Bellator 254: Macfarlane vs. Velasquez Play-by-Play

This article is the play-by-play to accompany live coverage of Bellator 254. Live coverage of the event can be found here.

Quick Results:

Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST) (Youtube)

Bout 1: Billy Goff def. Robson Gracie Jr. via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:46)

Bout 2: Cody Law def. Kenny Champion via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 4:44)

Bout 3: Grant Neal def. Maurice Jackson via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 3:59)

Bout 4: Shamil Nikaev def. Kemran Lachinov via Decision, Unanimous

Main Card (10:00PM EST) (CBS Sports Network)

Bout 5: Romero Cotton def. Justin Sumter via Submission, Rear Naked Choke RD 1, 3:36)

Bout 6: Linton Vassell def. Ronny Markes via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:37)

Bout 7: Magomed Magomedov def. Matheus Mattos via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 8: Juliana Velasquez def. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane via Decision, Unanimous (Bellator Flyweight Championship)

Play-by-Play:

Bout 1: Robson Gracie Jr. (3-0) vs. Billy Goff (2-2) (Welterweight)

Goff was able to catch a leg of Gracie Jr. to sweep him in the first minute of action. A short pause came in the second minute of action after Gracie was struck in the groin. Gracie Jr. pulled guard in the second minute. Goff went to the ground for a moment, but stood up and forced the fight back to the feet shortly after. Gracie Jr. put together some strikes, including a head kick, which landed on Goff clean. Goff refused to go to the ground as Gracie Jr. pulled guard in the fourth minute. Both fighters were putting punches together late in the round.

Goff put Gracie Jr. against the cage in clinches early in the second round. Gracie Jr. pulled guard in the first minute of the second round, but like the attempts before, Goff was quick to escape the position. Goff hurt Gracie Jr. with a right hand in the second minute of the round. Gracie Jr. was hurt against the cage, earning a series of strikes before the referee stopped the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Gracie Jr. 10
Goff 9

Bout 2: Kenny Champion (2-0) vs. Cody Law (1-0) (Featherweight)

Both fighters were landing solid right hands on each other in the first minute. Law scored a double leg takedown in the third minute of the round. Law started to get busy with punches in the final minute of the round. He controlled Champion until the round ran out of time.

Law landed a double leg takedown only seconds into the second round. Law took half guard on top, landing punches periodically while trying to trap an arm of Champion. Law moved into a north-south position halfway through the round. He took the back of Champion in the fourth minute, throwing a slow but solid series of punches from the position. Back into half guard, Law put in an arm triangle choke in the final minute of the round. Law transitioned into side control, letting the choke go after moving into full mount. Law threw punches from the back of Champion before the round expired.

A doctor looked at Champion before the third round started. Law scored another takedown in the second minute of the third round. Law put together numerous punches to Champion’s head while in half guard. Law landed another quick series of punches in the final minute of the round. After landing dozens of shots the referee eventually stopped the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Champion 9 8
Law 10 10

Bout 3: Maurice Jackson (7-2) vs. Grant Neal (4-0) (Light Heavyweight)

Neal didn’t hesitate to land a single leg takedown in the opening seconds of the fight. On the back of Jackson, who was on his knees, Neal threw a series of hard punches to the head. Neal held Jackson in a body lock from the back, trying for a takedown from the position. Neal landed numerous knees to the back of Jackson’s thighs. Neal scored a takedown from the clinch, taking the back of Jackson afterwards. Neal looked for a choke from the back before Jackson exploded to his feet in the third minute. Neal kept Jackson against the cage in a clinch after. Jackson was able to land a clinch takedown, putting Neal down for a moment before they stood back up. Neal scored a takedown in the fourth minute of the round. Neal got on the back of Jackson for a moment before they returned to striking for the closing moments of the round.

Neal scored a takedown in the opening minute of the second round. Neal took the back of Jackson in the second minute, looking for a rear naked choke from the position. Neal applied the choke many times, not being able to get his arms under Jackson’s chin any of the times. After landing a few punches from the position, Neal got the rear naked choke under the chin of Jackson, causing a tap to end the fight.

My Scorecard:

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

Bout 4: Kemran Lachinov (10-2) vs. Shamil Nikaev (9-0) (Welterweight)

Nikaev landed a slam takedown early in the first round. Lachinov was quick to return to a clinch on the feet after. Nikaev scored a takedown from the clinch in the second minute, throwing some punches from the back of Lachinov after. Lachinov looked for a kneebar in the second minute, although Nikaev was able to escape. Nikaev scored another takedown in the third minute of the fight, taking half guard after. Nikaev moved into full mount in the final minute of the round. Nikaev continued to smoke Lachinov, staying on him after two roll-throughs in the final minute. Nikaev held half guard before the round concluded.

The second round started with both fighters connecting with wild punches. Nikaev scored a takedown 30 seconds into the fight, taking full guard on top after. Lachinov worked his way up to his feet halfway through the round, although Nikaev was able to land a takedown moments after.

Lachinov and Nikaev engaged in a punching battle in the third round. Lachinov connected with a combination of jabs in the third minute of the round. Despite being hit with numerous punches, Nikaev taunted Lachinov by putting his arms down. They continued to swing with wild punches as the round ran out of time. Nikaev won on scorecards after three rounds (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Lachinov 9 9 10 28
Nikaev 10 10 9 29

Bout 5: Romero Cotton (4-0) vs. Justin Sumter (7-3) (Middleweight)

Cotton caught a leg kick in the opening seconds of the fight. Sumter landed to leg kicks in the first minute. Cotton scored a takedown after Sumter charged at him a minute into the fight. Cotton took half guard on top. Moved into full guard, Cotton landed punches to Sumter periodically. Cotton moved into side control in the fourth minute, taking the back of Sumter after. He looked for a rear naked choke from the back that made Sumter tap out.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Cotton
Sumter

Bout 6: Linton Vassell (20-8) vs. Ronny Markes (19-7) (Heavyweight)

The fighters clinched a minute into the fight. Vassell scored a takedown from the clinch in the second minute. Vassell held half guard until the round ran out of time.

Markes was able to score a takedown early in the second round, although Vassell flipped the position immediately. Vassell moved into full mount with half of the round to go. Vassell landed a series of punches from the position in the fourth minute, eventually causing the referee to stop the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Vassell 10
Markes 9

Bout 7: Magomed Magomedov (16-1) vs. Matheus Mattos (12-1-1) (Bantamweight)

Magomedov shot for a single leg takedown early on, although Mattos was able to use the position to get on the back of Magomedov for a moment. Mattos looked for a choke before Magomedov escaped the position. Magomedov looked for a takedown, putting Mattos against the cage in the first minute of the round. Magomedov kept on the back of Mattos for most of the round.

Magomedov shot for a single leg takedown a minute into the fight, although Mattos was able to resist the attempt. Magomedov kept working for the takedown, scoring it in the second minute of the round. Magomedov got on the back of Mattos halfway through the round, staying on his back as he stood up. Magomedov looked for a rear naked choke in the final minute of the round. Magomedov took Mattos down to his knees again at the end of the round. He landed a flurry of strikes late in the round.

Despite Mattos’ long attempt to stop a takedown, Magomedov scored one in the first minute of the final round. He stayed in control on the ground for the rest of the round, spending a large portion of it on the back of Mattos. Needing judges to find a winner, Magomedov was given the nod (30-26, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Magomedov 10 10 10 30
Mattos 9 9 9 27

Bout 8: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0) vs. Juliana Velasquez (10-0) (Bellator Flyweight Championship)

The first round went at a slow pace as both fighters figured their styles out on the feet. Velasquez avoided a single leg takedown in the fourth minute of the round.

They clinched in the third minute of the second round, where Velasquez put Macfarlane against the cage. Velasquez scored a takedown from the clinch in the final minute of action. She held the position until the round concluded.

Velasquez had a strong opening minute to the third round, out-striking Macfarlane. Macfarlane scored a takedown in the second minute of the round, although Velasquez was quick to get up to her feet again. A cut around Macfarlane’s right eyebrow opened during the exchange. Velasquez finished the round strong, landing a flying knee to Macfarlane’s head.

Macfarlane started to bleed from her nose in the fourth round. Macfarlane was able to score a takedown in the fourth minute of the round, throwing punches from half guard after. She kept the position until the round ran out of time.

Macfarlane looked for a takedown from the clinch in the fifth round. Velasquez was able to land a takedown from the clinch halfway through the round. Velasquez left the position in the fourth minute, bringing the fight back to the feet. Velasquez scored another takedown just before the round ran out of time. Velasquez was crowned the new champion after consulting the judges (48-47, 49-46 & 48-47).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Macfarlane 9 9 9 10 9 46
Velasquez 10 10 10 9 10 49

 

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