Bellator 194 Results: Matt Mitrione Edges Roy Nelson in Heavyweight Grand Prix Headliner

On Saturday night, the second stop on Bellator MMA “Heavyweight Grand Prix” tour rolled into Uncasville, Connecticut.  With the prelims featuring some up and coming talent from the area, the main card featured five fights and a main event between two of Bellator’s finest heavyweights.

The night’s headliner featured a Bellator MMA Heavyweight Grand Prix bout between Roy “Big Country” Nelson (23-14) and Matt Mitrione (12-5).  Many expected this bout to end in the first round, but these two fighters had other plans.

The back-and-forth affair saw both men succeeding, but in different areas.  Mitrione’s success came on the feet, throwing upper cuts and overhands galore.  Nelson put his BJJ black belt to good use, thriving on the ground.

The first two rounds were razor thin, with the third round being a decisive one, going to “Big Country.”  This fight would go to the judges scorecards for a decision.  To the surprise of many who believed scoring allowed for this fight to be a clear cut draw, Matt Mitrione was awarded the victory on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

Like the main event, the co-main event also featured a rematch– this one in the UFC’s lightweight division.  Bellator MMA staple Patricky Pitbull (19-8) returned to the cage looking to make another push at the lightweight strap.  In his way stood brawling scrapper Derek Campos (19-7).

When the two squared off back in 2014 at Bellator 117, the bout ended with Pitbull’s hand being raised.  At the start of the second round, Pitbull caught Campos with a vicious series of punches that ended “The Stallion’s” night.  It’s safe to say Campos was looking for redemption in this one.

The bout started out with both men fearless in exchange.  After the two strikers were able to feel each other out for a little bit, it was Pitbull who found his rhythm first.  One big shot glanced off Campos’s head, and it was all downhill from there.  Pitbull, not wanting to let his opponent off of the “leash”, swarmed his opponent.  Given no chance to regain himself and recover even slightly, Campos was dropped one final time before referee Kevin MacDonald had seen enough.

Following the bout, Pitbull called his shot– a title shot that is.  With that type of performance, Bellator MMA will be hard pressed not to give it to him.

Another hyped bout heading into the night was the contest between two former women’s boxing champions Heather Hardy (2-1) and Ana Julaton (2-4).  Hardy and Julaton never had the chance to square off in the boxing ring, but were finally able to settle the score in the Bellator MMA cage.

The bout was expected to be a bit of a slugfest, as both fighters’ bread and butter was certainly on the feet.  However, as the fight progressed, a certain narrative took over.  It was clear– Julaton wanted this fight on the ground.  Spending the entirety of the fight trying to drag Hardy onto the mat, Julaton left herself open to hammer fists and choke attempts galore from Hardy.  The crowd was largely unappreciative of the bout, and let the two fighters hear it.  When the judges scorecards were read, Heather Hardy was announced as the unanimous decision victor.

The fight that displayed the most heart and determination on Saturday night, was the featured light heavyweight bout between former Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary (12-3) and up-and-coming Fedor Emelianenko protege, Vadim Nemkov (9-2).

Bellator MMA found a new light heavyweight contender, as Nemkov stormed into the Mohegan Sun Arena and put on a clinic.  The 25-year-old picked the former champion apart, with an arsenal of punches and leg kicks.  As the fight wore on, Nemkov continually battered the lead leg of McGeary, causing him to fall off balance at multiple points throughout the bout.

There is only so much damage a leg can take.  Following a dozen or so Nemkov leg kicks to start the third round, McGeary’s extremity could take no more.  A chopping leg kick sent McGeary crashing to the canvas, screaming in pain– the bout was over.  Vadim Nemkov is here, and the Bellator 205lb division has been put on notice.

The night’s main card kicked off in the featherweight division.  Viral superstar Tywan “Speedy” Claxton (2-0) looked to continue the success he found in his debut bout, when he took on New Jersey’s Jose Perez (0-2).

The bout was all Claxton from the start, with “Speedy” stalking Perez down.  Once the right distance was gained and Perez was softened up with some punches, Claxton would shoot for the takedown.  Gaining more takedowns than not, Claxton found a tremendous amount of success on the ground.  He was able to land huge elbows, which ultimately lead to the finish in Round 2.


Here are the night’s full results:

MAIN CARD (Paramount Network~ 9pm ET)

Heavyweight bout: by decision
Lightweight bout: Patricky Pitbull (19-8) def. Derek Campos (19-7) by knockout (punches) at 2:23 of Round 1
Women’s flyweight bout: Heather Hardy (2-1) def. Ana Julaton (2-4) by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Light heavyweight bout: Vadim Nemkov (9-2) def. Liam McGeary (12-3) by TKO (leg kicks) at 4:02 of Round 3
Featherweight bout: Tywan Claxton (2-0) def. Jose Perez (0-2)


Lightweight bout: Ross Richardson (1-0) def. Ron Leon (0-1) by TKO (ground and pound) at 1:41 of Round 2
Bantamweight bout: Michael Kimbel (1-0) def. Geoffrey Then (1-2) by KO (slam and punches)
Featherweight bout: Regivaldo Carvalho (5-2) def. Tom English (6-9) by KO (punch) at 0:17 of Round 1
Light heavyweight bout: Jarod Trice (3-0) def. Walter Howard (3-5) by majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Lightweight bout: Marcus Surin (5-1) def. Dean Hancock (3-2) by submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:50 of Round 2
Catchweight bout (165lbs): Kastriot Xhema (2-1) def. Peter Nascimento (0-1) by KO (punches) at 3:52 of Round 1
Lightweight bout: Pat Casey (1-0) def. Tyler Hamilton (1-1) by unanimous decision

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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.