Bellator 225: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov 2 Live Coverage

In a weekend without a UFC show, Bellator took center stage with Bellator 225. Live from the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, Matt Mitrione faced Sergei Kharitonov in a rematch. Their first meeting wasn’t a satisfying one, as an accidental groin strike only seconds into the bout made it end in a no contest. Fighting once again, the fighters will have a chance to put on a more competitive and fairer performance. Along with the main event was 13 other fights which were broadcasted through the Paramount Network and DAZN in a simulcast. If you’re following along live, this article will be updated as the night continues.

Bout 1: Khonry Gracie (1-1) vs. Oscar Vera (0-1) (Welterweight)

The first fight of the evening was Gracie family member Khonry Gracie versus Oscar Vera. Gracie got a takedown after one minute of slow stand-up. He eventually went for an armbar which made Vera tap out. This was the second armbar loss that Vera took from a Gracie in a row.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 2: Aviv Gozali (2-0) vs. Eduard Muravitskiy (9-8) (Catchweight 165 lbs)

The second fight was a catchweight bout at 165 pounds between undefeated Aviv Gozali and the more experienced Eduard Muravitskiy. Immediately, Aviv went for an imanari roll. He put in a heel hook and made Muravitskiy tap out in 11 seconds. This set the new record for quickest Bellator submission.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 3: Sabah Homasi (12-8) vs. Micah Terrill (14-7) (Welterweight)

In the third fight, two more experienced fighters in Sabah Homasi and Micah Terrill faced off. Homasi trains out of American Top Team. Homasi came forward quickly with a right hook which dropped Terrill. In 17 seconds, the fight had concluded.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 4: Austin Vanderford (7-0) vs. Joseph Creer (6-0-1) (Middleweight)

The next bout included the significant other of UFC fighter Paige VanZant, Austin Vanderford facing Joseph Creer. VanZant was in the corner for Vanderford for this fight. He is making the move down to middleweight in this bout. After a couple of minutes of close stand-up, Vanderford landed a slam takedown. He threw punches while on top in half guard. While in the position his mouthguard fell out, which he put back in without the referee having to step in. Vanderford landed some good hammerfist punches in the final minute of the round. Creer was cut open from an elbow. For the first time in the evening, a fight left the first round. Vanderford quickly got top position in the second round. More elbows cut Creer open badly in the second round. Much worse than in the first. The two major cuts were under and below the right eye of Creer. In-between rounds, Austin Vanderford extended his undefeated streak by doctor’s stoppage. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Vanderford 10 10
Creer 9 9

Bout 5: Ricky Bandejas (11-3) vs. Ahmet Kayretli (8-3) (Bantamweight)

In the fifth preliminary fight of the evening, Bellator prospect Ricky Bandejas faced Ahmet Kayretli, who was making his Bellator debut after a stint in LFA. A notable win that Bandejas picked up was over James Gallagher last year. Kayretli was landing good low kicks early. While Kayretli was coming forward with punches, Bandejas countered with a right hook which took down Kayretli and ended the fight. After two consecutive losses, Ricky Bandejas has finally found himself in the winners column.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 6: Mike Kimbel (3-1) vs. Chris Disonell (3-3) (Catchweight 140 lbs)

The next fight included Waterbury’s own Mike Kimbel. Kimbel made some waves in his second Bellator fight, getting a six second KO victory over Alex Potts. He faced Chris Disonell in the next fight. Both fighters took turns charging forward with punch combinations. Disonell initiated a clinch up against the cage. When they left the clinch, Kimbel had a good flurry of strikes. Kimbel landed a takedown. When they got back up they were both landing good shots, although Kimbel was clearly ahead. Disonell was able to put Kimbel on the ground. He postured up and swung away until the referee ended the bout. It was quite a turn of events for Chris Disonell, earning him the win. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 7: Jon Manley (11-6) vs. Thiago Rela (13-7) (Catchweight 175 lbs)

In a double debut bout, Jon Manley faced Thiago Rela in a catchweight bout. Rela came from CFFC on a losing streak while Manley has primarily fought in the CES and AMMO promotions. Both fighters have been in the UFC before. Early on, Rela caught a caught a kick and put Manley up against the cage. Rela got on Manley’s back, taking him to the ground. Manley tried for a kimura but couldn’t get it. They got back up, but Rela mounted Manley’s back once again and took him down. Rela chased a rear naked choke until the round concluded. Early in the second round Vera was kicked in the groin. A warning was issued as the kick was accidental. Rela took his time, but was able to continue in the fight eventually. Rela got on the back of Manley again, eventually taking him to the ground again. In the third round, Manley was on Rela’s back on the ground landing punches. These shots continued for quite some time, all unanswered. In the final seconds of the fight, Manley put in a rear naked choke which got him the win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Manley 9 9
Rela 10 10

Bout 8: Kastriot Xhema (3-3) vs. Connor Dixon (0-0) (Catchweight 165 lbs)

Another home-state fighter in Kastriot Xhema faced Connor Dixon, who was making his professional debut. After a chaotic first minute, Dixon tried for a guillotine but couldn’t secure it. Dixon was trying for tons of takendowns although he didn’t do a ton. He was clearly tired after trying for so many takedowns. Dixon was in control on the ground through the second round. Dixon tried for an arm triangle, then went for an armbar but couldn’t get either. In-between rounds, Xhema told his corner that he broke his right thumb. Xhema got cut badly at some point in the fight. Dixon got another takedown early in the final round. Dixon put in an armbar that made Xhema tap out.  A great debut for Connor Dixon, in the final two rounds he always kept the fight where he wanted it to be.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Xhema 9 9
Dixon 10 10

Bout 9: Nick Newell (15-2) vs. Corey Browning (5-2) (Lightweights)

Finishing off the preliminary part of the card, Nick Newell fought Corey Browning. Newell is known for having only one hand, and fought in his hometown on this show. Browning was coined as the “hype killer,” having a high profile win over Kevin Ferguson Jr., also known as “Baby Slice.” Newell early on took Browning to the ground and tried for an arm triangle choke. He fought for it for a few minutes, eventually making Browning tap out. Newell cut a great promo after the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 10: Tyrell Fortune (6-0) vs. Rudy Schaffroth (6-0) (Heavyweight)

Starting off the main card was two undefeated heavyweights in Tyrell Fortune and Rudy Schaffroth facing off. Fortune tried for a takedown in the second minute of the first round but couldn’t get it. Fortune was hit with leg kicks that seemingly affected him hard. Schafforth was caught with punches after a leg kick made him fall. Fortune hit him with tons of punches on the ground before putting in a rear naked choke which made Schaffroth tap out.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Fortune 9
Schaffroth 10

Bout 11: David Rickels (21-5) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (21-0) (Catchweights 175 lbs)

Bellator’s greatest showman and longest-time employee David Rickels fought undefeated Yaroslav Amosov. Rickels did his best tribute to Japanese fighter turned politician Genki Sudo with his walkout. Among the many things he did to tribute Sudo was the “We Are All One” flag which a cornerman carried to the cage. Amosov landed a single leg takedown in the first minute of the fight. Amosov had top position for most of the round. Rickels was taken down again in the second round. Amosov put in a d’arce choke which made Rickels tap out. Yaroslav Amosov extended his undefeated record beyond the amount of pro wins that “The Caveman” has attained. This was also the first career submission loss for Rickels. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Rickels 9
Amosov 10

Bout 12: Alejandra Lara (7-3) vs. Taylor Turner (4-5) (Bantamweights)

In the only women’s fight of the evening, Alejandra Lara faced Taylor Turner. Turner was known for her win over championship level boxer Heather Hardy. Lara was making her bantamweight debut in this fight. Lara got a trip takedown early in the fight. Lara landed a few punches before Turner got up and went into a standing clinch against the cage. Lara scored another takedown. She landed a lot of strikes in top position. She took the back of Turner and continued with strikes until the referee ended it.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 13: Vitaly Minakov (21-1) vs. Tim Johnson (12-5) (Heavyweight)

Before the co-main event of the show, we had the fighters from the Welterweight Grand Prix finals show up. Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald came to the cage for an interview with John McCarthy. They faced off at the end of the interview. That fight will take place on October 26th, being a rematch between the two. It was also announced on October 25th Frank Mir will fight Rory Nelson. In the co-main event of the evening, Vitaly Minakov faced Tim Johnson in a short notice matchup. Minakov opened with some good punches before he landed two suplexes to take Johnson down, although he got back up seconds later. They went back to striking. Johnson was stunned by a right jab, then taken out cold by a few more punches.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 14: Matt Mitrione (13-6) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (29-7) (Heavyweight)

In the main event of the evening, Matt Mitrione faced Sergei Kharitonov in a rematch. In their faceoff at the start, referee Dan Mirgliotta ribbed on them, asking if their cups are in. Mitrione was active from the start, throwing tons of punches. Near the end of the round, Mitrione’s mouthpiece kept falling out. On the third time that it fell out, he was warned that a point could be taken away. In-between rounds, Mitrione said he was wearing the wrong mouthpiece. Mitrione’s mouthpiece fell out again in the second round. Mitrione was hit with a punch and then a knee which dropped him, then was finished shortly after. Mitrione looked distracted before he was hit with the shots, looking at where his mouthpiece went. While this fight, like their first meeting had a controversial finish, this time around a winner left the cage.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Mitrione 10
Kharitonov 9

From start to finish, Bellator 225 was only stoppages. Bellator will return on September 7th, with Ryan Bader facing Cheick Kongo, with the Bellator Heavyweight Championship on the line. The event will be the first of three September events that the promotion will be putting on.

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