Welcome one, welcome all, it’s mother fuckin’ Bellator 274 fight night. While our focus is, as always, on our SerraLongo pals, there’s plenty of strong violence on this card and you can check here for results posted live throughout the night. You can also find all of my post fight interviews for tonight right here.
We already dropped the slate right here:
Now as a credentialed media member, I assure you I would NEVER bet on fights I am covering. Y’know, conflict of interest and ethics and what not. HOWEVA, if I were to be gambling, those are the winners.
Bout 1: Di Lorenzo v. Mendoza
After an early knockdown, Di Lorenzo came storming back to cinch up a tight anaconda choke. Di Lorenzo sinks the choke in and after a few seconds of fighting, Mendoza taps. 1 up, 1 down, a lightning quick and exciting fight to get us going.
Bout 2: Macuka v. Hokit
Hokit gets on top early in the first and starts letting loose some VIOLENT elbows and GnP. Macuka attempting to get the butterflies in to create some space, but he can’t escape Hokit’s top pressure. Hokit continues to throw heavy GnP with elbows and a big right hand that he gets his whole body weight into. Macuka attempting to shrimp out onto a hip, but Hokit has an answer for everything early. Hokit moves to mount with 90 seconds and attacks an arm triangle. Macuka gives up his back in the scramble and that’s all she wrote, 2 straight subs to start the night.
Bout 3: Samuels v. Montalvo
After a few early lands from Samuels, it’s ALL KIDD.
Bout 4: Herbert v. Newman
All Jordan Newman to start, comes out throwing heavy leather. Newman gets the fight to the ground and unleashes a barrage of elbows. Herbert tries to throw up an armbar in between absorbing bows with his face, nothing doing. Newman maintains top position for the rest of the round and gets off some big damage. 10-8 Newman R1.
More of the same to start R2, Newman gets the takedown with very little resistance and starts getting off damage. Newman maintains top position for 3 minutes until Herbert is able to use a threatened leg lock to get back to his feet. Newman immediately engages the clinch and keeps the pressure on. Newman gets it back to the ground with 90 seconds left and briefly gets a crucifix, getting off big elbows the whole time. After a brief scramble, Newman ends the round with full mount. Arguable 20-16 Newman.
Start of R3 and Newman uses a lead hook to transition right into a double leg and we’re back with Newman on top. Herbert able to get it back to the feet briefly and gets blast doubled straight back down. Herbert accepting bad position at this point, doesn’t appear to have much left in the tank. Herbert gets back up with 30 seconds and connects with Newman just to get taken down again. 30-25 Newman on my scorecard.
Bout 5: Kish v. Bennett
Kish controlling the center of the cage to start. Using kicks to manage range well, Bennett having trouble closing distance. Bennett starting to find her rhythm about 3 minutes in, rushing in with 2 big hooks and initiating the clinch. They break, right back to Kish controlling the center and peppering small shots. Bennett gets in deep on a double, locks her hands, and picks Justine Kish straight up and takes her for a ride. From side control, Bennett starts to work some GnP, quite possible she stole the round.
First minute of R2 is mostly Bennett, she seems to have found the range after some early struggles. Kish able to get off some offense, goes for the takedown and gets swept. Bennett appears the physically stronger of the 2 in there. Bennett controls Kish for the rest of the round, not getting off a ton of damage but doing enough. R2 definitely a Bennett round.
There’s a single guy booing very loud to start Round 3. Bennett now the one controlling the action and coming on as Kish fades. Kish looks for a scarfhold throw and Bennett slips out the backdoor and winds up on top on the ground. All Bennett from here out, not getting off massive shots but doing enough damage that it won’t get stood up. 29-28 Bennett for me, also wouldn’t argue with 30-27.
Bout 6: King v. Gozali
Aviv comes out looking to strike early, connecting on a few leg kicks. King returns with a right cross and Aviv is right back to a lead hook with a leg kic behind it. King connects with a big shot and Aviv looks briefly stunned. King makes the mistake of engaging Gozali on the ground and Aviv attacks the triangle. Triangle gets fairly deep before King slips out and they’re back on their feet. Aviv gets dropped by a big right hook, King wisely doesn’t follow into his guard. King swarms with Gozali hurt. Aviv briefly gets it back to the ground and King attacks an armbar, nothing there. Gozali survives to the end of the round. Or does he? Doctor comes in, checks Aviv, and calls the fight. While that’s happening, Aviv’s father Haim is throwing hands with a security guard trying to prevent him from getting in the cage. It’s Bedlam out here, bad stoppage in my opinion, let the kid go out on his shield.
Bout 7: Disonell v. Bates
Bates gets his chin checked early as the big favorite. Recovers and breaks the clinch with a knee only to get taken down again. Bates works back up, briefly secures a takedown before working to the back as Disonell gets up. Bates grinding in the clinch with short knees and punches, briefly gets it back to the mat and clips Disonell as he tries to stand up. Bates drives to finish the takedown and seems to have settled in nicely. AJ and Antonio McKee with some strong corner advice: “beat him up”. Bates obliges his corner and puts on some damage to end the round. 10-9 Bates.
Disonell drops Bates to start R2, looked like more of a slip but he connected and Bates hit the deck. They re engage and Bates lands a clean headkick before taking the center of the cage. Bates again settling in nicely after some early round adversity, doing a good job fighting behind his job and taking what Disonell gives him. Bates overextends himself on a right hand and gets clipped bad. Disonell briefly takes the back but can’t do anything with it, back to the feet and Bates back to the center. Bates tries a Judo throw and gets reversed but is able to quickly work back to his feet and finish a high crotch. Bates works to the back and starts attacking the RNC/Neck crank. Disonell fights the top hand and survives the round. Close, but Bates probably did enough to win the round.
Round 3, Bates comes out looking for the takedown and gets it. Antonio McKee shouting instructions and Bates obliging. Bates gets back to his feet and starts peppering leg kicks, having trouble passing Disonell’s guard while the crowd boos. Bates dives into the guard and creates a scramble and is able to take the back. He’s not doing big damage but he’s constantly throwing small punches looking to create an opening for a sub. Again, Bates attacks the RNC. Gets under the chin, and that’s all she wrote, Bates gets the tap with a R3 RNC.
Bout 8: Browne v. Nallo
Nallo comes out and is noticeably longer and is using the front kick and teeps to manage distance. Nallo beautifully defends a deep takedown attempt but Browne is now getting off some offense. Nallo lands a big right, they reset, and then Nallo lands the same right and drops Browne. Browne gets back to his feet, shoots, and finds himself in a deep D’arce. Things get dicey for a second, but Browne stays composed and is able to escape. Round ends in the clinch, 10-9 Nallo.
Browne opens the round throwing naked leg kicks, Nallo sees it coming the whole way and counters each kick with a 1-2 right down the pipe. Browne again shoots but can’t get Nallo down. Suddenly the tide changes, Browne catches Nallo with a big right, puts him down, and swarms him for the finish. Fight turned on a dime.
Bout 9: Sowma v. Franklin
We got big boys THROWIN. Fuck technique, this is about 500lbs of dude hitting each other with the force of a small car crash, and I, for one, am very much enjoying it. Franklin is leading the dance for the most part but both men are landing. More of the same in R2, Franklin landing bigger shots. Competitve third round, but Franklin takess it for me. 30-27.
Bout 10: Bell v. Ward
Brennan Ward absolutely runs through Bell. If you can’t tell by the increasing brevity, my computer is betraying me. Incredible to see Brennan back in there and so dominant after all of his struggles, one of the most moving and emotional post fight pressers I have ever partaken in.
Bout 11: Piccolotti v. Karakhanyan
Full discolsure: Brennan and his post fight interview had my full attention during this fight and I didn’t see a damn second. I just hope both guys had fun.
Bout 12: Rencountre v. Koreshkov
Koreshkov wasted no time here, absolutely blasts a spinning back kick directly into Recountre’s liver and that’s all she wrote, what a fucking finish.
Bout 13: Storley v. Gracie
And Bellator’s first non title main event is underway. Neiman landing a stiff jab early, fighting behind it well. Early feelings of a sloppy kickboxing fight between 2 very good grapplers. Storley starting to land and control distance a bit, walking Neiman down and gets off a few nice right hands over the top in the clinch. First grappling exchange ends with Neiman able to pull guard and Storley smartly disengaging. Storley gaining momentum as the round goes on, starting to walk Neiman down a bit. 10-9 Storley R1.
Neiman comes out more aggressive to start R2 but more of the same so far, Storley winning the striking exhanges and Neiman playing catch up. Neiman still landing the jab but not throwing anything behind it, going to need to start stringing some strikes together if he wants to stand and bag with Storley. Storley now answering Neiman’s jab with big right hands over the top and landing pretty much at will. For every single strike Neiman lands, Storley is able to put together 2/3 at a time. 10-9 Storley.
Neiman lands a nice 1-2 to open R3, but he’s gonna need to keep building on it down 2 rounds already. Storley may be slowing down a bit, Neiman finally putting together punches in bunches and having his best round of the fight so far. Not a ton of action, but Neiman landing more volume and more effective strikes in this round, 10-9 Neiman in what felt like a must win round for him.
Gracie opens R4 with the same 1-2 and appears to be the slightly fresher fighter. Neiman has to be careful rushing in without taking his head off the centerline, but he lands a big combo and Storley is hurt BAD. Neiman starting to swarm and this feels like the beginning of the end and just like that Storley lands BIG and drops Gracie. Storley leaking after a big elbow and Neiman seems to have his wits back about him, incredible round so far. Easily the round of the night and i have no clue how you score it, I lean Storley because of the knockdown but Neiman landed more.
Both guys open R5 swinging, we got a fucking scrap on our hands. Neiman outlanding Storley through 2 minutes but neither guy has gotten off anything huge. Would like to see more urgency from Neiman here but they’re throwing for certain. Sorley slips the jab and lands a big overhand right, biggest strike of the round so far. Both men landing but Sorley seems to be getting the best of these late exchanges. Neiman puts his hands up like he won and I for one don’t know what makes him think that. 4-1 Storley on my card.