Bellator 224: “Budd vs. Rubin” airs TONIGHT (Fri., July 12, 2019) from WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., airing on Paramount Network and streaming on DAZN. The women’s Featherweight title is at stake in the main event as Julia Budd (12-2) puts her 10-fight win streak on the line against the undefeated Olga Rubin (6-0).
Bellator 224’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET with “Prelims” undercard bouts at 6:45 p.m. ET on DAZN (watch it). MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator 224 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 224) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 224 QUICK RESULTS:
Julia Budd vs. Olga Rubin — Budd TKO 2:14 R1.
Rafael Carvalho vs. Chidi Njokuani — Carvalho UD 29-28 X3.
Juliana Velasquez vs. Kristina Williams — Velasquez TKO 4:03 R2.
Ed Ruth vs. Kiichi Kunimoto — Ruth TKO 3:49 R2.
Leslie Smith vs. Sinead Kavanagh — Smith MD 28-28, 29-28 X2.
Bruna Ellen vs. Elina Kallionidou — Ellen UD 30-27, 29-28 X2.
Kiefer Crosbie vs. Mike Jackson — Jackson via DQ in R1.
A.J. Agazarm vs. Jacob Landin — Agazarm sub (RNC) 4:21 R1.
Nainoa Dung vs. Bradley Robison — Dung UD 28-27 X3.
Christian Edwards vs. Justin Vargas — Edwards TKO 0:54 R1.
Gabriel Varga vs. Jamese Taylor — Varga TKO 3:23 R2.
Arlene Blencowe vs. Amanda Bell — Blencowe KO 0:22 R1.
Will Fleury vs. Antonio Jones — Fleury UD 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Lucas Brennan vs. Thomas Lopez — Brennan sub (RNC) 3:02 R1.
Jordan Young vs. Joel Bauman — Young sub (triangle) 3:20 R1.
Kona Oliveira vs. Joseph Holmes — Holmes sub (RNC) 2:41 R2.
BELLATOR 224 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Julia Budd vs. Olga Rubin
Blue gloves and a perfect 6-0 record for Rubin in the black trunks/top. Red gloves and light blue trunks/top along with a 12-2 record for the champion Budd. Rubin fights out of Tel Aviv, Israel and Budd fights out of Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada. Our referee for this main event is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Both women spring to the center. Budd throws the first high kick. Rubin catches a leg kick and pushes Budd back before letting go. Body kick from Budd. Rubin misses with a leg kick and Budd goes to the body then upstairs to the head. Another head kick at 1:39. Rubin is landing very little. Budd hurts Rubin with a right body kick that leaves Rubin gasping for air and swarms for the stoppage at 2:14 of the first round. IT IS ALL OVER.
Final result: Julia Budd via technical knockout at 2:14 of round one.
Rafael Carvalho vs. Chidi Njokuani
Black trunks and blue gloves for Njokuani, career record of 18-6 (1 NC) coming into the fight tonight out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Carvalho has the red gloves with black trunks and a career record of 15-3 fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida by way of Curitiba, Brazil. Our referee in charge is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: No glove tap as both men come to the center and square up. Carvalho eventually forces Njokuani toward the outside and starts head hunting. They clinch and he throws a right elbow and pushes Njokuani backward. Njokuani responds with his own hard elbow. Carvalho tries to sneak in some uppercuts and body shots as they stay chest to chest on the cage. Njokuani is getting his head just out of the way of some of the strikes, but not all of them. Carvalho takes his waist from behind and throws him down at 2:56. Njokuani gets right back up and backs away at 3:04. Carvalho’s head kick is checked. Njokuani eats a left before they clinch. Njokuani tries to peel him away to no avail. 10-9 Carvalho.
Round 2: Njokuani pressed forward and lands a head kick and two body kicks. Carvalho tries to come forward but Njokuani clinches with him and throws knees. Carvalho breaks free at 1:59 and rushes forward with combos. They circle back and forth on the fence. Carvalho drops levels and gets the takedown at 3:07. Hatley gets tired of the inactivity and stands them up with under a minute left. Njokuani throws another high kick. Carvalho misses wildly with a right. Head kick at 4:44 for Njokuani. 10-9 Njokuani.
Round 3: It’s all tied up now with 5 minutes left. Both men are tried up in the middle of the cage as well until Carvalho pushes Njokuani to the fence at 36 seconds. Carvalho slams him down with authority at 1:19. Njokuani grabs the head and pulls down so all Carvalho can throw are short right hands to the body and head. He may get stood up again. Carvalho realizes it and backs up to come over the top at 2:30. Lefts and rights are scoring now. Njokuani tries to land upkicks as he is eaten up by ground and pound but misses. 90 seconds left. A hard elbow smacks Njokuani’s chin. Carvalho backs up again at 3:52 but Njokuani is able to get back to his feet. Carvalho takes his back, Njokuani goes for a kimura, but Carvalho escapes it and pulls Njokuani on top. 10-9 Carvalho.
Final result: The judges all score the bout 29-28 X3 in favor of Rafael Carvalho.
Juliana Velasquez vs. Kristina Williams
Silver trunks and top for the 8-0 Velasquez in the red gloves. Black Venum top and blue trunks for the 3-1 Williams. Williams fights out of Edmond, Oklahoma and Velasquez fights out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Our referee in charge is Jacob Montalvo.
Round 1: A friendly glove tap starts things off. Velasquez pivots in the center as Williams circles left around her. Williams is following her usual form of staying at distance and using her kickboxing skills and long legs. Velasquez answers by putting some left jabs on her chin coming forward. They reset to the center and Williams gets hurt with a couple of left hands. Velasquez presses her into the fence and throws more rights until Williams finally breaks free at 2:48. Velasquez steps back and then pops Williams with a right and another left. Another left stings Williams at 3:48. The right side of her face is bright red. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 2: Williams goes for a head kick early and Velasquez responds with a heavy set of combos. A clinch at the minute mark is quickly broken. Williams grazes the chin with a kick but she’s bleeding from the nose as the jabs continue to snap into her face. Velasquez lands a leg kick and body kick as we pass the 2 minute mark. Every time Williams lands a kick Velasquez lands a harder punch, and a left hand has her hurt as we pass the three minute mark. More straight lefts connect. Williams’ face is a bloody mess. She’s starting to cover up and turn away. Montalvo saves her at 4:01.
Final result: Juliana Velasquez wins via technical knockout at 4:03 of round two.
Ed Ruth vs. Kiichi Kunimoto
Ruth is 6-1 in the red gloves with black trunks, and Kunimoto is 20-7-2 in the blue gloves with silver trunks. Our referee in charge of the contest is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Ruth and Kunimoto trade leg kicks early. Ruth decks Kunimoto with a left hand that momentarily stuns him. Push kick from Ruth. Right hands miss for Ruth. Left jab connects. Kunimoto misses with a right and gets decked with a left. He clinches and Ruth pushes him into the cage. Knees to the body from Ruth. Anderson warns him to watch the cup. Ruth takes him down at 2:06. Kunimoto sits up against the cage and Ruth hits right hands as he stands. Right shoulders to the chin from Ruth before they break. Leg kicks trade again. Ruth keeps finding the chin with the left and smashes Kunimoto to the ground with a right jab. Kunimoto tries to land an upkick but Ruth avoids them and gets on top. 10-9 Ruth.
Round 2: Ruth lights Kunimoto up with lefts and rights in the first 30 seconds and shaves his head with a high kick. Kunimoto shoots for a single leg but Ruth blocks it with “ease.” Ruth breaks free at 1:32. Push kick hits, overhand right misses. The left jab continues to smack Kunimoto into the face. A body kick at 2:46 sounds like a gunshot going off but Kunimoto ate it to little effect. Kunimoto’s left eye looks to be swelling shut. He fails to get a takedown as Ruth catches him with a knee and pours it on, Anderson saves Kunimoto by TKO.
Final result: Ed Ruth wins by technical knockout at 3:49 of round two.
Leslie Smith vs. Sinead Kavanagh
Smith is 10-7-1 in the red gloves and black shirt fighting out of San Francisco, California. Kavanagh is 5-3 in the blue gloves and red top fighting out of Dublin, Ireland. Our referee in charge is Jacob Montalvo.
Round 1: Smith is pressuring forward early and Kavanagh is more than happy to trade hands with her as she does. Smith keeps wading in and leaves some redness and swelling on Kavanagh’s face. Kavanagh circles back and forth on the outside trying to get into a better position, pumping out her left hand and right hook, grunting like she’s in a boxing fight. Smith clinches with her at 2:12 and then releases. Kavanagh catches a kick at 2:46 and lets it go. Smith reads the strikes when Kavanagh throws and gets her arms up to protect herself. Clinch and elbow from Smith before she resets. Head kick at 4:01 hurts Kavanagh. Kavanagh recovers quickly but she’s breathing hard. Smith tears into Kavanagh with her hands and legs late to finish a VERY solid 10-9 round.
Round 2: Smith immediately forces Kavanagh backward and is head hunting. Kavanagh is trying to wind up and throw body shots. Smith’s length and reach are hard for her to deal with though. Kavanagh’s arms keep dropping lower by the second so she has a hard time bringing them up defensively. Smith seizes on that and smacks a hard left home. Kavanagh’s face is redder than a tomato. The right hook slams home too at 3:36 after another minute of forward aggression and effective striking. Smith is also attacking the lead left leg with multiple kicks. Kavanagh gets crunched at 4:38. Kavanagh sneaks in an elbow before the bell. 10-9 Smith.
Round 3: Smith wastes no time coming after Kavanagh again. Smith repeatedly lands lefts and rights at 24 seconds. Looking at Kavanagh you’d think she’s having a hard time seeing out of one or both eyes. Smith decks Kavanagh so hard she bounces off the fence. Smith clinches and lands a right elbow. They’re in the fence at 2:30 and another elbow connects. Kick to the lead left leg follows. Kavanagh circles to her left and Smith throws the left and the right - both connect flush. Kavanagh has almost nothing left with a minute left other than circling and backpedaling. John McCarthy thinks R2 was close but I’ve got all three rounds handily going to “The Peacemaker” Smith 10-9. Multiple rights, elbows and uppercuts seal R3 for Smith before the bell.
Final result: The judges score it 28-28, 29-28 and 29-28 for Smith by majority decision.
Bruna Ellen vs. Elina Kallionidou
Ellen is 4-2 in the red gloves, black trunks and top, fighting out Campinas, Brazil. Kallionidou is 7-2 in the blue gloves, black trunks and top fighting out of Preveza, Greece. Our referee in charge of this fight is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Ellen lands a solid body kick at 53 seconds, Kallionidou charges forward throwing hands, Ellen throws her to the ground and hits her with a left when she stands back up. They continue to contest the fight on the feet but Ellen seems to be getting the better of it with her hands and feet. Just looking at the thickness of her arms and legs it’s not hard to see why. 10-9 Ellen who gets a late takedown to boot.
Round 2: Kallionidou continues to come forward but Ellen is the one landing the harder shots in the first 75 seconds. Ellen misses with a high kick but lands with the left hand. She misses with a spinning backfist. Kallionidou lands a good right at 2:56. Ellen responds with a left. Ellen eats a body kick and takes her down. She lands a solid elbow and stands back up before the bell. 10-9 Ellen.
Round 3: Ellen presses Kallionidou into the cage past one minute in. Kallionidou tries and fails to turn her around. Ellen comes over the top with an elbow. Two minutes gone. They finally break clean at 3:07. Ellen takes Kallionidou down 9 seconds later. Side control at 3:33. Kallionidou throws her legs up but can’t wrap them around Ellen’s head. Left elbows mash Kallionidou’s chin. Kallionidou gets guard back and Ellen backs up with 23 seconds left, then misses on a takedown attempt. Kallionidou charges forward and Kallionidou counters takedown into a mount right at the bell. 10-9 Ellen.
Final result: The judges score it 30-27 and 29-28 X2 all for Bruna Ellen.
Kiefer Crosbie vs. Mike Jackson
Crosbie is 6-0 in the red gloves and black trunks out of Dublin, Ireland. Jackson is 12-12 in the blue gloves and solid black trunks, fighting out of Norman, Oklahoma. The referee for this contest is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Crosbie tags the lead right leg with a kick immediately. Jackson shoots after taking a second one. Crosbie elbows him in the head against the fence. Herzog warns him to target it carefully. Jackson gets the takedown at 0:57 but Crosbie jumps right back up. Another takedown at 1:24 and Crosbie is right back up. The elbows are hurting Jackson and Herzog is warning him to move. Crosbie hits an illegal knee and Jackson is face down on the canvas when Herzog calls time. He can’t continue and the fight is over. They embrace after Jackson gets back to his feet wearing a precautionary neck brace.
Final result: Jason Herzog rules Mike Jackson the winner by disqualification.
A.J. Agazarm vs. Jacob Landin
0-1, blue gloves, black and gold trunks for Landin. 0-1, red gloves and solid black trunks for Agazarm. Landin fights out of San Antonio, Texas. Agazarm hails from Hollywood, Florida but fights out of Stockton, California. Our referee in charge is Jacob Montalvo.
Round 1: Landin switches his stances back and forth and pressures forward toward Agazarm. His early offense is almost entirely kicks. Agazarm finally steps his way for some body shots and gets his hands up to block return heat. Agazarm pressures Landin toward the outer circle, takes a kick to the cup, and Montalvo calls time. He recovers and returns to coming forward and trips Landin to the ground at 2:35. Agazarm quickly moves to full mount and Landin is warned not to grab the cage. Agazarm is warned not to hit the back of the head. Landin gives up his back and Agazarm pours it on. Montalvo leans in like he’s ready to stop it but Landin is protecting his head with his hands so Agazarm switches to going for a rear naked choke. He gets the tap at 4:21.
Final result: A.J. Agazarm wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:21 of the first round.
Nainoa Dung vs. Bradley Robison
Dung is 2-0 in the red gloves and black trunks fighting out of Makaha, Hawaii. Robison is 3-0 in the blue gloves and white trunks fighting out of Topeka, Kansas. The referee in charge of this contest is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Clash of leg kicks at 13 seconds. Robison shoots and Dung takes his momentum and turns him around to a takedown at 48 seconds. Left hands to the face on the ground and hard rights to the body. Uppercut from Dung as he tries pass to half — and does. Dung has a guillotine and falls back with it. Robison is pulling with all his might and finally squeezes out at 3:03 in full guard on top. It was like seeing toothpaste be squeezed out of a tube. Dung sweeps on top at 3:47 and throws hammerfists then goes to take the back. Robison defends a kimura but still ends up on his back at the end of R1. 10-9 Dung.
Round 2: Robison tries to connect with a head kick 30 seconds into R2, shoots, and gets pushed into the fence by Dung. Robison pushes back and gets the takedown into full guard. Dung is holding him body to body and not letting much happen. Anderson threatens a stand up at the halfway point. Dung gets back up at 3:10. He tries and fails to get a kimura for a second time and Robison gets back up with 1:12 remaining. Robison has a takedown with over 50 seconds remaining. Dung rolls and gets up, Robison covers up but Dung nails him with an uppercut anyway, then Dung takes his back and does damage with short time left. Robison might have won that round before the uppercut but I give Dung a 10-9.
Round 3: Robison takes a knee to the body from Dung as he clinches for a takedown attempt. Dung throws a high kick and a left hook when they break but Robison takes him down and gets half guard with two minutes gone. Dung sweeps and gets the back throwing hard shots from behind. He’s riding too high and Robison slips out at 3:32 but Dung cracks him with a big right hand before getting back on top. He backs up at 3:54 and then throws a potentially illegal right kick to a grounded opponent and Anderson calls time. He says the kick caught the chin even though most of it landed on the body. Dung gets a two point deduction but the fight is allowed to continue. Dung starts going for broke knowing he may have just tied the fight up on the cards with his mistake. Robison tries to get a takedown but Dung winds up on top at the bell. 9-8 Robison.
Final result: Nainoa Dung wins a unanimous decision 28-27 X3.
Christian Edwards vs. Justin Vargas
White trunks and blue gloves, 3-1, Fort Hood, Texas is Vargas. Black trunks and red gloves, 0-0, Albuquerque, New Mexico is Edwards. Our referee is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Vargas is the first to the center as the two tap gloves. He’s immediately got Edwards backing up and lands a right hook before dropping levels in search of a takedown. Edwards fends it off well against the fence and rocks Vargas with a left before pouring on left hands and elbows for the stoppage at 54 seconds.
Final result: Christian Edwards wins via technical knockout at 0:54 of round one.
Gabriel Varga vs. Jamese Taylor
Varga has the red gloves, Taylor the blue, both are making their MMA pro debut but Varga is a champion kickboxer. Taylor fights out of St. Charles, Missouri in the multi-colored trunks while Victoria, B.C., Canada’s own Varga has gray trunks. The referee is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Taylor backs up, takes a leg kick, and returns one in kind. Varga teases kicks he doesn’t throw then comes forward with body shots. Taylor responds to that momentum by taking the off balance Varga down and getting half guard. Varga gets up at two minutes but Taylor jumps on his back and then gets full mount when it goes back to the ground. Varga bucks him off and gets back up at 2:37. Taylor fends off multiple takedown attempts. Nothing changes for the next two minutes - Varga keeps trying and Taylor defends each attempt. Varga almost has a single leg late but can’t secure it. 10-9 Taylor.
Round 2: Varga misses with a head kick, lands a side kick, Taylor again returns the favor. Varga smacks him with a right hand flush. Varga comes forward body head and Taylor covers up. Another flush right hand and more body work against the fence. Leg kick from Taylor. Left hook by Varga. Multiple kicks to the lead leg from Varga make Taylor switch his stance. 2:30 gone. Leg kicks are traded. Varga hurts Taylor with a body shot and he doubles over. Varga spins to the back and then pours it on when Taylor stands back up to get the technical knockout stoppage.
Final result: Gabriel Varga via technical knockout at 3:23 in round two.
Arlene Blencowe vs. Amanda Bell
Blencowe is 11-7 in the red gloves and green top/trunks fighting out of Sydney, Australia. Bell is 6-5 in the blue gloves and black top/trunks fighting out of Molalla, Oregon. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Glove tap leads to a knockdown right hand shot to the ear at 9 seconds, lays on the hammerfists, and she continues to pour it on when Bell gets back to her feet. Herzog waves it off at 22 seconds.
Final result: Arlene Blencowe via knockout at 0:22 of round one.
Will Fleury vs. Antonio Jones
Fleury is 5-1 in the red gloves and white trunks out of Dublin, Ireland. Jones is 7-2 in the black trunks and blue gloves out of San Antonio, Texas. Our referee is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Fleury is using his height and reach to force Jones backward until he rocks him with a right at 40 seconds and drags him to the ground. Jones took this fight on two weeks notice and it shows. Fleury is quickly in side control. He passes to full mount at 1:35. Jones gives up his back and Fleury goes for a choke, but Jones slips out. Fleury rides his back with both hooks in throwing hard lefts and when Jones falls down he tries to sink in the RNC again. He’s too high on the chin though and Jones slips out. Fleury keeps fishing for it. Jones hands onto one wrist trying to survive. Jones slips out at 4:24 as Fleury tries to regain full mount. 10-8 round for Fleury.
Round 2: Jones checks a head kick to start the round and throws a right hand. A left hook finds its home as Fleury dances backward. Jones charges in and Fleury ties him up and trips him to the ground at 49 seconds. He takes side control immediately. Jones pushes him back to half guard at 1:30. Fleury keeps bucking and jumping and finally gets back to side control at 3:15. Full mount at 3:32. The ten people from Ireland in the building are doing a soccer chant for Fleury. Fleury smashes an elbow home and Jones gives up his back with 40 seconds left. Jones survives a late attempt to set up a RNC. 10-9 Fleury.
Round 3: Jones steps forward like he knows he’s in a big hole and needs a knockout. Fleury backs away and throws a leg kick. Jones swings and misses with a right and Fleury clinches up and drops levels against the fence. He hits the takedown at 1:05 right into side control and then grapevines the legs. Jones defends as Fleury moves from position to position looking for an opening. He has full mount with 40 seconds left. Jones survives again but Fleury pitched a shutout on the scorecards.
Final result: Will Fleury by unanimous decision of 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Lucas Brennan vs. Thomas Lopez
Lopez is 1-4 out of Sherman, Texas in the blue gloves. Brennan has red gloves and trunks, making his pro debut out of Frisco, Texas. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Brennan gets a takedown at 1:15 of round one right to side control. He quickly transitions to the back with hooks in and a body triangle cinched up tight. You won’t be surprised to know a rear naked choke attempt comes next, and Lopez taps out.
Final result: Lucas Brennan via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:02 of round one.
Jordan Young vs. Joel Bauman
Young is 10-0 in the red gloves and black/red trunks, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida. Bauman is 3-0 in the blue gloves and black trunks, fighting out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Our referee in charge of this contest is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Young offers a glove tap and Bauman cautiously accepts. Bauman uses leg kicks to start and then tags Young with a body shot. Young connects with his own leg kick at 1:08. Bauman unloads with a flurry of body and leg kicks. Young pushes forward, grabs Bauman almost by the neck, and has him against the fence trying to put him on the ground. Bauman hits a switch and he’s the one who winds up on top with 2:30 remaining. Young throws his legs up looking for a triangle choke and pulls down on the head. Bauman taps at 3:20.
Final result: Jordan Young via submission (triangle choke) at 3:20 of round one.
Kona Oliveira vs. Joseph Holmes
Blue gloves and green trunks for Holmes, 0-1, fighting out of Forney, Texas. Red gloves and white trunks for Oliveira, 1-1, fighting out of Haleiwa, Hawaii. Our referee in charge of this fight is Jacob Montalvo.
Round 1: High five glove tap starts the action. Oliveira circles throwing kicks. Holmes eats a high kick and shoots forward. Oliveira turns him around and takes him down at 53 seconds. Holmes gets back up at 1:20. Both men go to the ground briefly as Holmes looks for his own takedown. He gets the ankle pick but Oliveira quickly gets back up at 2:37. Holmes is like a dog with a bone — he just won’t give up on getting Oliveira down. Oliveira responds by going for a standing guillotine but doesn’t have it. 10-9 Holmes.
Round 2: Oliveira is trying hard to get the taller Holmes to the ground this round, but Montalvo is getting a little tired of the stalemate on the fence. Holmes reverses position and pushes Oliveira across the cage to get a takedown of his own, getting full mount at 1:59 before taking the back. He’s going for the rear naked choke and it’s tight. Oliveira gets out but the second attempt gets him at 2:41.
Final result: Joseph Holmes via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:41 of round two.