Bellator 255 results and highlights: Patricio Pitbull puts Sanchez to sleep, AJ McKee showdown next

Emmanuel Sanchez gave Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire a difficult fight when they first met for the Bellator featherweight belt in 2018. In the rematch, Sanchez…

By: Mookie Alexander | 2 years ago
Bellator 255 results and highlights: Patricio Pitbull puts Sanchez to sleep, AJ McKee showdown next
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Emmanuel Sanchez gave Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire a difficult fight when they first met for the Bellator featherweight belt in 2018. In the rematch, Sanchez didn’t even get out of the opening round.

The Bellator 255 main event saw Pitbull hurt Sanchez with his fearsome left hook then latch on a tight guillotine choke that had Sanchez out cold. It took the ref a bit too long to figure out that Patricio was telling the truth and that Emmanuel was put to sleep. Freire continues his reign as Bellator’s two-division champion and he’s further enhanced his legacy as Bellator’s greatest ever fighter, as well as one of the top fighters in the world today.

Of course, there was more than just the title at stake at the “Fightsphere” in Connecticut. Freire advances to the Bellator featherweight grand prix tournament final, where the undefeated and electrifying AJ McKee will meet in what will surely be one of the most anticipated matchups in Bellator MMA history.

Patricio Pitbull def. Emmanuel Sanchez by technical submission (guillotine choke) at 3:35 of round 1 – Bellator featherweight title

It was a feeling out process through the first couple of minutes of round one. Both men were looking to find their range and get a read on each other’s feints. They traded low kicks in a measured pace, with Pitbull throwing some heavier punches upstairs. A three-punch combo caught Sanchez’s attention, as did a jab to the sternum. A left hook put Sanchez on the floor and he was in trouble. Pitbull jumped on a guillotine and told the referee that Sanchez was out. He was correct! Fight over and Patricio becomes the first man to ever stop Emmanuel Sanchez.

Results from the rest of the card:

Jason Jackson def. Neiman Gracie by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) – Welterweights

In a pretty bizarre sequence of events, Gracie had his initial takedown stopped and he held onto a leg against the fence while Jackson was on top and landing punches. Then something happened to perhaps suggest a Jackson injury and Gracie hopped to the back in a flash. The commentary team confirmed that Jackson’s face rubbing up against the fence hampered Jackson’s vision and thus he was put in a horrible spot. Gracie sought the rear-naked choke before passing to full mount. The ref stopped proceedings to check on his eye. They restarted the fight in mount but Jackson was able to reverse the position after Neiman sought the arm-triangle choke. They got to their feet but Jackson secured a late takedown before time expired.

Gracie was not getting the better of the exchanges in the early part of round two so he looked for a takedown, but Jackson’s strength prevented him from getting put on his back even after throwing a knee that put him off balance. Jackson continued to pepper away at Gracie’s legs with low kicks, but Neiman was able to get a takedown off the body clock about midway through the fight. Gracie had control time but nothing resembling meaningful offense. It became a grind.

Both fighters got in some solid strikes to start the final round and Jackson’s eye continued to bother him after getting poked by Neiman. The fight resumed after a check-up by the doctor and a Gracie takedown turned against him as Jackson was able to command top position. It became a stalemate on the mat and Gracie’s efforts to get a reversal proved unsuccessful, and he ended up on the losing end as Jackson gets his fourth straight victory.

Tyrell Fortune def. Jack May by TKO (strikes) at 3:16 of round 1 – Heavyweights

Well this wasn’t competitive. Last time these two fought, a nut shot ended things early and it was a no contest after Fortune’s groin strike. In the rematch, Fortune took May down multiple times and then on his last takedown he walloped May with a series of ground strikes to the head. Fight over and an easy night’s work for the 10-1 Tyrell Fortune, as May really took more shots than was necessary.

Usman Nurmagomedov def. Mike Hamel by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) – Lightweights

No they did not combine Kamaru Usman with Khabib Nurmagomedov, otherwise opponents should just give up. Usman is, however, a cousin of the retired UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov. Hamel looked to push the pace and fight on the front foot, but it was Usman who had Hamel having a lot to think about with a steady diet of kicks. Hamel landed a couple of left hands over the top but he had difficulty finding his range and dealing with Usman’s countering. There was only one takedown attempt in the opening frame and it was a stuffed low single by Nurmagomedov, who otherwise bossed proceedings.

Hamel shot in for a takedown on Nurmagomedov early in round two and while it was a well-timed attempt he did not complete it. Nurmagomedov continued to kick heavily and work his jab, while Hamel’s forward pressure really didn’t lead to enough round-winning offense. Nurmagomedov continued to pepper Hamel’s face with punches and he had him bleeding through his nose courtesy of his jab-a-palooza.

In round three Hamel did get a takedown but got about three seconds of control time before Nurmagomedov was back to his feet and beating up Mike with his striking. To Hamel’s credit he was determined to keep on swinging and going for takedowns but he was outgunned all the way and Nurmagomedov had his hand raised in the end.

Kana Watanabe def. Alejandra Lara by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) – Women’s Flyweights

Lara cracked Watanabe with heavy shots within the first 20 seconds but she got herself out of position and Watanabe got a much-needed takedown. Watanabe was kicked off by Lara and tried to scramble back up but Kana maintained control for a little bit longer. Lara returned to her feet and pretty much unscathed. Watanabe went for a body lock takedown but that backfired badly as Lara transferred her weight to turn that into full mount in her favor. The Colombian took the back and had both hooks in. She tried to flatten her out but she lost the hooks for a brief moment and it allowed Watanabe to escape. Watanabe was at a clear disadvantage striking and Lara did well to avoid being taken down for the remainder of the opening frame.

In round two, Watanabe appeared to be dropped by a left elbow in the clinch as Lara continued her success in the striking department. However, Watanabe put her judo skills to good use and got Lara to the mat. Watanabe unleashed some hammerfists but Lara attacked a leg but to no avail. The Japanese fighter passed to side control and then returned to half-guard. Lara deftly reversed position and she got into Watanabe’s half-guard. Watanabe threatened a submission from her back and used that to take Lara’s back. Watanabe fired off some strong ground strikes to the head before closing out the round with an armbar attempt that wasn’t remotely close to being locked in. Not doubt a far superior round for her compared to round one.

The strength and relentlessness of Watanabe in closing the distance and forcing Lara to defend her takedowns seemed to wear on Lara and she got another takedown early into round three. Lara threw some hammerfists from the bottom but was nowhere nearer to getting back to her feet, and then she absorbed some short punches. Watanabe advanced to half-guard and kept busy on top on her way to a decision win.

Preliminary Card results

Magomed Magomedov def. Cee Jay Hamilton via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:22

Mandel Nallo def. Ricardo Seixas via KO (punch) – Round 1, 3:23

Khalid Murtazaliev def. Fabio Aguiar via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Chris Gonzalez def. Roger Huerta via submission (tapped to strikes) – Round 3, 3:01

Jose Augusto def. Jonathan Wilson via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:58

Roman Faraldo def. Trevor Gudde via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:30

Jordan Newman def. Branko Busick via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:30

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Mookie Alexander
Mookie Alexander

Mookie is a former Associate Editor for Bloody Elbow, leaving in August 2022 after ten years as a member of the staff. He's still lurking behind the scenes.

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