Bellator 237: Fedor vs. Rampage Live Coverage

Finishing off their 2019 schedule, Bellator heads to Japan on Saturday for the first time in the promotion’s history. Headlining the show was Fedor Emelianenko and Rampage Jackson, who have deep ties fighting in Japan. Also fighting on their six-fight main card was many big names in Bellator and RIZIN.

The eight postlim bouts on the card will not be broadcasted to the international audience “due to existing contractual obligations.” Coverage of those fights on this site are TBA.

A full preview of the night’s action can be read here.

Follow along throughout the evening for the results at Bellator 237.

Quick Results:

Bout 1: Goiti Yamauchi def. Daron Cruickshank via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 3:11)
Bout 2: Kana Watanabe def. Ilara Joanne via TKO, Punches (RD 3, 4:39)

Bout 3: Lorenz Larkin def. K-Taro Nakamura via Unanimous Decision

Bout 4: Michael Page def. Shinsho Anzai via KO, Right Hook (RD 2, 0:23)

Bout 5: Michael Chandler def. Sidney Outlaw via KO, Right Straight (RD 1, 2:59)

Bout 6: Fedor Emelianenko def. Quinton Jackson via KO, Right Hook (RD 1: 2:44)

Bout 1: Goiti Yamauchi (24-4) vs. Daron Cruickshank (22-12) (Lightweight)

The first fight of the evening was between Daron Cruickshank and Goiti Yamauchi. There was uneventful stand-up in the first minute of the fight. Crucikshank tried for a spinning backfist, but Yamauchi caught it and got into a body lock. Yamauchi hopped on Cruickshank’s back, taking him to the ground eventually. He put in a rear naked choke, which eventually took Cruickshank out cold. Goiti Yamauchi added to his now long list of submission victories, putting Bellator up by one against RIZIN to kick off the evening.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yamauchi
Cruickshank

Bout 2: Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1) (Flyweight)

In the next fight, RIZIN’s undefeated fighter Kana Watanabe fought Bellator’s Ilara Joanne. The most notable win from Joanne is her most recent one, stopping Bec Rawlings with an armbar. Joanne had strong striking early on in the fight. While Watanabe reached for a single leg, she was hit with a two-punch combo from Joanne. Watanabe got a takedown in the second minute of the fight. From the bottom position, Joanne tried for a triangle choke. While Watanabe was in the position, Joanne threw a couple of elbows. Watanabe eventually escaped the choke. In side control, Watanabe started with short punches to the head. Going into half guard, Watanabe landed a few more shots before the round ended.

Watanabe tried for a takedown in a clinch early in the second round, although Joanne avoided it, putting her against the cage. She eventually got a takedown, but Joanne used momentum to end up in top position. Watanabe landed hammerfist punches while Joanne kept a body lock on the ground. Watanabe took top position in the final minute, pouring on tons of ground and pound strikes. Joanne endured the strikes until the round ended.

Watanabe got another takedown at the start of the final round. Joanne threw some strikes from the bottom and also tried for an armbar. She did not secure the armbar. Watanabe picked up the striking again from top position. In the final minute, Watanabe got on Joanne’s back, continuing with the strikes. Watanabe continued until the referee finally stepped in. Staying undefeated, Kana Watanabe got a third round stoppage victory in her Bellator debut.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Joanne 10 9
Watanabe 9 10

Bout 3: Lorenz Larkin (21-7) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2) (Welterweight)

In the final Bellator versus RIZIN bout of the main card, veterans Lorenz Larkin and K-Taro Nakamura battled. Larkin missed weight for this fight by a few pounds. Larkin was clearly the better striker early. He landed a good uppercut in the clinch. It was seemingly all Larkin the whole round, with Nakamura eating many solid punches. 

Nakamura had his best moment in the second round, coming forward with good punches that had Larkin back up against the cage. Nakamura caught a body kick, but couldn’t get a takedown from it. Apart from a few moments, Larkin kept a good pace of strikes through two rounds, keeping the pressure on Nakamura.

Nakamura went into a clinch after catching a kick, but was hit with a knee to the body from the situation. Larkin continued coming forward with hard strikes. Nakamura got cut beside his left eye. Nakamura shot for a single leg takedown. Larkin landed elbows and punches to Nakamura, who was still holding onto his leg. They got back up, with the damage on Nakamura’s face being worse. The fight went the distance, with Lorenz Larkin winning on all three scorecards (30-27, 30-26 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Larkin 10 10 10 30
Nakamura 9 9 8 26

Bout 4: Michael Page (16-1) vs. Shinsho Anzai (11-3) (Welterweight)

In the next match, Bellator’s highlight creator Michael “Venom” Page fought Shinsho Anzai. Page had quite the dramatic walkout, wearing a Naruto outfit and running down the ramp. MVP landed a knee early on as Anzai was shooting for a takedown which he did not get. Page was heating up as the round progressed. He telegraphed a good flying knee as Anzai rushed in and put Page against the cage. Page landed a two-punch combination that dropped Anzai. He let Anzai get up, getting even more cocky with his fighting style. He started going for the more flashy moves. The crowd was a fan of his showboating. It looked like MVP landed a good knee that might have dropped Anzai in the final minute. Anzai held onto an arm as MVP came in for strikes as the round ended.

Page tried for more flying knees as the second round opened. MVP scored a right hook which dropped Anzai and ended the fight. Adding another win to his record, Michael “Venom” Page proved dominant over Shinsho Anzai.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Page 10
Anzai 8

Bout 5: Michael Chandler (19-5) vs. Sidney Outlaw (14-3) (Catchweight 160 lbs)

The co-main event of the evening saw Sidney Outlaw take a short notice fight against Michael Chandler. Chandler was applying the pressure early on, coming forward with punches. Outlaw caught a leg in the second minute, but couldn’t score a takedown from it. Outlaw was landing leg kicks which were starting to show on Chandler. Chandler landed a right straight which knocked out Outlaw, ending the fight. To celebrate, Chandler landed two backflips. Bouncing back from his May loss to Patricio Pitbull, Michael Chandler stopped Sidney Outlaw in short time.\

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Chandler
Outlaw

Bout 6: Fedor Emelianenko (38-6) vs. Quinton Jackson (38-13) (Heavyweight)

 

The main event of the card was Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson competing in a heavyweight bout. The entrances were nostalgic, with the current RIZIN and former PRIDE Lenne Hardt calling out the names of the fighters. Jackson walked out to the old PRIDE theme. Emelianenko was landing the better shots early on. No combinations, just sole shots. In the second minute, Emelianenko threw Jackson, then threw a combination of strikes ending with a kick. In the third minute, Emelianenko landed a right hook which dropped Jackson and ended the fight. Jackson protested the stoppage afterwards. Jackson got a cut beside his left eye from the shot. Earning his 39th win as a pro and yet another one at the historic Saitama Super Arena, Fedor Emelianenko stopped Rampage Jackson after a few one-sided minutes. After the fight Emelianenko says that this fight will be the last of his career.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Emelianenko
Jackson

Bellator 237: Fedor vs. Rampage Preview

Concluding their 2019 season, Bellator heads to Japan for the first time on Saturday. The card is a co-promoted event with Japanese MMA organization RIZIN Fighting Federation. Many of the fights on the card see representatives from both promotions face off. The two promotions have collaborated in the past, most notably with Kyoji Horiguchi facing former Bellator Bantamweight Champion Darrion Caldwell twice.

Headlining this card is two well-known heavyweights in Fedor Emelianenko and Rampage Jackson. Deep into his career, Emelianenko is recognized as one of the most accomplished mixed-martial artists to never compete in the UFC. A good part of his career took place in Japan, as he competed in now-defunct promotion Pride FC many times. Prior to his UFC and Bellator run, Jackson also had a stint in Pride. While both fighting under the same banner, the two heavyweights never clashed before. Along with the main event is a quite stacked Bellator card, with many fights on it.

Main Card

Bout 1: Goiti Yamauchi (24-4) vs. Daron Cruickshank (22-12) (Lightweight)

In one of the truest Bellator versus RIZIN matches, Goiti Yamauchi faces Daron Cruickshank. What makes it a true promotional clash is the amount of experience each fighter has in their territory. Yamauchi is now 10-3 in Bellator, with Cruickshank being 5-4 in RIZIN. Cruickshank will try to break a two-fight losing streak, as he recently lost to Damien Brown and Tofiq Musaev. Yamauchi fought in October, defeating Saad Awad with a first-round armbar. Yamauchi came in at 157.8 lbs, missing the lightweight limit.

Bout 2: Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1) (Flyweight)

The second women’s bout of the evening will see undefeated Kana Watanabe battle Bellator’s Ilara Joanne. Watanabe has fought primarily in RIZIN and DEEP JEWELS. In RIZIN, she defeated Shizuka Sugiyama twice, once in very brief fashion. She has won three times in 2019, most recently beating Hee Eun Kang on a DEEP JEWELS card. Joanne debuted in Bellator back in October, prevailing over Bec Rawlings with a second-round kneebar. While that was her only win in Bellator, it was over a notable name.

Bout 3: Lorenz Larkin (21-7) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2) (Welterweight)

In the next bout of the evening, two former-UFC fighters who now represent different promotions will collide. Lorenz Larkin, who is on a three-fight winning streak in Bellator, will face K-Taro Nakamura, who just won his RIZIN debut back in October. Larkin is coming off of a split decision over Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 229. Nakamura’s win was a brief and dominant one over Marcos Yoshiop de Souza at RIZIN 19. This marked the end of his UFC run, going 4-4 while with the promotion. Larkin missed weight by two-and-a-half pounds, although his fight will go on. It was reported by MMAJunkie that the comission will force Larkin to fight at middleweight in his next bout “unless doctor provides not that drop to 170 is safe.” 

Bout 4: Michael Page (16-1) vs. Shinsho Anzai (11-3) (Welterweight)

Bellator’s walking highlight reel Michael “Venom” Page will return on this card, facing former UFC fighter Shinsho Anzai. Page has gotten two dominant wins on recent Bellator shows, making a turnaround from his first pro loss, a brutal knockout at the hands of Douglas Lima. This fight is a quick turnaround for Page, who’s last fight was under a month ago. Anzai finished his UFC career with a 2-2 record, returning to DEEP Impact in September with a win against Yoichiro Sato.

Bout 5: Michael Chandler (19-5) vs. Sidney Outlaw (14-3) (Lightweight)

The co-main event of the evening is a strictly Bellator collision, as Michael Chandler will face Sidney Outlaw. Originally, Chandler was meant to fight Benson Henderson in what would be a rematch from 2016. Henderson was pulled from the fight due to injury, with Outlaw being named the new opponent. The fight is Chandler’s return after losing his Bellator Lightweight Championship to Patricio Pitbull. Outlaw made his Bellator debut just last month, defeating Roger Huerta at Bellator 234.

Bout 6: Fedor Emelianenko (38-6) vs. Quinton Jackson (38-13) (Heavyweight) 44

In the main event, two MMA legends will collide. Fedor Emelianenko and Rampage Jackson will add another fight to their extensive MMA records on Saturday, which currently sits at 95 fights combined. Both fighters have deep ties in Japan. Some of Emelianenko’s best known work comes from his days in Pride FC, being undefeated during his run. Jackson also fought in Pride, although his record was not flawless. Despite both fighting in Pride, they never faced each other. Jackson’s last win was over fellow JMMA superstar Wanderlei Silva, stopping him in the second round at Bellator 206. That was just over a year ago. Since then, Emelianenko has fought twice. He stopped Chael Sonnen in one round at Bellator 208, and recently saw an abrupt loss to Ryan Bader at Bellator 214. While in the main event slot, the fight is only set for three rounds. 

Postlims

Bout 7: Sergey Shemetov (9-6) vs. Shoma Shibisai (5-2) (Heavyweight)

After the main event, Saitama Super Arena will see post-lims which feature a mixture of RIZIN and Bellator fighters. It is still up in the air whether the international broadcast will be able to see these fights. One of the first preliminary bouts of the evening is Sergey Shemetov facing Shoma Shibisai. Shemetov is a relative to viral king Vitaly Shemetov, who made his RIZIN debut back at RIZIN 17. Shibisai has competed in Ganryujima pit fighting in the past, winning many times in that promotion. His last RIZIN fight was an openweight victory over Chang Hee Kim, landing in armbar to win in just over a minute.

Bout 8: Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) vs. Jon Tuck (10-5) (Lightweight)

Former UFC fighter Jon Tuck was meant to make his Bellator debut in September against Brandon Girtz. Unfortunately, that plan fell through for him. Instead, his debut will come against Ryuichiro Sumimura on this card. Tuck finished his UFC run with a 4-5 record, most recently losing to Drew Dober in 2018. Sumimura has fought mostly in regional promotion DEEP Impact, although has appeared once in RIZIN. In that fight, Sumimura tapped out to now-Bellator fighter Kiichi Kunimoto.

Bout 9: Andy Nguyen (6-8) vs. AI (5-1) (Strawweight)

2019 has been a breakout year for Krazy Bee’s AI. She got noticed by most eyes when she beat underground J-pop idol Nanaka Kawamura on New Year’s Eve with a dominant performance. She then went on to win twice more in promotion DEEP Jewels, then returned at RIZIN 18 to have a very close fight with Tabatha Watkins. Now being dubbed the “Princess Bee,” which follows the lineage of Miyuu Yamamoto being the “Queen Bee,” AI is seen as one of the prospects in JMMA. AI doesn’t have a blood-relation to the Yamamoto family, but like Yusuke Yachi is very representative of the Krazy Bee brand. She will face Andy Nguyen on this Bellator card. Nguyen has a 1-2 record in RIZIN, fighting twice against the previously mentioned Yamamoto.

Bout 10: Yusaku Nakamura (16-6-1) vs. Makoto Shinryu (9-1-1) (Flyweight)

Two experienced JMMA fighters in Yusaku Nakamura and Makoto Shinryu will fight in the next bout. Nakamura’s last fight was a decision win over Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai at RIZIN 16. Before then, he was winless in Bellator, losing to Manel Kape and Tenshin Nasukawa. Shinryu has never fought in RIZIN or Bellator, but has attained an impressive record in DEEP Impact.

Bout 11: Ren Hiramoto vs. Takahiro Ashida (Catchweight 150 lbs) (Kickboxing Rules)

The next fight on the post-lims is the card’s sole kickboxing bout. After being vacant from the kickboxing scene for nearly two years, Ren Hiramoto returns to face MMA fighter Takahiro Ashida. Hiramoto fought in Japanese kickboxing promotion K-1 World, getting 10 wins in his time there. Ashida has been an MMA fighter for his career, fighting all around Japan’s regional scene. He has two wins in 2019, prevailing over Isao Sakiyama and Tatsunao Nagakura.

Bout 12: Jarred Brooks (15-2) vs. Haruo Ochi (19-7-2) (Flyweight)

Back at RIZIN 18, Jarred Brooks and Haruo Ochi were set to face off in a strawweight matchup. The competition ended abruptly however, as a head collision early cut Ochi on the head, making the fight a no contest. They’ll run it back on this Bellator card, this time under the flyweight class. Brooks got a regional American win before this event, defeating Victor Altamirano at WXC 83. Ochi is currently on an impressive seven-fight win streak. Most wins came from the promotion DEEP Impact, with one win being against former-Pancrase Champion Mistuhisa Sunabe at RIZIN 13.

Bout 13: Kanna Asakura (15-4) vs. Jayme Hinshaw (4-3) (Atomweight)

A year ago, Kanna Asakura found herself high on the card of RIZIN 14, attempting to beat Ayaka Hamasaki with the RIZIN Super Atomweight belt on the line. That didn’t go her way, as she lost with a second round armbar ending Hamasaki’s dominant performance. She has went 2-1 in 2019 so far, recently winning over Alesha Zappitella at RIZIN 18. She now faces Jayme Hinshaw, who will be making her debut in Bellator. She had previously fought in King of the Cage for all of her pro-career. While having just slightly more wins than losses, Hinshaw is currently riding a three-fight winning streak.

Bout 14: Hiroto Uesako (16-8) vs. Yusuke Yachi (20-9) (Lightweight)

In an all-RIZIN affair, Hiroto Uesako and Yusuke Yachi face-off in the next preliminary bout. Uesako and Yachi are one of the more well-known lightweights in the promotion. While Yachi has name recognition, he is currently on a three-fight losing streak that dates back to RIZIN 12. Uesako debuted in RIZIN earlier this year, defeating Yves Landu to secure his spot in the Lightweight Grand Prix. He lost in the first round of that tournament to Luiz Gustavo in October.

After this event, Bellator will return in late January with Bellator 238. Headlining the card will be Cris Cyborg, making her Bellator debut against Featherweight Champion Julia Budd. However, before the year concludes, some Bellator talent will be seen on RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve card at Saitama Super Arena.

Michael “Venom” Page and Yusaku Nakamura Among Names Announced In 2 Additional Bellator Japan Bouts

The announcement of two more Bellator Japan bouts was broken on Saturday via Twitter, including well-known promotional star Michael “Venom” Page.

MVP will face former UFC fighter Shinsho Anzai at a catchweight of 173 lbs. Japan’s Anzai recently picked up a win at DEEP Impact 91 against Yoichiro Sato. Including a 2-2 UFC run, Anzai has a professional record of 11-3.

Page recently got a victory at Bellator London over Gianni Melillo, his second win since his first pro loss which came via knockout against Douglas Lima in May.

The matchup will be under unified MMA rules, unlike some other bouts on the card which follow RIZIN’s ruleset.

Also announced for Bellator Japan was Yusaku Nakamura and Makoto Shinryu facing off. The fight will have RIZIN MMA rules, and will be held at 127 lbs.

Nakamura has appeared in RIZIN many times, both as a kickboxer and MMA fighter. He debuted in the promotion at RIZIN 10, losing to Tenshin Nasukawa. After a loss to Manel Kape, Nakamura got his first win in the promotion at RIZIN 16 over Topnoi Tiger Muay Thai.

Shinryu is a frequent fighter in regional Japanese promotion DEEP, currently on a three fight winning streak. His singular loss as a pro comes from Tatsumitsu Wada, a fighter who got promoted to ONE Championship in 2018.

Bellator Japan will take place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on December 29th. The event will be broadcasted live on DAZN and the Paramount Network, starting at 10PM EST.

Here’s a full look at the Bellator Japan card as of right now.:

  1. Fedor Emelianenko (38-6) vs. Rampage Jackson (38-13) (Heavyweight)
  2. Sidney Outlaw (14-3) vs. Michael Chandler (19-5) (160 lbs Catchweight)
  3. Lorenz Larkin (21-7) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2) (Welterweight)
  4. Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1) (Flyweight)
  5. Goiti Yamauchi (24-4) vs. Daron Cruickshank (22-12) (Lightweight)
  6. Andy Nguyen (6-8) vs. AI (5-1) (Strawweight)
  7. Ren Hiramoto vs. Takahiro Ashida (Catchweight 150 lbs Kickboxing)
  8. Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) vs. Jon Tuck (10-5) (Lightweight)
  9. Jarred Brooks (15-2) vs. Haruo Ochio (19-7-2) (Strawweight)
  10. Hiroto Uesako (16-8) vs. Yusuke Yachi (20-9) (Lightweight)
  11. Michael Page (16-1) vs. Shinsho Anzai (11-3) (Catchweight 173 lbs)
  12. Yusaku Nakamura (16-6-1) vs. Makoto Shinryu (9-1-1) (Catchweight 127 lbs)