Bellator 251: “Manhoef vs. Anderson” is set to air TONIGHT (Thurs., Nov. 5, 2020) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., broadcasting live via CBS Sports Network. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson (13-5), makes his long-awaited Bellator MMA debut against long-time combat sports veteran “No Mercy” Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1, 2 NC).
Bellator 251’s main card will air on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will deliver results for the full card and comprehensive play-by-play for the televised portion of Bellator 251 below.
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 251) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show — it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 251 QUICK RESULTS:
Melvin Manhoef vs. Corey Anderson — Anderson TKO 2:34 R2.
Tyrell Fortune vs. Said Sowma — Fortune UD 29-28 X3.
Austin Vanderford vs. Vinicius de Jesus — Vanderford UD 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Derek Anderson vs. Killys Mota — Anderson TKO 4:27 R2.
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Bryce Logan — Karakhanyan SD 28-29, 29-28 X2.
Alex Polizzi vs. Julius Anglickas — Anglickas UD 30-27 X3.
Janay Harding vs. Jessy Miele — Harding UD 30-27 X3.
Ali Zebian vs. Piankhi Zimmerman — Zebian 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Jaylon Bates vs. Joe Supino — Bates UD 30-25, 30-27 X2.
Sumiko Inaba vs. Jessica Ruiz — Inaba TKO 4:59 R1.
BELLATOR 251 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Melvin Manhoef vs. Corey Anderson
“Overtime” Corey Anderson has the blue gloves and dark trunks for his Bellator debut, bringing a record of 13-5 with him. “No Mercy” Melvin Manhoef has the red gloves and kickboxing trunks on, a storied record of 32-14-1, 2 NC coming into tonight’s fight. Anderson fights out Brocton, Illinois. Manhoef fights out of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The referee for our main event is Todd Anderson. They touch gloves during the final instructions.
Round 1: Both men are immediately stepping back and forth in the center feeling out the distance and range. Anderson pumps the left jab as Manhoef starts to backpedal. He teases a single leg to keep Manhoef off balance. The second time he really does shoot at 55 seconds, and he’s got it at 1:08. Right hands on top from half guard. So far all Manhoef is doing is trying to get his hands up to block SOME of the shots landing. Manhoef gets back to his feet at 3:00 and resets to center 10 seconds later. Anderson goes for the takedown again and has it at 3:25. He has Manhoef pinned up against the cage and he’s throwing some heavy right hands. Manhoef is again just trying to block the right hands with his own hands. That’s not helping you dude. Manhoef gets to his knees but also eats a big one. He stands for the final few seconds. 10-9 Anderson.
Round 2: “If you’re in Corey Anderson’s corner, you couldn’t have asked for a better first round.” The words of “Big” John McCarthy ring true. Anderson is making Manhoef flinch with every move he makes. He drops levels and takes Manhoef down at 58 seconds, once again unloading with the rights. Anderson is dropping some big right elbows on top and Todd Anderson just warned Manhoef he’s got to move. He did not and the fight is OVER.
Final result: Corey Anderson wins via technical knockout at 2:34 of round two.
Tyrell Fortune vs. Said Sowma
Blue gloves and black trunks for the 6-1 Sowma (six straight wins) in his Bellator debut. Red gloves and green trunks for the 8-1 Fortune. Fortune is 30, Sowma 28. 77” reach to 76” reach. Sowma fights out of Coconut Creek, Florida. Fortune fights out of Tempe, Arizona. The referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: A friendly glove tap gets us underway. Fortune lands the first big left hand and follows with a right leg kick. Fortune inches forward, Sowma circles to his right on the outside. He changes directions and gets popped with a left hand. Sowma lazily throws out a high kick. Fortune lands a clean left hook. Another leg kick for Fortune. Front kick for Sowma. Now Fortune circles on the outside. He pushes back to center with a double jab. Three minutes gone. Another leg kick for Fortune. Sowma tries to respond in kind. Nody shots from Fortune. He shoots and takes Sowma down with a minute to go. Sowma gets back up at 4:17. Beltran reminds them not to grab the cage as they jockey for position against the fence. Fortune gets a short takedown at 4:54. 10-9 Fortune.
Round 2: Fortune wastes no time putting Sowma on his back foot again, chasing a big right hand in the process. Sowma tries to juke and jive but Fortune stays patient and answers with leg kicks and the right hook. Josh Thomson on Sowma: “A lot of feinting and not a lot of throwing.” Two minutes gone. Fortune shoots at 2:20. He has double underhooks but he also has a knee hitting him in the groin. Beltran calls time to let him walk it off and then puts them right back where they were. Sowma escapes a single leg attempt. Fortune pushes Sowma away at 3:52. Fortune goes for an overhand right and trips. Sowma tries to take Fortune’s back as he gets back up, then he tries to trip him to the ground, neither works. Sowma lands a body kick and some good shots upstairs. They trade and Fortune covers up. It feels like Sowma might have eked out a 10-9 late.
Round 3: Fortune is chasing his overhand right now, and Sowma is being elusive and looking for his opening. Leg kick for Sowma. Left jab for Fortune. Sowma comes forward with a combo. Leg kick for Sowma. Jab for Sowma. Body kick for Sowma. Sowma leans all the way back to avoid Fortune’s power shot. Jabs both ways. Two minutes left. Fortune gets knocked down and Sowma grabs a front headlock as he gets up to throw a couple of knees. Sowma puts him on the fence looking for a takedown. They spin around looking to dominate. Fortune with an inside knee until Sowma spins him around again and drops levels. Foot stomps by Sowma. He goes hard for a single and Fortune almost gives him a piledriver. Fortune gets his back and gets on top right at the bell. This is a toss up.
Final result: Tyrell Fortune gets a 29-28 X3 unanimous decision.
Austin Vanderford vs. Vinicius de Jesus
de Jesus is out first in the white trunks and blue gloves. Vanderford spots the black trunks and red gloves tonight. de Jesus is 9-3 and Vanderford is a perfect 9-0. de Jesus fights out of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Vanderford fights out of Coconut Creek, Florida. The referee in charge of this fight is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: A tap of gloves gets us underway. de Jesus lands the kick on Vanderford’s lead left leg. Vanderford shoots and de Jesus sprawls to stuff it, landing some good counter strikes. Vanderford goes for another takedown but de Jesus immediately counters and goes for his foot. Vanderford scrambles free at 1:02 but being so close to the fence when de Jesus went for the knee bar saved him. They size each other up in the center of the cage. Overhand right lands for Vanderford. Straight left for de Jesus. Right from de Jesus and a leg kick. de Jesus lands the leg kick again. Straight shots from Vanderford pop de Jesus’ head back. Left jab and an overhand right as an off balance de Jesus topples and Vanderford gets on top. Butterfly guard from de Jesus. Vanderford breaks it and is in full guard. He throws an elbow. Vanderford tries to pass but now the fence is helping de Jesus. Body shots from Vanderford. 10-9 Vanderford.
Round 2: de Jesus opens the round with a front kick and a little capoeira. Vanderford walks through it and takes him down. He’s in half guard throwing left hands at de Jesus. de Jesus gets him back into full guard at 48 seconds. He’s trying to throw elbows from the bottom. More nasty left hands and right hammerfists from Vanderford. Meanwhile on commentary Mike Goldberg is giving us the hearsay, telling us secondhand how much Chael Sonnen raves about Vanderford’s strength. John McCarthy backs him up by talking about “the squeeze” some guys have. There’s time to tell you all of this because nothing has changed in the last two minutes other than Vanderford getting half guard back. Both men are breathing hard but de Jesus is the one sucking the most air due to the impact of the body and head shots. I might be mistaken but it even looks like Vanderford threw a head butt. If he did nobody on commentary saw it, nor did the ref. Vanderford gets full mount and jumps for an arm triangle but de Jesus survives. 10-9 Vanderford.
Round 3: Vanderford jabs his way into another takedown in the first 15 seconds, which has to frustrate the HELL out of de Jesus’ corner. Left elbows to the head, right hands to the body, slashing left elbow, shoulder strikes, Vanderford is putting on a clinic in top control right now. Three unopposed left hands to the face. Vanderford has excellent balance, staying on top when de Jesus tried to scramble, briefly looking for the arm triangle choke again. de Jesus is now a bloody mess and he’s painting the canvas with his head. He tries to sit up and Vanderford swings him away from the fence and slams him back down. More slicing elbows. There’s so much blood it’s all over their feet and backs. Vanderford stands up to drop one more giant hammer fist. 10-8 Vanderford.
Final result: Austin Vanderford wins by unanimous decision of 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Derek Anderson vs. Killys Mota
Mota sports the blue gloves and is 12-1 tonight, Anderson the red with a record of 16-3 (1 NC). Mota has black trunks and hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Anderson also has black trunks and fights out of Escondido, California. Our referee is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Anderson is pressuring early. Mota has his hands up high, Anderson’s are down around his waist. Anderson lands a leg kick and jabs. They clinch up and Mota turns him to the fence. Mota gets a takedown and grapevines the legs. Anderson gets up at 1:48. Mota throws a knee, pulls Anderson down to his knees, jumps on the back but can’t secure any hooks. Anderson gets up looking for his own takedown and Mota elbows him in the head. Anderson says “Back of the head ref!” Beltran ignores it. Mota pulls guard looking for a guillotine and then sweeps on top, finally letting go of the head with 90 seconds to go. Anderson springs right back to his feet. Anderson steps in and Mota lands a combo. Mota pushes him into the fence. Anderson turns him, Mota turns him right back. Leg sweep and Mota takes the back with one hook in late. 10-9 Mota.
Round 2: Leg kick from Anderson. Head kick is checked. Mota teases a knee. Leg kick from Mota. They tied up at 52 seconds and break clean. Clashing kicks and Mota takes the off balance Anderson to the canvas. He’s in full guard. Anderson tries to roll for a submission but Mota blocks it and goes for the back. Anderson slips out at 2:10 and drops levels. Mota widens his stance. Anderson lifts Mota high in the air and walks him across the cage. That seems like a lot of wasted energy — he should have just put him down where they were. Mota throws his legs up looking to secure an armbar. Anderson escapes. Anderson gets to his feet with 50 seconds left but they’re still grappling. Mota gets kicked in the chin while he’s in the act of getting up and Beltran immediately calls time. John McCarthy is not pleased because he says it’s a legal shot. The replay seems to confirm that Mota only had one hand and one knee on the ground, but the fight has been stopped and we’re going to a commercial break to await the verdict.
Final result: Derek Anderson wins by technical knockout at 4:27 of round two (legal strike).
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