Bellator 254: “Macfarlane vs. Velasquez” is set to air TONIGHT (Thurs., Dec. 10, 2020) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., broadcasting via CBS Sports Network. The women’s Flyweight title is on the line as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0) faces another undefeated fighter named Juliana Velasquez (10-0).
Bellator 254’s main card will air on CBS Sports Network at 10 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will deliver results for the full card and comprehensive play-by-play for the televised portion of Bellator 254 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 254) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show — it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 254 QUICK RESULTS:
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Juliana Velasquez — Velasquez UD 48-47 X2, 49-46.
Magomed Magomedov vs. Matheus Mattos — Magomedov UD 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Linton Vassell vs. Ronny Markes — Vassell TKO 3:37 R2.
Romero Cotton vs. Justin Sumter — Cotton sub (RNC) 3:36 R1.
Grant Neal vs. Maurice Jackson — Neal sub (RNC) 3:59 R2.
Shamil Nikaev vs. Kemran Lachinov — Nikaev UD 29-28 X3.
Cody Law vs. Kenny Champion — Law TKO 4:44 R3.
Robson Gracie Jr. vs. Billy Goff — Goff TKO 1:46 R2.
BELLATOR 254 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Juliana Velasquez
Black trunks and top with blue gloves for the 10-0 Velasquez. She fights out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The champion Macfarlane has camouflage trunks, a full black bodysuit and red gloves. She fights out of San Diego, California. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: A respectful glove tap gets things underway. Velasquez keeps her left hand high and circles her right in the air. Macfarlane bounces on her feet and throws a leg kick. Velasquez paws at the champ with a right. Both women are still feeling out the range 90 seconds into the round. Macfarlane tries to run by with a combo but didn’t land much. Velasquez is trying to slowly move her toward the fence but Macfarlane’s bull rush makes Velasquez reset. Macfarlane teases a level change and goes upstairs with a strike. Macfarlane shoots for a single and Velasquez slips away. Four minutes gone and there’s no clear winner to this round. Velasquez lands a front kick. Overhand right by Macfarlane. Clashing leg kicks. That might be a 10-9 Velasquez just for control of the cage.
Round 2: Macfarlane is engaging a little more in the first minute of this round. Velasquez is advancing and keeping her on the outside as much as possible. Macfarlane charges in and lands a right hand. Velasquez starts backing her up and she rushes forward at 1:52. Macfarlane throws a flurry and Velasquez clinches to push her to the cage. Knees are exchanged. Macfarlane turns her around at 3:15. Not much changes other than that. Macfarlane trips her with under a minute to go but Velasquez lands on top. With more time left in the round this would be ideal for her to find a sub but it’s a 10-9 for Velasquez.
Round 3: Velasquez lands a left hand and easily avoids a takedown dive from the champ. She shoots for a single leg when Velasquez throws a kick, knocks her off balance, but can’t capitalize before Velasquez gets back up. They go back to the center and Macfarlane has a cut under the right eye. Macfarlane keeps trying to slip and rip. She lands a leg kick and circles. Velasquez is having less success finding the range. Macfarlane is just out of reach when she lets the right go in particular. Regardless it appears to be another 10-9 for the challenger, who landed a big jumping knee to punctuate the end of the round.
Round 4: Macfarlane is now in a deep hole and for the undefeated champion that’s unprecedented territory. Miragliotta warns the fighters to watch their outstretched fingers on the strikes. 90 seconds the challenger is in full control. Straight left snaps Macfarlane’s head back. The right lands and there’s a body shot too. Macfarlane’s nose is bloody. Mcafarlane rushes in and gets a takedown right at 3:00. Her blood is painting the canvas and her opponent’s neck. Hard left hands to the body. More lefts to the head. Velasquez is using the fence to get herself to a seated upright position. 30 seconds. With her time on top and the work she did this is the only round that even conceivably went to Macfarlane.
Round 5: It’s 4-0 or 3-1 now but either way Macfarlane needs more than to win this round. She needs to win a blowout just to get a draw, or she needs a knockout or a submission to win this title defense. She fails to get a leg trip as Velasquez lets her burn the energy against the fence. Neither woman is going much of anywhere these first two minutes. Macfarlane finally gets her down but Velasquez lands right on top. Perhaps the champ can find a submission off her back this time though — there’s much more time left than before. Velasquez pushes Macfarlane toward the fence to limit her options. Velasquez lets her stand back up at 3:32 and negates the option of a submission. Macfarlane desparately tries to get her to the ground again. Velasquez widens her stance and uses the fence to her advantage. 30 seconds. Macfarlane tries foot stomps. That’s not helping. 10-9 Velasquez.
Final result: Juliana Velasquez wins the title by unanimous decision 48-47 X2, 49-46.
Magomed Magomedov vs. Matheus Mattos
Matheus Mattos is out first for the fight with black trunks, blue gloves, and a record of 12-1-1. Magomed Magomedov has black trunks, red gloves, and a record of 16-1 with his only loss coming against current UFC champion Petr Yan. Mattos fights out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Magomedov fights out of Dagestan, Russia. The referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: A glove tap opens the contest before Magomedov dives for a takedown and Mattos takes his neck in response. Magomedov gets out of it and takes Mattos’ back against the fence. He transitions to looking for a single leg as Mattos tries to fight it off. He wraps both arms around the legs and Mattos’ keeps himself from going down by posturing up on his hands, but he finally gets flipped inside out at 1:46 and comes down on his head. Magomedov goes for the back again as he tries to get back up. Mattos throws reverse right elbows as Magomedov tries to break Mattos down. Once again he switches to a single leg and Mattos tries to fend it off. He gets it at 3:20 and takes the back with one hook in. He loses the hook but Mattos can’t get back up. He takes the left hook again as Mattos tries to post. He’s thrown down again at 4:09. Mattos escapes the hook but can’t get to his feet. 10-9 round for Magomedov.
Round 2: Mattos narrowly avoids a spinning backfist early. A spin kick is also thrown. Mattos marches forward as Magomedov looks for the moment to shoot. He seizes it and pushes Mattos into the fence looking for a single leg. I would have given Mattos a warning not to grab the fence. He did it twice and got taken down anyway. It’s a repeat of the first round with one hook in and making Mattos burn energy fighting the position and carry the weight. 2:30 gone. Magomedov takes the back with a body triangle. Mattos gets up with Magomedov riding like a backpack. If he could get under Mattos’ neck this would be a great position to secure a rear naked choke. Mattos nearly gets caught at the four minute mark. Magomedov drags him back to the ground at 4:30. Another 10-9 for Magomedov.
Round 3: A glove tap opens the final round. Mattos is moving forward with the urgency of a man who knows he’s in a deep hole, but it doesn’t stop Magomedov from taking him down and getting the back at 50 seconds. Knee to the posterior from behind. Multiple knees. Mattos tries to get up and goes right back down at 1:48. Magomedov is looking to secure both hooks and Mattos is fighting for arm and wrist control trying to block it. He’s got the back at 3:10. Both men have their toes in the fence for a moment. They roll away and Magomedov flattens Mattos down. He gets to his knees, he sits up, and Magomedov pulls him backward. Mattos isn’t going anywhere. The only question now is will this be a unanimous decision or a rear naked choke submission. Mattos tries to spin on top late but only manages it right at the bell. 10-9 Magomedov.
Final result: Magomed Magomedov wins a unanimous decision of 30-26, 30-27 X2.
Linton Vassell vs. Ronny Markes
Blue gloves and black trunks for the 19-7 Markes. Red gloves and black trunks for the 19-8 Vassell. Markes fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Vassell fights out of Milton Keynes, England. The referee in charge is Yves Lavigne.
Round 1: The glove tap comes four seconds after the opening bell. Vassell misses wildly with a leg kick. Markes circles around and away from him with his hands up high. Vassell falls down throwing a right hand and Markes rushes him into the fence as he stands up. Markes’ attempt to get a takedown backfires and Vassell lands on top in half guard. Left elbow to the face. He keeps pushing the head down with one hand so he can elbow Markes again. Vassell tries to get a mounted crucifix and Markes gets the arm free. Markes fails to get a leg sweep but gets Vassell into full guard and then closes it. 90 seconds. Vassell moves to half guard again. Right hands to the face. 30 seconds. 10-9 Vassell.
Round 2: Vassell lands a leg kick at 25 seconds. Another 15 seconds later. Markes shoots and gets a takedown but Vassell immediately sweeps to the top. Markes is trying to keep him in half guard but that’s just allowing Vassell to smash the right elbow home. Two minutes gone. Vassell is very close to pulling the leg through for full mount. He’s got it at 2:26. Vassell postures up and Markes covers up. Lefts, rights, elbows. Lavigne is taking a close look and IT IS ALL OVER at 3:37.
Final result: Linton Vassell wins by technical knockout at 3:37 of the second round.
Romero Cotton vs. Justin Sumter
Red trunks and blue gloves for Justin Sumter in his third Bellator MMA fight, sporting a pro record of 7-3. The undefeated Romero Cotton is 4-0 and has black trunks and red gloves. Sumter fights out of Milford, Connecticut. Cotton fights out of San Jose, California. The referee in charge is Bryan Miner.
Round 1: Cotton is quickly pushed to the outer circle. He catches a kick and lets it go. Cotton side steps his way forward cautiously and the two start to trade kicks. Sumter is taken down at 58 seconds. Sumter closes the guard with his legs wrapped tightly around Cotton’s back. Cotton is still trying to posture up and blast him with right hands. Sumter tries to push off the cage with his feet — it doesn’t work. 2:30 gone. Cotton smacks him with a left to the jaw. Cotton pushes him into the fence for some more left hands. Sumter throws his legs up for a triangle and Cotton slips right out. 90 seconds to go. Cotton takes the back and locks in a rear naked choke LIGHTNING QUICK. It’s over!
Final result: Romero Cotton wins by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:36 in round one.