Bellator 255 was the first Bellator event on Showtime. The event lived up to the hype as we saw rising prospects, the best featherweight in the world in action, and a little bit of controversy. Pitbull vs Sanchez 2 had it all.
Two rising prospects from Dagestan were the talk of the show. In the main event of the prelims of Bellator 255, Magomed Magomedov showed why he came in at fifth in the inaugural Bellator rankings. Magomedov pulled out a second-round submission by way of a rear-naked choke over C.J. Hamilton. This improved his Bellator record to 2-0 and his MMA record to 18-1. The combat sambo submission specialist was able to show off his elite mix of stand-up and ground game in an easy win.
Magomedov put himself on the map in a promotion called Absolute Championship Ahkmat when he became the first fighter to defeat Petr Yan. Petr Yan was the current UFC champion until he lost his belt to Aljamain Sterling by disqualification. Magomedov’s rank of five was a little low for how skilled he is as a fighter but with his second win he should move up the rankings and hopefully face a worthy opponent in his next fight. Magomed asked for a top-five opponent and Bellator would be smart to give him one.
Usman Nurmagomedov Debuts at Bellator 255
Usman Nurmagomedov cousin of Khabib made his United States/Bellator debut on Friday night. All three judges scored the fight for Nurmagomedov in a dominant win over Mike Hamel. However, Usman was not happy with his performance. He was unable to finish Hamel and looked nervous at times in his debut. We saw a dominant Usman Nurmagomedov on what appeared to be an off night for the 22-year-old Dagestan fighter.
I would expect to see the now 12-0 MMA fighter find his way into the Bellator rankings after his 1-0 Bellator start. Usman is a better fighter than he showed but is very different than his older cousin Khabib. Usman likes to stand up and trade. He has elite-level combat sambo but prefers to keep the fight standing up and tries to knock out opponents. He likes to keep the combat sambo in his back pocket and is an extremely fun fighter to watch. I would love to see Usman face a much tougher task and see him face a ranked fighter in his next fight.
Bellator 255 Controversy
The co-main event of Bellator 255 came with controversy in Bellator 255. When the scores were read it was a unanimous decision of 29-28 and most people expected to hear the name Neiman Gracie. Although the judges saw the fight differently than most MMA fans and awarded the context to Jason Jackson. Jason Jackson clearly won the third round but appeared to lose both the first and second round on my card at home and “Big” John Mcarthy’s card at cage side. The fight score at the end of the fight was not the only controversy in this contest.
When the two fighters were going to the ground in round one Jackson scraped his face against the cage and damaged his eye. Referee Kevin MacDonald temporarily stopped the fight to have the doctors check out Jackson’s eye. At the time of the stoppage, Gracie was in the driver’s seat looking to submit Jackson. After the fight resumed Jackson was quickly able to get back up to his feet. Jackson had the edge in striking and technically had the edge in takedowns. However, it was Gracie that was bringing the fight to the ground and controlling it from bottom and top once it got there. I would like to see another fight from both these fighters before either receive a title shot. Additionally, Gracie should not be punished for this loss and significantly be moved down the rankings.
Pitbull Vs Sanchez
The main event of Bellator 255 was the semifinal of the featherweight Grand Prix. The fight between Patricio Pitbull and Emmanuel Sanchez was a rematch of a 2018 war. This fight would not be a repeat of that five-round classic. Patricio Pitbull was able to show off his well-rounded game in just three minutes and 35 seconds. Patricio was able to rock Sanchez with a left-right combination and knock him down. After he was able to grab a hold of Sanchez next and lock in an extremely tight guillotine chock that saw Emmanuel Sanchez pass out instead of tap.
We already know what is next for Pitbull after this contest as he will face A.J. McKee for one million dollars and to retain his featherweight strap in the Grand Prix final. What should be stated is that it is time to finally acknowledge what Pitbull is. He is the best featherweight in the entire world. Going into this fight Pitbull was ranked by Tapology as the 21st ranked featherweight behind 8-1 Ryan Hall.
Patricio Pitbull on the Tapology rankings having him #21 “ those rankings are #1 bullshit, you guys have Chandler fighting for the #UFC title and I knocked him out fast” #Bellator #Bellator255 #Pitbull
— Chris Mancuso (@SeltzerKing_) March 31, 2021
Pitbull is the Number One Featherweight in the World
It is just a joke to have Pitbull outside of your top three but being ranked at 21 is ludicrous. The UFC featherweight rankings go Volkanovski, Holloway, and Ortega. In my opinion, Pitbull is better than all three. Pitbull faced Micheal Chandler before Chandler left Bellator for the UFC. Patricio was able to knockout Chandler just over one minute into the fight. Now Chandler is fighting for the lightweight title in the UFC but was easy work for Pitbull. Let’s not let Pitbull retire before we acknowledge the legendary fighter that is Patricio Pitbull Freire.
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