Bellator laid on a special celebration event in San Diego for their 300th show, and the three champions at the top of the card all produced big performances to retain their titles at the Pechanga Arena.
In the night’s main event, Russian lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov extended his perfect professional record to 18-0 with a one-sided decision win over former champion Brent Primus.
Primus came into the bout looking to test Nurmagomedov’s grappling credentials, but for large periods of the fight found himself on the end of the champion’s sharp kickboxing, as he made himself hard to pin down with smooth movement and slick striking. When the fight did go to the ground, it was Nurmagomedov who held the upper hand as he proved to be too good for the former champion in all facets of the game.
It all added up to a shutout win on the scorecards, as Nurmagomedov earned scores of 50-45 from all three judges.
Nurmagomedov’s victory also propelled him into the $1 million final of the Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix, where he’ll take on the winner of the other semi-final bout between Patricky Freire and Alexander Shabliy.
Cyborg underlines her greatness
When Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg eventually hangs up her gloves, she’ll do so as one of the greatest female athletes in the history of combat sports. But she still looked right at the top of her game in San Diego as she blasted her way to victory over former UFC bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano.
The pair met in the co-main event, where Cyborg just looked too strong, too fast, too good for Zingano as she hammered the challenger with strikes in a one-sided one-round demolition of the division’s No. 1 contender.
Cyborg connected with power and frequency during the stand-up exchanges as she totally dominated the action. With the round starting to wind down, Cyborg then chopped down Zingano with a leg kick, then followed her to the mat and finished her with vicious ground strikes for a statement-making first-round knockout victory.
The win gave Cyborg her 27th career victory, and her 21st career KO/TKO finish. It also improved her perfect record under the Bellator banner to 6-0.
After her fight, Cyborg then faced off with her likely next opponent, Leah McCourt, after the Northern Irish contender claimed a career-best with with a first-round TKO finish of former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger and Olympic wrestling medalist, Sara McMann.
Carmouche chops down Macfarlane to retain flyweight crown
The women’s flyweight title fight between champion Liz Carmouche and former champion, and Carmouche’s longtime friend and former training partner, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, suffered a blow during weigh-in day when Macfarlane missed weight for the bout. It meant that the former champ was ineligible to win the belt, with a win for the challenger set to leave the title vacant.
But Carmouche ensured there would be no such uncertainty as she systematically broke down Macfarlane over the the first four rounds before eventually finishing her with leg kicks in the opening seconds of the fifth to retain her championship with a stoppage win.
The action between the two friends was sporadic at best in an incident-free opening round. So much so, that both fighters were warned to up their output before the fight resumed for Round 2.
The action had been somewhat lackluster through the opening 10 minutes, but Carmouche made the crucial breakthrough as she landed a series of leg kicks that clearly took their toll on Macfarlane’s lead leg.
Carmouche continued to target that area through Round 4 and, when the fighters returned to their stools at the end of the round, Macfarlane looked close to being stopped – either by the referee or by her own corner.
Nonetheless, the former champion emerged for the final round, but it only took one more powerful leg kick to end the fight as Carmouche claimed a fifth-round finish to extend her perfect Bellator run to seven fights.
Bellator 300: Official results
- Usman Nurmagomedov def. Brent Primus via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – for lightweight title (lightweight grand prix semi-final)
- Cris Cyborg def. Cat Zingano via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:01 – for women’s featherweight title
- Liz Carmouche def. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane via TKO (leg kicks) – round 5, 0:17 – for women’s flyweight title
- Bobby Seronio III def. Alberto Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Leah McCourt def. Sara McMann via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 4:30
- Sergio Cossio def. Jesse Roberts via submission (mounted triangle choke) – Round 3, 4:05
- Kai Kamaka III def. Henry Corrales via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Slim Trabelsi def. Davion Franklin via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 3:09
- Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov def. Maciej Rozanski via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mukhmahed Berkhamov def. Herman Terrado via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Grant Neal def. Romero Cotton via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jena Bishop def. Ilara Joanne via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:45
- Josh Hokit def. Spencer Smith via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:12
- Jackie Cataline def. Lorrany Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Dmytrii Hrytsenko def. Justin Montalvo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Bryce Meredith def. Miquel Peimbert via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)