Bellator 198: “Fedor vs. Mir” takes place TONIGHT (April 28, 2018) at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., featuring a Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament main event. Former Pride FC champion Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) will stand toe-to-toe with former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion Frank Mir (18-11) in his promotional debut. Fun fights run up-and-down this card emanating from just outside Chicago. Top-ranked Featherweight Emmanuel Sanchez (16-3) takes on former UFC star Sam Sicilia (16-8), Rafael Lovato Jr. (7-0) faces late replacement Gerald Harris (25-5), and trash talking F.O.C.M. (friend of Conor McGregor) Dillon Danis makes his pro mixed martial arts (MMA) debut against six-fight veteran Kyle Walker!
Bellator 198’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card, including the “Prelims” undercard action that begins online at 7 p.m. ET.
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 198) about the bouts and chat with the Maniacs during the show — it's always a lot of fun — and greetings to you all from the beautiful (but chilly) Chicago area!
BELLATOR 198 QUICK RESULTS:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir — Emelianenko TKO 0:48 R1.
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Sam Sicilia — Sanchez sub (arm triangle) 3:52 R1.
Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Gerald Harris — Lovato sub (armbar) 1:11 R1.
Neiman Gracie vs. Javier Torres — Gracie sub (arm triangle) 3:18 R2.
Dillon Danis vs. Kyle Walker — Danis sub (leg lock) 1:38 R1.
R’Mandel Cameron vs. P.J. Cajigas — Cameron UD 30-27, 29-28 X2.
Dan Stittgen vs. Mark Stoddard — Stoddard sub (triangle) 4:43 R1.
Eric Wisely vs. Morgan Sickinger — Wisely sub (armbar) 1:20 R1.
Joey Diehl vs. Nate Williams — Diehl sub (triangle) 0:54 R1.
Asef Askar vs. Andrew Johnson — DRAW 28-27 Askar, 28-28 X2.
Corey Jackson vs. Adil Benjilany — Benjilany UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Tom Angeloff vs. Sultan Umar — Umar UD 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Adam Maciejewski vs. Robert Morrow — Morrow UD 29-28 X3.
BELLATOR 198 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir
Our Heavyweight main event! Emelianenko is 36-5 (1 NC) and fights out of Stary Oskol, Russia. Mir is 18-11 and fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner moves on in the Heavyweight tournament to face Chael Sonnen in the second round. Mir sports black/gray trunks and blue gloves. Emelianenko has solid black trunks reading “The Last Emperor” and red gloves. Our referee for the main event is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Both men tap gloves during final instructions and square off in the center with no additional respect necessary. Mir comes forward swinging and pushes Emelianenko into the fence. Emelianenko goes for a takedown. Mir throws knees. Emelianenko jacks Mir up with strikes moving across the cage at a clip. Beltran jumps on top of Mir as he crumbles under the pressure at the fence him save it and our main event is over! On the replay you can see him nail Mir behind the ear and unload with lefts to the head on the ground as Beltran rushes in.
Final result: Fedor Emelianenko by technical knockout at 0:48 in the first round.
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Sam Sicilia
Sanchez is 16-3 out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sicilia is 16-8 out of Spokane, Washington. This fight takes place in the Featherweight class of 145 lbs. Sicilia has on black trunks and blue gloves for tonight’s co-main event. Sanchez has the white trunks and red gloves. Our referee in charge is Rob Madrigal.
Round 1: No first round tap. Sanchez steps right to the middle and starts throwing hands and a head kick. Sicilia smiles. Sicilia decks him with a couple of hard right hands. They clinch up near the fence for some dirty boxing and then Sicilia tries to go for a leg. Sanchez keeps his balance and then rolls for a leg. Sicilia gets free but gets right back on top so Sanchez goes for the foot. He’s able to escape that and get on top then stands up to drop some right hands down the pipe. Sanchez goes for the leg again and Sicilia evades it. They both stand up at 2:45. Sanchez jumps on his back and gets one hook in. Sanchez goes for a neck crank standing and Sicilia may be in trouble. He’s pulling hard and putting all his weight into it. They fall to the ground and Sicilia taps at 3:52.
Final result: Emmanuel Sanchez by submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:52 of the first round.
Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Gerald Harris
Lovato is 7-0 out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Harris is 25-5 out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Due to Harris being a late replacement this fight will take place at 188 lbs. Harris is sporting the white trunks and blue gloves. Lovato has on the black trunks and red gloves. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: They had to try twice to tap gloves at the start. Harris backs away from a kick and Lovato throws a knee. Harris jumps on top when he falls down — not that Lovato minds working off his back. He’s already got his legs around Harris neck, rolls for the armbar, and Harris taps IMMEDIATELY at 1:11.
Final result: Rafael Lovato Jr. wins via submission (armbar) at 1:11 of the first round.
Neiman Gracie vs. Javier Torres
Gracie is 7-0 out of New York, NY. Javier Torres is 10-3 (1 NC) out of Sonora, Mexico. This fight is at the Welterweight limit of 170 lbs. Torres has on black trunks with green trim and blue gloves. Gracie has on black trunks and red gloves. Our referee in charge of this contest is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Gracie is so eager to begin that Beltran has to make him back up and wait. At the bell he charges forward. A combo and a kick come Torres’ way. Torres tries to make Gracie back up but he comes forward with the body kick. Torres pushes again with his jab. Another body kick for Gracie. Gracie catches a kick and down goes Torres. He gets back up, Gracie wraps his arms around Torres’ waist, and here we stay for a bit. Gracie leg trips him down again at 2:24. Torres tries an upkick at 2:55 to no avail and then Gracie goes to the ground and falls back trying to trap a leg. If he can cinch up this heel hook it’s good night Torres. Torres is trying to make it a submission duel but that’s not a fight you want to have with a Gracie. Still it’s enough to keep Gracie from going full out for it so Torres survives the first round. 10-9 Gracie.
Round 2: Gracie lands a kick and a couple of head strikes and pushes Torres into the fence. Torres fires knees as Gracie tries to twist him off balance and potentially take him down. The leg trip connects at 1:16 and we’re back in a familiar spot for Gracie. He’s slowly working his way up from half guard and could either go for full mount or side control. Full mount it is. He’s got two minutes to work and Torres is in a world of trouble. Suddenly he jumps to side for the arm triangle choke and it’s over at 3:18.
Final result: Neiman Gracie wins via submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:18 of round two.
Dillon Danis vs. Kyle Walker
Walker is 2-4 out of Carbondale, Illinois, Danis is making his pro debut out of New York, NY. This fight is at a catchweight of 175 lbs. Walker has on red trunks and blue gloves. Danis has on black trunks and red gloves. Some say that bad guys wear black. We’re about to see if Danis is as bad as he says. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Danis is pushing forward and making Walker back away. Danis lands a few kicks to the midsection. Danis pulls guard a minute and change in and is throwing elbows from the bottom. Walker trice to slice him with an elbow to the head. Danis rolls for a toe hold and Walker is trying to pull his way out but has to tap out at 1:38. It’s all over.
Final result: Dillon Danis wins by submission (toe hold) at 1:38 of the first round.
R’Mandel Cameron vs. P.J. Cajigas
Cameron is 5-3 out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the blue gloves. Cajigas is 6-6 out of Chicago, Illinois in the red gloves.
Round 1: Cajigas is circling and knocks Cameron down early with a left hand. He grabs a front headlock and throws a knee as Cameron stands back up. Front kick by Cajigas. Cameron shoots a double and Cajigas sprawls. Cameron lifts him in the air but can’t take him down. He throws a knee to the solar splexus as Cajigas is pinned against the cage. Finally Cameron gets him down to one knee. Cajigas is back up. Cameron throws knees at his legs trying to break him down. The ref is tired of the inaction and resets. Cajigas is head hunting. Cameron shoots off a leg kick by Cajigas. He’s leg tripped to the ground. Cajigas is holding him him. Cameron finally gets the left arm free for a few shots to the ribs. Cajigas sits up against the cage. 10 seconds. Cameron was doing just enough on the ground to edge it out 10-9.
Round 2: Cameron and Cajigas trade left hands. They are both trying hard to psych the other into a mistake with their body language. Cameron shoots and misses then lands a left hand. Cameron shoots the double and he’s got it but it takes him a while to suck in Cajigas’ legs. Cajigas has his back to the fence so Cameron tries to ram a shoulder into his chin. Cameron finally turns him away from the fence, drawing scattered boos from the attendees who wanted a stand-up. Cameron is in half guard fighting for control. He’s throwing right hands at Cajigas’ thigh. Pass to side control. Knees to the ribs from Cameron. Cajigas gets him tied up in half again. 10 seconds. 10-9 Cameron.
Round 3: Cameron shoots and has half guard on the ground right away. Unless the ref stands them up or Cajigas finds a submission this is the story of the whole fight in a nutshell. Cajigas sweeps momentarily, Cameron takes his back, they stand up and Cameron tries to lift him from behind. Cameron goes for a double and Cajigas tries and fails to grab a guillotine, but does hurt him a little with the hands. Finally Cameron grinds him down to the mat with a relentless assault on his legs. Cameron looks to take the back and Cajigas gets up again. Cajigas is trying hard to peel him off. Cameron slams him down hard. Cajigas was thinking triangle off his back but didn’t have the position for it. 10 seconds. Cameron should get at least two 10-9’s if not three. The only questionable round is the first.
Final result: The judges have scored this one 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for R’Mandel Cameron.
Dan Stittgen vs. Mark Stoddard
Stoddard is 15-9 out of Clinton, Iowa in the red gloves. Stittgen is 12-5 out of Johnsburg, Illinois in the blue gloves. Our referee is Josh Stewart.
Round 1: Tap to start. Stittgen leg kick. Stoddard returns the favor. Stittgen with a right hand. Stoddard pushes him backward throwing heavy leather. Stittgen shoots but is unable to complete it. Stittgen has to adjust his left knee pad and Stoddard lets him do it. Stoddard is attacking that same left leg with kicks. Stoddard reminds me of “Caveman” Rickels. Stittgen tries and fails to shoot again. Stoddard tries a high kick to the head and falls down, then winds up tied up against the fence. He’s trying for a single leg. It’s not there. He wraps his arms around Stoddard’s waist. Knees are exchanged as they move back and forth. Stittgen keeps going for a single and finally gets Stoddard to the ground. Stoddard is trying to lock up an armbar or a triangle from his back and he gets the tap. That’s a wrap!
Final result: Mark Stoddard via submission (triangle choke) at 4:43 of the first round.
Eric Wisely vs. Morgan Sickinger
Wisely is 28-9-1 out of Clinton, Iowa. Sickinger is 20-10 out of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Sickinger has on the blue gloves, Wisely the red. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: A tap and we’re underway. Sickinger is throwing leg kicks and Wisely is trying to push him toward the fence. Wisely tries a spin kick and lands a hard right. Sickinger catches a kick and takes him down but Wisely goes for an arm and gets the tap. It’s all over!
Final result: Eric Wisely wins via submission (armbar) at 1:20 in the first round.
Joey Diehl vs. Nate Williams
Williams is 27-17 out of Des Moines, Iowa in the blue gloves. Diehl is 11-9 out of Algonquin, Illinois in the red gloves. Mike Beltran is our referee.
Round 1: A tap of gloves and we’re underway. After an early flurry on both sides it goes to the ground, where Diehl is going for a triangle and Williams taps out. It’s over quick!!
Final result: Joey Diehl wins by submission (triangle choke) at 0:54 in the first round.
Asef Askar vs. Andrew Johnson
Johnson is making his pro debut out of Waukegan, Illinois in the blue gloves, Askar is 1-0 and fights out of Chicago, Illinois in the red gloves.
Round 1: Askar has a takedown after a high kick attempt by Johnson. Askar is looking to pass but Johnson gets back up. Askar puts him right back down again against the cage throwing left hands from full guard. Right hands to the body. Askar is trying to posture up but Johnson is making it difficult for him. Johnson nearly got up and wisely Askar didn’t throw a knee while he was a down opponent. Johnson is at least doing a good job of keeping him in guard... if not much else. Askar is looking for a submission. He’s going for a head and arm triangle. Johnson is trying to buck his way free and does but he’s still on the bottom. 10-9 Askar.
Round 2: Johnson looks pretty winded even after a minute’s rest. He throws knees to the body as Askar pushes him into the cage. Askar gets Johnson’s left leg up high but it’s the double that eventually puts him down. Askar looks to pass and Johnson looks to roll to his side. Johnson stands up and Askar leans into him hard before another takedown connects. Johnson is able to reverse his fortunes and now he’s the one in control with a full mount on the back firing lefts and rights to the head. The ref is warning him not to target the back of the head. He’s close to getting a stoppage. Full mount. Back mount. He went for a triangle and lost it. Askar is back on top. Johnson is fishing for a triangle. It’s close but he doesn’t quite have it. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 3: Johnson is once again sucking wind hard at the start of the round. He opens with a body kick as Askar chases him down and tries to back him into the fence. Johnson responds with a spinning back fist and the crowd goes OOOH. Hard leg kick by Johnson. Askar shoots. The double leg works. Johnson is keeping Askar on his toes with submission attempts. He moves to half guard to get out of harm’s way. Johnson tries to push off the fence with his feet. Johnson sits up and fires left elbows, drawing a warning for shots to the back of the head. Askar takes him down again when he tries to get up. Johnson gets a warning for toes in the fence. Johnson is making a valiant effort to get up. Askar with knees to the body. He’s going North-South on Johnson. Now he’s spinning to the back and Johnson is trying to sweep. 10 seconds. Askar pounds him from behind. 10-9 Askar. It should go to Askar but there’s always the possibility of a split decision.
Final result: The judges score it 28-27 Askar, 28-28, and 28-28 for a majority draw.
Corey Jackson vs. Adil Benjilany
Benjilany is 3-1 from Rabat, Morocco but fighting out of Chicago. Jackson is 3-0 out of Michigan City, Indiana. Benjilany has on the blue gloves and Jackson the red. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Jackson lands the first leg kick and may have landed an accidental eye poke but Benjilany waves it off. Benjilany with a front left kick. Jackson stands right in front of him and takes a leg kick. Jackson throws a flurry and shoots off it. Benjilany turns him around against the fence. Jackson turns him back. Jackson tries and fails to turn him and throw him and both men reset. Benjilany lands a clean combo. Hard body kick from Jackson. More kicks from all angles by Benjilany. Jackson checks a head kick. Jackson throws a spin kick and scrambles away from a return shot that doesn’t come. Benjilany tries a spinning elbow and comes forward to land a knee against the fence. Spinning head fist connects. Benjilany is trying to tune Jackson up against the fence. Another knee lands. The ref scrambles to keep an eye on Jackson. He takes an uppercut and another knee. And another knee. Jackson weather the storm but the crowd applauds Benjilany for the onslaught. We get a time out as Benjilany gets a warning to keep it clean. Jackson throws Benjilany to the ground twice after the restart. Benjilany pushes off and gets up with his back to the fence then turns it around to grab a plum and throw a knee. Wild first round. 10-8 Benjilany.
Round 2: Tap of gloves to open R2. Jackson shoots right away. Benjilany and Jackson fight for upper body control and Benjilany spins him around then throws him aside. Body kick by Benjilany. Benjilany’s corner is screaming “I need your range! I need your right hand and your left body kick!” He delivers the latter. Benjilany slaps a leg kick. Jackson tries to walk him down and eats a combo. High kick leg kick overhand right for Benjilany misses. Elbow, flying knee. Jackson eats a clean right hook and kick. Leg kick. Two more. And another. Body kick by Benjilany. Jackson with a few jabs. Benjilany fires off four kicks, gets a leg sweep, then signals Jackson to stand up. Benjilany with a right hook and a hard body shot. Jackson is talking to him. Benjilany feints an elbow. Benjilany shoots and misses. His corner screams “ROLL LEFT JAB JAB. NO ELBOWS.” 10-9 Benjilany.
Round 3: Double glove tap and a hug before they slug. Jackson throws a flurry and shoots off it right away. He’s got Benjilany down to one knee but that’s all. Benjilany gets up elbowing him in the head. Jackson takes him back down but Benjilany uses the fence to get back up. Benjilany circles around him and throws a right hand when they break. Jackson lands a right. Benjilany lands a better one followed by an uppercut. Overhand right. Left knee. Benjilany is landing almost all of the offense. Right hook. His corner is so loud. “LEFT HOOK RIGHT KICK!” Benjilany with a flurry against the fence until Jackson ties him up. Jackson completes a takedown to full guard. He’s doing nothing at all on top. He’s trying to posture up but Benjilany tries to turn it into a triangle. Jackson gets free but loses the takedown and Benjilany is on top throwing wild hammers until the bell. 10-9 Benjilany for the decision.
Final result: The judges score this one 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 for Benjilany.
Tom Angeloff vs. Sultan Umar
Angeloff is 7-5 (1 NC) out of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sultan Umar is 5-2 out of Chicago, Illinois. Angeloff has on the red gloves and Umar the blue.
Round 1: Tap of gloves and we’re off and running. Umar is pushing Angeloff around the cage and throws a high head kick. Umar keeps feeling the range out with his right hand, keeping the left cocked and loaded. He catches a kick and unloads. Angeloff backs up into the cage from a combo then circles off. Body kick by Umar. Angeloff jabs a little with his left. Umar throws a body kick, Angeloff catches it and lets it go. Umar is leading this dance and Angeloff is just following. Angeloff paws with his left and occasionally lands a jab. Umar lands a flurry though and Angeloff has to clinch to recover. Umar lands a very loud thudding kick. Angeloff tries to go high. Umar with a body kick. Angeloff tries to grab a muay thai plum for knees. Umar pushes him into the cage. 10-9 Umar.
Round 2: The crowd is itching for Umar to do something big. His corner keeps calling for him to pop the 1-2 combo. Angeloff circles and tries to find an opening for a right hook. Umar throws a few leg kicks and a left hook. Body kick from Umar. Umar pushes Angeloff into the fence with four lefts and rights. At least two got through. Another leg kick by Umar. Angeloff with a hook and an uppercut. You can see the redness around Angeloff’s waist from the body kicks. Umar just throws Angeloff down and waits for him to get back up. Another slapping leg kick by Umar. Angeloff doesn’t seem like he was ready for this level of competition. Umar lands a clean hard shot and tries a flying knee. Angeloff clinches him but can’t do anything. Umar comes forward again after the break and they spin around against the fence. Umar gets a warning for grabbing the cage and earned it - I could see his fingers sticking through the fence. Umar tunes Angeloff up with a knee and a combo. 10-9 Umar.
Round 3: Umar is wasting little time tuning up his opponent in this round. After a fast minute to open the action slows down down a little bit. Umar throws him high in the air for a slam at 2:48 and then lets him stand right back up. Angeloff lets his left hand go a few times and connects with a good right. Angeloff gets a momentary takedown but doesn’t take advantage. Umar comes forward with lefts and rights. Body kick by Angeloff. Umar keeps pasting Angeloff with the left hook. Umar gets a takedown I couldn’t see as a camera crew and a bunch of celebs walked right in front of me but it should ice another 10-9 round for a unanimous decision.
Final result: The judges score this one 30-26, 30-27 X2 all for Sultan Umar.
Adam Maciejewski vs. Robert Morrow
Maciejewski is 13-6-1 out of Krasnik, Poland. Morrow is 23-21-1 out of Lockport, Illinois. Our referee is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Tap of gloves starts us off. Both men are ducking high and low trying to figure each other out. It’s like watching polar bears dance. Unfortunately it’s a lot of dancing and not much striking. It only takes a minute before the crowd is restless but a big takedown from Morrow wakes them up. There’s not much going on after that. It’s actually more interesting to see the camera woman walk up and down a set of steps behind the cage trying to get the perfect angle for the Bellator live stream. I’m wondering when Beltran is going to stand them up from inactivity. It’s a side control with nothing going on. Finally we get a kimura attempt and it’s nearly but not quite there. That just puts everything back in full guard so now we don’t even have a dominant position. A few right hands sneak through to the chin. That’s a 10-9 round with not a lot of mustard on it.
Round 2: A takedown attempt is stuffed early in R2. I think Morrow might have caught a groin kick but he doesn’t ask for time. 1:20 in and the crowd is tired of the polar dance. Maciejewski occasionally pushes forward but doesn’t do much. He sails a high kick upstairs that doesn’t connect. There’s another weird moment of a possible foul that both fighters shrug off. More booing. If this was PRIDE we would have had a yellow card by now. A single leg takedown attempt fails. The crowd only pops whenever a strike is thrown and they go right back to booing. 10-10.
Round 3: The crowd is quiet for about 35 seconds and then the boos start to rain down again. Then it falls eerily quiet again. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen two heavyweights land less significant strikes. I’m waiting for Mike Beltran to give them a warning for timidity. Nearly two minutes in and the boos are massive. Circle, jab, circle, jab. Maciejewski fails a takedown attempt, Morrow begs him to stand back up, then throws a head kick. Maciejewski is tough like bull. Boring like ox. He shoots and now we’ve got a few hundred pounds of man meat bending the fence. Usually Mike Beltran is a motor on high when it comes to issuing fighter instructions but tonight he seems content to let these two behemoths do whatever they want as the clock ekes away. They break off the fence with 30 seconds left and finally decide to let it all hand out, swinging wildly like boozy bar drunks until the bell. 10-9 Morrow, maybe. We’ll see.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 X3 for Robert Morrow.