By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
Bellator 273 was last night and it featured a fight to unify the
Bellator Heavyweight Championship. Who won? Let’s get to the rundown
and find out.
GOOD- Sabah Homasi submits Jaleel Willis
They exchange strikes before Homasi slams Willis to the mat. Homasi
fought for and locked in an arm triangle that forced Willis to tap a
little over a hundred seconds into the first round. Homasi improves to
16-10 while Jaleel Willis falls to 15-4. Good win for Homasi.
GOOD/BAD- Henry Corrales stops Aiden Lee
They trade kicks early before Corrales drops Lee with a big left hook.
He lets him back up, though, and Lee peppers him with his jab. They
trade kicks again before mixing in some punches and the first round
ends. The second round saw them trading more kicks. Lee tries for a
few takedowns but can’t get them before they go to the mat with
Corrales on top. The third round opened with Lee getting poked in the
eye fairly quickly and since he was unable to continue and the fight
was in the third round it went to the judges and they awarded Corrales
the technical victory. The eyepoke was ruled accidental so that’s why
Corrales wasn’t disqualified. The fight had been fairly good up until
that point but the ending sucks. Corrales moves to 20-6 while Lee
drops to 10-6.
GOOD- Benson Henderson vs. Islam Mamedov
Mamedov opened with some kicks before Henderson returned fire. They
clinched and traded knees before Henderson grabbed a guillotine that
nearly ended things. Mamedov was somehow able to escape it, though and
the round ended. Mamedov gets an early takedown in the second round.
Henderson has another guillotine but Mamedov escapes and locks in a
rear-naked choke of his own but Henderson escapes that. They trade
more submission attempts before Mamedov locks in another rear-naked
choke but the round ends. Henderson opens the third round with several
kicks as well as some strong strikes. Mamedov gets another takedown
and lands some effective ground-and-pound as another close round ends.
Henderson wins by Split Decision in a hard fight to call. Henderson
improves to 29-11 as he snaps his 3 fight losing streak. Mamedov drops
to 20-2-1 and had won 19 of his last 20 fights, with the other being a
draw. Good win for Henderson.
GOOD- Ryan Bader vs. Valentin Moldavsky
This fight was to unify the Bellator Heavyweight Championship. Bader
stuns Moldavsky early before hitting him again and dropping him.
Moldavsky is somehow able to survive and get a takedown. Moldavsky
works the body until Bader returns fire and gets back up. Bader gets a
takedown to end the first round. The second round sees Moldavsky land
some good strikes before an illegal knee down low halts things. When
they resume, Moldavsky gets a takedown and tries to grind Bader down
for the rest of the round. Moldavsky opens the third round with a
takedown but Bader quickly gets back up. However, Moldavsky still has
him gripped around the body and continues wearing him down. A slow
round but effective strategy. They both try for takedowns in the
beginning of the fourth round before pushing against the cage again.
Bader gets a takedown and works some ground-and-pound before Moldavsky
gets up just to get taken down again. Again they trade unsuccessful
takedown attempts to open the fifth round before trading strikes.
Moldavsky takes Bader down and slams him as the round ends. This was a
very close fight that the judges awarded to Bader 48-47. Bader
improves to 29-7 with 1 No Contest and is now the undisputed Bellator
Heavyweight Champion. Moldavsky drops to 11-2 and has his 6 fight win
streak snapped. Good win for Bader.