Bellator returned on Saturday night for their first show in September. Phil Davis produced a dominant performance in the main event against Bellator’s long-awaited debutant Yoel Romero. Let’s take an insight into the results and takeaways from Bellator 266.
Bellator 266 Results
Phil Davis def. Yoel Romero via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-26).
Neiman Gracie def. Mark Lemminger via TKO (Punches). Round 1 – (1:27).
DeAnna Bennett def. Alejandra Lara via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Saul Rogers def. Georgi Karakhanyan via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26).
Ben Parrish def. Christian Edwards via KO (Punch). Round 1 – (0:38).
Alex Polizzi def. Grant Neal via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Anthony Adams def. Khalid Murtazaliev via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Bobby Seronio III def. Socrates Hernandez via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-26, 29-26).
Abraham Vaesau def. Albert Gonzales via TKO (Punches). Round 1 – (2:17).
Shane Keefe def. Rhalan Gracie via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Edwin De Los Santos def. Jon Adams via TKO (Strikes). Round 1 – (3:29).
Jesse Delgado def. Joshua Dillon via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Bellator 266 Takeaways
Debut Despair for Yoel Romero
After failing a medical due to an eye issue back in May, Romero eventually made his Bellator debut nine months after agreeing to a multi-fight deal with the promotion. With the “Soldier of God” not participating in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, it made perfect sense to match him up with one of the top competitors in the division. Davis became the ideal opponent after his quarter-final loss to Vadim Nemkov in April.
The scores may have been deemed close on one of the judges’ scorecards, but in all honesty, Davis controlled the fight from start to finish. When Romero did decide to throw some punches, they seemed to appear wild and rash as he waited for the perfect one to land and hopefully ‘hurt’ Davis.
Davis was smart with his direct jab and used clever takedowns to execute his dominant wrestling over Romero. The reach of Davis was a clear advantage over Romero’s, with the Cuban struggling to land many strikes. The 18-month layoff appeared to show with Romero looking rusty, but we know the qualities of the 44-year-old, and he will be back better in the next one.
The Gracie’s Bring Joy and Sorrow
Neiman Gracie returned to the cage in style, with the submission artist producing the first knockout of his eight-year career. Within the first round, Gracie landed several uppercuts, with an elbow causing damage. Gracie took advantage and started to hammer Mark Lemminger with punch after punch till he dropped straight to the canvas.
Rhalan Gracie, son of Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Relson Gracie and grandson of Master Helio Gracie, entered the cage for the first time in 14 years on Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Gracie family, they had to settle with only one victory at Bellator 266, with Shane Keefe edging Gracie after a successful first two-rounds via unanimous decision.
Neiman introduced the idea of a fight with Michael Venom Page in his post-fight conference as he looks to work his way back towards a shot at the welterweight title. Of course, we already know MVP faces Douglas Lima in London next month, so we need to determine the outcome of that one first. Rhalan has an unfortunate record of 0-3, with it being unsure if the 34-year-old steps in the cage again.
First Round Finishes
Including the finish from Gracie, Bellator 266 had four finishes inside the first three and half minutes on Saturday night. Ben Parrish lived up to the underdog status by knocking out one of Bellator’s most dangerous prospects in Christian Edwards. Parrish landed a powerful left to drop Edwards, which led to “Big Tuna” pouncing with the hammer fists and ending the fight after 38 seconds.
Abraham Vaesau found his second win in the promotion thanks to the power in his right hand. He wobbled Albert Gonzales with a right-hook, chased him down, and landed another powerful strike to drop him to the canvas. One ground strike was enough for Jason Herzog to call a stop to the contest.
MMA debutant Edwin De Los Santos had a night to remember with a deadly liver strike to drop Jon Adams, and a few punches were enough to see him off on his professional debut. The 27-year-old is a tricky customer on the feet, and he looks like one to watch in the flyweight division.
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