Preview

Bellator began their first event of their two this weekend with Bellator 207. Like 208, which takes place tomorrow, 207 is headlined by a semi-final match in Bellator’s Heavyweight GP. The Friday card had Matt Mitrione fighting Ryan Bader. The Saturday night card is scheduled to have Fedor Emelianenko versus Chael Sonnen. The final four in the tournament are definitely all fan favorites. Below the main event, there are four other main card bouts. In the co-main event spot is what should be only another explosive Heavyweight clash besides the main event. Roy Nelson fights Sergei Kharitonov. Nelson was booked for the main event of Bellator 200 against Mirko Cro Cop. Due to an injury from Cro Cop before the fight, sadly this bout did not happen. Kharitonov returns to Bellator after fighting for M-1 and Russian Cagefighting Championship for a year.

Also on the main card is Kevin Ferguson Jr. versus Corey Browning. Both fighters are still somewhat new to MMA, with Ferguson Jr. holding a 3-1 record with all fights being under Bellator. Browning is making his Bellator debut, coming into the promotion with a 3-2 record. Below them is two veterans in Lorenz Larkin (19-7) versus Ion Pascu (18-8) in a Lightweight fight. That fight is the alternate fight for the Welterweight GP. Starting off the main card was Carrington Banks (7-1) and Mandel Nallo (6-0) fighting to protect their very clean win/loss records so far.

Rundown Of The Card

  1. Carrington Banks and Mandel Nallo fought with Bellator having no hesitation on starting the main card. After a minute in the first round of uneventful stand-up, Nallo showed great takedown defense. Banks tried for a takedown, with his second attempt being reversed into a takedown from Nallo. Nallo seemed near to putting in a chokehold but eventually stopped trying for it. With under two minutes left in the first Banks landed his first takedown, but took many elbow strikes to the head while on top. These two both battled on the ground as the first round ended. In the first minute of the second round Nallo landed a perfectly timed right knee to the head to absolutely put Banks to sleep. When the camera was in his face after the fight, all he had to say to the camera was “come to Tri Star” (the MMA gym that he trains at).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Banks 9
Nallo 10
  1. The next fight on the card was Corey Browning versus Kevin Ferguson Jr. A.K.A Baby Slice. When Browning did his walkout, the commentators talked about how Browning felt stress going into this fight. While Baby Slice had dominance for the most of round one, the final minute went in favour of Browning. Browning tried for a crucifix, then landed a handful of elbows until the round ended. The two fighters traded at the start of the second round, with Browning dropping Baby Slice after being hit by a combo. Browning looked like he was in trouble early in the second round, but somehow stood up seconds later. Browning was landing strikes from above onto Baby Slice until the ref stopped the fight. This was quite the turnaround as only moments before Baby Slice was inching close to a submission win. Browning got his hand raised without Baby Slice present. It was reported by Mike Bohn that he was stretchered out of the venue.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Browning 9
Baby Slice 10
  1. Lorenz Larkin and Ion Pascu fought each other in the Welterweight GP alternate bout. Most of the first round was stand up with Pascu trying to a takedown in the final minute of the round. In the second round Larkin showed dominance with his striking. With two minutes left in the final round Pascu landed a clean single leg takedown. While Pascu had good ground game for the remaining time, it wasn’t enough to win him the round on my scorecard. The judges gave Larkin the fight Unanimously (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Larkin 10 10 10 30
Pascu 9 9 9 27
  1. In the co-main event was Roy Nelson versus Sergei Kharitonov. In the first round Nelson went for a takedown but was stopped. Kharitonov landed an illegal knee to the top of Nelson. The fight was resumed, but a point was taken away from Kharitonov. Nelson started to take hard shots as the round was coming to a close. With under 10 seconds left, Kharitonov finished the fight with standing strikes and (legal) knees with Roy against the cage.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Nelson
Kharitonov

5. Before the main event they played a pretty good promo video for this fight. Matt Mitrione fought Ryan Bader to see who moves onto the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. In the promo it was mentioned by Mitrione how he’s not a good wrestler, but “every round starts standing”. Well, Bader landed a takedown only seconds into the first round. Bader started to land shots from above with two minutes to go. He continued like this until the end of the round. At the start out round two Mitrione came out swinging, until he got caught with another takedown. Bader was all over him once again on the ground. He nearly got a submission finish halfway through but did not get it. In the final round Bader landed another takedown only maybe 4 seconds in. The official scorecards had it in favour of Bader of course Unanimously (30-25, 30-24 & 30-25).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Mitrione 8 8 8 24
Bader 10 10 10 30

Looking Ahead

Now that Bellator 207 is in the books, one half of the puzzle has been solved. Ryan Bader said in his post fight interview that he’d like to fight Fedor in the finals, but now it’s just up to Fedor to do the job. Tomorrow from New York, Chael Sonnen fights Fedor Emelianenko, with the winner challenging Bader in the finale of the Grand Prix. After these two events are done Bellator will be gone until mid-November.