It was a great night of fights at the sold out Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut for Bellator 194 Nelson vs. Mitrione. Starting with the prelim fights and then transitioning into the main card, from top to bottom fantastic bouts were produced. Bellator displayed a mix of up and coming talent from the tri-state area and some of the biggest names in the sport to put on an excellent event.
In the preliminary lineup, New York’s own Marcus “The Blueprint” Surin from Renzo Gracie Academy took on the hometown kid, Dean Hancock from Danbury, Connecticut. These two put on an absolute show for the fans with exciting grappling exchanges moving from takedown to sweep to submission attempt in succession. Surin showed great poise however, and was able to lock on a tight arm triangle and get the submission with 10 seconds left in the second round.The feature prelim of the night was a battle of the Boroughs, pitting Ross “The Boss” Richardson from the Bronx against Ron Leon from Queens. From the start, Richardson brought the pressure with takedowns and landed some brutal ground and pound strikes. In the second round, The Boss was able to pass to full mount and land more elbows to get the stoppage. It was a successful professional debut after a successful amateur career.
To kick off the main card, Tywan “Speedy” Claxton took on Jose Antonio Perez. Best known for his highlight reel flying knee, Claxton looked for lightning to strike twice but eventually went back to the well, as the Division 2 Wrestling All-American used takedowns and ground and pound to secure the 2nd round stoppage at 3:39.
Next up was Renzo Gracie product Liam McGeary against Russian prospect Vadim Nemkov. McGeary looked to keep the distance, but the story of this fight was the relentless attack of leg kicks by Nemkov. Despite a few submission attempts by McGeary, Nemkov was dominant in his performance. By the time the third round came, McGeary could barely walk and the fight was stopped due to leg kicks late into the third round.
In a matchup between established boxers, New York’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy and Ana Julaton spent most of their fight grappling to everyone’s surprise. The female fighters went back and forth fighting for position with Hardy winning many of the exchanges. “The Heat” had back mount on separate occasions and nearly locked up a rare bulldog choke. She took home a unanimous decision.
In the co main event, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire took on Derek “The Stallion” Campos in a highly anticipated rematch. There was much animosity leading up to this fight and it was time for the score to be settled. The fighters came out slightly tentative, feeling each other out. Once that process was done however, sparks were flying. The first wild striking exchange that took place saw Patricky landing a devastating hook, dropping Campos. When Campos stood back up, Pitbull landed another hard right hand and subsequent follow up strikes leading to a first round KO for Patricky Freire.
Finally, in the main event, Roy “Big Country” Nelson took on Matt Mitrione in the first round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Mitrione seemed quicker to the punch landing jabs and front hand uppercuts and staying mobile while Nelson looked to land his patented overhand right. Nelson scored 2 takedowns in the first two rounds, however they were towards the end of the rounds leaving him little opportunity to land damage on top. In the third round, Nelson took the fight to the ground earlier this time and got to the mounted crucifix position landing a barrage of strikes, posing the question of a 10-8 round. Mitrione took the majority decision, but not without controversy as the crowd did not seem to agree with the call.
Overall it was a fantastic card with many exciting fights and highlight reel finishes. New York Fighting looks forward to the next Bellator event held in the area.
Written by Nick Shimkin
Photos: Bellator MMA
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