Gegard Mousasi had a fast win over undefeated title challenger Austin Vanderford, stopping him in the second minute of their fight to defend his Bellator Middleweight Championship.
The fight headlined Bellator 275, which took place Friday at the 3Arena Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.
Mousasi had much better striking during the short battle between the middleweights.
Mousasi was able to hurt Vanderford with strikes while moving backward, landing a combination of a right cross and a jab to wobble him. The fight went to the ground shortly after, as Mousasi stuffed a takedown attempt and took control on top.
Mousasi pounded away with punches on the ground to end the fight in just the second minute.
Mousasi has now defended his 185-pound belt twice since starting his second Bellator reign in 2020. His previous fight was in August 2021, where he finished John Salter in the third round of their fight.
“I’m the best middleweight. I never said that before because I never believed it. But from now on, you better believe it,” said Mousasi, a former UFC and Strikeforce fighter, in his post-fight interview.
Vanderford was given the title fight after attaining 10 wins as a pro. This included five fights in Bellator from 2019 to 2021.
Kavanagh Survives Injury Scare, Earns Cyborg Rematch
Sinead Kavanagh battled through an injury to defeat Leah McCourt in the co-main event night, defeating her via unanimous decision after a rollercoaster of a fight.
Kavanagh dominated McCourt early in their fight. Her best moment was in the first round, where she applied a kimura submission for more than a minute.
Trouble for Kavanagh started halfway through the second round, as she seemingly started to deal with a knee injury. Her mobility became limited, and she fell numerous times in the round.
McCourt took the final round in the fight, taking an injured Kavanagh down and landing ground and pound. However, this round wasn’t enough for her to win or get a stoppage.
It was announced after the fight that the outcome has lined Kavanagh up for a rematch against current Bellator Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg. Kavanagh had a brutal loss to Cyborg late last year, getting stopped in the second minute of a fight due to punches.
The performance on Friday from McCourt marked her first loss since joining Bellator in 2019. She had a six-fight winning streak heading into this weekend.
Injury To Tounkara Secures Fifth Victory For Clarke
Ciaran Clarke kept his undefeated record alive on Friday night, although his victory over Abou Tounkara likely didn’t come the way he hoped.
Clarke’s was given a win due to a shoulder injury that Tounkara suffered after the first round. The opening round saw Tounkara attempt a choke on the ground, although Clarke finished the round on top in a ground and pound position.
Clarke now has a pro record of five wins, all of which have come in the Bellator cage. His previous bout was in November 2021, submitting Jordan Barton at Bellator 270.
Tounkara was coming off a stoppage loss he took on a card in October 2021.
Magomedsharipov Dominates Sanchez For Decision Win
Khasan Magomedsharipov had an incredibly dominant performance on the main card, sweeping scorecards against Jose Sanchez for a unanimous decision win.
Magomedsharipov’s grinding ground and pound style saw him take Sanchez down in every round. His strikes on the ground did damage to Sanchez, bloodying him eventually.
Judges gave Magomedsharipov a 10-8 score in some of the rounds due to the one-sided nature of the fight.
Magomedsharipov won his Bellator debut in his previous appearance, defeating Jonathan Quiroz in July 2021.
Sanchez took his first pro loss in his prior bout, losing to Felipe Maia.
Lugo Endures Tough Battle Against Moore
Jornel Lugo kept his flawless pro run alive in a tough test, defeating Brian Moore via unanimous decision after three rounds.
Lugo’s victory against Moore came after a close striking battle that saw both fighters absorb damage. Moore took one round on two judge’s scorecards, and there were clear moments in the fight where the momentum was shifting in favor of him.
Lugo entered the fight with an undefeated record of seven wins. This included four Bellator appearances from 2019 to 2021. He scored a quick win in his prior outing, submitting Keith Lee in the first round of a bout.
Moore has now lost two consecutive fights. He had a three-fight winning streak broken last year, as Nikita Mikhailov beat him via decision.
The Rest of the Card
Former UFC fighter Brett Johns earned his first Bellator win on the prelims, dominating Khurshed Kakhorov on the ground and eventually scoring a stoppage in the third round. The fight was Kakhorov’s first loss through nine pro fights.
Davy Gallon moved his winning streak to four consecutive victories on Friday night, scoring a right hook knockout against Charlie Leary in the second round of their fight.
Stephanie Page handed Danni McCormack her first pro loss on Friday night, lighting her up with explosive punches to stop the fight in the first round.
Darragh Kelly made a splash in his pro debut, submitting three-fight pro Junior Morgan in the second minute of the action with a guillotine choke.
In a back-and-forth brawl, Vladimir Tokov earned a unanimous decision win against Daniele Scatizzi. The fight put Tokov back into the win column after taking his first pro loss in 2020.
Making the best of his stand-up skills, Gokhan Saricam worked toward a unanimous decision victory against heavyweight Kirill Sidelnikov.
Dominant ground control from Nathan Kelly earned him a unanimous decision win over Scott Pedersen, moving his record to four wins and two losses.
Lee Hammond opened the night with a fast win, knocking Jamie Hay down with a knee in a clinch position then ending the fight with ground and pound.
Main Card (4:00PM EST / 11:00PM GMT) (Showtime)
Bout 13: Gegard Mousasi def. Austin Vanderford via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:25) (Bellator Middleweight Championship)
Bout 12: Sinead Kavanagh def. Leah McCourt via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 11: Ciaran Clarke def. Abou Tounkara via TKO, Doctor Stoppage (RD 1, 5:00)
Bout 10: Khasan Magomedsharipov def. Jose Sanchez via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 9: Jornel Lugo def. Brian Moore via Decision, Unanimous
Preliminary Card (1:00PM EST / 8:00PM GMT) (Youtube)
Bout 8: Brett Johns def. Khurshed Kakhorov via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 3:00)
Bout 7: Davy Gallon def. Charlie Leary via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:01)
Bout 6: Stephanie Page def. Danni McCormack via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:46)
Bout 5: Darragh Kelly def. Junior Morgan via Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 1, 1:47)
Bout 4: Vladimir Tokov def. Daniele Scatizzi via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Gokhan Saricam def. Kirill Sidelnikov via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Nathan Kelly def. Scott Pedersen via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 1: Lee Hammond def. Jamie Hay via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:32)