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Bellator 161 Results: Cheick Kongo Controversey, Joe Warren Is Back

Jim Edwards

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It was a night of controversy, high drama and talking points i.e. just another night of Bellator MMA then.

In the main event of the evening, Cheick Kongo (25-10-2) defeated Tony Johnson (10-3) via majority decision after 15-minutes of grinding heavyweight action.

The action ebbed and flowed between heavy hitting standup and wrestling exchanges as the two struggled to dominate the other. On the night, the judges seemed most impressed by Kongo’s grappling as the 41-year-old got the better part of the action in the final ten minutes and began his newly signed extension with Bellator MMA on a high note.

Kongo’s win further confuses the the Bellator MMA heavyweight title picture remains, but if one thing’s certain, it’s that Kongo will have put himself back in contention for a shot at the title once the promotion decide to put the title back on the line.

In the co-main event, Joe Warren (14-5) and Sirwan Kakai (12-5) went to war in what turned out to be one of the most entertaining fights of the evening. The finish came in the third round when Warren submitted Kakai with a neck crank after one minute and four seconds.

After the win, the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” is now tied for second all-time in Bellator MMA victories with 12. The former two-division champion Warren has now won seven of his last nine contests and has once again proven why he belongs among the division’s elite. The loss marks the first time over Kakai’s eight-year career that he has been finished by an opponent.

There was a controversial finish to the highly-anticipated women’s flyweight fight between Russian Anastasia Yankova (4-0) and Veta Arteaga (2-1). Yankova won via split decision, however, the decision was roundly booed by the crowd who witnessed Arteaga clearly get the better of the opening two rounds.

With the win, the 25-year-old Yankova continued along her brisk path to stardom with a comeback performance that two out of three cage-side judges saw in her favor. Yankova impressed in her first ever fight in the US, recording her fourth career victory and second with the Scott Coker-led promotion. The win is the first to go the distance for Yankova, with each of her initial three coming by way of submission. For Arteaga, the difficult judges’ decision leaves her with the first loss of her professional career.

Bellator 161 Full Results
Main Card 
Cheick Kongo def. Tony Johnson via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Joe Warren def. Sirwan Kakai via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 1:04
Anastasia Yankova def. Veta Arteaga via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Derek Campos def. Djamil Chan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Results
Garrett Scott def. Waylon Bronstrup via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:50
Emily Ducote def. Kenya Miranda da Silva via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 4:37
Daniel Pineda def. Mark Dickman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:07
Armando Villareal def. Tommy Burghardt via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:08
Nick Gonzalez def. Warren Stewart via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Rey Trujillo def. Deuce King via submission (reverse arm triangle) – Round 1, 1:20
Matt Mazurek defeated Jose Guerra via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Sean Clements def. David Ramirez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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