Bellator 278 is set to go down later TONIGHT (Fri. April 22, 2022) from inside Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, featuring a women's Flyweight title fight between champion, Juliana Velasquez, and No. 1-ranked contender, Liz Carmouche.
Bellator 278’s main card will air on Showtime at 10:30 p.m. ET, with “Prelims” undercard action beginning at 8 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will deliver results for the full card and comprehensive play-by-play for the televised portion of Bellator 278 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 277) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show — it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 278 QUICK RESULTS:
125 lbs.: Champion Juliana Velasquez vs. Liz Carmouche - Carmouche via fourth round TKO (HIGHLIGHTS)
135 lbs.: Nikita Mikhailov vs. Enrique Barzola - Barzola via unanimous decision
135 lbs.: Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello - Sabatello via unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Christian Edwards vs. Grant Neal - Neal via unanimous decision
160 lbs.: Manny Muro vs. Nate Andrews - Muro via split decision
145 lbs.: Weber Almeida vs. Fabricio Franco - Almeida via first round TKO
170 lbs.: Makoa Cooper vs. Blake Perry - Perry via second round submission (anaconda choke)
170 lbs.: Dante Schiro vs. Scotty Hao - Schiro via third round TKO
BELLATOR 278 PLAY-BY-PLAY
Champion Juliana Velasquez vs. Liz Carmouche
Round 1: Carmouche opens up with a low kick. Velasquez tags Carmouche with a sold left hand. Another calf kick by Carmouche, closes the distance and lands a right hand and Velasquez tags Carmouche with a sold overhand right. Carmouche goes in a bit wild, eats a one-two for her troubles. Overhand right from Velasquez but Carmouche keeps pushing forward. Another calf kick from Carmouche, Velasquez counters with a jab to the midsection. Velasquez faints with the kicks. Another calf kick from Carmouche. Velasquez with another one-two from the south paw stance. Jab right down the middle and then a high kick from Carmouche, Carmouche catches the kick, clinches and pushes the champion up against the cage. Very close round. 10-9 Carmouche
Round 2: Velasquez tags Carmouche with a huge left hand and she drops Carmouche! Carmouche gets back up but she has now tasted the power from the champion. Carmouche shoots in for the takedown and she secures it. Nicely done. She pushes the champ up against the cage. Tussle for position. Velasquez trying to work her way back up, Carmouche holding on and keeping her down. Velasquez works her way back to her feet. Knees to the thigh from Carmouche. Foot stops from Carmouche. Velasquez trying to break free but Carmouche is holding on with a vice-like grip. Nice knee to the body from Carmouche. Velasquez reverses position and now has Carmouche up against the cage and Velasquez secures her first takedown of the fight, but it won’t be enough to win the round 10-9 Velasquez
Round 3: Velasquez swings a wild left hand, catches air. Velasquez tags Carmouche with the left hand and is now stalking the challenger. Another nice left hand lands for thee champion, and then a right hand. Shot to the body from Carmouche. Velasquez pushing forward, looking for openings. Another left hand lands for Velasquez. Nice calf kick lands for Carmouche. Velasquez continues to put on the pressure. Another solid left hand connects for the champion, really starting to find her range. Carmouche shoots in for the takedown and she gets it. Elbows from the bottom position from Carmouche. Velasquez trying to stack Carmouche as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Velasquez
Round 4: Velasquez knocks Carmouche down with a left hand again, but it seems as if Carmouche was simply off balance, not ruled a knockdown. Velasquez clinches up against the cage. They exchange knees to the body. Velasquez attempts a judo throw, but the fence seemed to keep Carmouche on her feet. Low kick from Carmouche. Front kick from the challenger. One-two combo lands for the champion. Now it’s Carmouche who is putting on the pressure, but hasn’t landed much. Carmouche pushes the champion up against the cage. Knees to the thigh for Carmouche. Velasquez reverses position and pushes the challenger up against the cage, Liz reverses and gets another takedown. In side control now. Carmouche starts unloading some ground-and-pound and the referee stops the fight. A bit premature, it seems. Velasquez was not hurt, at all. Wow. Not a good stoppage at all.
Final prediction: Carmouche def. Velasquez via fourth round TKO
Nikita Mikhailov vs. Enrique Barzola
Round 1: Mikhailov launches a flying knee, goes in for the takedown and he gets it. High kick lands for Mikhailov. Spinning backfist from Mikhailov lands clean. They exchange in the center of the cage. Right hands lands for Barzola. Mikhailov rocks Barzola with a high kick. Barzola recovers and pushes his foe up against the fence. Barzola slams Mikhailov to the mat and starts to unleash the ground-and-pound. Barzola lands huge left hands on Mikhailov from behind. Mikhailov reverses position and now has Barzola up against the cage. Mikhailov working hard for the takedown, but Barzola reverses position and now has the top. Barzola landing some elbows from top position. Good opening round from both men. 10-9 Barzola
Round 2: Kick to the body from Mikhailov. Barzola dives in and his takedown is stuffed. Barzola tags Mikhailov with a shot to the body and then a left hook to the head. Mikhailov goes for the takedown, stuffed by Barzola. Mikhailov is slouched on the ground with Barzola on top of him, looks very uncomfortable. Barzola manages to put Mikhailov on his back, now in side control. Mikhailov gives up his back, Barzola is landing big shots to the side of the head Barzola takes his back and he locks in a rear-naked choke but Mikhailov battles through and escapes, wow! Barzola now cranking the head and he is now looking for an d’arce choke. Mikhailov escapes it and Barzola is relentless with the strikes from the top. Mikhailov escapes and he now has Barzola up against the fence and he suplex slams him. Brock Lesnar-like, sort of. Barzola reverses position and he has the rear-naked choke again. Mikhailov defends well and escapes. What an entertaining round that was. 10-9 Barzola
Round 3: Mikhailov down two rounds, needs a finish, or a rare 10-8 round. Leg kick lands for Mikhailov, Spinning back fist for Mikhailov doesn’t land. High kick from Mikhailov. Mikhalov pushes Barzola up against the cage. Mikhailov holding on to the single leg, Barzola defending by pushing his head down. Mikhailov trips Barzola, but Barzola gets back up and now takes Mikhailov down. Barzola looking for an anaconda choke. Barzola stacks Mikhailov and he is non-stop with the pressure from top position. Mikhailov looks exhausted. Barzola still has a lot left in the tank and he lands some kneed to the chest. Mikhailov scrambles but Barzola takes his back and once again locks in the rear-naked choke. It’s tight. Mikhailov powers through and escapes. Mikhailov drops to a knee and eats several shots from Barzola. 10-9 Barzola
Final Result: Barzola def. Mikhailov via unanimous decision
Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello
Round 1: Leg kick from Sabatello. Lugo stuffs the takedown, twice. They trade leg kicks. Sabatello shoots in and gets the takedown, relentless. Lugo gets back up to his feet. Sabatello shoots in again, stuffed by Lugofor a second before Sabatello gets the takedown. Sabatello in side control. Short elbows from Sabatello. Half guard for Sabatello. Full guard now. Lugo has nothing for Sabetello’s elite wrestling. Sabatello slams Lugo’s head to the canvas for good measure. Lugo working hard but Sabatello is strong with his position, lands some nice elbows. One minute remaining. Sabatello has Lugo in the crucifix position. More short elbows from Sabatello. Elbows to the side of the body from Sabatello. Dominant round from Sabatello. 10-9 Sabatello
Round 2: Jumping knee attempt from Lugo catches nothing but air. Sabatello shoots in and scores an easy takedown. Sabatello is making it look easy when it comes to wrestling. Three for five takedowns. Huge elbow lands for Sabatello. Lugo is trying to work, but not much doing from bottom. Half guard now for Sabatello. Sabatello now has the rear-naked choke, Lugo escapes. Lugo slashing those elbows from the top position. Sabatello has an arm triangle locked in. Lugo is in trouble here. Lugo survives and now Sabatello is pounding out Lugo with hard shots. Lugo is busted open, courtesy of an elbow. Sabatello in side control now, continuing to deliver huge elbows. Sabatello ends the round on top, again, and has some words for Lugo...again. 10-9 Sabatello
Round 3: Sabatello relentless for another takedown and he gets it rather easily. Sabatello is absolutely dominating the No. 9 ranked, undefeated fighter. Lugo has nothing for him, nothing at all. Sabatello is landing some huge body shots, no answer from Lugo, who is on his way to his first-ever loss. Lug manages to escape and reverse, but Sabatello is right back up and gains control up against the fence and takes Lugo back down. That was Lugo’s moment, but he couldn’t capitalize. Sabatello in search of a rear-naked choke, has the face crank locked in, no-go. Half guard for Sabatello, who keeps unloading shots to the body. Thsi man has a gas tank for days, it’s incredible. Sabatello picks up Lugo and slams him back to the canvas. One minute remaining and it has been an absolute shutout for “The Italian Gangster.” Sabatello ends the round delivering big shots and has earned a spot in the Bantamweight Grand Prix with the win. 10-9 Sabatello
Final Result: Sabatello def. Lugo via unanimous decision
Christian Edwards vs. Grant Neal
Round 1: Touch of gloves. Front kick attempt from Edwards. Neal sneaks a jab in. Right hand lands for Edwards. Edwards shoots for a takedown but Neal spins and tkaes his back, they separate. Double jab by Edwards. Neal having a hard time closing the distance on his much larger foe. Inside leg kick lands for Neal. One-two lands for Edwards, in and out. Neither man seems to able to find his range. Huge overhand right lands for Edwards. High kick lands flush for Edwards. Nice three-punch combo from Edwards but Neal eats in and scores a takedown to end the round. 10-9 Edwards
Round 2: Neal shoots in strong and lands a takedown but Edwards gets right back up and goes in on the attack. Head kick lands for Edwards. High kick misses from Edwards and Neal lands a left hook to the body. Calf kick from Edwards. Edward shoots for a takedown, defended well by Neal. Calf kick by Edwards. Edwards gets knocked off balance, no knockdown. Another high kick attempt from Neal. Kick to the body lands just barely for Edwards. Neal shoots in and gets another powerful takedown. Edwards can’t get up this time. Neal holding him down. Neal isn’t working, Edwards trying hard to get up. Neal keeps him down, now up against the cage. Edwards is working though. Huge hammer fists from Neal. Edwards in trouble here. Neal once again with huge shots, and isn’t letting Edwards up. 10-9 Neal.
Round 3: Right hand lands for Neal and he lands another big takedown, bad position for Edwards. Neal is simply neutralizing Edwards, not much offense. Edwards gets back up, but Neal isn’t letting go. Neal picks him up and slams him to the canvas. Edwards works his way back up. Knees to the thigh from Neal, Edwards needs a Hail Mary here. Neal switches to a single leg and dumps Edwards down for the third time this round. This round is all Neal, and Edwards is like a fish out of water with Neal on top of him. Big shots from Neal. Edwards trying to defend but some of them are going through. Big shots from Neal to seal the deal. 10-9 Neal
Final Result: Neal def. Edwards via unanimous decision
Manny Muro vs. Nate Andrews
Round 1: Both men gauging distance to start. Andrews with a stiff right jab. Andrews with a kick to the body. Oblique kick from Muro. Double jab from Andrews. Muro with a low left kick that lands flush. Andrews circling well, using his jab effectively. Nice shot to the body from Andrews. Muro with a body kick. Left hand down the middle by Andrews. Muro pushes Andrews up against the cage. Looking for the takedown but Andrews defending well. Knees to the thigh from Andrews. Muro attempts another takedown and Andrews looking for a guillotine. Tussling for position against the cage. Muro takes Andrews’ back and he gets the takedown. Andrews trying to wall walk. Muro not doing much with the top position at the moment. Andrews with shots to the side of the head. Muro still not doing much with the dominant position as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Muro
Round 2: Andrews scores a nice left hand to start things off. Wild head kick attempt from Muro. Andrews closes the distance and pushes Muro up against the cage. Clinch fighting for the moment. Andrews takes Muro’s back. Muro reverses position and they separate. Muro closes the distance, double underhooks and pushes Andrews up against the fence. The separate briefly before Muro goes in for another takedown. Muro relentless but Andrews defending well. A struggle for position again but no one really doing much in the clinch. Muro, again, goes for a takedown, stuffed. Muro drops Andrews to one knee but can’t get the takedown. Body kick by Andrews and a left, right hand combo from Andrews, then a left hook. Andrews picking up the pace and he has an anaconda choke locked in but the round comes to an end. 10-9 Andrews.
Round 3: Body kick from Muro, Andrew returns fire with a shot to the stomach area. Andrews shoots for a takedown and pushed Muro up against the cage...story of the fight so far. Andrews working hard for the takedown, now looking for a rear-naked choke. Has one hook in and now looking for a front-choke/guillotine. Andrews with a nice right hand. Muro with a clean shot down the middle, and another. Muro changes levels and attempts a weak takedown. He pushes Andrews up against the fence and drags him down to the mat. His third takedown. Andrew wincing in pain. Muro now in half guard. Muro covering Andrews’ face, making it hard to breathe. Andrews working very hard to get up, but Muro isn’t letting it happen. Muro, again, not doing much. He is content with simply staying on top, hold on. It could be enough to get him the win, though. Elbows from the bottom from Andrews, but Mur will likely escape with the win. 10-9 Muro
Final Result: Muro def. Andrews via split decision
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