Bellator women’s flyweight champion Liz Carmouche retained her 125-pound title with a submission finish in the main event of Bellator 294 in Hawaii.
The event, which took place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, saw Carmouche put her title on the line, even though the scheduled title challenger DeAnna Bennett failed to make championship weight at the official weigh-ins.
It meant that, while Bennett was unable to win the belt, Carmouche could still lose it, with the title set to be left vacant if Bennett ran out victorious.
However, Carmouche ensured there would be so such promotional confusion by locking up a fourth-round arm-triangle choke to force the finish and retain her championship.
The night’s co-main event saw Timothy Johnson edge out Said Sowma on the scorecards, with all three judges scoring it two rounds to one for the American contender, who snapped a three-fight skid to claim his first win since October 2020.
Also on the card, promotional newcomer and former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Sara McMann made a successful start to life under the Bellator banner with a unanimous decision victory over three-time featherweight title challenger Arlene Blencowe in their 145-pound bout.
And there was a big bounceback win for bantamweight contender Danny Sabatello, who rebounded from his interim title fight loss to Raufeon Stots with a second-round submission victory over Marcos Breno.
In a typically bullish post-fight interview, Sabatello called for his next fight, with a name, a date and a location all ready.
“I know once I get to my attacks and fight my style nobody can f*****g beat me, and I mean nobody in MMA at the bantamweight division,” he said.
“I know I just beat an absolute stud. But I want Magomed Magomedov in Chicago, June 16, in one and a half months. I’m already done with this motherf****r that I just beat. My eyes are on Magomedov, June 16, Chicago, in my homeland.
And Sabatello signed off in typically spiky style as he addressed the fight fans in Honolulu.
“Hawaii, you guys are f*****g savages out there. Love the applause,” he said.
“If you were cheering for me, thank you. If you were not, go f**k yourselves!”
Bellator 294: Official results
- Liz Carmouche def. DeAnna Bennett via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 4, 4:29
- Timothy Johnson def. Said Sowma via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sara McMann def. Arlene Blencowe via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Danny Sabatello def. Marcos Breno via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:10
- Levan Chokheli def. Michael Lombardo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Killys Mota def. Kenneth Cross via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:14
- Tyrel Fortune def. Sergey Bilostenniy via disqualification (punches to the back of the head) – Round 1, 3:26
- Cris Lencioni def. Blake Smith via submission (inverted triangle choke) – Round 2, 3:39
- Sharaf Davlatmurodov def. Anthony Adams via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)