On Friday night, Bellator will return with Bellator 243. The 10-fight card is headlined by a rematch between Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson. Follow along throughout the night for live coverage of the events happening from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Preliminary Card (7:15PM EDT) (Youtube)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT) (Paramount Network / DAZN)
Bout 10: Michael Chandler (20-5) vs. Benson Henderson (28-8) (Lightweight)
Chandler Stops Henderson In The First Round
Michael Chandler won in the main event after knocking Benson Henderson out with punches. The exchange started late in the first round with a left cross that dropped Henderson. Chandler landed follow-up punches before the referee stepped in.
The fight started with a quick pace which saw both fighters throw strikes at a fast tempo.
The fight was the last on Chandler’s Bellator contract, with the lightweight testing free agency next. He praised his time in Bellator after the fight, as Bellator is the promotion he has competed in since 2010.
“Scott Coker, you’re on the clock let’s get something done,” said Chandler, talking to the Bellator President in his post-fight interview.
The matchup was a rematch from a 2016 bout that saw Chandler face Henderson in a five-round battle. The fight went to a split decision that time, with two of the three scorecards favouring Chandler.
The rematch between the fighters was first scheduled for a Bellator card in December, however, Henderson had to pull out due to injury.
Bout 9: Matt Mitrione (13-7) vs. Timothy Johnson (13-6) (Heavyweight)
Johnson Stops Mitrione Early
Timothy Johnson picked up a win in the first round, stopping fellow heavyweight Matt Mitrione with punches on the ground in the co-main event.
The fight went down early in the first round after the fighter’s heads collided. After Johnson kept side control for a few minutes, he sped up his tempo of punches, causing the referee to end the bout.
“I guess sometimes better be lucky than good right,” said Johnson after the fight, talking about how the headbutt could have affected the fight.
Johnson got his second Bellator win-in-a-row, with his win before being a first-round stoppage over Tyrell Fortune.
Mitrione hasn’t won in four fights, with three of his past four being losses. He was out of the cage for just under a year before this fight, with his fight before being a loss to Sergei Kharitonov in August of 2019.
Bout 8: Myles Jury (18-5) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (29-10-1) (Lightweight)
Jury Edges Scorecards Against Karakhanyan
A split decision went to Myles Jury on the main card, defeating Georgi Karakhanyan. The fight was a close one that saw the fighters nearly share control on the feet and ground.
The fight saw vary scorecards, as a judge each gave three-straight rounds to a fighter at the end.
Jury got his second win in Bellator since he started his stint with the promotion in 2019. His previous fight was in February, where he defeated Brandon Girtz via decision. Karakhanyan won his fight before, as he stopped Paul Redmond via rear naked choke in February.
Bout 7: Curtis Millender (18-5) vs. Sabah Homasi (13-8) (Catchweight 175 lbs)
Homasi Takes Decision Win Over Millender
Starting off the main card, Sabah Homasi picked up a decision win over Curtis Millender. The win saw Homasi have control of the fight by having more control with wrestling.
The fight was a catchweight bout at 175 pounds. Both fighters were coming off of wins in their respective Bellator debuts. Homasi’s was just under a year ago, as he defeating Micah Terrill on August 24th. Millender’s was much more recently, as he won over Moses Murrietta in January.
Bout 6: Adam Borics (14-1) vs. Mike Hamel (7-3) (Catchweight 150 lbs)
Borics Bounces Back From January Loss With Scorecard Win
Finishing off the preliminary card, Adam Borics took a close split decision win over Mike Hamel. The win saw him bounce back from his first loss as a professional, which he was given by Darrion Caldwell in January.
The fight was close, as both figthers had their moments with striking and clinch. After the fight Hamel visibly had more damage than Borics on his face.
Hamel took the fight on short notice, replacing Borics’ original opponent, Derek Campos. Hamel missed weight for the 150-pound bout, weighing in at 154.6 pounds.
Bout 5: AJ Agazarm (3-1) vs. Cris Lencioni (6-2) (Featherweight)
Lencioni Wins Grudge Match Over Agazarm
Cris Lencioni picked up a unanimous decision on the prelims, defeating AJ Agazarm. The fight was a strong performance from Lencioni, who was able to keep control on the ground and have good ground and pound.
There was controversy after the fight, as Agazarm refused to shake the hand of Lencioni. Referee Mike Beltran tried to get him to, although he was persistent on not doing so.
There was a clear amount of animosity between the fighters, as they sometimes refused to leave positions on the ground after a round concluded. While waiting for scorecards, Lencioni mocked the fact that Agazarm was raising his arm.
The fighters were warned before the third round to keep the fight clean.
Lencioni was headbutted in the first round, which he stressed afterwards hurt him badly.
“After that, I was like ‘dang, where am I?'” said Lencioni after the fight.
Lencioni won his third consecutive fight in Bellator, handing Agazarm his first loss since his 2019 professional debut.
Bout 4: Valerie Loureda (2-0) vs. Tara Graff (1-1) (Flyweight)
Loureda Stops Graff Late In Second Round
Getting her third win as a pro, Valerie Loureda stopped Tara Graff late in the second round. The fight had a quick finish, as Loureda dropped Graff with a right hook in the final 10 seconds of the fight. She threw punches on the ground, finishing the fight in the final second of the fight.
The fight saw Loureda return after over a year of a layoff, with her previous fight being a June win over Larkyn Dasch.
A matchup between Loureda and Graff was scheduled for January, however, it was changed due to Loureda being injured.
Bout 3: Grant Neal (3-0) vs. Hamza Salim (5-2) (Light Heavyweight)
Neal Remains Undefeated With Scorecard Sweep
A dominant performance through three rounds kept Grant Neal undefeated, getting a unanimous decision against Hamza Salim. Neal’s win came after three rounds where he was dictating the fight through work on the ground or in a clinch.
Going to the scorecards, two of the three judges awarded Neal 10-8 rounds, with one judge even having a final score of 30-24.
The fight was Neal’s fourth as a pro and his third in Bellator. Salim had more experience in professional MMA, although it was his first Bellator performance.
Bout 2: Nainoa Dung (3-1) vs. Charlie Campbell (1-1) (Lightweight)
Campbell Gets First Bellator Win
Getting his first Bellator win, Charlie Campbell finished Nainoa Dung in the second round with leg kicks. The finish came after Dung was dropped from leg kicks, with the referee ending the fight after Dung struggled to get back to his feet.
Dung sat on a stool after the fight and was assisted out of the ring before the official ruling. Campbell had a strong first round before, controlling on the ground after securing a takedown.
The fight was Campbell’s first in Bellator, having only fought in regional promotion Ring of Combat before. The fight was Dung’s second-consecutive loss in Bellator, with his fight before being a decision loss to Zach Zane.
Bout 1: Dalton Rosta (2-0) vs. Mark Gardner (1-1) (Middleweight)
Rosta Remains Undefeated
Following a dominant first round, Dalton Rosta stayed undefeated, winning over Mark Gardner due to doctor stoppage. After one round cuts on Gardner’s face and deemed him unable to compete, per the doctor assigned to the fight.
While Gardner was active in the first round, Rosta was doing more damage, dropping Gardner on the feet with punches and landing dozens of hammerfist punches on the ground.
“I want Dillon Danis,” said Rosta after the fight, who was disappointed that he wasn’t offered a post-fight interview.
The win was the third-straight for Rosta in Bellator.