Mulvane, Kan. (June 26, 2015) – Cheick Kongo (23-10-2) utilized a vast array of elbow strikes to defeat Alexander Volkov (24-6) via unanimous decision in the main event of Bellator MMA: “Kongo vs. Volkov” from Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kan., on Friday.
The Frenchman was relentless with his takedown attempts and “Drago” was unable to use his length to ward them off, spending a good duration of the heavyweight encounter on his back.
With the victory, Kongo improves to 4-2 under the Bellator MMA umbrella, while Volkov has now dropped two consecutive decisions.
In the co-main event, Dave Rickels (16-3, 1 NC) was seemingly en route to a spectacular stoppage of John Alessio (35-17, 1 NC) but an ill-advised knee to the head of a downed Alessio resulted in a no contest.
The 26-year-old Derby, Kan. native had the former World Extreme Cagefighting competitor wobbled against the cage, but the roar of the hometown fans may have clouded his decision making, as Rickels threw the knee and as a result referee Rob Hinds waved off the fight.
“Kansas, I’m so sorry,” Rickels said. “The fight was going exactly as I expected. You will see me do this again, except next time, I’m going to legally finish my opponent. I kneed him in the head, I screwed up, I could’ve stopped at any second but I just wanted to finish it.”
In what will undoubtedly end up as a “knockout of the year” candidate, Hisaki Kato (5-1) finished Joe Schilling (2-5) with a second-round Superman punch to impress in his Bellator MMA debut.
“I believed in myself. I know I have really heavy hands and it took just one big shot to knock him out,” Kato said after the fight. “I feel I did a great job of representing Japanese MMA. It’s not only about grappling, we are also strikers as well.”
Kato showcased his grappling the first round, nullifying the world-class muay Thai of Schilling on the ground. But after a few even exchanges to open the second slate, Kato struck with a perfectly placed punch that sent those in attendance into a frenzy. It’s worth noting that the Japanese international has won all five of his fights by KO or TKO.
In the opening main card bout of the evening, Pat Curran (21-7) got back on the winning track with a unanimous (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) decision over a game Emmanuel Sanchez (10-2).
Curran was originally slated to face Goiti Yamauchi, but an injury created the opportunity for Sanchez to fill-in on short notice. The two featherweights maintained a torrid pace over the course of 15 minutes, but the three judges appointed by the Kansas commission all ruled in favor of the former 145-pound champion.
After the fight, “Paddy Mike” promised to continue improving on his craft.
“I really needed this win,” Curran said. “I want to thank him for stepping up on three weeks notice and taking the fight. I’m going to keep coming, I have a lot to improve and keep working on. I’m going to head back to the gym and keep getting better.”
Josh Koscheck Signing:
Bellator MMA also announced the signing of Josh “Kos” Koscheck (17-10) to a multi-fight deal. The welterweight comes to the Scott Coker-led promotion from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he amassed his record fighting some of the most notable names in the welterweight division, including Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes.
Koscheck, is a former Division I wrestling champion who now joins an ultra-competitive welterweight division, where a rematch against Paul Daley could possibly come to fruition.
Frederick Brown (3-1) stopped Derek Bohi (6-4) with punches in the Bellator 139 dark main event. The technical knockout came :29 seconds into the first round.
Aaron Ely (5-2) utilized his slick grappling skills to submit Jeimeson Saudino (8-5) with a standing guillotine choke at 1:05 of round two. “The Cyborg” has earned all of his five victories by way of submission.
The lone women’s fight on the Bellator 139 card did not disappoint, as Bryanna Fissori (2-0) earned a unanimous 29-28 decision win against Iony Razafiarison (2-1). The difference was the third and final frame, where “The Pink Ranger” secured a full mount and rained down punches, seeking the finish and receiving the benefit of the doubt from the judges.
Alex Huddleston (6-1) is making a habit of finishing scraps early, finishing his opponent Javy Ayala (8-4) via rear-naked choke a mere 72-seconds after the opening bell sounded. With the win, “The Shaved Gorilla” has two first-round finishes in his two fights under the Bellator MMA banner.
Before Augusto Sakai (10-0) and Daniel Gallemore (4-3) could get off their stools for a third round, Gallemore’s corner stopped the fight. Somewhere along the way, “Big Kansas” began having trouble seeing, giving Sakai the win via TKO and keeping the Brazilian fighter’s record unblemished to begin his professional career.
Bubba Jenkins (9-2) got back to his winning way against Joe Wilk (19-10) on Friday night, finishing the Kansas-native with punches at 1:00 of round one. “The Highlight Kid” improved to 6-2 inside the Bellator MMA cage.
It took 15 tightly contested minutes to find a winner between lightweights Pablo Villaseca (9-1) and Bobby Cooper (12-5). In the end, two judges scored the fight in favor of the man they call “Super Duper,” giving him the split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) victory.
In the opening bout of the evening, Gaston Reyno (4-0, 2 NC) made quick work of Greg Scott (3-4), picking up the submission win after only 1:17 of featherweight action.
Tags: Alexander Volkov, Bellator, Bellator 139, Cheick Kongo