Veteran heavyweight fighters Cheick Kongo and Sergei Kharitonov will clash in the main event of Bellator’s event on Friday night. They’ll headline Bellator 265, which is set to take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live coverage of the event.
Preliminary Card (6:25PM EDT / 5:25PM CDT) (Youtube)
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (Showtime)
Bout 9: Cheick Kongo (30-11-2) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (32-8) (Heavyweight)
Kongo Stops Returning Kharitonov With Late Second-Round Choke
Cheick Kongo scored a win against returning heavyweight veteran Sergei Kharitonov in Friday’s main event, stopping him in the final moments of the second round with a rear naked choke.
Kongo hurt Kharitonov late in the second round, putting him up against the fence with punches and a knee to the head. He secured a takedown in the final minute of the round, causing an eruption of cheers from the crowd.
After landing some punches, Kongo put together a rear naked choke that caused a tap from Kharitonov with only two seconds to go in the round.
Kongo and Kharitonov had their moments with striking earlier in the bout.
Kongo, 46, was coming back after suffering a split decision loss to Timothy Johnson in October. He had previously been on an impressive run of eight wins in Bellator that culminated with a title fight against Ryan Bader that resulted in a no contest due to an accidental eye poke.
Kharitonov was coming back to Bellator after a short stint outside of the promotion. He fought twice in boxing and MMA in 2020 and 2021, scoring a stoppage win in each show.
Bout 8: Logan Storley (11-1) vs. Dante Schiro (8-2) (Welterweight)
Storley Bounces Back From Sole Loss, Earns Win In Home State
Home-state talent Logan Storley scored a split decision win in the co-main event, defeating Dante Schiro after three rounds (29-28 Storley, 29-28 Schiro & 29-28 Storley).
Storley was able to control Schiro for most of the first and second round, taking him down and keeping him on his back.
Storley remained on the attack in the final round, although Schiro did a better job in that frame to resist a takedown attempt.
Storley was returning after taking his first pro loss late last year, losing a split decision to now-Bellator Welterweight Champion Yaroslav Amosov.
He had earned six wins in Bellator before the loss last fall.
Schiro was making his Bellator debut. The former LFA and ONE Championship fighter was entering the promotion after two stoppage wins over the past year on the regional scene.
Bout 7: Marcelo Golm (8-3) vs. Billy Swanson (4-1) (Heavyweight)
UFC Alum Golm Wins Bellator Debut
Former UFC fighter Marcelo Golm had a strong showing in his Bellator debut, finishing Billy Swanson late in the first round with strikes.
Golm was able to floor Swanson with a combination of shots late in the round. After hurting Swanson with a knee in the clinch, Golm unleashed with hooks that dropped Swanson and stopped the fight.
Earlier minutes in the fight saw the fighters exchange strikes in a clinch position.
Swanson took the fight on just a few days notice, stepping in for Kelvin Tiller. He entered the bout on a three-fight win streak.
Golm’s Bellator debut was delayed many times, as he was first booked for a show in July and earlier in August. He joined the promotion after scoring two wins on the regional scene recently.
Before then, Golm had a four-fight run in the UFC.
Golm called out undefeated contender Steve Mowry after his win.
Bout 6: Jornel Lugo (6-0) vs. Keith Lee (7-4) (Catchweight 140 lbs)
Lugo Puts Lee To Sleep Late With Choke, Advances Flawless Record
Jornel Lugo earned the third Bellator win of his pro career on Friday, closing out a dominant one-round performance over Keith Lee with a rear naked choke.
Lugo was able to score a knockdown in the fourth minute of the opening round, stunning Lee with a jab. He then went down for an anaconda choke, but Lee was able to escape.
Lugo stopped a takedown attempted late in the first round, using the failed shot to secure a rear naked choke on the ground. He kept with the choke until the end-of-round bell sounded – at some point during that time, Lee went unconscious.
It was noticed by the referee afterward that Lee went to sleep and struggled to get to his corner. The call was then made to end the fight.
Following his win, Lugo campaigned for a bantamweight tournament in Bellator. He also mentioned he wants Bellator Bantamweight Champion Sergio Pettis next.
Lee was looking to return after taking a decision loss to Raufeon Stots last year. Before then he had a four-fight win streak from 2019 and 2020.
Bout 5: Fabio Aguiar (17-2) vs. Taylor Johnson (7-2) (Middleweight)
Aguiar Out-Wrestles Johnson For Split Decision
Fabio Aguiar prevailed over Taylor Johnson in a wrestling-heavy three-round bout to close out the prelims, edging out a split decision (29-28 Aguiar, 29-28 Johnson & 29-28 Aguiar).
Bellator’s statistics showed that Aguiar was able to hold the dominant position over Johnson frequently when on the ground, and was also able to out-land him with strikes.
The victory put Aguiar in the win column for the first time since entering Bellator. He lost his promotional debut earlier this year, losing a decision to Khalid Murtazaliev in April.
Johnson’s Bellator record is now an even two wins and two losses. He scored a first-round submission in his previous appearance, submitting Lance Wright to months back.
Bout 4: Mike Hamel (7-5) vs. Bryce Logan (12-5) (Lightweight)
Hamel Uses Wrestling To Secure First Bellator Win
Mike Hamel picked up his first Bellator victory on Friday, defeating Bryce Logan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Hamel’s victory came through his ability to utilize wrestling against Logan. He was able to take him down for most of the first round, starting the bout strong.
Logan did a better job to shut down the wrestling from Hamel in the second round. This allowed him to unload with more striking during that frame. Hamel was able to secure another takedown in what was a close final round.
Logan, a former LFA Lightweight Champion, lost his return to Bellator in November via split decision against Georgi Karakhanyan.
Bout 3: Archie Colgan (2-0) vs. Ben Simons (3-2) (Welterweight)
Undefeated Colgan Wins Bellator Debut
Undefeated welterweight prospect Archie Colgan had a dominant Bellator debut on Friday, finishing Ben Simons in the first round with ground and pound
The beginning of the end of the fight was Colgan slamming Simons on his back to escape a buggy choke attempt late in the round. The slam allowed him to then land ground and pound elbows to Simons, continuing until the referee stopped the fight.
“He broke down a little bit,” said Colgan, describing how Simons looked after being slammed down.
Colgan showcased his wrestling early in the bout as well, taking Simons down in the first minute.
Colgan, still a rookie as a pro, was joining the Bellator roster after earning two stoppage wins in LFA earlier this year.
Simons was fighting for the first time since 2018.
Bout 2: Duane Johnson (5-2) vs. Deven Fisher (4-8) (Middleweight)
Johnson Secures Darce Choke For Quick Win
Duane Johnson showed his grappling skills on Friday, securing Deven Fisher in just over a minute with a darce choke submission.
Johnson capitalized on a takedown attempt from Fisher in the first round, stopping the shot and using the position to secure the fight-ending choke.
Johnson was successful with striking early in the fight before the finish.
The fight was Johnson’s Bellator debut. He was coming off a 30-second TKO win he earned in June. The appearance earlier this year was his return after nearly three years out of the cage.
Fisher was making his first appearance since 2017. His record is now a brutal four wins and nine losses.
Bout 1: Kory Moegenburg (1-2) vs. Bailey Schoenfelder (1-0) (Catchweight 225 lbs)
Schoenfelder Wins Bellator Debut, Stops Short-Notice Opponent
Baily Schoenfelder had a strong Bellator debut to open the card, stopping Kory Moegenburg within a round with ground and pound.
Schoenfelder overwhelmed Boegenburg early in the fight, coming forward and connecting with punches that did damage. The fight eventually went to the ground, where Schoengelder moved into full mount to score with a series of punches and blows.
The fight was eventually stopped due to the constant shots from Schoenfelder going unanswered.
Both fighters were booked for different matchups earlier in the week.
Moegenburg was first set to face an opponent at middleweight, and Schoenfelder was booked for a heavyweight bout. The matchup between the two was made at a catchweight of 225-pounds after their previous matchups fell through.
Schoenfelder was returning after winning his pro debut in just 20 seconds earlier this year.
Moegenburg now has a negative pro record of one win and three losses.