Matt Mitrione Advances at Bellator 194
The heavyweight main event delivered Friday night at Bellator 194 where Matt Mitrione was able to inch out a win over Roy Nelson in their rematch. Mitrione was able to vindicate himself from the 2012 loss to Nelson in the UFC and bring himself closer to a heavyweight title in Bellator MMA.
A finish was expected but neither man was willing to concede to the other in the three-round war that went down at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Mitrione utilized his reach from the start of the bout to land plenty of significant strikes at will, doing his best to stay mobile and tag Nelson with his hands and attacking Nelson’s lead leg in rounds one and two. In all three rounds, it was apparent when Nelson had enough of the striking exchanges he went for a takedown that put Mitrione on the defensive for the remainder of the rounds. The majority decision win was a result of when Nelson had enough of being hit in the standing exchanges to bring the fight to the ground.
Mitrione went into survival mode every time Nelson took him down but in rounds one and two he was able to fire away on Nelson long enough to keep his time underneath “Big Country” minimum with the exception of round three. Round three, was all Roy Nelson as he secured the takedown early enough to give Mitrione an exhausting final round on his back, especially when Nelson had a mounted crucifix where he was able to land strikes that looked worse than they felt according to Mitrione.
The first two rounds were all Mitrione but Nelson’s takedowns almost turned the bout into a draw. Almost, but not quite and that’s good for Mitrione as he will advance in the tournament. One important note Scott Coker iterated at the post-fight press conference was that had a draw happened in the tournament, another round would have happened since the tournament bracket needs a winner. That is something to keep in mind moving forward.
Bellator 194 full results:
Matt Mitrione def. Roy Nelson via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Patricky Pitbull def. Derek Campos via TKO (punches) 2:23 rd. 1
Heather Hardy def. Ana Julaton via unanimous decision
Vadim Nemkov def. Liam McGeary via TKO (leg kicks) at 4:02 of R3
Tywan Claxton def. Jose Perez via TKO – Round 2, 3:39
Ross Richardson def. Ron Leon via TKO (punches) 1:41 rd. 2
Mike Kimbel def. Geoffrey Then via knockout (slam, punches) – Round 1, 1:03
Regivaldo Carvalho def. Thomas English via KO (punches) at :17 of R1
Jarod Trice def. Walter Howard via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Kastriot Xhema def. Peter Nascimento via TKO (punches) 3:52 rd. 1
Marcus Surin def. Dean Hancock via submission (arm triangle) 4:50 rd. 1
Pat Casey def. Tyler Hamilton via unanimous decision
Photo: Ed Carbajal/Frontproof Media