Bellator 260 Report: Yaroslav Amosov dominates Douglas Lima

Originally published at Bellator 260 Report: Yaroslav Amosov dominates Douglas Lima

Bellator 260 Report: Yaroslav Amosov dominates Douglas Lima to win Bellator’s Welterweight Championship

Bellator 260 took place on Friday night, from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Notably, this was the first Bellator event with fans in attendance since February of 2020. The main event saw Douglas Lima attempt to defend his Bellator Welterweight Championship against the division’s top contender, Yaroslav Amosov. Undefeated in twenty-five fights, Amosov had won all six of his fights since debuting in Bellator and earned this title shot after going 3-0 in 2020. For Lima, this was his return to the welterweight division after unsuccessfully challenging Gegard Mousasi for the promotion’s middleweight title in 2020. The three-time Bellator Welterweight Champion reclaimed his title in 2019, and a victory against Amosov would mark his first successful title defense of this third reign. In the co-main event, Paul Daley faced the surging Jason Jackson in a catchweight bout.

Commentary for this preliminary portion of this card was provided by the team of Mauro Ranallo and Josh Thompson, with John McCarthy taking Thompson’s place for the main card. The analytical team consisted of Jenn Brown and Michael “Venom” Page, with McCarthy and Thompson alternating spots on the desk throughout the card.

QUICK RESULTS:

*Alex Polizzi def. Gustavo Trujillo by armbar at 4:22 of Round 1

*Marina Mokhnatkina def. Amanda Bell by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Lucas Brennan def. Matt Skibicki by Anaconda Choke at 1:54 of Round 1

*Bobby King def. Nick Newell by split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)

*Justin Gonzales def. Tywan Claxton by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

*Kyle Crutchmer def. Levan Chokheli by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Mark Lemminger def. Demarques Jackson by TKO at 3:30 of Round 2

*Aaron Pico def. Aiden Lee by Anaconda Choke at 1:33 of Round 3

*Jason Jackson def. Paul Daley by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Yaroslav Amosov def. Douglas Lima by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to win the Bellator Welterweight Championship

ALEX POLIZZI (7-1, 205) VS GUSTAVO TRUJILLO (3-1, 205.25) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

Trujillo defended a takedown attempt from Polizzi to begin the fight and immediately took him down in response. Polizzi was able to pick himself up and continued to search for a takedown of his own. Eventually, Polizzi got the fight where he wanted it, and he was able to transition into top position in the second half of the round. With two minutes remaining in the round, Polizzi took the back of Trujillo. While he wasn’t able to secure the rear-naked choke, he moved into side control, went after an armbar, and Trujillo was forced to submit.

WINNER: Alex Polizzi by armbar at 4:22 of Round 1

Trujillo tired himself out quickly with a series of mat returns following his initial takedown, and Polizzi capitalized on his exhaustion, submitting him later in the round. Polizzi is now 2-1 in Bellator, and this marked his fourth career submission victory.

AMANDA BELL (7-7, 145) VS MARINA MOKHNATKINA (4-2, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Mokhnatkina put pressure on Bell throughout the majority of this opening round. Constantly moving forward and putting her weight on Bell, Mokhnatkina was able to dictate the pace of the opening five minutes and controlled Bell against the cage for the majority of the round. Bell showcased good takedown defense but was unable to create the separation she needed to get her own offense off. 10-9 Mokhnatkina.

Mokhnatkina largely utilized the same strategy in the second round, mixing in some hard right hands off of the break. Bell was able to spend more time at range throughout the round, but her output was extremely low, and despite constantly moving forward, it was Mokhnatkina who consistently got the better of their exchanges on the feet. 20-18 Mokhnatkina.

Mokhnatkina secured a takedown with roughly three minutes remaining in the round and transitioned into side control following a brief scramble. Bell worked her way to her feet, but once again, she was simply unable to get off enough of her own offense to steal the round back. 30-27 Mokhnatkina.

WINNER: Marina Mokhnatkina by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

This was a great performance from Mokhnatkina, who controlled this fight with her grappling and got the better of Bell on the feet as well. The commentary team noted the vast improvements to Mokhnatkina’s striking game, and she secured a much-needed win after dropping her last two fights. Mokhnatkina is now 1-1 in Bellator MMA.

LUCAS BRENNAN (4-0, 146.5) VS MATT SKIBICKI (4-3, 145) – CATCHWEIGHT

Skibicki went for a body lock early, and Brennan committed to a guillotine choke attempt as the fight went to the ground. He transitioned to an anaconda choke in the ensuing scramble, and Skibicki was forced to submit less than two minutes into the opening round.

WINNER: Lucas Brennan by Anaconda Choke at 1:54 of Round 1

Brennan is clearly a very skilled fighter on the ground, and he picked up the third submission victory of his career with his anaconda choke here. With this win, Brennan has improved to 5-0 professionally, with all of those fights taking place in Bellator.

NICK NEWELL (16-3, 156) VS BOBBY KING (9-3, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT

Newell took King down with a double leg against the cage but was not in the best position to deal damage or advance. King eventually popped back up and was able to break apart with a minute remaining. With a few seconds remaining in the round, King flurried forward for his best offense of the round, catching Newell with a combination against the cage. 10-9 Newell.

King began the second round with a lead elbow. Newell changed levels, and while he was unsuccessful with his takedown, he was able to press King against the cage for a short period of time. King broke away from the clinch before landing a knee to the body. He seemed significantly more comfortable letting loose on the feet than he did in throughout the first round. Newell went for a pair of standing guillotines, to no success. 19-19.

King continued to attack the body in the third round. Newell’s output had slowed considerably, and it was clear that the body kicks from Kick were having an effect on Newel. With time running out on Newell, he was able to take the fight back to the ground as he looked to secure a finish. King was ultimately able to work his way up, however, and I scored this final round in his favor. 29-28 King.

WINNER: Bobby King by split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)

I was somewhat surprised to see a judge score the fight for Newell, but the right fighter got his hand raised in the end. Newell began the fight strongly, but King’s bodywork really chipped away at Newell, and it helped him win the final two rounds in my mind. This marked King’s Bellator debut.

TYWAN CLAXTON (6-2, 146) VS JUSTIN GONZALES (11-0, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT

The first round was very close. Both fighters were active enough on the feet, but neither man really pulled ahead with damage nor activity. This made the round very difficult to score, but in the end, I gave the slightest possible edge to Gonzales.

There was a clash of heads in the first half of the second round that resulted in a cut on the nose of Gonzales. Claxton began to look for a takedown, and a blatant cage grab from Gonzales was not enough to prevent Claxton from succeeding on his attempt. Gonzales was able to pick himself back up and chose to pursue a takedown of his own instead of separating. Another close round, but I scored this one for Claxton. 19-19.

The corner of Tywan Claxton stressed that he needed to wrestle with Gonzales, and after another uneventful period on the feet, Claxton began to chase after a takedown to cement the round in his favor. He eventually got Gonzales down but was unable to do much with it before Gonzales climbed back to his feet. Gonzales looked to even the score with a takedown of his own but was largely unsuccessful until the final seconds of the fight. I scored the fight 29-28 for Claxton.

WINNER: Justin Gonzales by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

This was one of those fights you knew would result in a split decision before the scorecards were announced. Neither fighter was able to confidently secure multiple rounds, and this one really could have gone either way. This was Gonzales’s first fight in Bellator MMA, and he called for another ranked opponent in his post-fight interview.

KYLE CRUTCHMER (6-1, 170.25) VS LEVAN CHOKHELI (9-0, 1 NC, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT

Crutchmer was successful with his first takedown attempt of the fight, getting Chokheli down in the center of the cage. Chokheli was able to scramble up to his feet, but Crutchmer picked him up and dumped him right back down to the ground. Chokheli threw up a triangle from his back, and while he didn’t secure a submission, he was able to pop back up to his feet (before he was quickly taken back down). 10-9 Crutchmer.

It took about ninety seconds for Crutchmer to take the fight back to the ground. Chokheli was unable to get back to his feet throughout this second round, although he was largely able to keep Crutchmer from improving his position. Crutchmer was not terribly active from on top, but I didn’t think Chokheli was able to do enough off of his back to steal the round. 20-18 Crutchmer.

Chokheli threw a series of body kicks to begin the final round. Once again, he was unable to keep it on the feet, however, as Crutchmer recorded another takedown. Chokheli couldn’t get back to his feet, and Crutchmer took the third round on my scorecard as well. 30-27 Chokheli.

WINNER: Kyle Crutchmer by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

This was not a great fight, but overall, a good win for Crutchmer, who dominated this fight with his wrestling. Chokheli definitely has potential, but he just didn’t have the takedown defense to deal with a high-level wrestler like Crutchmer. Crutchmer improved to 3-0 in Bellator MMA with this win.

DEMARQUES JACKSON (11-5, 170) VS MARK LEMMINGER (11-3, 170.5) – WELTERWEIGHT

Jackson wasted little time in bringing Lemminger to the ground. Lemminger was able to use the cage to help himself back to his feet, and the fighters found themselves in a stalemate against the cage until the three-minute mark of the round, where they were separated. Lemminger immediately completed a takedown of his own after the separation, much to the crowd’s displeasure. Lemminger was unconcerned with the crowd however and ended the round with some very efficient ground and pound that earned him the round. 10-9 Lemminger.

Jackson landed a powerful right hook in the opening seconds of round two. Lemminger landed one of his own and went for a takedown, but Jackson was able to threaten a guillotine, which ultimately resulted in Jackson securing top position. Lemminger worked his way on top with just over half the round remaining and began to throw down some hard ground and pound shots once again. Jackson turned onto his front in an attempt to escape Lemminger’s blows, but that simply resulted in Lemminger flattening Jackson out, and picking up the second-round TKO as he continued to throw down hooks.

WINNER: Mark Lemminger by TKO at 3:30 of Round 2

Both men were able to complete takedowns and assume top control, but it was Lemminger who was the more active fighter from on top, and it was that activity that was the difference-maker in this one, with the second-round ground and pound stoppage. This snapped a two-fight skid for Lemminger, who is now 2-2 in Bellator.

AARON PICO (7-3, 145.75) VS AIDEN LEE (9-4, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Pico recorded a quick trio of takedowns throughout the opening minutes of the fight. Lee kept getting back to his feet before Pico could do much with his takedowns but was continuously unable to stop any of Pico’s attempts, who secured six strong takedowns throughout the round. Pico began to throw down some strong ground and pound late in the round, and Lee was bleeding around his left eye.

It didn’t take long for Pico to secure two more takedowns. Lee clearly had no answers for Pico’s takedowns, and Pico wasn’t tiring in the slightest as the round progressed. This was another very one-sided round for Aaron Pico, who I had up big time on the scorecard going into the final round.

Lee actually went for a takedown of his own in the third, which Pico easily defended. Lee looked beat up and exhausted, and this time, he did not have the energy to escape Pico’s anaconda choke and was forced to submit.

WINNER: Aaron Pico by Anaconda Choke at 1:33 of Round 3

Pico has largely impressed throughout his career, but this was, in my opinion, far and away from his greatest performance thus far. I believe he was successful on each of his takedown attempts and was always looking to do damage or improve his position when he had control of the action. In his post-fight interview, Pico made it clear that he’s looking for a ranked fighter in his next bout.

PAUL DALEY (42-17-1, 175) VS JASON JACKSON (14-4, 175) – CATCHWEIGHT

Jackson connected with a sharp 1-2, and a strong counter right to begin the round. Jackson changed levels at the halfway point of the round, took Daley down, and began to work from half guard. Jackson threw a number of elbows to the side of Daley, riding the round out on top. 10-9 Jackson.

Daley pressed forward in the opening minute of the second round, but a level change from Jackson brought the fight back to the ground. Jackson was able to control the majority of the remainder of the round from top position, and despite being largely inactive from on top, I scored this round for him as well. 20-18 Jackson.

Jackson did not deviate from the game plan in the final round, taking Daley back down quickly. Again, it was not as though Jackson was doing much top position, but Daley was unable to get back to his feet (save for a referee stand-up late in the round), and this was a clear 30-27 for Jason Jackson. The crowd was not happy with this one.

WINNER: Jason Jackson by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

This was not a great fight, but Jackson did what he needed to do here to get the win. Brawling with Paul Daley is not a smart move, and Jackson played to his strengths (and Daley’s weaknesses) to decisively win each round. Jackson has now won five fights in a row, and a title shot does not seem out of the realm of possibility for his next fight. Daley called out Michael Page in his post-fight interview, who he lost to in a dreadful fight by unanimous decision in 2019.

DOUGLAS LIMA (32-8, 169.75) VS YAROSLAV AMOSOV (25-0, 170) – BELLATOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

The fight began with a slow feeling out process on the feet. Eventually, Amosov decided to take the fight to the ground and was able to get it there with little resistance from Lima, where they exchanged sharp elbows. Amosov was able to control the remainder of the round from Lima’s guard, taking this opening round on my scorecard despite relative inactivity. 10-9 Amosov.

Despite improved takedown defense from Lima, Amosov was able to force him back to the ground about two minutes into the second round. Once again, Lima was unable to get much going for himself offensively, and Amosov comfortably took this second round with his control time. 20-18 Amosov.

Lima partially landed with a head kick, which was perhaps his best moment of the fight to that point. Eventually, Amosov went after another takedown, and he found success yet again, putting Lima on his back in the middle of the cage. Lima turned the back of his head into a shot on the ground, and they were stood up as a result. Lima was unable to make up much ground in the final minute of the round, but he did enough to make this one a bit of a toss-up. 30-27 Amosov on my scorecard.

Lima was able to defend Amosov’s first takedown attempt of the fourth round, but the challenger eventually got him down. Amosov controlled the entirety of this round from Lima’s guard and was clearly up on the scorecards heading into the final round. 40-36 Amosov.

The fifth round looked exactly like the previous four. Lima could not stop the takedowns of Amosov and had almost no output when they were on their feet. Lima had a moment late in the round where he went for an armbar, but Amosov avoided it and finished the fight on top. 50-45 Amosov.

WINNER: Yaroslav Amosov by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to win the Bellator Welterweight Championship

While this was far from the most entertaining fight, Amosov’s performance deserves a lot of praise. He completely shut Douglas Lima down for twenty-five minutes, and ultimately went home with the championship. Now 26-0 professionally, Amosov has established himself as the top welterweight in Bellator, and he will certainly be a tough champion to dethrone. In all likelihood, Michael Page or Jason Jackson will challenge for the title next, both of which would make for interesting fights. I wouldn’t be opposed to the odd man out in that title scenario fighting Douglas Lima for his next matchup.

1 Like