In the main event at Bellator 185 in Uncasville, Connecticut, Gegard Mousasi endured quite the scare in his Bellator debut against Alexander Shlemenko. However, “The Dreamcatcher” came out victorious.
The Dutchman won the bout via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) but he didn’t have the fight all his own way.
In the first round, Mousasi did excellently, showing off his wide range of tools. After pressure from Mousasi in the early exchanges, he dropped levels to force the takedown. Just seconds after Shlemenko got back to his feet but Mousasi dumped the Russian yet again.
However, what was a dominant round for Mousasi also happened to be his downfall as his left eye was swollen and appeared to be completely shut. It was believed a left hook from Shlemenko caused the damage. After a long, hard look from the doctor, the second round got underway.
A terrific start to proceedings in round two saw Shlemenko increase his output. Continuing with the spinning attacks from the first round, Shlemenko found more success whilst landing numerous body shots to his opponent.
However, Mousasi found his way and dominated the second half of the round with his brilliant ground game, taking him down twice and landing numerous elbows to the head, evening up the round in the process.
After a very close second round, it was all to fight for in the last and this was clear to Shlemenko who took the last round by storm.
Starting off with a beautiful hook to the body followed by a spinning backfist that landed flush, Shlemenko made an immense start to the final round. After a big left hand and knee to the ribs from Shlemenko, he fired a right hand that wobbled Mousasi and took the last round with ease.
Rather controversially, Mousasi was awarded the win via unanimous decision in a fight where either fighter could claim their right as the victor, but it was the debutant that took the glory.
With such a legendary name to live up to, top prospect Neiman Gracie had a lot to answer for when he faced the experienced Zak Bucia.
In the first round, Gracie dominated proceedings, taking the back of Bucia early on. Whilst Bucia defended the rear-naked choke, he was being punished with left hands and elbows to the head whilst Gracie looked for the opening. Despite surviving the round, Bucia certainly lost the opening round.
Gracie employed the same tactics as the first when after he threw a head-kick, immediately went for the takedown. One minute into the second round and Gracie had Bucia right where he wanted him.
After grabbing the fence and getting back to his feet, Bucia was again taken down and this time Gracie had both hooks in, forcing Bucia to tap out halfway through the second. Gracie moved to 7-0 with the performance.
Whilst 20-0 as a boxer, Heather Hardy entered just her second fight in MMA and faced Kristina Williams, who would make her second pro appearance.
After a few close exchanges in the opening minutes with the pair of fighters happy to stand and trade, Williams moved to kicks and landed a perfectly executed head kick on Hardy. Despite an attempt to salvage the round, the bloodied Heather Hardy was in a losing position.
After finding success with her kicks, Williams came firing out in the second round with a spinning back kick. Hardy, bamboozled by the size and range of Williams, again received punishment to the face before bleeding excessively. With another head kick landed and blood flowing, the fight was announced over with a doctor’s stoppage.
Bellator 185 full results
Gegard Mousasi def. Alexander Shlemenko via decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Neiman Gracie def. Zak Bucia via submission (Neck crank) (Round 2 – 2:27)
Kristina Williams def. Heather Hardy via TKO (Doctor’s stoppage) (Round 2 – 2:00)
Lisa Blaine def. Ana Julaton via decision (Split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Ryan Quinn def. Marcus Surin via decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Joaquin Buckley def. Vinicius DeJesus via decision (Split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Costello Van Steenis def. Steve Skrzat via submission (Strikes) (Round 1 – 2:52)
Jordan Young def. Alec Hooben via submission (Triangle) (Round 1 – 2:44)
Kevin Carrier def. Jose Antonio Perez via decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Vovka Clay def. Frank Sforza via submission (Guillotine) (Round 2 – 1:17)
Dean Hancock def. John Beneduce via TKO (Strikes) (Round 1 – 3:38)
Don Shainis def. Matthew Denning via TKO (Strikes) (Round 1 – 4:50)
Pete Rogers def. Timothy Wheeler via submission (Guillotine) (Round 1 – 0:37)
John Lopez def. Billy Giovanella via decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)