Gabe Killian’s Bellator 116 Event Wrap-Up

Alexander Volkov“The Heat” was on Friday night (April 11) in Temecula, when UFC veteran Karo Parisyan scored a come-from-behind knockout over Ron Keslar, in what I feel was the highlight of the Bellator 116 preliminary card. The knockout was the first official T/KO victory of the Parisyan’s professional mixed arts career. After being hurt and nearly finished in the first frame, the Armenian found confidence in his hands in the second round, and wound up catching Keslar on the feet, and then following him to the mat with strikes. It was an impressive victory for the 31-year old, and one MMA fans were happy to see, considering all the great fights he has given us, all the setbacks he has suffered, and all the demons he has battled. With that win, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be feeling “The Heat” in the next Bellator welterweight tournament. Rob Emerson also impressed on the preliminary card, notching a unanimous decision victory over the very game Joe Taimanglo. It was the bantamweight debut for Emerson, whose striking looked crisp and improved. I think he will be in the next Bellator bantamweight tournament, and could see him fighting for the title in the near future. The Bellator 116 main card started off with a bang, when the former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov knocked out “Mighty Mo” Siliga with a head-kick at the midway point of the very first round. It was the first T/KO defeat of Siliga’s professional mixed martial arts career, and definitely a big notch in the Russian’s belt. Volkov advances to the Bellator heavyweight tournament finals, where he will face the Bulgarian, Blagoi Ivanov. The other heavyweight semifinal bout came in the form of the main event of the evening, with the aforementioned Ivanov taking on former UFC heavyweight and knockout artist “Big” Lavar Johnson. It didn’t take very long for the fight to hit the mat, where the Bulgarian secured an Americana submission victory, keeping his undefeated streak alive and securing a spot in the Bellator heavyweight tournament finals. In a welterweight tournament semifinal bout, the undefeated Adam McDonough scored a knockout win over the veteran Nathan Coy. Coy outgrappled him and controlled the action for the majority first round, but McDonough caught him with a big shot near the end of the frame. In the second, McDonough landed another huge shot and had him badly hurt. The always tough Coy held on,  but this time was quick to put the stamp on it with one last huge shot. With the impressive performance, he advances to face the winner of Andrew Koreshkov vs Sam Oropeza. The co-main event of the evening saw UFC veterans Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko and Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran square off inside the Bellator cage in what would be the last fight of the Belarusian’s professional fighting career. Matyushenko was doing well in the fight and seemed to be on his way towards a decision victory, but when the fight hit the mat in the third frame, it was “The Mexicutioner’ who got the better of the sequence, ending up in top position, and ultimately securing the north-south choke. With the tapout, Beltran earned his first submission victory in nearly seven years, and only the second of his career. And with that, “The Janitor” left his fight gloves inside the cage, and hung up his keys…

Written by Gabe Killian

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