Bellator 229 is officially in the books and Andrey Koreshkov and Lorenz Larkin just went the distance in a highly entertaining affair. Each man had big moments, a spinning wheel kick knockdown for Koreshkov and then Larkin scoring his knockdowns with knees. When the dust settled, it was Larkin who walked away with the split decision. In his post-fight interview, he expressed his desire to rematch Douglas Lima for a chance to redeem his loss to the former champ.
In the co-main event, Goiti Yamauchi pulled out a quick first-round armbar on Bellator veteran Saad Awad. As soon as Awad landed a big shot, Yamauchi pulled guard and went after an arm. Yamauchi has now won five of his last fights, proving to be one of Bellator’s elites with his seventh promotional submission win.
Before that, Keri Melendez and Mandy Polk went the full fifteen-minutes. Melendez dropped her opponent right away, and then pretty much owned the rest of the fight to earn the decision. She is now 4-0 in her pro MMA career. Opening up the main card, Joe Schilling and Tony Johnson stood for the bulk of their middleweight matchup. Schilling had tons of success with his leg kicks, but was ultimately knocked out cold int the final round. The heavy handed Johnson is now riding a four-fight winning streak.
Lorenz Larkin def. Andrey Koreshkov by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Welterweight
Koreshkov got off to a great start, using his technical kick boxing to stay ahead of Larkin. He even connected with a spinning back kick to the face that dropped Larkin. The UFC veteran recovered quickly, and got himself back in the fight before the end of the opening round. The second act was a totally different story. Larkin came alive, dropping his adversary with a flying knee. He followed up with brutal ground strikes, and as soon as Koreshkov stood up, Larkin dropped him again with a knee. Larkin closed out the round by dropping some vicious elbows. The third round saw Koreshkov switch up his gameplan and focus on his wrestling. He pressed Larkin’s back against the cage and continued to work on a takedown. Larkin did a descent job of trying to stand back up, preventing Koreshkov from dropping any strikes.
Goiti Yamauchi def. Saad Awad by submission (Armbar) at of round 1: Lightweight
Awad came out throwing front kicks as Yamauchi stood in his classic stiff arm stance. Awad connected with a heavy punch that prompted Yamauchi to shoot in, and pull guard. It didn’t take very long for Yamauchi to lock up an arm. Awad tried to defend, but Yamauchi was already pretty deep on it. Awad wasn’t able to escape and verbally tapped out from the super slick armbar.
Keri Melendez def. Mandy Polk by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): 117-pound Catchweight
Melendez started hot, clipping her foe with a right hand that instantly dropped Polk. She slipped up and fell to her back, gifting Polk with top position, but had a triangle up her sleeve. The choke was tight but Polk stepped over to create some space, ultimately escaping the choke. In the second act, Polk looked to shove her opponent against the fence, but Melendez had something waiting there as well. About a million knees to the body landed for Melendez, with Polk failing to find any answers. Polk eventually returned to open space just before the round ended.
The third round saw the athletes fight back on the ground. Polk found top position, but spent a lot of time fighting her way out of another triangle. Polk hung tough and escaped the hold, but just couldn’t mount any offense of her own before time ran out.
Tony Johnson def. Joe Schilling by KO at 2:07 of round 3: Middleweight
Schilling came out throwing solid volume while attacking the leg of Johnson. He was doing really well, out-striking Johnson, making the most of his range. Just when it seemed as if Joe was on his way to wining the round, Johnson clipped him with a left hook that floored the former GLORY kickboxer. Johnson went in for the kill, but Schilling was able to recover and scramble back to his feet.
Schilling went back to his leg kicks in the second round, going to both the inside as well as the outside. The damage really started to add up with Johnson showing some signs of wear. Joe just would not let up with his leg kicks, keeping his opponent out of rhythm. He even got back to his feet after Johnson took him down. An accidental eye poke from Schilling caused an early pause in the action in the final round. Tony was able to recover though, and the fight resumed. Back to the leg kicks it was for Schilling. Just as he started to pressure a little more, a gorgeous left hook counter connected that completely knocked out Schilling. Johnson brought down one extra hammer before the fight was called off. Eek!
- Anatoly Tokov def. Hracho Darpinyan by TKO at 4:38 of round 2: Middleweight
- Salim Mukhidinov def. Adel Altamimi by unanimous decision: Featherweight
Derek Anderson vs. Guilherme Bomba: Welterweight
Jay Jay Wilson vs. Jorge Juarez: Featherweight
Jordan Newman vs. Riley Miller: Middleweight
Sunni Imhotep vs. Kelvin Gentapanan: Lightweight
Johnny Eblen vs. Mauricio Alonso: Middleweight
Vladimir Tokov vs. Brandon Hastings: Lightweight
Joey Davis vs. Jeff Peterson: Welterweight