Goiti Yamauchi Scores Stoppage Against Neiman Gracie In First Bellator Main Event Appearance

Veteran welterweight Goiti Yamauchi prevailed in his first-ever Bellator main event appearance, shutting down Neiman Gracie in the second round with punches.

Yamauchi’s win headlined Bellator 284, which took place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.

Yamauchi had a finish to his fight that looked like it was out of a movie. With his hands down, the experienced talent intentionally ate a series of punches from Gracie halfway through the second frame. After that, he connected with a clean right uppercut that dropped Gracie, forcing the fight to end just moments later.

Yamauchi’s striking was hurting Gracie in the first round as well. He dropped him to a knee at one point, connecting with a jab during an exchange.

Yamauchi has now scored three consecutive wins in the Bellator cage. Previous victories came against rising prospects Chris Gonzalez and Levan Chokheli, who he both finished within a round in recent months.

Despite dethroning one of the higher-ranked names at welterweight in Bellator, Yamauchi seemed to be in no rush to become one of the top names in the class. After the fight, he said that he hopes to continue facing higher-ranked opponents so that he can continue to move up the standings.

“I want to fight all those guys to still climb up the rankings, and be a title contender and then [become] welterweight world champion,” said Yamauchi in his post-fight interview. “This is my destiny.”

Gracie was hoping to return to the win column on Friday’s card. He lost a five-round unanimous decision earlier this year, going the distance against Logan Storley but not getting the nod in the end.

Eye Poke Takes Mowry Out of Big Step-Up Test Early

The biggest test of Steve Mowry’s heavyweight campaign was cut short on Friday night, as an eye poke caused his bout against Valentin Moldavsky to end after just 54 seconds.

An accidental eye poke landed on Mowry during a stand-up exchange to start the fight. After numerous minutes that allowed Mowry to recover, damage to his eye caused the fight to end.

The fight was ruled a no contest due to the outcome.

Mowry, an undefeated heavyweight with 10 wins, had the chance to beat a former interim Bellator titleholder in this bout. All six of Mowry’s Bellator wins have come via finish.

Mowry was emotional after the fight, seemingly disappointed in the result.

Moldavsky suffered a loss in his previous fight, dropping a title unification bout against Ryan Bader in February.

Former Champion Macfarlane Ends Losing Streak

Former Bellator Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane ended her sole losing streak as a pro on Friday night, scoring a split decision against Ellen Bruna.

Solid stand-up striking from Macfarlane along with a fair amount of ground control throughout the fight earned her the win on scorecards.

Macfarlane had to battle past a scary moment late to secure the win. Ellen threatened the former champion with a choke while on her back briefly in the third round, although Macfarlane was able to escape the threat and land punches from a top position as well.

Macfarlane entered this weekend on a two-fight losing streak. That skid included the end of her title run in 2020 and an April loss against Justine Kish.

After the win, Macfarlane revealed that a victory this weekend possibly kept her career going as a pro.

“I needed this win to prove to myself that I still love this sport,” said Macfarlane in her post-fight interview.

Macfarlane notably missed weight for the fight on Thursday, coming in three pounds over the non-championship flyweight limit.

Ellen was coming off a decision victory against Desiree Yanez from last year.

Saricam Keeps Winning Streak Alive

Gokhan Saricam kept his winning streak alive through a close victory, taking a split decision over fellow heavyweight Said Sowma.

The three-round battle saw the heavyweights mostly remain on the feet, with their battle being mostly in stand-up or clinch positions. Sowma’s best moment came quite early in the fight, seemingly dropping Saricam with a punch.

Saricam’s winning streak in Bellator is now four consecutive fights. His previous victory was in February, defeating Kirill Sidelnikov via decision.

Sowma, a former Titan FC Heavyweight Champion, is now on a two-fight skid for the first time in his career. His previous defeat came against Davion Franklin in February.

Jeffery Launches Up Middleweight Ranks With Quick Win

Aaron Jeffery scored a big win in Bellator’s middleweight division, stopping former title challenger Austin Vanderford early with punches.

Jeffery scored a hard knockdown in the second minute of his fight, landing a right hook to Vanderford. The fight was stopped after Jeffery landed a few ground and pound shots to a hurt Vanderford.

Jeffery scored a knockdown earlier in the fight as well, briefly seating Vanderford with a right hand in the opening minute.

Jeffery, a former CFFC Middleweight Champion, now has two wins as a pro in Bellator. He won his Bellator debut just two months prior, scoring a second-round finish victory over Fabio Aguiar.

He was a short-notice opponent on this weekend’s card, stepping in to replace Anthony Adams.

Vanderford was attempting to come back from his first pro loss. He suffered a brutal defeat during a title fight against Gegard Mousasi earlier this year, getting finished in just over a minute with punches.

The Rest of the Card

LFA alum Marcos Breno scored a big win in his Bellator debut, defeating veteran Josh Hill via unanimous decision in the final prelim.

DeAnna Bennett earned her second consecutive victory over Justine Kish, working toward a unanimous decision victory.

Undefeated light heavyweight Sullivan Cauley won against returning talent Tyson Jeffries, dropping him in the first round with knees in the clinch. Jeffries has now lost three consecutive bouts and has gone winless since 2015.

Decorated freestyle wrestler Patrick Downey won his MMA debut in just seconds, taking down and submitting Keyes Nelson with an arm triangle choke.

Heavyweight prospect Bailey Schoenfelder earned his second win in the Bellator cage, submitting Mark Currier with a rear naked choke.

Mitchell McKee added a third win to his rookie year as a pro, stopping Tony Ortega in the second round with ground and pound shots. Despite the fight only being six-and-a-half minutes in total, it was the longest fight of McKee’s career thus far.

M,A, Yah Li won in the sole amateur bout of the card, handing Brett Bye his first loss in MMA.

Quick Results

Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (Showtime)

Bout 12: Goiti Yamauchi def. Neiman Gracie via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:58)

Bout 11: Valentin Moldavsky vs. Steve Mowry via No Contest, Accidental Eye Poke (RD 1, 0:54)

Bout 10: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Bruna Ellen via Decision, Split

Bout 9: Gokhan Saricam def. Said Sowma via Decision, Split

Bout 8: Aaron Jeffrey def. Austin Vanderford via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:25)

Preliminary Card (6:00PM EDT / 5:00PM CDT) (Youtube)

Bout 7: Marcos Breno def. Josh Hill via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 6: DeAnna Bennett def. Justine Kish via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 5: Sullivan Cauley def. Tyson Jeffries via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:39)

Bout 4: Patrick Downey def. Keyes Nelson via Submission, Arm Triangle Choke (RD 1, 0:36)

Bout 3: Bailey Schoenfelder def. Mark Currier via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 2:35)

Bout 2: Mitchell McKee def. Tony Ortega via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:28)

Bout 1: M,A, Yah Li def. Brett Bye via Decision, Unanimous (Amateur)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s