Bellator 194 ‘Mitrione vs Nelson 2’ aired Friday night (Feb. 16, 2018) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. MMA Mania brings you a post-fight recap, results, .gifs and interview highlights from a card where Matt Mitrione and Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson met for a second time!
Bellator 194 “Mitrione vs. Nelson 2” took place last night (Fri., Feb. 16, 2018) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The second bracket of the Heavyweight Grand Prix was filled out by two former UFC fighters who know each other of old.
Both “Big Country” Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione competed on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, but would not meet until “Meathead” Mitrione filled in for Shane Carwin at the TUF 16 Finale. Mitrione lost that first encounter by TKO. How would he fare in the rematch?
The first round went solidly to Matt Mitrione. Multiple takedown attempts were stuffed all while “Meathead” punished Nelson with leg kicks and uppercut hands. Nelson finally got a takedown with a minute and change left but scored no offense on top even while he had side control. Round 2 was as Mike Goldberg would say “virtually identical” right down to the late takedown, only Mitrione was also able to open up a cut around Nelson’s left eye, giving him multiple bullseyes to target.
Nelson got the takedown much earlier in Round 3 and it proved to be a huge difference maker, leading to an eventual mounted crucifix where he was pounding on Mitrione. He repeatedly told referee Dan Miragliotta “I’m good. I’m good!” Miragliotta did not stop it. Nelson went for an armbar instead and Mitrione was able to escape. Nelson took him back down again with under a half minute left. “Big Country” won Round 3, but what about the fight?
The judges scored this contest 28-28 and 29-28 X2 for Mitrione by majority draw.
Mitrione spoke to “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen after the scores were announced and Mitrione begged his daughter to go to the father-daughter dance the next night.
“Why is he so damn tough? I hid that cat so damn hard with so many shots. I’m not a judge. I’ll see you guys the next round. I think I’ll see Bader (in) the next round.”
That was not the only rematch in Uncasville. Lightweight fighters Patricky Freire and Derek Campos squared off, with “Pitbull” Freire having won the previous battle via TKO.
The second fight looked much like the first one, only it happened a lot faster this time. Freire let Campos be the aggressor and danced back and forth on the outer circle, making him spin around when he occasionally landed the leg kick, picking the perfect moment to uncork a left hand. When Campos wobbled Freire poured it on, making him stumble a second time, then drop to his knees and face plant for the finish at 2:23 when Kevin MacDonald stopped it and made “Pitbull” the TKO winner.
Chael Sonnen spoke to Freire afterward when he picked up his third straight win.
“It felt great! Like a fun day where I play with my kids at my house. My motivation is the belt. I will beat the champion easy. Mark my words. I’m the next champion!”
Something Freire said was bleeped out after that. Sonnen wasn’t done yet and tried to follow up.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I want just the belt, and beat the champion, I want to beat all champions in my house, HERE, BELLATOR IS MY HOUSE.”
A former Light Heavyweight champion looked to get back on track against a hard hitting Russian as Liam McGeary donned the four ounce gloves to face Vadim Nemkov.
Even though McGeary is the taller man with the longer reach, Nemkov showed no fear of either advantage and continually had McGeary backpedaling. At one point Nemkov unloaded four straight kicks to McGeary’s lead left leg. It was a dominant and one-sided first round for the Russian.
The second round was just as lopsided in Nemkov’s favor. The lone chance that McGeary had was when Nemkov got on top after a clinch and McGeary tried to cinch up his patented triangle. Nemkov quickly backed out and threw kicks until McGeary stood up at 1:20, then battered the left leg with heavy kicks until the bell ended Round 2.
The end was inexorably and inevitably coming as Nemkov continued to hammer the kicks home in round three. It was quickly clear that McGeary was having problems standing when he fell down throwing a kick and couldn’t get back up. Nemkov targeted the bullseye on the left leg when he finally stood up again and each time McGeary winced and wobbled. When one final kick caused McGeary to turn his head away and fall to the ground Dan Miragliotta waved it off at 4:02.
Two MMA fighters with boxing know-how put their records on the line in the first of two contests between them as Heather Hardy (1-1) faced Ana Julaton (2-3) at Flyweight.
The first round was not the fireworks and excitement that many expected from the experienced strikers. We had long stalemates against the cage with Julaton looking for a takedown and Hardy looking for a choke. Hardy finally won that war in the last minute and was going for the finish on the ground until the bell but Julaton resisted and did not tap.
Julaton did marginally better in Round 2 by scoring a takedown 45 seconds in, but she felt so threatened by Hardy’s submission attempts that she backed away when it got near the fence and let Hardy get her back and go for a second choke. Hardy had more chances to win so she barely edged out Round 2.
The third round was so dull that referee Kevin MacDonald stopped the clinch against the fence and reset them to the center multiple times. Each time Julaton would drive Hardy back into the cage… and do nothing. By all rights this should be a 10-10 round. Even when Hardy got a late takedown Julaton swept her way on top before the bell, meaning neither fighter gained anything from it.
The judges sorted out this snooze fest and handed down a 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 Hardy decision.
After scoring a highlight reel flying knee knockout in his Bellator debut, Featherweight Tywan Claxton returned for a main card fight against Jose Antonio Perez.
This one won’t get a million views on YouTube, but it was no less of a one sided victory. In the first round Claxton took Perez down and unloaded heavy right hands and elbows from half guard. In the second frame Claxton did more of the same only he managed to pin Perez’ head against the fence, forcing referee Keith Peterson to step in at 3:39 after seeing Perez take an uncontested battering.
Despite the domination Claxton sounded frustrated in his interview with Chael Sonnen.
“Yeah I’m just really disappointed you know. My debut I got a beautiful flying knee, and I wanted to come out and put on a show. I had to take him down and finish him with elbows but I wanted to get another knockout and it just didn’t happen. I’m going to go back to the gym and start working again. I went for it. I wanted to hit it again. I’m just going to have to come back with different set-ups. I changed my name to ‘Air’ Claxton so I’m going to have to try for it in every fight.”
For complete Bellator 194 results and coverage click here.
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