Bellator is set to kick off the first half of a doubleheader of events on Friday with Bellator 245. The eight-fight card is headlined by a rematch between Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis which had it’s first chapter written in 2013.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates on the action set to go down at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Preliminary Card (8:15PM EDT) (Youtube)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT) (Paramount Network)
Bout 8: Lyoto Machida (26-9) vs. Phil Davis (21-5) (Light Heavyweight)
Davis Gets Split Decision Nod Over Machida
A kick-heavy main event saw Phil Davis pick up a split decision win over Lyoto Machida. The three-round fight saw Davis land leg kicks and teep kicks to the body.
After his win, Davis eyed a matchup against the newly crowd Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov.
“He’s an amazing fighter and I’m so proud of him beating the champion [Ryan Bader] and all of that good stuff. But, live it up my friend,” said Davis in his post-fight interview.
The win for Davis was his second against Machida. He won a unanimous decision to Machida in their 2013 encounter at UFC 163.
The win was the third-in-a-row for Davis, who picked up wins over Liam McGeary and Karl Albrektsson in 2019.
The fight was the second-straight loss for Machida. His previous fight was just under a year ago, losing a split decision to Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 228.
Davis versus Machida play-by-play.
Bout 7: Cat Zingano (10-4) vs. Gabrielle Holloway (6-5) (Featherweight)
Zingano Wins Bellator Debut Over Holloway
In the co-main event of the evening, Cat Zingano won her Bellator debut against Gabrielle Holloway. The performance saw Zingano control Holloway with takedowns from a clinch.
Holloway’s best moment was late in the fight, landing a takedown and moving into full mount where she landed strikes. After taking roughly a dozen elbows and punches, Zingano was able to escape the position.
“I wanted this to be a quick night,” said Zingano, who attempted an armbar in the first round of the fight.
Prior to her Bellator debut, Zingano had a seven-fight career in the UFC. Her previous fight was in late 2018, where an eye injury took her out of her bout against Megan Anderson.
Holloway returned from an even longer layoff, with her last fight being a win over Alexis Dufresne in March of 2017.
Holloway missed weight for the fight, coming in four pounds over the non-championship featherweight limit.
Bout 6: Ed Ruth (8-2) vs. Taylor Johnson (5-1) (Middleweight)
Johnson Wins Bellator Debut In Under A Minute
Winning his Bellator debut, Taylor Johnson caught Ed Ruth in the first round with an inverted heel hook.
The fight went to the ground after Ruth secured a takedown. Johnson was able to get ahold of a leg from the bottom, eventually earning the submission win.
“I just stayed cool, calm and collected. I’ve seen his fights and I’ve seen he wasn’t too savvy with the legs,” said Johnson in his post-fight interview.
Johnson’s previous fight was a loss on TV series “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Before the fight, Johnson was undefeated with four of his five wins in regional promotion LFA.
The loss was the second-in-a-row for Ruth, with the previous fight being a main event loss to Yaroslav Amosov last February.
Bout 5: Raymond Daniels (2-1) vs. Peter Stanonik (5-4) (Welterweight)
Two Consecutive Groin Shots To Stanonik End Fight In No Contest
After taking two consecutive spinning back kicks to the groin, Peter Stanonik was taken out of his fight against Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Champion Raymond Daniels. Due to the nature of the fight’s stoppage, it was ruled a no contest.
Stanonik’s first groin shot had him down for a few minutes. He was able to eventually recover and return to action, however, a kick moments after stopped the fight yet again.
Daniels’ two previous Bellator MMA wins were one-sided performances. He is best known for a viral spinning knockout on Wilker Barros back in 2019.
Stanonik’s previous MMA fight before Friday was a decision loss to Jake Heffernan on an LFA card in 2018. He fought twice in GLORY Kickboxing in 2019, winning both bouts.
Bellator Acknowledges The 19-Year Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks
Bellator’s main card started with a statement on the September 11th attacks, which took place 19-years-ago on Friday.
“We continue to be thankful to the men and women who were quick to respond [to the September 11th attacks],” said Mike Goldberg in a statement delivered on the venue’s stage.
Bout 4: Rafael Carvalho (16-4) vs. Alex Polizzi (6-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Former LFA Champion Polizzi Has Strong Bellator Debut
Former LFA Champion Alex Polizzi had a strong Bellator debut on the preliminary card, picking up a sweep on the scorecards over former Bellator Middleweight Champion Rafael Carvalho.
The fight saw Polizzi dictate the action through dominant clinchwork and takedowns. He was able to control the positions throughout and limit the attacks of Carvalho.
Polizzi’s previous fight was last February, where he captured the LFA Light Heavyweight Championship. The fight saw him catch Jamal Pogues in the fourth round with a heel hook to win.
He remains undefeated as a pro.
The fight was Carvalho’s fourth loss in his last five fights. The oldest of the five fights was in 2018 when he lost his middleweight belt to Gegard Mousasi.
Bout 3: Leslie Smith (11-8-1) vs. Amanda Bell (7-6) (Featherweight)
Smith Picks Up Decision Victory Over Bell
Picking up her second win in Bellator, Leslie Smith got a unanimous decision victory over Amanda Bell. The fight saw Smith showcase her skills with sharp striking and ground control throughout 15 minutes.
Smith’s best moment on the ground was in the second round, attempting a rear naked choke on Bell. Bell was able to escape the choke and eventually work her way back to the feet.
After the fight, Smith wore a t-shirt that said “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” referring to an incident last March where police in Louisville, Kentucky, USA shot and killed a 26-year-old Black woman.
Bell missed weight for the fight on Thursday, coming in at 149 pounds. This was a conflict at the weigh-ins which resulted in Smith refusing to shake the hand of Bell.
Bout 2: Tyrell Fortune (8-1) vs. Jack May (11-6) (Heavyweight)
Groin Strike Causes Stop To May Versus Fortune
A groin strike to Jack May caused his bout against Tyrell Fortune to end via no contest. May was dropped in the first round after a knee hit him in the groin, dropping him to the ground.
May could not continue after his five minutes of recovery time, causing the fight to be stopped and ruled a no contest.
Fortune was looking to bounce back from his first loss as a pro in the bout, as his eight-fight undefeated record was cracked by Timothy Johnson back in February.
Bout 1: Keith Lee (6-3) vs. Vinicius Zani (11-6) (Catchweight 140 lbs)
Lee Earns Second Win Under Bellator Banner
Strong striking from Keith Lee earned him his second Bellator win on the prelims, defeating Vinicius Zani. The win extended Lee’s streak of wins to four-in-a-row.
Lee had strong moments in all three rounds, often landing clean singular shots against Zani. His best moment came late in the first round, where he connected with a clean head kick while Zani attempted an overhand right.
Lee’s previous fight was his Bellator debut, where he picked up a decision victory over Shawn Bunch.
Keith’s brother, UFC fighter Kevin Lee, was in his corner for the fight.