Bellator 239: Ruth vs. Amasov Full Coverage

The first of Bellator’s two-day doubleheader last weekend started on Friday with Bellator 239. Headlining the card, welterweights Ed Ruth and Yaroslav Amosov competed, from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, USA.

Quick Results – Click bout to skip to it:

Prelims

Bout 1: Christian Edwards def. Marco Hutch via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 2: Keith Lee def. Shawn Bunch via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 3: TeeJay Britton def. Gabriel Varga via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 4: Denise Kielholtz def. Kristina Williams via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 2:15)

Bout 5: Solo Hatley Jr. def. Gaston Bolanos via Decision, Split

Bout 6: Josh Hill def. Vinicius Zani via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 7: Grant Neal def. Claude Wilcox via TKO, Punches (RD 3, 3:37)

Main Card

Bout 8: Valentin Moldavsky def. Javy Ayala via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 9: Tim Johnson def. Tyrell Fortune via TKO, Punches (RD 1, 2:35)

Bout 10: Myles Jury def. Brandon Girtz via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 11: Yaroslav Amosov def. Ed Ruth via Decision, Unanimous

Postlims

Bout 12: Kyle Crutchmer def. Scott Futrell via Submission, Anaconda Choke (RD 1, 2:58)

Bout 13: Cris Lencioni def. Salim Mukhidinov via Decision, Split

Bout 14: Kevin Croom def. Adil Benjilany via Decision, Split

Bout 15: Chris Gonzalez def. Arron McKenzie via Decision, Split

Bout 16: Davion Franklin def. J.W. Kiser via TKO, Punches (RD 1, 1:40)

Full Coverage

Bout 1: Christian Edwards (2-0) vs. Marco Hutch (3-2) (Light Heavyweight)

Starting off the preliminary card was undefeated Christian Edwards facing Marco Hutch in a light heavyweight fight. Hutch caught a kick at the start, getting the fight to the ground with a takedown. Hutch landed some strikes while in half guard. From the bottom, Edwards tried for an armbar which was put quite deep. He eventually escaped the hold, maintaining top position in the process. They got back up with two minutes left in the round. They went in a clinch against the cage after Edwards threw a flying knee. They went back to striking with just over a minute left. Edwards constantly was the fighter coming forward with strikes.

Edwards opened the second round with a combination of punches. He landed a teep kick which pushed Hutch against the cage. Before going into a clinch, Edwards landed a good knee to the body. Edwards landed another good combination of strikes that ended with a knee before going into another clinch. When they returned to stand-up with two minutes to go in the round, Hutch was clearly tired. Edwards got Hutch to his knees on the ground in the final minute of the round. He then landed lots of strikes from Hutch’s back.

Edwards landed numerous punches at the start of the third round. Hutch was moving much slower than in the round before. His fatigue was showing. A minute into the round, Edwards got another takedown. He stayed on Hutch, throwing lots of strikes. They got to their feet with two minutes to go, where Edwards landed many knees. Edwards got another takedown before the fight ran out of time. Going to the scorecards, there was no surprise that Christian Edwards would advance to three wins as a pro (30-26, 30-26 & 30-25).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Edwards 10 10 10 30
Hutch 9 9 8 26

Bout 2: Shawn Bunch (9-4) vs. Keith Lee (5-3) (Bantamweight)

Bantamweights Shawn Bunch and Keith Lee fought in the next fight. Lee, who is the brother of UFC fighter Kevin Lee, was making his Bellator debut. The fight started with some close striking. Lee shot for a takedown but Bunch denied it. Bunch tried for a takedown with two minutes to go, however never got farther than a standing clinch against the cage. For the final minute of the fight, Lee was pushing forward with strikes.

Lee got a takedown in the first minute of the second round. He quickly got on Bunch’s back, throwing punches to the head. Bunch started to bleed from the nose. When not throwing punches, Lee was trying for a rear naked choke. They went back to the feet with just over a minute left to go in the round.

Bunch caught a kick early in the third round, putting Lee up against the cage in a clinch. They left the clinch with three minutes left in the round. Bunch was landing some shots periodically in this round. He caught another leg kick, using it to launch forward and score a couple of hooks. Lee got a takedown in the final seconds of the round, although they got back up quickly. Lee landed some punches and knees before the bell sounded. Referring to the judges, it was Keith Lee who got the win (30-26, 29-28 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bunch 9 9 9 27
Lee 10 10 10 30

Bout 3: Gabriel Varga (1-0) vs. TeeJay Britton (5-2) (Featherweight)

Bellator Featherweight Kickboxing Champion Gabriel Varga returned to MMA in the next fight, facing TeeJay Britton. Both fighters were fast out of the gate. Varga was scoring lots of leg kicks. Britton shot for a takedown, putting Varga against the fence in a clinch. With three minutes left in the round, Britton finally got the trip takedown. With a minute left in the round, the referee stood them up due to inactivity. They went into another clinch before the round ended.

Britton shot for another takedown early in the second round. After two minutes against the cage, the referee brought them to the centre of the cage. Varga put Britton in another body lock only moments later. Britton ate a left hand while leaving clinch, however he scored a takedown seconds later. Varga’s right eye started to swell greatly. Britton landed some punches to the head from top position before the round ended.

While Varga’s right eye was quite swollen, he was allowed to compete in the final round. Britton initiated another clinch to start the round. They stayed in the clinch for most of the round, with Britton having his back against the cage most of the time. A clinch was broken up with 30 seconds left in the round. Vargas got a takedown in the final 30 seconds, however Britton got up before the round ended. When going to the judges, the fight was a split decision win for TeeJay Britton (29-28 Britton, 29-28 Varga & 29-28 Britton).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Varga 9 9 10 28
Britton 10 10 9 29

Bout 4: Denise Kielholtz (4-2) vs. Kristina Williams (3-2) (Flyweights)

In the first women’s fight of the evening, Bellator kickboxer Denise Kielholtz fought Kristina Williams. Kielhotz landed many punches after catching a kick early in the fight. Both of them were getting clipped in the first minute. Kielholtz got a takedown in the second while Williams was spinning for a kick. She was on Williams’ back, putting in a rear naked choke which made her tap out. After high-intensity striking, Denise Kielholtz did quick work on the ground to get her fifth pro-MMA win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Kielholtz
Williams

Bout 5: Gaston Bolanos (5-2) vs. Solo Hatley Jr. (7-2) (Featherweight)

Longtime Bellator fighter Gaston Bolanos fought debuting Bellator Solo Hatley Jr. in the next preliminary fight. Hatley got a takedown in the first minute of the fight. Bolanos got back to his feet, however, Hatley was still on him. They went back to striking with three minutes left in the round. Hatley got his second takedown three minutes into the round. When Bolanos got back to his feet, Hatley threw him back down. Bolanos got to his feet again in a clinch before the round ended.

After finding success with takedowns in the first round, Hatley returned to trying for them again early in the second round. His first attempt at a takedown failed, as Bolanos was able to bring it back to striking after a short clinch time. Hatley got a takedown in the second minute of the second round. Bolanos landed an upkick to the head which clearly hurt Hatley. Hatley stayed in top position until the final 15 seconds of the round where they returned to stand-up.

Bolanos had a good start to the final round, landing a front kick to the head in the first minute. Hatley put Bolanos in a clinch against the cage in the second minute of the round. They separated as the third minute started. Hatley shot for a takedown, although it was stopped. Something made Hatley start to bleed from the nose in this round. Hatley shot for another takedown in the final minute, not earning it. Hatley was hit with many punches at the end of the ground while holding onto a leg. Hatley was on the ground for a few minutes after the fight ended. Going to the judges, there was another split decision. Two of the three judges gave the win to Solo Hatley Jr. (29-28 Bolanos, 29-28 Hatley Jr., 29-28 Hatley Jr.).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bolanos 9 9 10 28
Hatley Jr. 10 10 9 29

Bout 6: Josh Hill (18-3) vs. Vinicius Zani (11-5) (Bantamweight)

Two experienced bantamweights in Josh Hill and Vinicius Zani made their Bellator debuts in the next preliminary fight. Hill got a takedown in the second minute off of catching a leg kick. With just over a minute left in the round, the referee stood them up. Hill got another takedown in the final minute from catching a kick.

After a ground-heavy first round, the second round mostly on the feet. Hill shot for a takedown with two minutes to go, however didn’t secure it. The striking was close throughout the round, with neither fighter landing a big shot. While both of them landed leg kicks, one from Hill made Zani slip near the end of the round. Hill got a takedown in the final 15 seconds of the round.

Hill got another takedown in the first minute of the final round. They went back to the feet with a minute and a half to go. They were in a clinch as the round was winding down. This fight became one of the many preliminary bouts that needed scorecards to find out who won. Getting a unanimous decision win, Josh Hill had a successful Bellator debut (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hill 10 10 10 30
Zani 9 9 9 27

Bout 7: Grant Neal (2-0) vs. Claude Wilcox (1-1) (Light Heavyweight)

The final preliminary fight saw undefeated fighter Grant Neal face Claude Wilcox. Neal got a takedown in the second minute of the fight. Wilcox was able to use the cage wall to roll out of bottom position, getting back to his feet. It didn’t take much longer for Neal to try again to go back to the ground. He slammed Wilcox down with just over a minute and a half to go in the round.

After being the more active striker at the start of the second round, Neal got his third takedown in the fight in the second minute. Neal scored stikes periodically from top position until the round ended.

Neal opened the final round with some good punches. He caught a kick into a takedown in the first minute. That style of transitioning into a takedown seemed popular tonight. Neal increased his tempo of punches from a half guard which kept an arm trapped. He kept with punches enough that the referee stepped in and ended the fight. Remaining undefeated, Grant Neal advanced to three wins as a pro.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Neal 10 10
Wilcox 9 9

Bout 8: Javy Ayala (11-7) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (8-1) (Heavyweight)

Kicking off the main card, heavyweights Javy Ayala and Valentin Moldavsky fought. Both fighters were coming off of wins in their last Bellator fights. Moldavsky avoided strikes to get a clinch at the start. From the clinch, he got a trip takedown. They got up against the cage a minute later, where Moldavsky got another takedown. He hopped into side control where he tried for an arm triangle. After Moldavsky lost the choke, he got on the back of Ayala, taking him down after he got up for a moment. Moldavsky was all over Ayala, throwing him back down again when he got up.

The second round started with another clinch, where Moldavsky got another takedown. Moldavsky kept with strikes from top position until the round ended.

Moldavsky got another takedown in the third round, continuing with slow-paced ground and pound from top position. Ayala got up often, but was kept in a clinch and thrown back down frequently. Ayala was cut open around the right eye as the round ended. After three rounds of smothering his opponent, Valentin Moldavsky cruised to a unanimous decision win (30-25, 30-24 & 30-24).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ayala 9 9 9 27
Moldavsky 10 10 10 30

Bout 9: Tyrell Fortune (8-0) vs. Tim Johnson (12-6) (Heavyweight)

Staying in the heavyweight division, the next fight saw undefeated Bellator prospect Tyrell Fortune face Tim Johnson. The first minute or so of striking was slow paced. Johnson charged forward with a combination of punches halfway through the round, connecting with a right hook which took Fortune out cold. Bouncing back from a stoppage loss, +540 underdog Tim Johnson ended the undefeated pro record of Tyrell Fortune.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Fortune
Johnson

Bout 10: Brandon Girtz (16-8) vs. Myles Jury (17-5) (Lightweight)

The third main card fight saw experienced lightweights Brandon Girtz and Myles Jury battle. Girtz had a good opening to the fight, being the more active striker. Girtz seemingly hurt Jury with a left-cross in the first minute. Girtz put Jury against the cage with just over two minutes to go, however he didn’t do anything before returning to striking.

Girtz stormed forward with punches to start the second round, however it looked like Jury avoided most of it. Girtz got a takedown from the clinch. From the bottom, Jury was landing elbows. Girtz was also active with strikes from above. The referee stood them up because of inactivity. A pause came as Girtz was poked in the eye. After a break that saw a doctor check the eye of Girtz, action resumed. Jury caught a leg of Girtz, using it to get on his back. Jury was trying for a rear naked choke on Girtz, who was still standing. He was on his back until the round ended.

Both fighters had a fast pace of strikes in the third round. Girtz put Jury in a clinch against the cage in the second minute. This happened again a minute later. Throughout the fight Jury was throwing lots of knees. Jury got a takedown in the final minute of the fight. Girtz got up, but Jury stayed on his back. After three rounds, scorecards decided a winner. All three judges saw Myles Jury as the winner, snapping a losing streak (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Girtz 10 10 9 29
Jury 9 9 10 28

Bout 11: Ed Ruth (8-1) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (22-0) (Welterweight)

Finally, the next fight was a main event between Ed Ruth and undefeated fighter Yaroslav Amosov. After both fighters tried for a takedown at the start, Amosov landed a judo throw to get Ruth to the ground. They stood up, with Amosov on Ruth’s back. Ruth escaped, then tried for a takedown of his own which didn’t fully work. Ruth was throwing lots of kicks in stand-up. Ruth got Amosov to his knees in the fourth minute, however didn’t complete the takedown. They went into a clinch on the cage. Amosov did a judo throw which made Ruth land on his head. They got up, where Amosov landed some strikes before the round ended.

Amosov opened the second round by connecting with some good strikes. After Amosov landed a combination of punches, they clinched up. He scored with another punch when exiting clinch. Ruth tried for another takedown from a clinch, but couldn’t get Amosov any farther down than to his knees. Ruth stuffed a takedown halfway through the round. Amosov got a takedown with two minutes to go, however Ruth ended up on his back. They went to their feet with a minute left in the round. Amosov earned a double leg takedown. He didn’t do much after the takedown, basically just holding onto Ruth.

Amosov connected with punches early in the first round. Throughout the fight Ruth was throwing side kicks, however they never really did damage. Ruth was connecting with hard punches as well. Amosov got a takedown in the fourth minute, on Ruth’s back. Like before, Ruth was able to flip the position and get on Amosov’s back. They got up shortly after. Both tired with just over a minute to go, both fighters were throwing strikes that didn’t connect. The fight went all three rounds. As the bell went, the fighters hugged and fell to the canvas. Going to the judges, all three chose Yaroslav Amosov as the winner, keeping him undefeated (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ruth 9 9
Amosov 10 10

Bout 12: Kyle Crutchmer (5-0) vs. Scott Futrell (11-9) (Catchweight 175 lbs)

Starting off the five-fight postlim card was undefeated Kyle Crutchmer fighting Scott Futrell in a catchweight 175-pound matchup. Crutchmer got a takedown from a body lock early on. After being in both full and half guard, they stood up. Crutchmer got put in an anaconda choke while standing up, throwing Futrell to the ground while it was locked in. Futrell tapped out quickly, putting an end to the fight. With a flashy submission win, Kyle Crutchmer stayed undefeated, earning his second Bellator win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Crutchmer
Futrell

Bout 13: Cris Lencioni (5-2) vs. Salim Mukhidinov (7-3) (Featherweight)

Both returning after wins in Bellator, Cris Lencioni were matched against each other in the next bout. Mukhidinov landed a good head kick to start the first round. Lencioni got a hold of a leg, trying for a takedown but not earning it. Lencioni tried for another takedown a minute later, getting on Mukhidinov’s back while standing. He tried for a guillotine, landing some punches while exiting clinch. Mukhidinov dumped Lencioni to the ground by catching a kick. The referee made Lencioni stand up. Lencioni got a takedown halfway through the round. He tried to get on Mukhidinov’s back, however failed to do so and ended up on the bottom position on the ground. Lencioni landed some hammerfist strikes to the body from the bottom. Mukhidinov didn’t do much from the top.

At the start of the second round, Mukhidinov was coming forward with punches while Lencioni was throwing leg kicks. Lencioni put Mukhidinov against the cage after one of his leg kicks was caught. Lencioni fought for a takedown for quite a while, however the exchange ended with them going back to the feet. Lencioni tried again for a takedown. While resisting the takedown, Mukhidinov landed many elbows. Just like in the round before, Lencioni failed to get on Mukhidinov’s back, and in the process got put in bottom position. Just like the round before, Mukhidinov didn’t do much in top position apart from a few strikes.

Mukhidinov was connecting with a lot of strikes in the first minute. Lencioni got another takedown, being able to stay on Mukhidinov’s back this time. They got up with two minutes left, with Lencioni still attached to Mukhidinov’s back. Mukhidinov landed elbows to the thigh as the round ended. In a split decision, Chris Lencioni got the win (30-27 Mukhidinov, 29-28 Lencioni & 29-28 Lencioni). The crowd sounded displeased.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Lencioni 9 9 10 28
Mukhidinov 10 10 9 29

Bout 14: Adil Benjilany (5-2) vs. Kevin Croom (20-12) (Featherweight)

Adil Benjilany faced the much more experienced Kevin Croom in the next fight. Croom caught Benjilany early in the fight after avoiding a flying knee. Benjinaly landed some knees and elbows in the clinch. Croom landed some good punches before they went into another clinch. Benjilany got a trip takedown, staying in control until the round ended.

Benjinaly threw lots of flying knees to start the second round. Croom caught him, landing a takedown from the clinch. They got up a minute later, going back to the ground with Croom on the back of Lencioni. He switched to top position in half guard with two minutes to go. Croom got on Benjilany’s back again, switching into full mount moments after. Benjilany was able to get up and take top position for the final 30 seconds of the round.

Croom shot for a takedown early in the final round, however Benjinaly blocked it and landed some strikes. Croom tried again moments later, however never got the fight off of the feet. He got a takedown in the third minute of the round. Croom held top position, getting in a grounded striking battle as the round ended. When going to the judges, two of the three judges had it for Kevin Croom (29-28 Benjilany, 29-28 Croom & 29-28 Croom).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Benjilany 10 9 9 28
Croom 9 10 10 29

Bout 15: Chris Gonzalez (3-0) vs. Aaron McKenzie (7-1-1) (Lightweight)

Lossless Chris Gonzalez battled against Aaron McKenzie next. The first couple of minutes saw a good back-and-forth striking battle between the fighters. McKenzie came forward with punches in the fourth minute, however he threw a close-up knee that Gonzalez caught for a takedown. He stayed in the position until the first stanza wrapped up.

Gonzalez got a takedown in the second minute of the second round after catching a leg. Gonzalez got up and had ahold of one of McKenzie’s legs. He was walking on his hands for a moment. Gonzalez got top position on the ground with a minute to go on the ground. Gonzalez was doing ground and pound at the end of the round, throwing one shot after the bell.

McKenzie showed sharp striking to open the final round. Gonzalez got another takedown in the second minute of the round. They got back up with half of the round left. Gonzalez got another takedown with two minutes to go. Gonzalez kept top position until the fight ended. In another split decision tonight, two of the judges chose Chris Gonzalez as the winner, keeping him undefeated (30-27 Gonzalez, 29-28 McKenzie & 30-27 Gonzalez).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Gonzalez 10 10
McKenzie 9 9

Bout 16: J.W. Kiser (5-2) vs. Davion Franklin (0-0) (Heavyweight)

 

The final fight of the show saw Davion Franklin debut against J.W. Kiser. A minute into the fight, Franklin got a takedown. He immediately went into throwing fast-paced punches, keeping with them until the referee stopped the fight. Making an explosive debut as a pro, Davion Franklin got a win with punches.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Kiser
Franklin

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