‘Patchy’ Mix Retains, Cedric Doumbe Entertains at Bellator Champions Series Paris

Patrick “Patchy” Mix’s claim as the best bantamweight in the world was tested on Friday after the Bellator MMA bantamweight champion was put through hell over five rounds against former foe Magomed Magomedov in the Bellator Champions Series Paris main event at Accor Arena.

Despite taking Magomedov out in two rounds in their first fight, the Russian challenger adapted to Mix’s length and hurt the champion multiple times with overhand shots. Mix showed the heart of a champion and kept Magomedov on the backfoot despite being on wobbly legs and took the fight to the scorecards. After a long deliberation, Mix was awarded the split decision win (46-49, 48-47, 48-47) much to the ire of the Paris crowd.

Magomedov made wonderful adjustments from the first fight and consistently caught Mix coming in. Unfortunately for the challenger, his lack of pace allowed Mix to control the action and keep him at bay.

Each round could’ve been a toss-up as both men made their case throughout their techniques. Mix nearly snatched a guillotine in Round 3, but Magomedov survived and had Mix out on his feet. Mix (20-1) has options moving forward after his seventh straight win, but he will now look ahead to his engagement with UFC fighter Tatiana Suarez, which was revealed Friday on the broadcast.

It was going to take a lot more than a splinter to stop Cedric Doumbe on Friday. The French kickboxing phenom violently got back on track with a first-round stoppage over Jaleel Willis (3:33). With a bucket of bad blood propping up the fight, Doumbe gave the Paris crowd exactly what it wanted in the quick destruction of the Memphis native.

Doumbe (6-1) proved that he’s more than a striker by sprawling several takedown attempts from the Kill Cliff FC prospect. Doumbe dropped Willis (16-6) with an overhand right before making him look foolish with slick head movement. Doumbe would close out the Bellator Paris co-main event with a right hand behind Willis’ ear that had him lost. Doumbe unloaded the finishing blows on Willis until referee Mike Beltran was forced to intervene.

Post-fight, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis entered the cage and challenged Doumbe to a meeting back in Paris.

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Costello van Steenis picked up one of the biggest wins of his career after putting hometown hero Gregory Babene to sleep in the second round (2:16) with a Von Flue (shoulder) choke.

Van Steenis (15-3) snapped Babene’s eight-fight win streak in convincing fashion after taking him to the mat in the first round. Babene’s looked to make Van Steenis pay with a triangle choke, but The Spaniard’s ground-and-pound broke the grip. Van Steenis wouldn’t give Babene a chance to threaten in the second round. With his head trapped between Van Steenis’ shoulder and the cage while attempting an ill-advised guillotine from side control, there was nothing Babene could do except tap or go to sleep.

Featherweight contender Yves Landu took a four-fight win streak into his homecoming bout against Brazil’s Jonas Bilharinho and didn’t disappoint the fans.

Landu dropped Bilharinho in the first frame with a wicked knee to the body and nearly finished the fight. Bilharinho wouldn’t back down and made it a scrap over the last two rounds. Landu looked for the finish and nearly completed an armbar and a kimura attempt but Bilharinho was full of escapes. After three back-and-forth rounds, Landu took the win by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).

Former Big 12 wrestling champion Archie Colgan ragdolled Thibault Gouti en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) in their 158-pound catchweight bout. Colgan put the hostile crowd and the frustration of Gouti’s missing weight into the first-round blitz that nearly took Gouti out of commission.

Colgan had Gouti on the edge of a TKO defeat but the Frenchman’s toughness extended the beating. Colgan’s win over the 24-fight veteran improved the Genesis Training Academy prospect’s record to 10-0.

Slim Trabelsi (7-0) remained undefeated in his heavyweight campaign after cruising to a unanimous decision win over Louie Sutherland (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Sutherland entered the fight with a 25-pound weight advantage, but he didn’t help him on the ground against the heavy-handed Tunisian.

Mansour Barnaoui halted his two-fight skid with an impressive first-round submission in front of hometown fans. Barnaoui snapped former Rizin Fighting Federation vet Yusuke Yachi's head back with right hands before slamming him to the mat in the final minute of the first round. With Yasuke fazed, Barnaoui snatched up a brabo choke that closed the show 4:08 into the round. With the win, Barnaoui (21-6) picked up his 14th career submission and his first win since 2022.

Mike Shipman battered and bullied Steven Hill into his first career loss during their middleweight melee, but it wasn’t pretty. Shipman (16-4) clipped Hill with a low blow then lost a point after landing an illegal grounded knee. Hill was visibly rocked but told Mike Beltran he wanted to continue. Shipman hurt Hill again with a legal knee and nearly finished him before the bell. Hill (7-1) wisely chose to stay on his stool before the second round and Shipman was declared the winner by TKO.

Aspen Ladd bounced back from her loss against Kayla Harrison with an inspiring slugfest win against Katerina Shakalova. Shakalova’s youth and energy came through in the first round, but she quickly gassed against Ladd’s pressure.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran cut Shakalova open with an elbow in Round 2 before walking her down with shots in the third. Shakalova didn’t wilt but her punches lacked the pop to keep Ladd out of her chest. With the win, Ladd improved to 12-5, while Shakalova (8-2) took her first loss since 2019.

Marseille’s own Asael Adjoudj opened the Bellator Paris card with a dominant second-round TKO (1:11) over formerly undefeated featherweight Bruno Fontes (7-1). Unlike Fontes, Adjoudj (8-1) lost his undefeated record in his first fight, but has since won eight straight. Adjoudj ragdolled Fontes in the first round before rolling him out with a right hook early in the second.

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Jingnan Xiong