but throwing very few punches. Davis lands another calf kick. Nemkov misses with another big right hook. Nemkov lands a one-two and a push kick. Davis comes back with another long jab. Under 90 seconds to go, and Nemkov is still near-automatic with the jab, but missing big with the right hand. Nemkov lands a jab to the chest, and Davis counters with a calf kick. Nemkov shoots a long double-leg and spins to Davis’ back, but Davis is already standing back up. The bell sounds. 10-9 Nemkov.
Round 4The championship rounds kick off much the same as the first three; if Davis is feeling any urgency, it isn’t showing, as he is simply not throwing enough punches. Nemkov’s output has slowed somewhat, but he’s still out-throwing the American. Nemkov comes forward with a one-two and a head kick, none of which land with any power. Davis advances and throws a job of his own. Nemkov times Davis’ approach and goes for a takedown. Davis fights him off, takes his back standing for a moment, but they separate. Davis pushes Nemkov into the cage, throwing a couple of knees. Nemkov shoves him off, and Davis nails him with a left hand in the next exchange, probably his best strike since the first round. Davis catches Nemkov with a hard right hand. At the bell, it’s Davis coming forward. 10-9 Davis.
Round 5Nemkov is aggressive to open the final round, coming forward and snapping Davis’ head back with another jab. Davis is busy with the feints and footwork, but still not offering much beyond his own jab and a short right hook that keeps falling short. Nemkov lands a two-punch combo. Davis is pursuing, forcing the champ to circle out. Davis lands a good calf kick. Nemkov comes forward with a three-piece that falls short. At the midpoint of the round, Davis lands a kick to the cup, and Nemkov wants back into the fight within 10 seconds. Davis intercepts Nemkov with a body kick. Nemkov returns fire a moment later with a leg kicks. Davis throws a hard body kick, prompting Nemkov to shoot from way outside. Davis sprawls all over it, looking a perhaps an anaconda choke, but the slipperiness of sweat — and the logo in the middle of the cage, which has been a slip hazard all night — causes him to lose it, and he ends up on the bottom of north-south. They return to their feet, and exchange a few more strikes before the round ends. 10-9 Nemkov (49-46 Nemkov).
The Official ResultVadim Nemkov def. Phil Davis via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
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