Patricio Pitbull is still the undisputed king of the Bellator featherweight division.
Facing Emmanuel Sanchez (20-5) for the second time, Pitbull (32-4) did a short job of his rival in Friday’s Bellator 255 Main Event, clinging to a guillotine choke and leaving Sanchez unconscious at 3:35 of the first round. . With the victory, Pitbull recorded his fifth consecutive successful Bellator Featherweight Championship defense.
The end came after Pitbull started to pick up the pace in what had been a methodical affair up to this point. He caught Sanchez with a combination and then again with a right hook that had Sanchez advancing imbalance. Sensing an opening, the champion immediately jumped for a guillotine and brought Sanchez to the mat with him. Sanchez was unresponsive when referee Todd Anderson went to check one of his arms and the fight was cut short.
Pitbull now holds two wins over Sanchez. He defeated Sanchez by unanimous decision to successfully defend his title at Bellator 209 in November 2018.
Friday’s main event also served as the semi-finals of the Bellator World Featherweight Grand Prix. Pitbull now advances to the finals to face the undefeated AJ McKee (17-0). The tournament winner takes home the featherweight championship and a prize of $ 1,000,000.
The two finalists faced off in the cage after Pitbull’s victory.
In the co-main event, Jason Jackson (14-4) claimed his fourth straight victory in a bizarre encounter against Neiman Gracie (10-2) which saw Jackson face early adversity when he was scratched the left eye and face against the cage while defending a withdrawal. The action was spotty from there, with Jackson spending most of the fight against Gracie and defending the eliminations.
Gracie threatened to submit in the first round as he took Jackson’s back, but Jackson escaped bad positions several times and actually finished the first round in first position. In rounds two and three, Jackson defended well against Gracie’s attempts to initiate an attack from below, which resulted in an uneventful wrestling rally.
Another glance – this time to Jackson’s right eye – brought the action to a halt again, but Jackson was able to continue despite being clearly embarrassed by the foul. Gracie scored with a trip that ended with Jackson on top of him and while Gracie appeared to be in control of ground fights, he also didn’t do much damage or set up submissions.
In the end, Jackson won the bout on the Three Judges cards with a trio of 29-28 scores.
The grudge match between heavyweights Tyrell Fortune (10-1, 1 NC) and Jack May (11-8, 1 NC) was a one-sided affair as Fortune manhandled May en route to a TKO victory in the first round. Fortune, a Division II wrestling champion, immediately took May against the fence and got to work with the ground and the pound.
May was unable to face Fortune’s best game and Fortune positioned themselves to land dozens of unanswered strikes as May straightened up. Referee Dan Miragliotta finally stepped in to interrupt the fight at 3:16 of the first round.
It was a rematch for the Bellator 245 on September 11, 2020, which ended in a no-contest when May was unable to continue after taking a low blow from Fortune. May stepped in on Friday as a replacement for Matt Mitrione, who stepped down earlier this week for undisclosed reasons.
Undefeated lightweight Usman Nurmagomedov delivered a surgical performance in his Bellator debut, improving to 12-0 with a unanimous decision over Mike Hamel (7-5).
Nurmagomedov spent much of the fight on the outside, using his precise strike to separate Hamel with punches and kicks. A Hamel match advanced throughout the bout, but was repeatedly beaten with well-timed counters. By the end of the fight, a bloodied Hamel had clearly been hit and the judges gave Nurmagomedov the fight with a pair of 30-27 points and a score of 29-28.
Kana Watanabe (10-0-1) went undefeated with a hard-fought split-decision victory over one-time flyweight title challenger Alejandra Lara (9-4). It was Lara who stepped out the doors faster as she charged in and punched Watanabe before being shot. Lara avoided major damage to the ground and later reversed into a mount during another wrestling exchange. The advantage on the feet gave Lara the first lap.
Watanabe’s fight helped her reverse the fight in the second and she went through heavy elbows to secure a trip. The two engaged in entertaining scrambles, but it was Watanabe who secured better positions for the majority of the round while scoring on ground and pound. Round three was a clear frame for Watanabe as she again scored an early takedown and neutralized Lara with her grappling.
Two judges gave Watanabe a 29-28 score, while the third gave Lara a 29-28.
See the full Bellator 255 results below, which are available for a free replay on MMA Fighting:
Patricio Pitbull beats. Emmanuel Sanchez via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:35
Jason Jackson won. Neiman Gracie via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tyrell Fortune has won. Jack May via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:16
Usman Nurmagomedov defeats. Mike Hamel via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Kana Watanabe defeats. Alejandra Lara by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Magomed Magomedov def. Cee Jay Hamilton via Submission (Naked Rear Choke) – Round 2, 1:22
Mandel Nallo bat. Ricardo Seixas via KO (punch) – Round 1, 3:23 – REGARDER
Khalid Murtazaliev beats. Fabio Aguiar by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Chris Gonzalez beats. Roger Huerta via submission (strikes) – Round 3, 3:01
Jose Augusto beats. Jonathan Wilson via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:58
Roman Faraldo bat. Trevor Gudde via TKO (grèves) – Round 1, 1:30
Jordan Newman bat. Branko Busick via TKO (grèves) – Round 2, 2:30