Bellator 194: “Mitrione vs. Nelson 2” takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Feb. 16, 2018) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., featuring the second Heavyweight Grand Prix bout that pits old rivals from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opposite each other as “Big Country” Roy Nelson (23-14) meets Matt Mitrione (12-5) to determine who will advance to the next round.
Speaking of rematches, the long-awaited second fight between Patricky Freire (18-8) and Derek Campos (19-6) will finally go down in the Lightweight division, with each man putting a multi-fight win streak and their potential No. 1 contender status on the line.
Bellator 194’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network, while the “Prelims” undercard matches will get underway a little earlier online at 7 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 194) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 194 QUICK RESULTS:
Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson — Mitrione MD 28-28, 29-28 X2.
Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos — Freire TKO 2:23 R1.
Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov — Nemkov TKO 4:02 R3.
Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton — Hardy UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Tywan Claxton vs. Jose Antonio Perez — Claxton TKO 3:39 R2.
Marcus Surin vs. Dean Hancock — Surin via sub (arm triangle) 4:50 R2.
Walter Howard Jr. vs. Jarod Trice — Trice MD 28-28, 29-27 X2.
Peter Nascimento vs. Kastriot Xhema — Xhema TKO 3:52 R1.
Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Tom English — Carvalho KO 0:17 R1.
Tyler Hamilton vs. Pat Casey — Casey UD 30-27 X3.
Ron Leon vs. Ross Richardson — Richardson TKO 1:41 R2.
Mike Kimbel vs. Geoffrey Then — Kimbel KO 1:03 R1.
BELLATOR 194 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson
Mitrione is out first in the blue gloves and trunks with a 12-5 record. Nelson enters wearing the red gloves and black trunks, 23-14, owning a previous win over Matt Mitrione when both were in UFC. Tonight only one of these two men can advance in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. Mitrione owns a 7” reach advantage, 79” to 72”, but Nelson is far more experienced in total fights. Mitrione fights out of West Lafayette, Indiana and Nelson out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Mitrione is the first to the center at the opening bell. Nelson has his stance low, leaning to his right, throwing an overhand right early. Mitrione backs away, switches his stance, Nelson charges in for a double and can’t get it. Mitrione starts to throw bombs and Nelson covers up so Mitrione stops throwing and resets. Mitrione lands an inside leg kick. Nelson lands a right then shoots and misses. Mitrione lands more leg kicks. Mitrione’s head kick is checked. Mitrione puts a right on Nelson’s chin. Another overhand from Nelson but it doesn’t land. Mitrione with an uppercut. Nelson shoots and is initially stuffed but he drives Mitrione into the fence. Nelson gets the takedown at 3:20 even as Mitrione was widening his stance. Nelson has side control at 3:50 and Mitrione pinned against the fence. Miragliotta calls for more work. Mitrione moves Nelson back to half guard. Nelson hasn’t been able to land a single significant strike here save for one right hand at 4:50. 10-9 Mitrione.
Round 2: Mitrione begins attacking with leg kicks right away in R2. Nelson’s left leg is obviously hurting. Mitrione is repeating what we saw Nemkov do to McGeary earlier in the night. He’s following up with lefts and rights as Nelson stands in front of him, periodically throwing a lead uppercut right onto Nelson’s chin. Nelson is bleeding from his left eye now. Head kick from Mitrione. Right cross. Left to the body. Nelson how has two huge targets that are both on his left side — Mitrione just has to choose which to attack at any given moment. 90 seconds remain. Nelson shoots at 3:45 and gets a takedown but if this is like the last round that will be meaningless. Miragliotta warns Nelson about shots to the back of the head. 10-9 Mitrione.
Round 3: Mitrione goes for the lead uppercut in the first ten seconds and then back to the leg kicks. Nelson chases with the right hand and looks for a takedown but it’s blocked. Mitrione tags Nelson repeatedly with rights and lefts as we pass the one minute mark. Nelson throws a head kick — well more like a shoulder kick. Nelson shoots at 1:38 and he’s got the takedown. Nelson finally works his way to a mounted crucifix with a little over 90 seconds left and Miragliotta is warning Mitrione to defend himself and improve his position. Mitrione keeps insisting to Miragliotta that “I’m good” and not to stop it. Nelson starts looking for an armbar with short time left but can’t get it and Mitrione gets up with 35 seconds left. Nelson takes him down 8 seconds later. 10-9 for Nelson. Is it enough?
Final result: The judges scored this contest 28-28, 29-28 and 29-28 for Mitrione by majority decision.
Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos
Campos has on the blue gloves and solid red trunks tonight, a 19-6 record, and avenging his loss to Freire would be a fifth straight win. Freire has on the red gloves and red/white trunks, a 18-8 record, and is coming off two straight wins over two former Lightweight champions. Campos fights out of Lubbock, Texas and Freire fights out of Natal, Brazil. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Campos takes the center early and Freire dances back and forth on the outside switching his stance. Campos gets spun around by a leg kick but resets and keeps pawing with his left hand. Freire backs him off with a combo and throws a straight left after. Campos is spun around again by a kick at 1:33. Campos continues to chase Freire around the cage and gets rocked by a big left, dropped a second time, goes face down the third time and it’s ALL OVER.
Final result: Patricky “Pitbull” Freire wins by technical knockout at 2:23 of the first round.
Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov
Nemkov has the black trunks with red trim and blue gloves. He comes in with a record of 8-2 and a reputation as a stand-up striker with heavy hands. The former champion McGeary has black trunks and red gloves, a record of 12-2, and so far his biggest weakness is his takedown defense. We’ll see how that plays out tonight. McGeary is 35 out of Brooklyn, NY, Nemkov is 25 out of Stary Oskol, Russia. McGeary owns the reach advantage at 81” to 75.5”. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Nemkov lands a solid right hand at 32 seconds but McGeary seems unfazed. Nemkov continues to chase with the hands and throws an uppercut. McGeary is staying on his back foot and being patient until he can unload a kick to the body. Another overhand right by Nemkov. Nemkov paws the range with his left jab and then uses the right to do the damage. Another uppercut by Nemkov at 2:25. A good left hand follows 7 seconds later. Nemkov is owning the fight thus far. The right hand finds a home again for Nemkov at 3:01 and McGeary tries to push forward. Nemkov backs him up again and stings McGeary’s left leg with four hard kicks. McGeary tries a head kick and falls down. He’s back up before Nemkov can pounce. Nemkov and McGeary trade kicks as the final minute of R1 winds down. Left hook lands for Nemkov. Nemkov shoots and gets a takedown at the bell. 10-9 for Nemkov.
Round 2: Nemkov blasts McGeary with a right hand standing and then gets on top on the ground when McGeary tries to lock up. McGeary tries to catch him in a triangle but Nemkov quickly senses it coming and gets out of danger, content to stand and kick until McGeary stands back up at 1:20. Nemkov continues to fish out the range with the left jab and left hook. McGeary is taking more leg kicks as we pass the halfway point. There might have been an accidental low kick to the cup at 3:50 but McGeary waves it off and accepts a glove tap. Nemkov misses with a high kick. He connects with the leg kick and McGeary switches his stance. He’s feeling it. Nemkov continues to target it. 10-9.
Round 3: McGeary is in a huge hole going into R3 for the second straight fight of his career. He’s also been immobilized by the leg kicks from Nemkov, who easily takes him to the ground at 54 seconds and then backs away so he can kick the legs. McGeary stands back up at 1:23. McGeary falls down trying to throw a kick because he can’t stand up. He can’t even stand back up because his leg gives out. Nemkov stands at range and kicks it until McGeary can finally limp back to his feet. McGeary winces and stumbles as another kick lands at 2:55. This is close to being a TKO via leg kicks. McGeary is hobbling and bobbling. Every step he takes with his left foot is a ginger one. He can’t do it any more at 4:01 and as he turns away and falls Dan Miragliotta waves it off.
Final result: Vadim Nemkov wins by TKO (leg kicks) at 4:02 of the third round.
Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton
Hardy has the neon green trunks, red gloves and is 1-1 in MMA. Julaton has on the black trunks and blue gloves and is 2-3 outside of boxing. Julaton owns the reach advantage at 66” to 64”, but Hardy owns the better boxing record at 20-0 (1 NC) to 14-4-1. Julaton fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada and Hardy fights out of Brooklyn, New York. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Hardy lands a leg kick nine seconds in. Hardy charges forward and Julaton wraps her arms around the body and pushes Hardy into the fence. Hardy tries to muscle her way out but ends up being pushed sideways against the cage and eating knees. MacDonald hasn’t called for either to improve their position but this has become a stalemate and the crowd responds to it by booing. Julaton pushes Hardy from one side of the cage to the other at the two minute mark and Hardy responds by going for a guillotine choke. She doesn’t appear to have it and Julaton is going for the right leg for a takedown, and we have another stalemate. MacDonald finally calls for work at 3:24 and the crowd starts booing again. Julaton once again tries to push her way across the cage but Hardy pushes her to the ground and tries to cinch in a choke. She’s under the chin with 40 seconds left. Julaton survives to the bell. 10-9 Hardy.
Round 2: Julaton catches a kick and takes Hardy down at 45 seconds. She’s in the full guard which Hardy quickly closes to avoid damage, scooting backward toward the fence to potentially wall walk, with MacDonald calling for more work. Hardy is throwing fists off her back as Julaton senses submission danger and tries to back off. This enables Hardy to get to a position sitting up against the cage and attempting to take Julaton’s back and/or fish for an armbar. Meantime she’s unloading with right hands to the head and the crowd is responding to it. Hardy gets a warning not to target the back of the head before going for the choke again. Julaton grabs the wrist with both hands to save herself for a while. Julaton pops her head out and is back on top with 45 seconds left. Hardy starts to throw her legs up like she’s going for a triangle but the bell ends R2. 10-9 Hardy.
Round 3: We’ve got another stalemate against the fence with Julaton trying to get Hardy to the ground and not much else going on. MacDonald has finally seen enough, breaks them up, turns them around and makes them restart with 1:48 gone. Julaton drives her into the fence again when Hardy tries to grab her neck. MacDonald breaks them again at 2:50. Julaton throws kicks and Hardy throws hands. Julaton drives her back into the fence again at 3:34. I like each of these fighters individually but against each other it’s a terrible match. MacDonald resets them again at 4:20. Hardy gets a takedown late and Julaton rolls on top. I consider that to be a 10-10 round. Nobody gained a thing.
Tywan Claxton vs. Jose Antonio Perez
Blue gloves, white trunks, 0-1 out of Newark, NJ is Jose Perez. Red gloves, black trunks, 1-0 out of Cleveland, OH is Tywan Claxton. Our referee in charge is Keith Peterson.
Round 1: A tap of the gloves gets us underway. Claxton is crouching down and dancing back and forth on his feet. Perez throws a kick. Claxton feints with the left and continues to bob and weave. Front kick with the left foot for Claxton then a leg kick with the right. Claxton shaves Perez’ head with a head kick and comes forward with a knee and right hands. Perez blocks a potential takedown. Perez comes at Claxton throwing rights and Claxton ducks under them for the takedown at 1:48. Claxton has half guard and is trying to push Perez flat to the mat so he can drop bombs, settling for short right elbows in the interim. The ground and pound is doing damage either way. Peterson is keeping a close eye on Perez. Claxton really lays it on heavy as we pass the four minute mark. Perez survives but Claxton was drilling him hard at the bell. 10-9 or better for Claxton.
Round 2: Perez attacks with leg kicks early in R2. Claxton throws a kick of his own to the body, chases with his hands, then gets the takedown at 50 seconds. It’s virtually identical to round one except now Claxton has Perez’ head pinned against the fence. Right hooks and elbows pour down at 2:05. Peterson warns Perez to fight back. Claxton postures up again at 2:45 and Perez gets another warning. Claxton just continues to unload with those elbows. Perez’ face is getting bruised and bloodied. He finally dives in at 3:39 for the merciful save.
Final result: Tywan Claxton wins by technical knockout at 3:39 of round two.
Marcus Surin vs. Dean Hancock
Surin has the black trunks and red gloves and is 4-1 out of Spring Valley, NY. Hancock has the blue gloves and black trunks and is 3-1 out of Danbury, CT. Surin holds a 2” reach advantage 72” to 70”. Keith Peterson is our referee.
Round 1: Gloves are tapped and R1 is underway. Hancock presses forward right away and gets a takedown, slipping off the back when he tried to get in the hooks. Surin pushes forward throwing a left jab and cocking a big right hook which occasionally sneaks in. Hancock starts to press forward again and Surin uses his hands to reverse the momentum. Hancock throws a spin kick to the body that seems to momentarily stun Surin. Surin clinches and Hancock is momentarily on top, they get back up and Hancock nearly got a warning for grabbing the cage before Surin took him back down. He gets one hook in but loses it with a little under two minutes left. Hancock goes for a single leg but can’t get the hooks in and then Surin gets another takedown and is on top landing heavy right elbows. Hancock sits up and sweeps with 58 seconds left. Surin counters and has side control at 4:32. Hancock gets up again but eats some knees against the fence and one right elbow to the face at the bell. 10-9 Surin.
Round 2: Hancock pressures to open R2, throwing hands and leg kicks, Surin makes him retreat with the right hook. Surin and Hancock tie up and Surin wins as they go to the ground, having the mount and taking the back with both hooks in. Hancock tries to buck his way out but Surin rides and drives elbows to the body. Hancock escapes at 2:30 and throws punches to the body and hip as they clinch. Surin pulls him back down to the ground and Hancock turtles up trying to avoid having his back taken. It works. Hancock stands up and gets double underhooks and turns Surin into the fence then suplexes him through the air but it’s Surin who gets the back and both hooks in. He tries a rear naked choke but Hancock escapes at 4:14. Surin goes for the arm triangle choke and gets it at 4:50.
Final result: Marcus Surin wins via arm triangle choke at 4:50 of the second round.
Walter Howard Jr. vs. Jarod Trice
Trice is 2-0 in the red gloves, Howard is 3-4 in the blue gloves, but Howard has a 4.5” reach advantage at 80”. Howard sports checkerboard red/black trunks and fights out of Newark, NJ. Trice has black trunks and fights out of Tempe, AZ. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: A tap of fingers starts R1. Trice is quickly moving forward and firing his left hand, keeping his right up defensively. Howard is warned by Miragliotta to watch his fingers. Trice fires shots to the body and a right hook as Howard circles on the outside. Kick to the body from Trice. Trice eats a stiff left jab and teases shooting for the legs. Trice starts to wing out the right and then comes over the top with the left. Trice tries to shoot at 3:30 but can’t grab onto anything. Trice starts talking trash and telling Howard “I’m right here” then whistles at a leg kick before throwing an overhand right. Trice nearly throws himself off balance with the next one he throws. Trice comes over the top at 4:50 and his corner is yelling “That hurt him though!” 10-9 Trice.
Round 2: Trice continues to hunt for the overhand right and lands it at 44 seconds. He grapples and pushes Howard around but loses the grip at 1:02. Howard draws a hard warning and is told he’ll lose a point as Trice gets a timeout for being poked in his left eye with a thumb. Miragliotta takes the point and the round resumes with Trice being reminded to watch his fingers too. Trice lands a couple of nasty left hooks and continues to fight through even though he’s having a hard time keeping one eye open. Trice ties up with Howard at 2:54 for a potential takedown. Howard gets free at 3:18. Left hook loops and lands for trice but he eats a right jab in return. Another left for Trice gets in and Howard responds with kicks. 10-8 Trice thanks to the deduction.
Round 3: Trice stuns Howard with a big left hand at 23 seconds and comes forward looking to land an uppercut in the dirty boxing clinch, but it’s Howard who responds with a furious flurry and suddenly it’s Trice who is in trouble, and he goes defensively for a takedown at 1:03 to try to clear his head. They break at 1:19. Miragliotta continues to warn everybody to watch their fingers. Trice whiffs on the left hook and seems to be sucking wind. Trice gets lucky though as Howard throws a kick and he catches it for a takedown -- then again maybe not so lucky as Howard counters and takes the back. Trice escapes and takes Howard down again, taking his back against the fence. Trice is unloading with right hands and heavy elbows even as Miragliotta warns him to watch the back of the head. Howard gets back up at 3:25. Trice ties him up against the fence but Howard circles off at 4:14. Trice goes back to the dirty boxing and Howard responds with a head kick. Howard comes forward battering Trice and lands a big head kick at 4:48 as Trice was looking away. 10-9 for Howard.
Final result: The judges score it 28-28, 29-27 and 29-27 for Trice by majority decision.
Peter Nascimento vs. Kastriot Xhema
Round 1: Unaired on the prelims.
Final result: Kastroit Xhema wins by technical knockout at 3:52 of the first round.
Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Tom English
Carvalho is in the red gloves and black trunks, his record 4-2, fighting out of Danbury, CT. English is in the blue gloves and white trunks with a record of 6-8 from Dix Hills, NY, and Carvalho’s biggest advantage is his age - 24 versus 42. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Carvalho just finished by knockout in 17 seconds! The fight’s over so quick the replay of his right hand is the entire fight. He landed one good one to the chin when English was on the ground and that one made it 100% over. Good to see English get back up afterward. Carvalho gives him a hug and lifts him high up in the air.
Final result: Regivaldo Carvalho wins via knockout at 0:17 of the first round.
Tyler Hamilton vs. Pat Casey
Round 1: Unaired on the prelims.
Final result: Pat Casey wins by unanimous decision 30-27 X3.
Ron Leon vs. Ross Richardson
Richardson is in the black trunks and red gloves, age 22, fighting out of Bronx, New York. Leon is in the gray trunks blue gloves, age 25, fighting out of Queens, New York. Both men are making their pro debut. Richardson has a 2” reach advantage at 73.5”. Our referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: After a weird crawl and leapfrog by Leon to start things out we get a takedown and Richardson is on top throwing elbows. Leon tries to close guard to avoid damage or set up a potential submission. Richardson throws lefts to the body and head and keeps on dropping elbows. Leon eats a left elbow and a right to the chin as we pass the 2 minute mark. This fight has been entirely one sided thus far but Richardson hasn’t landed anything hard enough to stop it. Leon manages to kip up and Richardson trips him right back down to half guard. Richardson tries to jump over the top and winds up in closed guard. Richardson continues to mash the hands and elbows as he postures up then tries to scramble for a better position but he’s back in guard again. It’s a definite 10-9 for Richardson borderline to 10-8.
Round 2: Miragliotta warns the fighters to close their hands 30 seconds into R2. Richardson ties up with Leon looking to take it back down to the ground and completes it with a leg trip at 58 seconds. Left hands and left elbows to the head follow. Full mount is achieves at 1:27 and the ground and pound gets really vicious. Miragliotta waves it off at 1:41.
Final result: Ross Richardson wins via technical knockout at 1:41 of round two.
Mike Kimbel vs. Geoffrey Then
Kimbel is making his pro debut in the black trunks and red gloves fighting out of Waterbury, CT. Then is 0-1 in the blue trunks and blue gloves fighting out of Danbury, CT. Kimbel has a 7” reach advantage, 74” to 67”. Our referee is Keith Peterson.
Round 1: A quick tap and both men are quickly dancing. Kimbel is trying to come forward with power up the middle and Then is letting him by backing up to the fence. Then is dropped by a right hand at 44 seconds. Then is looking for an armbar when Kimbel dives on top, but Kimbel powerbombs him to break free and continues to throw heavy ground and pound blows once he gets loose, forcing Peterson to wave it off. Those right hand hammerfists were NASTY.
Final result: Mike Kimbel wins via knockout at 1:03 of the first round.