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Bellator 286 ‘Pitbull vs. Borics’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sherdog's live Bellator 286 coverage will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

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Richard Palencia (136) vs. C.J. Hamilton (135.2)


Round 1

Palencia and Hamilton face off, with Jonathan Romero the third man in the cage. Palencia is in orthodox, Hamilton southpaw. They bounce around the center of the cage, and Hamilton goes upstairs with a glancing left high kick. Hamilton slips, but pops right back up. Two minutes in, both men have switched stances. Palencia charges in, clinches and pushes Hamilton to the fence. Hamilton reverses him there and they exchange knees before separating. They reset in the center of the cage. It’s Palencia’s turn to slip, but he too pops right back up. Palencia catches a body kick by Hamilton, keeps the leg and runs him to the fence once more. 90 seconds left and Palencia is working for a takedown against the fence. Hamilton reverses positions, and promptly absorbs a knee to the cup. Referee Romero pauses the action and Hamilton takes some time to recover. They resume, exchanging jabs before Hamilton lands a nice side kick to the body. Hamilton ducks under a punch and takes Palencia’s back standing. They walk to the fence with Hamilton on Palencia’s back. Hamilton gets a takedown, but Palencia returns to his feet immediately. The bell sounds on a very close round. 10-9 Hamilton.

Round 2

Palencia throws a hard left calf kick and when he plants his left foot, the leg gives out under him. Palencia goes down in obvious pain, and slow-motion replay shows an obvious fracture of some kind. A nasty injury, and a somber TKO win for C.J. Hamilton.

The Official Result

C.J. Hamilton def. Richard Palencia R2 0:12 via TKO (Leg Injury)

Lance Gibson Jr. (155.4) vs. Dominic Clark (158.2: missed weight)


Round 1

Next up are Gibson and Clark, who rendered this scheduled lightweight bout a catchweight by missing weight on Friday. Mark Smith is the referee on duty. Clark throws an immediate flying knee which misses, then shoots a takedown. He gets it, Gibson pops back up, but Clark stays stuck to him and gets an emphatic mat return near the base of the cage. Gibson works his way to his feet once again and Clark once again slams him back down, this time landing in side control. Gibson regains half guard, then uses butterflies to elevate Clark. Clark lands a solid punch from top position, but Gibson is throwing his legs up to ensnare his foe. Clark tries to pull back out, but it’s too late and Gibson has locked up a triangle choke. Gibson throws a couple of elbows from the bottom as he cinches it up, and Clark taps. Nifty guard work by Lance Gibson Jr., who remains undefeated in his young career.

The Official Result

Lance Gibson Jr. def. Dominic Clark R1 1:49 via Submission (Triangle Choke)

Weber Almeida (144.6) vs. Ryan Lilley (144)


Round 1

Featherweights take the cage, as Almeida and Lilley square off, with Jason Herzog set to oversee the proceedings. Almeida lands a right calf kick from orthodox stance to the southpaw Lilley. He lands another. Not much else going on through the first minute, as they measure one another warily. Two minutes into the round, both men are still struggling to string together more than single shots, but Almeida’s fast, snapping kicks have found their target several times. Lilley lands a lunging punch. Lilley switching stances frequently, but can’t seem to solve the Almeida puzzle. Lilley counters a low kick with a one-two that glance, but land. Almeida lands a body kick that, according to Lilley’s reaction, strayed low. Herzog steps in a moment later and breaks up the action for a moment. They resume with a glove touch and about 45 seconds to work. Almeida is right back to kicking Lilley’s legs and body. Almeida lands a high kick that has Lilley staggering into the fence. The round ends. 10-9 Almeida.

Round 2

Round 2 opens up with Almeida landing a hard inside low kick. He lands another. Lilley switches stances, but keeps taking the low kicks and is only countering every third time or so. Almeida lands a left body kick. Lilley dashes in looking for the clinch or perhaps a takedown, but Almeida shucks him off and separates. Lilley hits Almeida with a body kick of his own. Almeida whiffs with a big hook upstairs. Two minutes left in the round, and Almeida is back to peppering Lilley’s legs with calf kicks. Almeida clinches, but then separates and eats a hard left on the break. Almeida hits him back and Lilley is pawing at his left eye. Lilley comes up badly short with a right hand, and Almeida nails him with a counter as he stumbles. Almeida lands a spinning hook kick at the 10-second clapper that lands hard enough to send Lilley staggering, but he composes himself and is working for a takedown at the bell. 10-9 Almeida.

Round 3

The final round sees Lilley come out aggressive, bouncing forward and looking to throw punches, but the first couple of low kicks from Almeida settle him down. Almeida lands several more calf kicks, then comes upstairs with a left hand. Lilley lands a hard low kick of his own. Lilley is the pursuer, but Almeida is using lateral movement brilliantly, leaving the American chasing him. Lilley charges forward, trying to force some kind of decisive confrontation, but Almeida is nowhere to be found. Lilley lands a right-left combo that hurt Almeida, his best offense of the fight by far. Almeida recovers, but Lilley is in pursuit. A minute left and Almeida lands another spinning back kick like he did in Round 1. Lilley walks Almeida down, but runs into a flying knee. Almeida tries for a takedown and they scramble, but neither man can really secure top position. They end the fight clinched against the fence. 10-9 Lilley (29-28 Almeida).

The Official Result

Weber Almeida def. Ryan Lilley via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Sumiko Inaba (124.8) vs. Nadine Mandiau (125.8)


Round 1

Inaba and Mandiau face off, with Romero in charge of making sure things stay nice and clean. Both women are in orthodox stance, and Inaba scores first with a one-two. Mandiau is throwing her long jab out there, but Inaba has little trouble getting inside and landing in the early going. Inaba briefly attempts a takedown but gives it up. Mandiau tries for her own takedown a moment later, a single-leg, and gets Inaba down against the fence. Inaba gets back to her feet. Midway through the first round, Inaba pops Mandiau with another one-two and a hard elbow. Inaba steps forward and takes down Mandiau with a body lock. Inaba stands over Mandiau, who is throwing upkicks. Inaba spins to north-south, where she lands a couple of elbows. She spins to the back as Mandiau stands, but loses the position and they reset in the center of the cage with under a minute left. Mandiau tries a high kick which glances harmlessly, and Inaba blasts her with a front kick to the chest that drops her. Inaba gives chase, looking to finish with ground strikes, but Mandiau recovers quickly and is working for an armbar when the bell sounds. 10-9 Inaba.

Round 2

After a couple of tentative exchanges, Inaba changes levels and drives Mandiau to the canvas. Mandiau wraps her up in her guard, then scrambles to escape. Inaba catches her against the fence as she stands, landing a couple of hard punches before Mandiau can disengage. Once they’re back to their feet, Inaba puts Mandiau down with another front kick, but Mandiau manages to get back up before she can press her advantage. Halfway into the round, Mandiau throws a slow flying knee and Inaba practically catches her out of the air, throwing her to the mat. Mandiau gets full guard, working to control Inaba’s posture with her arms. Inaba stands up out of guard, then pounces and takes Mandiau’s back as she gets up. Inaba goes back into Mandiau’s guard during the ensuing scramble, and is caught in an awkward triangle. The position doesn’t look too threatening, but does allow Mandiau to land some onblocked elbows. Inaba escapes and takes top position right before the bell. 10-9 Inaba.

Round 3

Both women come out swinging to open the final round, looking tired, but Mandiau’s strikes in particular are labored-looking arm punches. A minute in, neither woman has landed much of consequence. Mandiau lands a body kick and Inaba responds with a low kick. Mandiau gets a single-leg and runs Inaba to the fence, but can’t finish a takedown. They clinch against the cage. Mandiau drops levels, trying to get another single-leg, but Inaba spins and takes Mandiau’s back against the fence. Mandiau stands up and Inaba pushes her into the cage with a body lock. They separate at the fence and swing in close quarters, with both fighters landing their share of punches. They disengage with 90 seconds left and return to the center of the cage. Inaba lands a left body kick that glances off Mandiau’s arm. Mandiau lands a jab, then grabs another single-leg and drives Inaba to the fence. She is pressing Inaba at the 10-second warning, and is reversed before the bell. 10-9 Inaba (30-27 Inaba).

The Official Result

Sumiko Inaba def. Nadine Mandiau via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Khalid Murtazaliev (186) vs. Khadzhimurat Bestaev (185.2)


Round 1

Murtazaliev and Bestaev square off, with Blake Grice drawing his first refereeing assignment of the evening. Bestaev throws out jabs and front kicks, perhaps looking to leverage his massive advantages in height and reach, but Murtazaliev goes to work on the lead leg with hard kicks. Bestaev lands a shot to the groin, and we have a brief pause. Bestaev is right back to using kicks, including some interesting oblique kicks with the rear leg, to try and halt his foe’s forward progress. Murtazaliev lands a spinning back kick to the midsection. Bestaev feints a jab and lands a nice right cross. Murtazaliev hits him with another hard body kick. Under a minute left and it’s still a very deliberate, cautious-looking striking contest. The bell sounds. 10-9 Murtazaliev

Round 2

Murtazaliev lands a kick to Bestaev’s upper chest that drops him to his seat. Murtazaliev gives chase, and plow him back to the canvas as Bestaev tries to stand. Bestaev closes his guard, then locks up a body triangle with his long legs. They’re at the base of the fence, Murtazaliev trying to posture up and do some damage; Bestaev looking to stave off that damage and perhaps get a standup from Grice. Bestaev lets go of the body triangle. Murtazaliev peppers him with short shots, looking to pass. He does so, moving to mount. Bestaev turns to his side as his foe murdalizes him with punches until Grice is forced to intervene. Tough, methodical ground work from Khalid Murtazaliev.

The Official Result

Khalid Murtazaliev def. Khadzhimurat Bestaev R2 3:02 via TKO (Punches)

Jay-Jay Wilson (156) vs. Vladimir Tokov (154.6)


Round 1

Wilson flying the flag of New Zealand but the haircut of Canada, faces off with Tokov, protégé of Fedor Emelianenko. Tokov wastes no time in firing off a cannonball double-leg. He gets “The Maori Kid” down at the base of the cage, but Wilson pops right back up. Tokov is persistent, looking to re-elevate Wilson as Wilson defends with a kimura. Tokov drags him back down, but Wilson never stops moving, uses a harai-goshi to get Tokov down and grabs an armbar in transition. He shifts the grip and the position, and Tokov is in trouble for several tense moments, but the Russian finally extricates the arm and ends up in Wilson’s guard. Half the round gone, and Wilson has an omoplata, then gives that up and locks up full guard. Wilson is aggressive off his back, but it allows Tokov to pass to a loose half guard. Wilson stuffs him back into full guard as the four-minute mark passes. Wilson locks up a body triangle, then goes back to closed guard as Tokov lands a couple of solid punches. The round ends. 10-9 Wilson

Round 2

Tokov again shoots for a takedown within seconds, and this time the scramble is much more brief before he takes top position. Wilson opens his full guard and throws his legs up in search of offence, but Tokov postures up and out of danger. Tokov is on top, chest to chest, throwing short punches to Wilson’s head, while the Kiwi shifts his hips and stays busy looking for an opportunity to sweep. Wilson gets an omoplata, but abandons it quickly. Wilson’s guard is wide open, but Tokov’s posture and offense are very conservative, and he’s keeping up a steady stream of punches that, while they aren’t individually huge, must be adding up. A minute left, and Tokov’s top control time consists of all but about the first five seconds. Wilson closes up his guard, then a body triangle. At the 30-second mark, Tokov postures up and throws a couple of big punches that glance off Wilson’s arms, but look good. The bell sounds. 10-9 Tokov.

Round 3

Wilson throws a punch and a spinning backfist, before Tokov shoots another lightning double-leg. This time, however, Wilson is all over it, and as Tokov drives him to the canvas he uses another kimura and sweeps to top, then takes Tokov’s back. He nails Tokov with two punches, locks up a body triangle and goes supine, looking for a rear-naked choke. Wilson’s leg is sneaking up, a la B.J. Penn, looking to ensnare one of Tokov’s arms. Three minutes left in the round and Tokov spins into Wilson’s guard, ending up in top position. Wilson scrambles immediately, looking to hip escape, and another scramble ensues. Tokov floats and manages to retain top position. Wilson closes up his guard as Tokov throws lefts to the ribs. Wilson goes for a triangle, hooking a leg as he does to force Tokov to his seat. He rolls to top position, has the mounted triangle, but the angle is off and Tokov slips out. Tokov takes top position once again and throws punches at the 10-second clapper. They spring to their feet and Tokov shoots one final takedown as time expires on a fantastic round of grappling. 10-9 Wilson (29-28 Wilson).

The Official Result

Jay-Jay Wilson def. Vladimir Tokov via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Mike Hamel (155.6) vs. Max Rohskopf (155.4)


The Hamel-Rohskopf bout was cancelled the morning of the event when Rohskopf reportedly failed his medical clearance.

Islam Mamedov (155.2) vs. Nick Browne (156)


Round 1

Mamedov and Browne engage in matching orthodox stances. Herzog is your referee. Mamedov essays a flying knee, but pulls up short when Browne isn’t going to be there. A minute gone and neither man has landed much of consequence, when Browne tags Mamedov with a right outside low kick. Browne rushes forward with a three-piece combination, and Mamedov slips most of them to land a counter. Mamedov lands a right cross to the chest. Browne connects with another right low kick. With over half the round in the books, neither man has made any real attempt to bring the fight to the ground. Mamedov changes that, shooting a fast outside single-leg and spinning Browne to the mat. Browne gets full guard, then a body triangle from the bottom. He locks up his arms, looking to neutralize any and all offense from the Russian. Mamedov can’t manage more than a couple of short punches to the ribs before the round ends. 10-9 Mamedov.

Round 2

Browne connects with a slapping kick upstairs. They exchange single shots at distance for a minute. Mamedov lands a long straight right, and Browne drives him to the fence. He drops for a single-leg, but Mamedov uses the fence and an overhook to keep himself upright. They disengage and return to the center of the cage. Mamedov eats a right hand, but responds with a harder one of his own. Browne lands another low kick. Mamedov stalks forward and intercepts the oncoming Browne with a nice uppercut. Mamedov shoots a double-leg, but Browne stands him up. Mamedov re-shoots, however, and Browne goes to his back holding a front headlock. Mamedov pulls his head out and ends up in half guard near the fence. Mamedov pins Browne’s arm and looks to drop punches and elbows. Browne is bleeding profusely from a cut he suffered due to an accidentaly clash of heads that looked minor at first, but now appears potentially fight-altering. The round ends with Mamedov on top and in control. 10-9 Mamedov.

Round 3

Browne throws kicks up the middle and to the outside of Mamedov’s lead leg. Browne is throwing hard, but all single shots, and his punches in particular consistently come up short. They clinch against the fence, and Mamedov reverses position to shove Browne’s back into the cage. They exchange knees up the middle. Browne spins them around and works for a single-leg, but Mamedov gets his hips away from danger. Mamedov tosses Browne to the canvas, Browne tries to roll through, but Mamedov is all over it and winds up on top. Mamedov is in Browne’s loose half guard, heavy on top, staying busy with short strikes. Browne is bleeding all over the place. Under a minute left and Browne doesn’t seem to have any answers from the bottom. Mamedov is absolutely suffocating on top. The final bell rings. 10-9 Mamedov (30-27 Mamedov).

The Official Result

Islam Mamedov def. Nick Browne via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Bobby Seronio III (136) vs. Miguel Peimbert (131.8)


Round 1

Seronio and Peimbert come out as if shot from cannons, with Mark Smith wise enough to get out of the way. The bantamweights set up in orthodox, though Peimbert switches frequently in the opening moments. Seronio lands a hook kick to the liver. Seronio shoots for a takedown and after a few adjustments, elevates Peimbert for that promises to be a massive slam, but ends up with Peimbert bracing against the floor and neutralizing the impact. Seconds later, Seronio gets onto his hips again, scoops him back up, and this time he drives Peimbert into the canvas hard. Peimbert closes his guard as Seronio works to drive him to the fence. Seronio stands up in the guard for a moment, sidesteps a couple of upkicks, then dives back in. Seronio throws some compact punches to the body and head, then postures up and lands a couple of bigger punches. The round ends with Seronio on top in the middle of the cage. 10-9 Seronio.

Round 2

Seronio intercepts the incoming Peimbert with a front kick to the body, then lands a right hand. Seronio drops levels for a double-leg, hoists Peimbert and dumps him at the bottom of the fence. Seronio is in Peimbert’s half-guard, looking to pin the near arm. Peimbert is wise to it, but remains stuck on the bottom, taking the occasional punch for his trouble. Seronio moves to Peimbert’s back as Peimbert stands. Seronio gets a high-crotch from behind, elevates and gets the mat return. Peimbert pops back up to a knee with Seronio on his back. Seronio is throwing punches from behind. Peimbert gets back to his feet and Seronio immediately slams him back down, landing this time in full guard. Seronio is heavy on top, landing short punches and a big elbow. Peimbert is surviving on the bottom, but that’s about it. 10-9 Seronio.

Round 3

They touch gloves to open the final round, and Peimbert is the one marching forward in the early going as Seronio slides around the outside of the cage. Seronio drops for a takedown, but Peimbert defends well as they collide with the fence. Once there, however, Seronio needs just a few seconds to adjust and scoop Peimbert up for another takedown. Seronio stacks Peimbert in full guard at the base of the fence. Peimbert is controlling Seronio’s posture, but can’t stop the endless stream of short punches coming from the local. The crowd grows restive for the first time during this fight. Peimbert throws up his hips for an armbar, but Seronio extracts his arm easily. Just 90 seconds left for Peimbert to do something drastic, and Seronio is giving him no room to breathe, let alone generate fight-ending offense. Seronio stacks Peimbert again and throws a couple of hard punches. Seronio stands all the way up and dives back in with a sweeping right hand that lands solidly. They scramble at the clapper and disengage just before the round ends. 10-9 Seronio (30-27 Seronio).

The Official Result

Bobby Seronio III def. Miguel Peimbert via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Juan Archuleta (141) vs. Enrique Barzola (137.4)


Round 1

The main card kicks off with a 141-pound planned catchweight contest between multi-divisional contender Archuleta and longtime UFC veteran Barzola, with Romero drawing the referee assignment. Archuleta comes forward immediately and lands a crisp one-two, then looks for a quick takedown that is denied. Archuleta tags Barzola with a couple more punches, including a flush uppercut, and Barzola looks unsteady. Barzola tries to compose himself and lands a nice lead left, but Archuleta comes forward with another combination. Archuleta drops for another takedown, then moves to take Barzola’s back standing. They move to the fence together, and Archuleta throws punches while pushing the Peruvian into the cage. They disengage and return to the middle of the cage. Archuleta catches a jumping Barzola with a low kick that nearly takes his feet out from under him, then connects with a punch. Barzola is struggling to catch up with Archuleta, who is lighting him up with punches so far. Barzola drops for a takedown and gets it. Archuleta scrambles, and gets caught on the bottom of north-south. They scramble again and Barzola takes Archuleta’s back. Archuleta will not concede the position, scrambling furiously, but Barzola is all over him. Archuleta finally escapes and throws a murderous soccer kick to the grounded Barzola that would have been grounds for disqualification if it had landed to the face, but Romero made a perfect no-call, as replay shows it to be legal. The round ends. 10-9 Archuleta.

Round 2

Archuleta and Barzola are busy to open Round 2, with Archuleta skipping around the outside with Barzola in pursuit. Archuleta’s combination punching still appears to have him a step ahead. Archuleta shoots a single-leg takedown, swings to Barzola’s back, but can’t secure the position and they spin away from one another. Moments later, he tries again, and ends up holding the single-leg against the fence. Barzola lands several solid elbows to the side of the head before Archuleta adjusts and hoists him for a resounding takedown. He works to pass Barzola’s guard, but Barzola defends, then stands, and Archuleta bails on the position. Barzola is on the offensive, walking Archuleta down and landing a couple of hard single strikes. Archuleta runs him to the fence once again, working for a takedown. Barzola wide-legs and uses an overhook to deny him, but a moment later Archuleta gets him down, only to have him pop right back up once more. Under a minute left in this frenetic round, and it’s Barzola looking for the double-leg against the cage. Archuleta reverses him and looks for his own takedown. The 10-second clapper sounds with Barzola landing more downward elbows. The bell sounds on a much closer round. 10-9 Archuleta.

Round 3

Both men swing freely, and both land a couple of solid blows amid the missed and blocked shots. Archuleta shoots a smooth takedown from well outside and managed so get Barzola’s back standing, but can’t complete it. Barzola stalks the American, cutting off the cage and throwing his jab and right cross, but Archuleta drops for a takedown and drives him into the fence. He can’t get it, and they disengage. A moment later it’s Barzola shooting for a takedown, and he looks to have it before Archuleta hits a beautiful inside switch and escapes. Archuleta goes for a takedown and Barzola hops on one foot while throwing hammerfists. Barzola escapes. Archuleta comes forward again and ends up falling to his seat with a front headlock. Barzola extracts his head from Archuleta’s arms, finishes the takedown and then takes Archuleta’s back. Archuleta reverses him, lets him go and then nails him with a jumping knee on the break. The bell sounds a second later. What a wild round. 10-9 Barzola (29-28 Archuleta).

The Official Result

Juan Archuleta def. Enrique Barzola via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Aaron Pico (144.6) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (145)


Round 1

Pico and Kennedy square off with Grice set to supervise, and it’s just seconds before Pico lands a hard one-two that sends Kennedy stumbling back into the fence. The crowd is chanting “Pico!” as he pursues, but Kennedy clinches and recovers quickly. They split and Kennedy lands a low kick and a jab. Kennedy drops for a takedown, which Pico denies easily, but Kennedy persists and pushes him to the cage. Kennedy is driving Pico into the fence, leaning on the shorter man with all his weight, and manages to take Pico’s back standing. Pico’s left shoulder may be bothering him. Kennedy hoists Pico and tosses him to his hands and knees, then lands a couple of hard punches from the back. Pico pops back up, and is managing to hold on despite completely favoring his left arm. Under two minutes left in the round and Kennedy drags Pico down, locking up a body triangle from back mount as he does so. Kennedy tries for a choke, then gives it up to throw some punches and elbows. He goes back to looking for the rear-naked choke with 45 seconds left to go. The round expires and Pico has survived. 10-9 Kennedy.

Pico’s cornerman, Brandon Gibson of Jackson-Wink MMA, performs a battlefield repair on the dislocated shoulder between rounds, and the crowd pops when it appears to work, but the arm is still clearly compromised. Referee Grice calls in the doctor, who examines the arm, asks Pico to lift the arm over his head—which he fails to do—and in the end, advises the referee to call the fight, which he does. It’s over, and a clearly disappointed Pico congratulates Kennedy.

The Official Result

Jeremy Kennedy def. Aaron Pico R1 5:00 via TKO (Doctor Stoppage)

A.J. McKee (155.8) vs. Spike Carlyle (156.6: missed weight)


Round 1

Carlyle comes out at a dead sprint, throwing a flying high kick. McKee sidesteps and Carlyle renews the assault with a flurry of punches and kicks, and for the next 20 seconds, the action is nigh impossible to describe. Carlyle is swarming all over the place and McKee, more composed, looking for chances to counter. McKee catches Carlyle with a couple of punches that drop him to one knee and the action slows somewhat, though Carlyle recovers quickly. A takedown attempt turns into a wild scramble that ends with Carlyle on top. McKee slows down the action, closing his guard and controlling Carlyle’s posture. Carlyle is heavy on top, driving the crown up his head into McKee’s chin and throwing as many punches as he can manage. With under two minutes left, McKee sweeps to top position, landing in mount, then takes Carlyle’s back. McKee works for a rear-naked choke and for a moment it looks to be close, but Carlyle fights it off and scrambles to top position. From there, McKee locks up a body triangle from the bottom and throws surprisingly hard elbows from there. The round ends. 10-9 McKee.

Round 2

They exchange high kicks to open the round, then trade right hands. McKee’s lands harder, though, and Carlyle drops for a takedown. McKee defends with an overhook and looks for a takedown of his own. They work against the cage until McKee drops to Carlyle’s waist, lifts and dumps him to the canvas. McKee takes Carlyle’s back instantly, sinking one hook. McKee has two-on-one on Carlyle’s left arm, then lets it go in order to fish for a rear-naked choke. He loses the hook, and Carlyle stands. McKee looks for another takedown, and gets it, dropping Carlyle to his seat at the base of the cage. Carlyle gives up his back again, stands and explodes out. McKee gives chase, and grabs a front headlock. He wraps up the neck and right arm of Carlyle with an anaconda choke, and Carlyle goes flat, denying him space to roll for the finish. McKee mimes humping Carlyle’s head. McKee finally gets some room, sits through, and briefly looks for a possible Peruvian necktie. Carlyle escapes, but McKee is tight on top and ends up in Carlyle’s guard. At the 10-second clapper, McKee stands up in Carlyle’s guard and drops a couple of big punches, including at least one or two clearly after the bell. 10-9 McKee.

Round 3

Carlyle runs forward again with haymakers, but he’s clearly tired. McKee is more composed, and counters him with a nice body kick. McKee uses a body lock to toss Carlyle to the canvas easily. McKee lands in side control and drops a couple of elbows, one of which splits “The Crucifixion” open. McKee moves to a reverse mount, nearly sitting on Carlyle’s head, before getting north-south position and attempting a mounted guillotine. He loses the choke and Carlyle pops up, at which point he is subject to a quick mat return by McKee. McKee in an odd almost half guard, dropping short punches and elbows. Carlyle grabs a single-leg, which McKee allows, grabbing a guillotine choke as he does. The choke looks threatening for a moment, but aided by copious blood and sweat, he pops his head out. He explodes up and takes McKee’s back, looking for a choke of his own, but McKee scrambles and briefly looks for a toe hold submission. There’s nothing there, and they’re tumbling again. McKee ends up on Carlyle’s back, working for a rear-naked choke as time expires. 10-9 McKee (30-27 McKee).

The Official Result

A.J. McKee def. Spike Carlyle via Unanimous Decision (29-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Title Fight
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (144.6) vs. Adam Borics (145)


Round 1

The featherweight title fight headliner is officially on, as referee Herzog waves defending champ Freire and once-beaten challenger Borics into action. Borics’ height advantage is almost comical. They touch gloves. Borics is bouncing on his toes, feinting, as Freire gives ground. Both men are standing orthodox. Borics lands a jab, then another. A third jab gets through the champ’s guard, followed by the right cross. Borics lands a light body kick. Next to nothing coming from Freire so far. 90 seconds in, “Pitbull” throws a hard one-two and a low kick. They exchange a flurry of punches, followed by Borics’ first flying knee attempt. Freire sniffs it out immediately, intercepting him with a punch and following him to the ground. Freire takes the back, but can’t get anything done before the Hungarian pops back up. Freire steps in and trips Borics back to the canvas, where he sets up in the taller man’s guard. Freire applies high pressure and looks to pass, but Borics is wise to it and closes his guard. Borics sits up and a moment later, Herzog returns them to the feet. Borics lands a jab. He feints, but Freire doesn’t bite and comes back with a one-two. Freire throws a flying knee of his own, but comes up short. The bell sounds on a very close round. 10-9 Freire.

Round 2

Borics snaps out the long left jab, and then again. Freire counters with a hard low kick. Borics lands a couple more jabs, then takes a hard one-two in return. “Pitbull” with another right calf kick. Borics is still busy with the jab, then lands a low kick of his own. They trade low kicks again, followed by a flurrying punch exchange, with the champ appearing to get slightly the better of things. Borics backs Freire up with a front kick up the middle. Two minutes left and neither man has really settled into a groove on the feet so far. Borics lands another body kick up the middle, then a jab. Borics with a thigh kick, then another. “Pitbull” is clearly looking to counter, but ends up simply going for long stretches without throwing anything. He finds the counter he’s been looking for with 45 seconds left, landing the punch and hustling the Hungarian to the canvas. There, he’s heavy on top as Borics uses lockdown half guard to control him. The crowd boos at the 10-second clapper. 10-9 Borics.

Round 3

Borics reaches out for a glove touch to open Round 3, which the champ obliges. “Pitbull” ducks under an early punch, changing levels for a takedown, but Borics shucks him off right away and they’re back to striking. Borics throws a high kick which Freire blocks, then a flying knee. Once again, the Brazilian easily intercepts him, this time throwing him down and moving instantly into full mount. Freire is high and heavy on Borics’s chest, throwing slapping shots to the challenger’s ears. Borics tries regaining guard, but can’t manage it as he bucks his hips and pushes down on the shoulders. “Pitbull” postures up and drops an elbow, then tries a can opener briefly. Borics tries to explode up and the champ lets him, taking his back as he goes. He hops on Borics’ back and is working for a choke as Borics stands. With a minute and a half left, the champ is a backpack, then puts his feet down. Borics tries to spin towards him, but Freire keeps back control. Borics escapes again and shoves the champ into the fence, where he throws a series of knees up the middle, his best offense of the round so far. Freire reverses the position at the 10-second warning, and the round ends there. 10-9 Freire.

Round 4

Borics comes forward to open the championship rounds, throwing his long jab several times, including one to the body. Borics with a left inside leg kick. He lands another. Not much coming back his way from the champ through the first minute. Borics whiffs on a head kick. Borics splits the guard with a jab that snaps the champ’s head back. Borics lands a couple more low kicks before Freire answers with a much harder one of his own that makes Borics stumble for a moment. He recovers and goes back to landing steady single jabs and low kicks. Borics lands a jab and just misses on a big uppercut. Under a minute and a half to go, and Borics absorbs a kick from Freire, then counters with a one-two. Borics lands a jab and a sharp right cross. The crowd is making its displeasure heard as the round winds down. Borics drops for a takedown in the final seconds but can’t get it. 10-9 Borics.

Round 5

The final round sees the challenger coming forward, and the Bellator booth seems to believe the champ is well ahead on the scorecards. Borics walks Freire to the fence and lands a three-piece combo. They exchange one-twos and low kicks. Borics throws a flying knee and goes three-for-three, as Freire once again catches him out of the air with ease, dumps him on the canvas and moves to a dominant position. Freire takes the challenger’s back and keeps it as Borics stands, sinking his hooks and doing his best backpack impression. Borics is calm—too calm, if he’s really that far behind—but finally extricates himself from back control. He uses a body lock to toss the champ to the ground, taking top position and working to advance. 90 seconds left. “Pitbull” sweeps, escapes and as they clinch up again, grabs a kimura. They go crashing back to the ground and Freire loses the hold, but ends up in top position, where the final bell sounds. 10-9 Freire (48-47 Freire).

The Official Result

Patricio Freire def. Adam Borics via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47)
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