Originally published at Bellator 265: Kongo submits Kharitonov with one second left in Round 2
Bellator 265 Report: Cheick Kongo submits Sergei Kharitonov with one second remaining in round two
By: Eric Marcotte
Bellator 265 took place on Friday evening, from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The event was headlined by a bout in the heavyweight division, as two long-time veterans of the sport, Sergei Kharitonov and Cheick Kongo, faced off for the very first time. Both heavyweights have been competing in the sport for over twenty years, and despite both men being over the age of forty, each fighter has continued to find success in Bellator’s heavyweight division. In the co-main event, Jay Jay Wilson was set to face Adam Borics in a fight that would possibly determine A.J. McKee’s first title challenger, but Wilson missed weight, and the fight was removed from the card. Commentary for this card was provided by the team of Mauro Ranallo and John McCarthy.
*Bailey Schoenfelder def. Kory Moegenburg by TKO at 4:11 of Round 1
*Duane Johnson def. Deven Fisher by D’Arce choke at 1:04 of Round 1
*Archie Colgan def. Ben Simons by TKO at 4:04 of Round 1
*Mike Hamel def. Bryce Logan by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Fabio Aguiar def. Taylor Johnson by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
*Jornel Lugo def. Keith Lee by rear-naked choke at 5:00 of Round 1
*Marcelo Golm def. Billy Swanson by TKO at 4:57 of Round 1
*Logan Storley def. Dante Schiro by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
*Cheick Kongo def. Sergei Kharitonov by rear-naked choke at 4:59 of Round 2
BAILEY SCHOENFELDER (1-0, 224) VS KORY MOEGENBURG (1-2, 214.8) – CATCHWEIGHT
Moegenburg was backed up quickly, as Schoenfelder poured on the pressure, landing hard right hands. Moegenburg did not look as though he had much for Schoenfelder on the feet, and was soon taken down as the fight moved to the ground. Schoenfelder was able to move into side control, where he landed numerous left hands, before moving into full mount. Schoenfelder really started to get aggressive with his ground and pound, and the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Bailey Schoenfelder by TKO at 4:11 of Round 1
This was a very one-sided fight. Schoenfelder had a considerable advantage in size as well as skill, and this fight was really just a beatdown until its eventual conclusion. This marked Schoenfelder’s (who I believe is a natural light heavyweight) first fight in Bellator MMA, and he has won both of his professional fights in the first round.
DUANE JOHNSON (5-2, 185) VS DEVEN FISHER (4-8, 184.4) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Fisher began the fight with a pair of hard kicks to the body. They began to wrestle in the clinch, and Johnson jumped on a D’Arce choke, picking up the quick submission.
WINNER: Duane Johnson by D’Arce choke at 1:04 of Round 1
It wasn’t a long flight, but Mauro and Big John managed to fit in no shortage of references to that other Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson before Duane left the cage. Johnson showed off some great instincts when he switched from the takedown attempt to the D’Arce choke, and this was really a great performance from him. This was Johnson’s first fight in Bellator MMA.
ARCHIE COLGAN (2-0, 169) VS BEN SIMONS (3-2, 170.4) – WELTERWEIGHT
Colgan wasted little time in securing a takedown, before moving into Simons guard. Simons landed an up kick at one point, but by and large, Colgan was able to dominate Simons from top position. Simons attempted to catch Colgan with a Buggy Choke off of his back, but Colgan just picked him up, slammed him down to the ground, and threw down some vicious ground and pound until the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Archie Colgan by TKO at 4:04 of Round 1
With the exception of the submission attempt from Simons, this was another one-sided fight and a solid showcase for Archie Colgan. That big slam was definitely highlight-reel-worthy, and he handled the few moments of adversity in the round well. This was Colgan’s first fight in Bellator, and he improved to 3-0 professionally.
MIKE HAMEL (7-5, 155.4) VS BRYCE LOGAN (12-5, 155.8) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Logan defended a takedown attempt from Hamel in the opening minute. Hamel was relentless with his efforts to bring things to the ground though, and he ultimately found success, quickly taking Logan’s back after they hit the ground. Logan defended Hamel’s choke attempts, before climbing back to his feet and creating some separation. Hamel outlanded Logan on the feet for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Hamel.
Hamel continued to be the busier fighter in the second round. He was able to get Logan to the ground yet again, but Logan escaped to his feet once more. Just when it felt as though Logan really didn’t have anything for Hamel on this particular night, he landed a straight left as Hamel was moving forward, and it clearly rocked Hamel, but Logan wasn’t able to capitalize on the moment, and Hamel recovered before the round’s conclusion. 20-18 Hamel.
Logan connected with a nice left hand early in the final round. Hamel took Logan down one more time, with Logan escaping to his feet quickly. Neither fighter really pulled ahead on the feet throughout the first four minutes of the third round, but I thought Hamel turned it on just enough in that final minute to earn the nod. 30-27 Hamel.
WINNER: Mike Hamel by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Both fighters came into this fight on losing streaks, and you could feel Hamel’s relief when he got the nod. The rounds got progressively closer, but I gave him the edge in all three, and this was a pretty well-rounded performance from Hamel. With this win, Hamel picked up his first win under the Bellator MMA banner and is now 1-2 in the promotion.
FABIO AGUIAR (17-2, 184.6) VS TAYLOR JOHNSON (7-2, 185.8) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Johnson was fighting aggressively from the opening seconds, and after landing a head kick, he committed to a standing guillotine attempt. He wasn’t able to get the submission, but he landed a hard pair of knees to the head before Aguiar escaped. They wrestled up against the cage for some time, to somewhat of a stalemate. Aguiar stuffed a takedown, and they exchanged head kicks to end the round. 10-9 Johnson.
Aguiar began round two with a clean combination of punches to the head of Johnson. Aguiar took Johnson down near the cage, and despite some decent attempts to make something happen off of his back, Johnson was unable to escape to his feet, and Aguiar rode out the entirety of the round on top.
They both secured takedowns in the first minute of the third round, but it was Johnson who maintained top position early. Aguiar scrambled to top position, and spent the next few minutes sort of frozen in the sprawl, as neither fighter was able to advance their position. Johnson attempted a roll at one point but found himself trapped in the same position, as Aguiar ended the round on top. 29-28 Aguiar.
WINNER: Fabio Aguiar by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Johnson started the fight aggressively, but he could not sustain that pace for three rounds. A great deal of this fight took place against the cage and on the ground, and with the majority of that time being spent in stalemate positions, the fight really came down to who was on top longer throughout the last two rounds, and that was Aguiar. This marked Aguiar’s first win in Bellator, after losing his promotional debut back in April.
KEITH LEE (7-4, 140) VS JORNEL LUGO (6-0, 137.4) – CATCHWEIGHT
Lugo worked his jab throughout the beginning of the fight, and began to min in that straight right hand to great success. Lee was having some difficulties getting his own offense off, with Lugo landing that jab whenever Lee stepped an inch too close. Eventually, a stiff jab from Lugo knocked Lee to the ground, but Lee recovered and landed a charging right hook, the best strike of the fight thus far for him. Lugo secured a takedown in the final seconds of the fight, and choked Lee unconscious as time expired.
WINNER: Jornel Lugo by rear-naked choke at 5:00 of Round 1
I thought this was a near-perfect performance from Jornel Lugo. His jab couldn’t miss, he knocked Lee down, and ultimately choked him out to pick up the first-round finish. Lee went out right at the five-minute mark, so it was a close one, but ultimately the right call was made by the referee to stop the fight when he did. Lugo improved to 3-0 in Bellator MMA with this win and called for a spot in a future Bellator Grand Prix.
MARCELO GOLM (8-3, 252) VS BILLY SWANSON (4-1, 265.6) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Golm looked like he was packing some power in his right hook. Every time he landed it throughout the opening minute, it was clearly affecting Swanson, and when Golm began to piece his combinations together, Swanson looked overwhelmed by his attack. With time winding down in the round, Golm landed a huge knee up the middle and a follow-up combination of punches that dropped Swanson, and the fight was stopped moments later.
WINNER: Marcelo Golm by TKO at 4:57 of Round 1
Golm dominated this fight from start to finish and really turned it on in the final seconds to pick up the first-round finish. The crowd loved Swanson, but unfortunately, he just didn’t have much to offer Golm here. Golm had some serious power in his hands, and never gave Swanson any room to get comfortable. In his post-fight interview, Golm called out Steve Mowry.
LOGAN STORLEY (11-1, 170.4) VS DANTE SCHIRO (8-2, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT
Storley took Schiro down quickly and began to work from his guard. Schiro did a good job of keeping Storley from advancing but was unable to get off of his back, and Storley controlled this entire round from top position. Hardly an eventful round, but an easy one to score for Logan Storley. 10-9 Storley.
Storley brought this fight right back to the ground, taking Schiro down against the cage. The crowd didn’t always like it, but Storley was effective with his strategy, just smothering Schiro, preventing him from getting off any offence of his own. They were stood up near the end of the round, but nothing happened before time expired. 20-18 Storley.
This was another wrestling-heavy round for Storley. He didn’t do a ton of damage or threaten any submissions, but he had Schiro pressed up against the cage for almost the entirety of the five minutes. Schiro actually landed the better strikes despite having his back to the cage, and despite being controlled by Storley against the cage, I gave him this final round. 29-28 Storley.
WINNER: Logan Storley by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
I’m really not sure about the judge who saw the fight for Schiro, but in the end, the right fighter got his arm raised. Storley apologized for his performance in his post-fight interview, telling the crowd that he knows this wasn’t the type of fight that they paid to see, but he was being pretty hard on himself here. Regardless of it not being the greatest of fights, Storley defended his spot in the rankings here, and he made it clear that he is still focused on working towards a title fight following this win. He is now 7-1 in Bellator MMA.
CHEICK KONGO (30-11-2, 1 NC, 247) VS SERGEI KHARITONOV (32-7, 2 NC, 264.8) – HEAVYWEIGHT
They touched gloves to begin the fight. Kharitonov moved forward, throwing out leg kicks, as well as jabs to the body. Kongo responded with a couple of heavy hands before he backed off and began to circle the cage once more. Kongo was landing with his jab but ate a lot of shots to the body throughout round one. Kharitonov landed a left hand that seated Kongo momentarily, ending the round strong. 10-9 Kharitonov.
Kharitonov landed a powerful jab, seconds into the next round. Kongo landed a knee to the body that backed Kharitonov up and shot for a pair of takedowns that Kharitonov stuffed. Kharitonov was taking over this fight with his jab, but Kongo landed a combination of right hands that rocked Kharitonov badly. Kharitonov defended a takedown with the help of the cage, but Kongo just continued to tee off on him, before finally getting Kharitonov to the ground with a big takedown against the cage. Kongo threw down ground and pound forcing Kharitonov to give up his back, and he sunk in a rear-naked choke, prompting Kharitonov to tap just as time expired.
WINNER: Cheick Kongo by rear-naked choke at 4:59 of Round 2
Kongo was absolutely exhausted following the finish. Things were looking really bad for him halfway through the second round, but at heavyweight, anything can happen, and one series of strikes from Kongo changed the entire fight. Kharitonov was rocked badly, just barely defending himself once Kongo brought things to the ground, and Kongo was able to capitalize and get the finish. I’m honestly not sure if Kongo could have fought another round, so this was really just a perfectly-timed finish for him, and the forty-six-year-old Cheick Kongo improved to 13-3 (1 NC) in Bellator with this win.