On a night were MMA superstar Ronda Rousey astonishingly lost her women’s bantamweight championship to challenger Holly Holm, Joanna Jedrzejcyk defended her strawweight belt with a dominant performance over the ever game Valerie Letourneau. The Polish phenom was pushed to the limit over five hard rounds by Letourneau but ultimately took a well deserved unanimous decision victory to retain her title.
The first round began with both fighters tentatively trying to fight at range. The champion began to flick out her jab while Letourneau responded with kicks from the back leg to the body. Valerie caught an early leg kick by Joanna and took the fight to the mat briefly landing some good shots in the process. She managed to pass the guard of the Joanna and stayed busy on top in half guard. Joanna worked hard to hip escape and get back to her feet while Valerie connected with short elbows. Using the underhook well, the champion rose to her feet only to be backed against the cage. The two exchanged knees in the clinch while Letourneau looked for a single leg trip against the fence. As they broke Joanna immediately looked to find a home for her devastating leg kicks. The champion superbly got the attention of the challenger by taking aim at the lead leg of Letourneau only to switch her approach expertly landing a strong front kick to the face of the challenger, stunning her. Valerie managed to recover and initiated the clinch against the fence only to eat another hard kick to the body on the break. The round ended with the champion showing excellent head movement to stay just out of striking range while responding with a beautiful standing elbow of her own.
As the second round began Joanna connected with a one-two combination and followed up with a hard leg kick. While she attempted once again to establish her long jab Valerie responded with her own kick to the mid-section a strategy she would find certain success with throughout the contest. Joanna continued to press forward setting up her chopping kicks to the leg with straight punches. The champion’s world class Muay Thai was on display as she was forced to defend the clinch against the cage. She landed hard knees followed up with an elbow and a hard body kick. Letourneau repeatedly looked to catch the foot of the champion as she stepped in with a teep to the body, almost unbalancing the champion on multiple occasions however Joanna’s grappling prowess was on display as she managed to fend off the takedown attempt. It became clear late in the round that the champion was tactically targeting Valerie’s lead leg in an attempt to unsettle Valerie and force her to change stance. In the ensuing exchange, Letourneau managed to land two hard right hands that caught the attention of Joanna reminding her to keep her hands held high in the process. The round ended with Jedrzejczyk mixing her punches and kicks beautifully and landing hard shots to the body that caught the attention of the challenger.
In what was easily the best round for the champion, Joanna landed multiple kicks to the outside of Letourneau’s thigh causing severe swelling. The champion kept her hands high defending any counter shots while dictating the pace of the round. This led to another snapping front kick to the head of Letourneau who was beginning to look a little bewildered by the unorthodox striking of Joanna. The champion began to unleash the full plethora of her kickboxing attacks as she threw solid jabs as well as pushing back Valerie with teeps to the body. The only offense that Valerie could offer throughout the round was her kick to the body. The repeated kicks to the legs looked to begin to slow down the challenger and allowed Joanna to find a home for her lightening fast combinations. Letourneau returned to her corner with severe bruising on both eyes and also on her lead leg.
The championship rounds began with both fighters content to box in the pocket. Joanna stuffed a number of single leg attempts and looked to be content to counter with her slick straight right hand and her kicks to the leg. Letourneau showed her heart and courage continuing to move forward and attempt to land combinations. It was clear however she was beginning to tire and Joanna showed her superb cardio moving forward and landing with hooks to the head as she circled off. Joanna re-established her range firing a jab to the body of Valerie. Letourneau looked to press the action and set up her attacks with a one-two combo followed up with the body kick. Joanna ended the round strong however leading with the jab and landing with a uppercut to the jaw of the challenger snapping her head back in the air.
The pair touched gloves at the beginning of the final round showing respect for one and other. Both women looked to start the round strong exchanging early and often with Letourneau managing to land a right hand left kick combination. Joanna continued to keep her hands high while sticking and moving behind her jab. Pushing forward she caught Valerie with a hard elbow as they tied up in the centre of the Octagon. The repeated attacks to the leg had left the challenger flat-footed by the halfway mark of the round. Valerie knew at this stage she needed a stoppage to win the fight and pushed forwarded valiantly. Unfortunately, it was too little too late as Joanna responded with a jab to the body coupled with another hard kick to the lead leg. Battered and bruised by this point the challenger’s courage shone through as she managed to last the distance against a champion who up to this point refuses to be broken.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins via unanimous decision ( 49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes
Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.
Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).
In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.
Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”
In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.
This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.
Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video
Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.
The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.
Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)
Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.
RN: 265 lb.
MM: 255 lb.
Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.
PF: 155 lb.
DC: 154 lb.
Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.
HH: 126.25 lb*
AJ: 125 lb.
Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.
LM: 203.75 lb.
VN: 205 lb.
Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.
TW: 145 lb.
JS: 142.25 lb.
Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)
Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.
RS: 155.5 lb.
RL: 156 lb.
Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout.
MK: 135.75 lb.
GT: 135 lb.
Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.
RC: 145 lb.
TE: 146 lb.
Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.
JT: 205.5 lb.
WH: 203 lb.
Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.
MS: 156 lb.
DH: 155.25 lb.
Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.
PN: 163.5 lb.
KX 164.5 lb.
Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.
TH: 154 lb.
PC: 155.5 lb.
*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.
UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results
UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.
FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:
Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews
Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya
MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT
- Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
- Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
- Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
- Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
- Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
- Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
- Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
- Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
- Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
- Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
- Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
- Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
- Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
- Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT
- Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
- Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
- Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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