By Bryanna Fissori
The inaugural DAZN Bellator Card boasted some of the most anticipated bouts of the year and did not disappoint. Bellator 206 took place on September 29, 2018 at SAP Center in San Jose, California with a stacked line-up of fights including several highly-anticipated matchups.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald
The battle of two champions took place with the Bellator Welterweight title on the line. The first round was all on the feet with both fighters landing, though Mousasi throwing more volume and establishing his jab.
McDonald shot for a low takedown early in round two but missed the mark allowing Mousasi to find a position to strike from in the guard of McDonald. With two minutes left in the round, Mousasi took the mount and reigned down punches, bloodying the face of McDonald and securing the TKO win.
Rampage Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
This was the fourth battle for Jackson and Silva after two bouts in Pride FC and one in the UFC. The overall score going in was 2 for Silva and 1 for Jackson.
The two started the first round with the traditional feel-out knowing that it could go either way. Jackson had a thirty-pound weight advantage over Silva, which came in handy to apply pressure on the cage.
Silva, carrying the weight of Jackson on the cage looked increasingly fatigued. Jackson landed a left hand that stunned Silva toward the end of the second round. Jackson landed strikes from a standing position over the downed Silva to even the score with a TKO win.
Douglas Lima vs. Andrey Koreshkov
The opening bout of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix was a rubber match between Lima and Koreshkov.
Koreshkov landed a well-placed spinning back kick during the opening minute, but most of the remaining round was spent jockeying for position on the cage, with Koreshkov winning most of the battle, thus avoiding the deadly kicking range of Lima.
Round two was pretty uneventful with no real significant moments of brilliance for either fighter.
The first half of round three looked very similar to round one with a lot of cage work. When the fighters made space, Lima was able to go to work landing devastating leg kicks, causing Koreshkov to switch stance repeatedly. Lima landed a takedown late in the round and Koreshkov was able to recover, though not effectively counter.
Lima was getting the better of the striking exchanges going into the last two rounds. Koreshkov shot in for a low single and was sprawled on giving Lima dominant position. Lima took full advantage of the situation and sunk in a tight rear naked choke. Koreshkov went to sleep and Lima won the round with a fifth-round submission, allowing him to move on in the tournament and come out ahead in this trilogy match.
Aaron Pico vs. Leandro Higo
With world-famous boxing coach Freddie Roach in his corner, Aaron Pico made quick work of Higo with an overhand left in the first round. Higo dropped and was obviously hurt. Pico finished the fight via TKO with Higo’s back against the cage.
Keri Taylor-Melendez vs. Dakota Zimmerman
Round one looked like Melendez was going to have an easy night with an early takedown. Zimmerman latches on in the guard and did not let go. She kept her guard locked even with Melendez standing. The lock paid off when she was able to transition to solid triangle attempt with a transition to an armbar, with the solid attempts giving her the round.
With obvious grappling success on the ground in round one, Zimmerman pressure Melendez to the cage right away. Much of the round was spent in a battle on the fence. Zimmerman jumped guard multiple times but was unable to get Melendez to the ground. In the last minute of the round Melendez was successful in landing 10 knees to the body.
The third round was close and Zimmerman had a solid takedown but was quickly reversed. Zimmerman landed an up-kick to the face of Melendez, which seemed to have a significant impact. Zimmerman was unable to land another takedown and significant submission attempt though, 30 more seconds could have made it a different story. But it was too just little too late and Melendez remains undefeated with a split decision victory.
Gaston Bolanos vs. Ysidro Gutierrez
There were high expectations for Bolanos going into this fight. Round one had a slower pace than expected, but fighters were methodical and cautious. Gutierrez had two single leg attempts but was unable to land either. Bolanos looked for the spinning elbow that helped gain him notoriety early in his Bellator career. He was unable to find the distance against the southpaw but did land a leg sweep and takedown in round one.
Bolanos took Gutierrez down early in round two but didn’t show any intention of staying on the ground. Shortly after, Gutierrez was dropped with an overhand left landing right behind the ear and the fight was stopped seconds later via TKO.
DAZN Undercard Results
Adam Piccolotti def. James Terry via unanimous decision
Jeremiah Labiano def. Justin Smitley via first-round TKO
Arlene Blencowe def. Amber Leibrock via third-round TKO
Josh San Diego def. Joe Neal via split decision
Cass Bell def. Ty Costa via submission (armbar)
Chuck Campbell def. Joseph Ramirezvia unanimous decision
Anthony Figueroa Jr. def. Samuel Romero via unanimous decision
Combat Sports on DAZN
DAZN has been called the “Netflix of Sports” and currently streams 15,000 live events and 100 million hours of sports content globally each year, which includes boxing and MMA. The streaming service is now available in the U.S. for $9.99 a month and will host sevearl more Bellator events this year. The first month is free for new subscribers.
by Bryanna Fissori
Bellator will kick off their partnership with DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service on Saturday, September 29 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California for Bellator 206.
Gerard Mousasi v Rory MacDonald – Middleweight World Title
The event is headlined by Gegard Mousasi (44-6-2) and Rory Macdonald (20-4-0) in a battle for the Bellator Middleweight World Title. MacDonald beat Douglass Lima at the beginning of the year to secure the welterweight title. Mousasi took the middleweight title from Rafael Carvalho in May at Bellator 200. Mousasi called out MacDonald in his post-fight interview.
“I’m going to call him ‘Chicken Rory,’” Mousasi said after Bellator 200. “That’s the fight we want. I do respect him a lot – he’s a tough fighter. But I think we’re going to push for that fight. We’re going to call him names until he takes the fight. . . .This belt will open some doors for me,” Mousasi said. “It’s all about opportunities. I have to fight contenders, but you also have big names. I’d rather fight Rory than the other guy, he’s a good fighter and he’s bald. I don’t know his name. He’s the contender, but he’s ugly.”
MacDonald put up no resistance, and since then both fighters have been asking for the bout to happen.
Quinton Jackson v Wanderlei Silva
The Bellator 206 co-main event is a heavyweight match-up between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-13-0) and Wanderlei Silva (35-13-0). This will be the fourth time these two have met in professional competition. Their first two bouts took place for Pride FC in 2003 and 2004. Silva won both of those bouts but lost to Jackson at UFC 92 in 2008. Ten years later Jackson, coming off two wins, looks to even the score. Silva hasn’t fought in over a year and is coming off a decision loss to Chael Sonnen.
Douglas Lima v Andrey Koreshkov – Welterweight Grand Prix
The bracket for the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix on DAZN has been set and will kick off with a long-awaited rubber match between Douglas “The Phenom” Lima (29-7) and Andrey “Spartan” Koreshkov (21-2). Koreshkov won the first bout via decision on Bellator 140 in 2015. The two met again late the next year on Bellator 162 where Lima secured the TKO victory. Tension is expected to be high for this one.
Aaron Pico v Leandro Higo
Despite having less cage-time than the majority of fighters he’s going to face at this level, Aaron Pico (3-1-0) doesn’t seem to have any trouble facing Leandro Higo (18-4-0). All three of Pico’s wins have come in the first round, two of them via body shots. Higo is coming off a loss to bantamweight titleholder Darrion Caldwell.
“The year ahead is coming closer to ranked guys and winning the world championship,” Pico said. “People thought I was crazy when came into MMA, and I said I don’t want to fight guys with losing records. But for me personally, fighting a guy that’s 2-4 or 1-3, and then hitting him with a body shot and knocking him out, just because I know I’m capable of doing it, I just wouldn’t feel good as a person.”
Keri Melendez v Dakota Zimmerman
Keri Melendez (2-0-0) has had an impressive start to her professional career and looks to keep the climbing the ranks in the 115-pound women’s division. To do that she will have to get through Dakota Zimmerman (1-0-0) who will have some cage rust to shake off after a three-year absence.
Bellator 206 on DAZN
Earlier this year, Bellator and DAZN announced a multi-year landmark distribution agreement. The international streaming service will feature seven exclusive stacked fight cards per year on DAZN and another 15 that are simulcast across Paramount Network and DAZN. DAZN currently streams 15,000 live events and 100 million hours of sports content globally each year, which includes boxing and MMA. The streaming service is now available in the U.S. for $9.99 a month, just in time for Bellator 206. The first month is free for new subscribers.