Bellator 271 ‘Cyborg vs. Kavanagh’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring
- Featherweight?World Title Bout: Cris Cyborg?(145) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (145)
- Tyrell Fortune (253.8) vs. Linton Vassell (239.2)
- Aaron Pico (145.4) vs. Justin Gonzales (145.6)
- Arlene Blencowe (145.8) vs. Pam Sorenson (146)
- Steve Mowry (249.6) vs. Rakim Cleveland (249.6)
- Bruna Ellen (125.6) vs. Desiree Yanez (125.4)
- Roman Faraldo (171) vs. Robert Turnquest (177.8: Missed Weight)
- Cody Law (145.4) vs. Colton Hamm (145.8)
- Valerie Loureda (127.6) vs. Taylor Turner (127.2)
- Waldo Cortes-Acosta (256.6) vs. Muhammed DeReese (255)
- Mahmoud Sebie (170.8) vs. Ethan Hughes (170.8)
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Mahmoud Sebie Fawzy (170.8) vs. Ethan Hughes (170.8)
Round 1Beginning the fight card, two undefeated welterweights face off when Mahmoud Sebie Fawzy (3-0) meets Ethan Hughes (2-0). Referee Andrew Glenn will preside. Sebie begins the fight with a leg kick. Hughes soon responds with one of his own. Sebie fires a head kick and is blocked, but Hughes responds with one and it partially gets through, bothering the Egyptian. Hughes scores with yet another leg kick. Sebie has had enough of the striking and clinches, transitioning to the back with lightning speed. Seemingly with no effort, he has Hughes on the ground and using a wrestling ride, scoring with a couple of solid right hands to the head. Hughes is tough, though, and seeks to get up and scramble. Eventually, he decides to roll to his back and get Sebie in his guard. Sebie postures up and Hughes keeps the guard on, eating a few hammerfists. Hughes tries an armbar but Sebie easily gets out and transitions to a wrestling ride again. Oddly, he isn't able to do much to it and Hughes soon rolls to his back for another guard again. Sebie lands several hard forearms, but then Hughes tries another armbar, and this one is much better. He uses it to sweep, landing on top! However, he doesn't stay on top for long and goes for yet another armbar with 2 minutes left. Sebie is having a hard time with these armbars and yet again Hughes finds himself taking Sebie's back. Sebie executes a beautiful sit-out and both men rise to their feet. They're both slightly tired and take a moment or two to catch their breathes. Hughes paws a very lazy right hand, but Sebie isn't even thinking of countering. Hughes throws a kick to the body whcih is blocked. Hughes paws a jab, but it's not landing. Sebie touches Hughes with a leg kick. A very action-packed round ends. 10-9 Sebie.
Round 2Sebie fires a roundhouse to the head but Hughes blocks. Hughes keeps firing the jab, but it's not landing. Sebie tries a front kick to the body but it's not successful, either. Sebie blocks another Hughes jab. Sebie lands a solid leg kick. Sebie goes for another one but Hughes pulls his leg away in time. Hughes keeps jabbing, and Sebie blocks it again. Sebie finally lands a front kick to the body and barely avoids the punches from Hughes in response. They start opening up with blows, but they all miss. They clinch in the center of the cage, and Hughes lands an uppercut inside that causes Sebie to bail. That's one way to counter a wrestling champion! Hughes soon lands a leg kick for good measure. Halfway through the round, both men are being a lot more cautious and slow-paced. Sebie wades forward looking for a clinch and eats another uppercut for his troubles. Sebie touches Hughes with a leg kick, but it does little damage. Hughes counters with his own leg kick. Hughes touches Sebie with a 1-2. They simultaneously land leg kicks, with neither of them hard. Sebie tries some left hooks, but they're slow and all miss. Hughes touches Sebie with his own left hook, although there is little on it. Hughes throws two jabs and one finally touches Sebie. Sebie fires a wild lead uppercut and gets countered by a Hughes jab. Hughes now fires a jab that lands solidly. And soon after, a second one. This fight has totally turned around. Hughes lands a leg kick. Sebie goes for a wild overhand right, misses, and eats two solid punches from Hughes. 10-9 Hughes.
Round 3Sebie instantly clinches to begin the round, and against the cage, he gets an easy double-leg. Hughes spins against the cage but eats some hard punches in the process. Sebie scrambles beautifully to once again take Hughes' back and the wrestling ride. Hughes unlocks the waistlock and actually manages to take down an exhausted Sebie! Hughes lands some small hammerfists from the top. He adds some small punches and at one point, adds a more solid left hand. Hughes postures up and throws some untechnical elbows, though they still connect. Halfway through the round, Hughes postures up and Sebie looks for a possible triangle, but it's far too loose and Hughes gets out easily. Hughes steps over to side control and lands a few hammerfists. Sebie kicks off the cage but Hughes stays on top and is in mount! Hughes unloads with punches! He then secures his base some more and then postures up yet again, now teeing off with rights and lefts at will against Sebie! They're not hard, but they land flush and Sebie is doing absolutely nothing to defend them. As the Egyptian does nothing to get out of the position, the referee has to stop it. Absolutely incredible upset; Sebie was a -1600 favorite and Hughes beat him.
The Official ResultEthan Hughes def. Mahmoud Sebie Fawzy via TKO (Punches) at 4:05 of Round 3
Waldo Cortes-Acosta (256.6) vs. Muhammed DeReese (255)
Round 1In the first of three heavyweight bouts, Waldo Cortes-Acosta (3-0) looks to stay perfect against long-time PFL veteran Muhammed DeReese (9-4). Appropriately, referee Mike Beltran will keep order between the two big men. DeReese begins working the jab, but he is out of range and misses all of them. He does, however, land a very hard leg kick that bothers Acosta. Acosta responds with one of his own, though it's not that hard. DeReese adds another good leg kick. He touches Acosta with an overhand right and then lands another nice leg kick. DeReese clinches with Acosta. DeReese lands a good knee to the body, but Acosta pushes him off. DeReese throws a leg kick, but it's poorly timed, as Acosta counters him with an overhand right. Acosta throws a left hook around DeReese's arms and it lands flush, snapping DeReese's head back. Acosta pops DeReese with a jab now. Halfway through, Acosta is opening up, first throwing a jab and then landing a right hook to the body. DeReese responds with another big leg kick. Acosta partially gets a 1-2 through. Sudddenly, Acosta lands a huge overhand right that has DeReese very badly hurt, wobbling on his feet. Acosta pounces with a huge barrage of punches as DeReese desperately covers up. Eventually, the barrage of punches slows and DeReese ties him up. Acosta lands a big elbow in the clinch. Acosta lands a nice knee to the body. However, DeReese has recovered and lands a knee to the body of his own. Acosta separates with another big elbow to the head. DeReese, however, clinches again and even goes for a single-leg. Acosta defends but they're still in the clinch. Acosta lands a knee to the body. DeReese lands one of his own. Hard to know whether this round was 10-9 or 10-8, but Acosta inflicted a lot of damage and almost got the finish. 10-8 Acosta.
Round 2DeReese tries a wild backfist into a lunging right, which both miss, but allow him to clinch against the cage. DeReese throws a few knees to the thighs. Acosta frames off nicely. DeReese lands a knee but Acosta scores with another elbow to the head. Acosta is now pushing DeReese against the cage and takes his back with a waistlock. DeReese manages to stay upright and resists a few Acosta efforts to separate. Acosta lands a few nice punches from short range. DeReese is being very passive, and continues eating right hands for a while until turning back into Acosta. Acosta lands an uppercut or two, though none are very hard. DeReese lands a small knee to the body before referee Mike Beltran separates them with 2 minutes left. Acosta immediately lands a big jab. Acosta scores with a few hooks and DeReese tries a desperation takedown. Acosta throws him to the canvas and DeReese unloads with huge punches to a kneeling DeReese. Finally, DeReese rises and Acosta continues with a rear waistlock. Acosta takes a while, but starts chipping away with right hands soon. Acosta is peppering away as DeReese passively continues to cover up. Another dominating, punishing round for Acosta, who ends the stanza with a big knee to the body. 10-8 Acosta.
Round 3Acosta starts the round bouncing nicely. He lands a leg kick. He then lands an absolutely devastating body kick that has DeReese badly hurt, but as he advances, he once again goes for a rear waistlock in a clinch instead of trying to finish DeReese with blows. Acosta lands a few small left hands until DeReese changes positions. The pace has definitely slowed as Acosta lands short right hands sporadically with 3 minutes left. DeReese looks for a kimura grip but Acosta wrenches his arm out. DeReese slowly turns into Acosta and having seen enough, referee Mike Beltran separates them. DeReese lands a wild spinning backfist where his elbow makes heavy contact with Acosta's head, but it's Acosta throwing hooks coming forward while DeReese shells up. And yet, as DeReese is against the cage, Acosta happily obliges and clinches with him. Acosta lands an uppercut and then a short right hand as DeReese lands a couple of knees to the body. Acosta breaks off briefly to land a short right hand but then immediately goes back to clinching. Acosta lands a few short uppercuts as the fight, improbably, ends. 10-9 Acosta (30-25 Acosta).
The Official ResultWaldo Cortes-Acosta def. Muhammed DeReese via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Valerie Loureda (127.6) vs. Taylor Turner (127.2)
Round 1In a rare 128 pound catchweight affair, popular fighter Valerie Loureda (3-1) looks to bounce back from her first defeat when she takes on Taylor Turner (5-7), a spoiler who has previously stopped Heather Hardy. Referee Andrew Glenn will look on. Loureda begins energetically, circling around the cage, and mixing up directions. Turner tries to hit her with a front kick but is too slow. Loureda tries a few hooks, but is too far away, in part because Turner is six inches taller. Turner misses more kicks. Loureda finally strikes first with a solid leg kick. Turner goes for a body kick that is blocked and Loureda touches Turner with a straight right, but no more. Loureda continues circling. Turner goes for another body kick that is blocked. Loureda tries a 1-2 but is again out of range. Turner finally scores with a body kick and Loureda's attempt to counter is unsuccessful. Turner lands a leg kick now, gaining in confidence. A Loureda combination misses. Loureda misses a 1-2. Loureda throws another combo but perphaps barely touches Turner, no more. Turner wades forward with a front kick and Loureda fires about 5 punches with Turner having her chin straight up, but doesn't connect a single time. Turner touches Loureda with a leg kick. Loureda goes for another punch and misses. Finally, Loureda swings and connects with a left hook, slightly wobbling Turner. Soon after, she goes for an overhand right and this one also lands, hurting Turner. Turner clinches but Loureda easily gets away. Right as the round ends, Loureda lands a pretty spinning back-kick to Turner's stomach that sends her back a few feet. 10-9 Loureda.
Round 2Loureda continues circling energetically in the second stanza. A few Turner kicks all miss, being too slow. Loureda, however, is beaing cautious herself. Turner briefly clinches, but again, Loureda soon gets out. Loureda's first two punches of the round are short. However, Loureda soon catches a Turner kick and lands a solid punch to the body and a less solid one to the head. Loureda throws a 1-2 after Turner misses a kick and the 2 touches her opponent. Turner throws a front kick and Loureda's combo partially lands. Loureda throws a jab that misses and so does a follow-up 1-2. Turner misses a front kick to the body. Loureda again misses with punches coming forward, but Turner doesn't punish her. Loureda has a brief wardrobe malfunction that necessitates stopping time, but they soon resume. Turner advances and misses a slow right hook. Loureda comes forward with a 1-2 but yet again, she is far too short. Loureda lands a respectable body kick but only hits her shoulders with a 1-2, though Turner still retreats. Loureda has done little so far this round, but Turner has done even less. Loureda lands a straight right to the body. Turner misses yet another front kick. Turner throws a series of kicks, but they either hit air or Loureda's arms. They clinch and out of it Loureda lands an overhand right. Turner throws a front kick that is at least a foot short. Loureda lands a switch kick to the body. She misses a follow-up spinning backfist. A spinning wheel kick from Loureda misses. 10-9 Loureda.
Round 3Loureda throws a 1-2 and the right hand lands this time. Loureda comes forward with another combination and the left hand lands this time. Turner comes forward and is touched by another Loureda combination, but no more. Turner throws more front kicks, all of which miss. Turner throws a head kick and this one, improbably, partially gets through, though it does no damage. Loureda opens up with punches as Turner advances, but misses them all. Turner throws punches too, and they all miss as well. Turner tries side-kicks, but Loureda's movement is too good and they all miss the target. Very little of consequence has happened halfway through the round. Turner chases Loureda with punches but they all miss. Loureda lands a body kick. A second body kick by her misses. Loureda misses with punches, Turner clinches, but Loureda again slips away. Turner misses a front kick but Loureda scores with a body kick. Turner now scores with a body kick of her own. Loureda throws a series of punches, misses all of them, but connects on leg kick. Loureda scores with a solid body kick but Turner throws punches and a few of these hit the mark. Loureda throws a few spinning back-kicks but they miss. Turner clinches again, and on the break, Loureda scores with a left hook. Loureda does a dance to celebrate. It's a clear win for her, but to say that winning by decision against a hand-picked oppponent with a losing record and very poor defense was unimpressive would be an understatement. 10-9 Loureda (30-27 Loureda).
The Official ResultValerie Loureda def. Taylor Turner via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Cody Law (145.4) vs. Colton Hamm (145.8)
Round 1As a mere -5000 favorite, Cody Law (4-0) confronts Colton Hamm (4-3), who has already lost twice by knockout this year. That's likely to happen again. Referee Mike Beltran may have to step in sooner rather than later. Hamm begins with a side-kick to the face but it's blocked. Hamm suddenly lands a hard leg kick that partially gets Law out of his stance. Hamm feints more kicks and Law retreats after each one. They throw kicks simultaneously and it's Hamm who falls down, but soon gets back up. They throw some big power punches but neither one lands. However, law connects with a 1-2 and as Hamm is off-balance, gets an easy takedown, landing in side control. Law lands a few short elbows. Hamm spins to full guard and Law stands all the way up, punishing Hamm's legs with kicks. Mike Beltran restarts them on the feet. Hamm throws a kick that is easily blocked. Law fires a nice 1-2 and it just barely misses. Hamm lands another big leg kick that almost knocks Law off his feet. Law throws a head kick and it's blocked. Law misses another pretty 1-2. Law throws a left hook that is blocked but partially gets through. It must have hurt as Hamm covers up and eats a series of right hands against the cage, slinking to his back. He briefly throws up a triangle, but Law gets out and continues battering Hamm with a series of right hands, over and over. Hamm briefly grabs his wrists, but the elbows are free and Law smashes him again and again with elbows. They're hellacious and one of them, a right elbow, has Hamm completely out. A sensational finish for Law, who improves each time out. One of the rare times you will see someone going out completely from ground-and-pound, too.
The Official ResultCody Law def. Colton Hamm via KO (Elbows) at 4:21 of Round 1
Roman Faraldo (171) vs. Robert Turnquest (177.8: Missed Weight)
Round 1Up next, undefeated Roman Faraldo (5-0) battles Robert Turnquest (9-7). Turnquest came in a ridiculous 7 pounds over the welterweight limit. Despite this, Faraldo is still a monster -1500 favorite. Referee Jason Herzog will be the third man in the cage. Faraldo looks to advance, but is very technical with his movement and stance. He touches Turnquest with a short right hand. He soon fires a left head kick which Turnquest barely blocks. Turnquest paws with his punches but misses. A clinch attempt is easily thrown off by Faraldo, too. Faraldo patially gets a head kick through. Faraldo lands a solid jab and then a nice left hook that has Turnquest wobbled. Faraldo points right at Turnquest, perhaps telegraphing a certain move. That happens to be a monster flying knee, reminiscent of Jorge Masvidal, and Turnquest goes completely limp against the cage. The crowd goes absolutely insane with applause at the highlight reel finish! Great victory for Faraldo and likely a knockout that will be played on Bellator telecasts time and again, as well as being a serious Knockout of the Year contender.
The Official ResultRoman Faraldo def. Robert Turnquest via KO (Flying Knee) at 1:17 of Round 1
Bruna Ellen (125.6) vs. Desiree Yanez (125.4)
Round 1Continuing the prelims, we have two intriguing women's flyweight prospects when Bruna Ellen (5-3) faces Desiree Yanez (5-3). In contrast to many mismatches on this card, Ellen is a modest -180 favorite. Referee Andrew Glenn will supervise the action. Ellen fires a 1-2 to start, and Yanez barely avoids it. Ellen adds a nice leg kick. Yanez scores with a straight right of her own. Ellen lands a leg kick. Ellen follows it up with another leg kick. Yanez throws a straight-armed overhand right and Ellen easily blocks it. Ellen touches Yanez with another leg kick. Yanez responds with a leg kick of her own. Ellen fires a quick jab that touches Yanez. Yanez has had enough and goes for a telegraphed double-leg, but Ellen turns the corner and scores a nice knee to the head. Ellen misses a jab but connects with a follow-up straight right to the body. Yanez times a takedown as Ellen comes forward, but Ellen's takedown defense is sturdy and she stays upright. Yanez throws another wild overhand right that hits nothing but air. Ellen misses a 1-2 although it's getting closer. Ellen scores with a nice body kick. Yanez misses a 1-2, but Ellen scores with a straight right to the body. Yanez tries another takedown but Ellen moves to the side and pushes her away. Ellen then lands another leg kick. Ellen barely misses with an overhand left. Ellen scores with a body kick, Yanez grabs it, but Ellen wrenches it out. Ellen throws a punch that misses but chains a body kick to it that lands flush. Ellen misses kicks at close range but quickly moves around and lands a knee to the body. Yanez pushes her against the cage. However, she does nothing as the round ends. Great round for Ellen, who looks vastly improved after 2 years away. 10-9 Ellen.
Round 2Ellen misses a 1-2 but isn't discouraged and lands straight right to the body. Yanez times another double-leg as Ellen comes forward but Ellen stuffs it easily. Ellen stalks Yanez along the cage with punches, though none land. Ellen scores with hard leg kick. Ellen fires a punch combination that has Yanez desperately retreating, though I don't think anything hard landed. Yanez misses a 1-2 and Ellen partially connects behind the ear with a left hook. Ellen lands a body kick as both women begin swinging. Yanez lands a few punches in close, but they soon push off one another. Ellen lands a jab. Yanez touches Ellen with a jab. Ellen touches Yanez with a 1-2 but hits her flush with a body kick that she chains to the end. Yanez keeps coming forward, though. Ellen scores with a leg kick. Ellen misses an overhand left but connects with a right cross. Yanez again tries for a double-leg but misses and partially eats another knee to the face. Yanez scores with a jab, but Ellen immediately comes forward and fires a head kick that is barely defended. Bizarrely, with 50 seconds left, it's Ellen clinching and pushing Yanez to the cage and she lands several solid knees there, including two to the face. Yanez connects with a knee to the body of her own and then pushes off. Ellen lands an overhand left, and then shoots a double, getting Yanez down. Ellen takes the back but doesn't have a good base and Yanez scrambles to turn into her. She does so right as the round ends. 10-9 Ellen.
Round 3Ellen fires a jab that Yanez just moves out of the way of. Yanez throws a nice 1-2, but it too misses. Yanez connects with a straight right. Ellen comes forward with straight punches but Yanez blocks them all. Yanez touches Ellen with a straight right. Now it's Ellen scoring with a straight right against Yanez, though she wears it well. Yanez lands another solid right cross. Ellen partially lands a 1-2 as these two fighters are now trading punches in the center of the cage. Ellen tries with several punches, but Yanez moves her head well to get out of the way. Yanez neatly blocks a wild Ellen overhand left. Ellen tries a jumping knee against Yanez, but her defense holds. Yanez grabs Ellen and pushes her against the cage. Ellen is noticeably tired and can't spin off as easily as she had earlier in the fight. Ellen defends well, as Yanez lands a few small, short punches. Ellen now lands a few solid right hands to the head and body. As Yanez dips her head, Ellen lands a solid knee to the body. Ellen gets away with 75 seconds remaining. Ellen tries a head kick but Yanez blocks it. Ellen tries another jumping knee but it misses. Yanez touches Ellen with a jab. She soon decides to clinch again with slightly more than 30 seconds left. Yanez goes for knees of her own, though only the ones to the thighs lands. Yanez lands a few small left hands and Ellen responds with knees to the body before getting off the cage to end the fight. Very impressive performance and improvement for Ellen, who I think won it. The last round was very close, but I had it just barely for Yanez. 10-9 Yanez (29-28 Ellen).
The Official ResultBruna Ellen def. Desiree Yanez via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Steve Mowry (249.6) vs. Rakim Cleveland (249.6)
Round 1Concluding the prelims, we have our second heavyweight match as undefeated 6' 8" colossus Steve Mowry (9-0), who improves each time out, faces long-time PFL veteran Rakim Cleveland (22-13-1). Cleveland is currently on a 3 fight winning streak, all finishes, so he won't go quietly. Yet again, referee Mike Beltran is there to keep the big men honest. Mowry fires a head kick, but Cleveland blocks it well. Cleveland lands a leg kick. Mowry tests his opponent with front kicks to the body which touch him. Cleveland throws a series of punches, but Mowry defends well. Mowry scores a leg kick. Cleveland tries one of his own but nearly eats a counter. Mowry with another leg kick. And then he tries another one, this one pushing Cleveland's leg away. And then he adds a third one. Perhaps surprisingly, Mowry changes levels to wrestling and gets the neat double-leg takedown. He lands in half-guard against the cage. Cleveland tries to push up, but Mowry pushes him back down to the bottom. Mowry works to move to side-control, although Cleveland is resisting. Eventually Mowry postures up and at one point Cleveland looks for a possible heel hook. He manages to make Mowry trip to his knees, but in the ensuing scramble, Mowry stays on top. He is also back in half-guard, working for a possible kimura. Mowry partially gets the arm out as he gets to side-control and starts rotating around Cleveland's body. Cleveland's face grimaces in pain, and after trying to endure, Cleveland has no choice but to tap to the kimura. Another outstanding victory for Mowry, who is a highly intriguing contender in Bellator's heavyweight division.
The Official ResultSteve Mowry def. Rakim Cleveland via Submission (Kimura) at 3:28 of Round 1
Arlene Blencowe (145.8) vs. Pam Sorenson (146)
Round 1At women's featherweight, Arlene Blencowe (14-8), who has won 4 of her last 5, only falling to Cyborg, and scoring an especially nice knockout of Dayana Silva in her last outing, faces former Invicta featherweight champion Pam Sorenson (9-3), who barely won her Bellator debut in August. Blencowe is a large -400 favorite. Referee Jason Herzog has the assignment. Blencowe fires a right cross that barely misses. Sorenson backs up. Blencowe keeps coming forward with straight punches, more aggressive than usual. Blencowe lands two clean right crosses in a row, and Sorenson is lucky to get the clinch. Blencowe soon lets go of the clinch and is back out at range. Blencowe keeps looking for that right cross as Sorenson retreats under its fire. Blencowe just lands another right cross that draws inspiration from the crowd. Sorenson shoots a takedown and gets Blencowe to the cage. She gets Blencowe to her knees, but Blencowe hangs tough and wall-walks back up. Sorenson touches Blencowe with a knee to the body, but it's not a significant connect. The action slows as Sorenson isn't able to do much while Blencowe holds on to the whizzer. With 2 minutes remaining in the round, the crowd begins audibly booing. Sorenson is trying to knee the thighs, but even those aren't landing or being significant. Jason Herzog mercifully separates them with about 90 seconds left. Sorenson tries a right hand of her own, but it doesn't land. Blencowe checks a Sorenson leg kick. Blencowe throws a 1-2-1 with the last jab snapping Sorenson's head back. Sorenson comes forward with her own punches and partially lands a jab. Blencowe throws a 3-2 and it barely misses. With about 15 seconds left, Blencowe nails Sorenson with a right cross, then a second, and finally a third, visibly hurting Sorenson, as she clinches to end the first round. 10-9 Blencowe.
Round 2Sorenson begins the round with a body kick, though it's not very hard. Blencowe checks another leg kick. Blencowe touches Sorenson with a front kick to the body. Blencowe checks another Sorenson leg kick. Blencowe easily blocks a Sorenson head kick. Blencowe throws the 1-2, which touches Sorenson. Sorenson tries another double-leg but Blencowe easily stuffs the attempt. They're back in a clinch against the cage, but luckily, not for long, as they soon separate. Sorenson touches Blencowe with a kick to the body, and then Blencowe touches her with a right cross to the face. Blencowe counters Sorenson's jab with another straight right to the face. Suddenly, Blencowe lands a huge right hand that hurts Sorenson and has her backing up. Blencowe advances and then nails her with a second one, leaving Sorenson on very shaky legs. Sorenson goes for a desperation takedown, and while Blencowe defends, Sorenson gets a reprieve. Blencowe lands an elbow in the clinch and breaks off, unloading with a series of punches that again rock Sorenson. Sorenson again changes levels and tries for the desperate takedown. Blencowe defends, but again, Sorenson manages to recover. Blencowe goes for a possible guillotine and uses it to get to the side and land some punches. Sorenson gets out but eats a series of 1-2s that hurt Sorenson again and again. Sorenson clinches again in desperation. In the clinch, Blencowe lands a few short left hands to Sorenson's face, which is badly beaten up and bloody. Blencowe looks for a possible takedown, bizarrely enough, and Sorenson gets a few elbows to the side of the head in. This was very close to a 10-8. 10-9 Blencowe.
Round 3Blencowe is bouncing on her feet nicely to begin the final stanza, and she begins it by landing a leg kick. Sorenson lands a jab of her own, one of her few clean punch connects. Sorenson touches Blencowe's leg with a kick, and then has her head kick blocked. Blencowe checks a couple of Sorenson leg kicks. Blencowe lands a big jab that has Sorenson backing up. She misses a big overhand right. She goes for another one and Sorenson tries for a takedown, but Blencowe defends and stays upright. Sorenson pushes her against the fence. However, Blencowe soon gets away. The pace now slows. Sorenson misses a 1-2 and Blencowe lands a clean jab in response. Sorenson misses an overhand right and eats a clean right cross for her efforts. Blencowe touches Sorenson again with a jab. Sorenson barely misses a straight right of her own but lands a body kick. Sorenson tries a leg kick and this one is checked yet again. Blencowe misses a right cross, which is moving noticeably slower now with just over a minute left in the fight. Sorenson tries a leg kick but Blencowe pulls her leg out of range. Blencowe lands a nice straight right as Sorenson retreats. Sorenson lands a leg kick. With a few seconds left, Blencowe lands another straight right to the face, perfectly punctuating her performance. 10-9 Blencowe (30-27 Blencowe).
The Official ResultArlene Blencowe def. Pam Sorenson via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Aaron Pico (145.4) vs. Justin Gonzales (145.6)
Round 1In a battle of blue-chip featherweight prospects, Aaron Pico (8-3) battles undefeated Justin Gonzales (12-0). Gonzales had won on Dana White's Contender Series back in 2019, but apparently wasn't enough of a "killer". He then main-evented a LFA card and won by finish and defeated Tywan Claxton by split decision in his Bellator debut. He presents a major challenge to Pico. Referee Andrew Glenn gets the assignment for this fascinating fight. Pico gets aggressive early and immediately eats a big overhand right. He then eats two successive leg kicks. Pico shoots a lightning-quick double and gets Gonzales down. However, Gonzales gets his hips out and against the cage, although Pico is looking for a possible guillotine. Gonzales takes his time, gets up and they're back at range. Gonzales pops Pico with another jab. Gonzales shoots in again and gets him down, with Gonzales now solidly on his back. Pico is postured up, and lets fly a big right hook that lands. He postures up more and Gonzales lands nicely with an upkick to Pico's knee. Gonzales gets back up. Pico lands a jab and soon after a nice front kick to the head. Pico tries for a takedown off that, but Gonzales defends nicely. Pico lands a nice right cross and then a thunderous, sensational left hook to the body that has Gonzales reeling from pain across the cage. Wow! That would have finished a lot of guys. Pico comes forward into the clinch and lands a nice short right hand. Gonzales gets out. Pico comes forward again with punches and they clinch. Pico lands several short punches and then another hellacious left hook to the body that has Gonzales badly hurt. Gonzales is tough and throws a head kick that Pico very barely manages to defend. Pico misses a left hook and then a crazy spinning back-kick. He does, however, get a double-leg. Pico takes his time in half-guard, which one can't blame him for given the furious pace thus far. He postures up and lands a nice elbow with 20 seconds remaining. Gonzales gets to his knees and tries to rise, but Pico keeps him down as the round ends. 10-9 Pico.
Round 2Gonzales begins round 2 with a nice front kick to the body. He soon touches Pico to the body with a jab. Pico goes for a takedown and then runs the pipe to complete the single-leg. He lands in side-control in the center of the cage. Gonzales is skilled, though, and beautifully pushes Pico off at the right moment. However, Pico spins to take the back and has one hook in. Gonzales attacks his left arm, holding on to it. Pico is still on top of him, though. Pico eventually gets his left arm out of danger and is in a wrestling ride, where he lands a big knee to the back of the thighs. Gonzales uses the opportunity to stand, but Pico is still draped all over his back. Pico lands another big knee to the back of the thighs, and then another. Pico lands a big right to Gonzales' head and they break apart. Pico lands a jab at range. Pico lands a leg kick but eats a right cross from Gonzales soon after. Gonzales gets close and Pico hits yet another double-leg takedown. Pico is in half-guard now and Gonzales appears at least a little tired. Pico passes into side control. Pico lands a short forearm and then a second and third. Pico then takes his time and lands a fourth hard one. Gonzales tries to get up but Pico takes his back, with both hooks in, looking for a possible RNC. Gonzales scrambles but Pico is in full mount now. Unfortunately for him, there are only 5 seconds left in the round, which pass by without any major fireworks. 10-9 Pico.
Round 3Pico barely misses on a jab. Gonzales lands a hard leg kick. However, Pico responds with a nice combo that snaps Gonzales' head back and has him retreating. Pico decides to clinch, however. It's not a bad choice, as he lands two monster left elbows that hurt Gonzales badly. They soon separate. Pico lands a nice, technical jab. He barely misses with a follow-up head kick. Gonzales scores a leg kick and then retreats for dear life. Both men land jabs simultaneously although Gonzales seems to land better. They start exchanging in the pocket, but not for long, as Pico gets another double-leg takedown. Pico is in half-guard and gets the knee on belly to get side control. Pico lands a powerful short left hand and then another left hand from the top. Gonzales, however, has regained half-guard with half a round left. Pico lands another hard left hand to the head. Pico blasts Gonzales with yet another left hand to the head. Gonzales has a great chin! Pico continues throwing the occasional left-handed hammer to the head. Pico gets back to side-control. Gonzales scrambles and briefly gets his back taken, but turns back around, with Pico back in side control with just over a minute left. Pico lands a few nice left hands and then an elbow. Gonzales sits up against the fence Pico looks for a possible guillotine with about 30 seconds left. Gonzales gets up and Pico lands another big left hook to the body. Gonzales partially lands with a right cross at range but then eats a huge uppercut to the body. Gonzales is desperate for a knockdown, looking to stay undefeated, but can't quite land. Pico gets a nice trip takedown to end the fight and then stands up with Gonzales on his back. 10-9 Pico (30-27 Pico).
The Official ResultAaron Pico def. Justin Gonzales via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Tyrell Fortune (253.8) vs. Linton Vassell (239.2)
Round 1In the co-main event, we have our third and final heavyweight showdown of the night, when Tyrell Fortune (11-1) meets Linton Vassell (20-8). Despite Fortune being the decorated collegiate wrestling champion, it may actually be the tremendously powerful Vassell who is the better grappler here, even giving Phil Davis and Ryan Bader challenges in that area, and outwrestling Bellator's interim heavyweight champion Valentin Moldavsky in the early going. Referee Mike Beltran, who worked the other two heavyweight fights, gets this assignment, too. The two big men touch gloves to begin the bout and are cautious. Vassell goes for a straight right to the body which is blocked. Vassell lands a nice leg kick soon after. Just 30 seconds into the contest and the crowd is idiotically booing. Fortune touches Vassell with a left hook. Vassell lands another leg kick. Fortune lands a nice 1-2 that clealry bothers Vassell. It's Vassell who wrestles first, nearly getting Fortune down until he stabilizes. Vassell changes levels and once again gets very close to a takedown with his steel-like grip but Fortune just barely stays upright. Vassell is persistent and eventually forces him down against the cage. Vassell briefly has mount but settles for half-guard as he lands several powerful left hands. Vassell briefly looks for the RNC, but then decides to go back to his left hands, which are repeatedly pelting Fortune in the head. Fortune is doing little except covering up, but Vassell isn't throwing regularly enough to finish him. Vassell decides to try to flatten out Fortune, and he has some success, although Fortune grabs onto the wrist. Vassell gets what he wants and starts hammering away with left hands to the head of Fortune. Soon, he adds in right hands. Fortune tries to get up but Vassell takes the back as both men are seated. Vassell looks for a possible RNC, but it's very hard with both men sitting down. With 30 seconds left, Fortune is simply looking to survive against the next round. They hand-fight until the bell. 10-9 Vassell.
Round 2Fortune goes for an overhand right, although it only connects with Vassell's shoulder. He comes forward with a series of punches and right cross lands and hurts Vassell. Fortune follows up with some knees to the head and then gets the takedown. However, grappling with Vassell is a questionable idea and Vassell sweeps him, ending up on top. Fortune manages to get up and they clinch along the fence, with Vassell having the edge. Vassell lands a powerful knee, but it's very low, as Fortune collapses in a heap against the fence. Amusingly, Fortune's first fight against Jack May was a no-contest after Fortune accidentally kneed May to the groin. However, after taking a couple of minutes to recover, Fortune is ready to continue. They restart in the center, at range. Vassell lands a slapping leg kick. Fortune feints for a takedown and then comes over the top with a nice straight right to the head. Fortune throws a head kick that is blocked but soon after lands a nice leg kick. Fortune throws another right cross that catches Vassell, wobbling him slightly. Fortune throws a left hook that Vassell just retreats away from in time. Vassell lands another hard leg kick of his own. Vassell touches Fortune with a jab. Vassell with another leg kick. Fortune throws a 1-2 and the right cross lands hard, sending Vassell against the cage. Vassell is retreating now and eats a right to the body. Fortune is coming forward and lands another right cross to the head. Fortune goes for another takedown and gets it. Now with 80 seconds left, it's Fortune landing ground-and-pound. However, Vassell is tough and wrestles from that position and gets a takedown himself. Suddenly, Vassell is on top and is landing some huge elbows! What a turnaround. With 40 seconds left, Vassell lands a series of hard punches and briefly looks to have the RNC locked in. Fortune desperately and arely gets out. Vassell, now in full mount, is absolutely oblierating Fortune with strikes and is again close to a RNC. Fortune is saved by the bell. Vassell stole the round at the end. 10-9 Vassell.
Round 3Vassell begins the final stanza with a leg kick, although it lacks the steam of his earlier connects. Fortune lands a right cross and then a series of knees as Vassell slowly retreats to the cage. Fortune is undeterred and lands another knee from the Thai plum. Fortune takes his time and periodically lands hard knees to the body and head. Fortune throws a knee and this one is very low, now causing Vassell to crumple against the cage. Replays show it landed flush, similar to Fortune's knee to the groin of Jack May. After several minutes of awful pain, Vassell bravely decides to continue. They resume in the center of the cage. Fortune comes forward with strikes, though none land. He does, however, land a few knees. Fortune and Vassell now exchange punches in the clinch, with Vassell landing a few clean connects of his own. They separate and Fortune lands a big right cross. However, Fortune inexplicably drops levels for a takedown, and eats a series of big elbows to the head and body. He does, however, finally suck the hips out and get Vassell down. Vassell immediately finds a hip and starts pushing up. Sure enough, Vassell does so and manages to sweep Fortune, ending up in full mount yet again! Fortune turns his back, with Vassell having over 100 seconds on his back. Vassell postures up and starts landing right hands, though they're tired and lack power. Vassell rolls, taking Fortune's back. However, Vassell is loose and Fortune turns into him. Undeterred, Vassell scrambles and ends up on top. Fortune tries to rise but after standing, Vassell returns him to the mat, landing short punches. Fortune desperately holds onto Vassell's left arm as the fight ends. Tough round to score. 10-9 Fortune (29-28 Vassell).
The Official ResultLinton Vassell def. Tyrell Fortune via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Bellator Women's Featherweight?Title Bout:
Cyborg?(145) vs. Sinead
Round 1In the main event, arguably the greatest women's champion ever, Cris Cyborg (24-2) defends her Bellator featherweight crown against a foe given the least chance to dethrone her in Sinead Kavanagh (7-4). Cyborg is a -5000 favorite on some books, surpassing Kayla Harrison for any of her PFL fights. Referee Jason Herzog gets the final call of the card. Kavanagh begins with a jab and misses. Cyborg unleashes a furious set of 1-2s that nail Kavanagh but then decides to clinch, going for a takedown. Kavanagh defends and stays upright. Cyborg lands a fast, hard knee to the body. Cyborg separates and pastes Kavanagh with a big right hook on the break before Kavanagh now clinches with her. Kavanagh manages to get away. At range, Kavanagh scores with a 1-2 of her own. Cyborg, however, is undeterred and advances forward. She lands a big right hook that hurts Kavanagh and then finishes the job with an even harder and more devastating right hook. Kavanagh crumples to the canvas hard, her head slamming to the mat. Cyborg lands two hammerfists on the ground, but they're largely unnecessary. Another outstanding highlight-reel knockout for Cyborg, who retains her Bellator Featherweight Title.
The Official ResultCris Cyborg def. Sinead Kavanagh via KO (Punches) at 1:32 of Round 1
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