Bellator 185: A Night of Surprises

Bellator 185: A Night of Surprises

Mousasi’s swollen right eye (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Bellator 185: A Night of Surprises

Story and photos by Jose Cuevas

Uncasville, Conn. — Bellator 185 was brimming with anticipation for the long-awaited debut of Gegard Mousasi Friday night at Mohegan Sun. Mousasi was a former UFC Middleweight title contender and had fought some of the best in the world. The crowd was excited to see boxing sensation Heather Hardy continue her foray into the world of MMA. The night was full of surprises, which tells you that anything is possible in the MMA Cage.


Here is the fight card with the result of each bout.

Preliminary Bouts:
Dean Hancock 
defeated John Beneduce via TKO (Punches) in Round 1, time: 3:38

Pete Rogers Jr. defeated Timothy Wheeler via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in round 1, time 0:37

Joaquin Buckley defeated Venicius De Jesus via Split Decision

Costello Van Steenis defeated Steve Skrzat via TKO (Severe Elbows) Round 1, time: 2:52

Jordan Young defeated Alec Hooben via Submission (Triangle Choke) Round 1, time: 2:44

Don Shainis defeated Matt Denning via TKO (Severe punches) Round 1, time: 4:50

Vovka Clay defeated Frank Sforsza via Submission (Guillotine Choke) Round 2, time: 1:17

Kevin Carrier defeated Jose Antonio Perez via Unanimous Decision
Main Card Bouts:

Lisa Blaine
 defeated Ana Julaton via Split Decision

Ryan Quinn defeated Marcus Surin via Unanimous Decision

Kristina Williams defeated Heather Hardy via TKO (Doctor Stoppage after Severe Injuries) Round 2, time 2:00

Neiman Gracie defeated Zak Bucia via Submission (Neck Crank) Round 2, time 2:27

Gegard Mousasi defeated Alexander Shlemenko via Unanimous Decision


Notable Fights


Lisa Blaine versus Ana Julaton


Julaton throwing a leg kick  (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Lisa Blaine versus Ana Julaton was a test of grit for both women. Julaton dominated the first half of the fight with her control of range and striking. She was also comfortable exchanging holds on the mat.

Blain attempting some ground and pound (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Blaine managed to wrestle Julaton to the mat in the later part of the fight and land some strikes. The rounds were hotly contested but she swayed the judges in her favor heading into the third and final round.

Both Julaton and Blaine touch gloves prior to settling their differences in the cage (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Blaine landing an elbow strike (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Julaton lands an upkick (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The third round was hotly contested. Blaine went into second gear to try to out-will her opponent.The fight ended in the center of the ring with both trying to get the upper hand and squeeze a decision or land a knockout. Blaine ultimately swayed the judges for a close but hard-fought split decision victory.

Blaine wins via Split Decision (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Both fighters embrace after a tough fight (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Kristina Williams versus Heather Hardy


Hardy trying to throw a left hook (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Heather Hardy entered the cage for her second ever MMA Bout and many expected her to continue her winning ways. Hardy was the favorite in this fight as she has been positioned to be a star in Bellator. However, Kristina Williams in her pro debut had other plans.

Williams lands a vicious headkick on Hardy (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

From round one Williams asserted her dominance by exchanging with Hardy. Hardy had no answers to Williams’ arsenal of strikes and kicks.

Hardy being examined after the 1st round (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

As the second round commenced Williams rushed Hardy and continued to beat and batter her. The fight ended in the second round with a vicious headkick that forced the cageside doctor to examine Hardy’s wounds.

The fight was stopped after Hardy was severely lacerated by vicious headkicks (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


The kick that ended the fight (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Gegard Mousasi versus Alexander Shlemenko


The tale of the tape (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The main event was Gegard Mousasi’s highly anticipated Bellator debut against Alexander Shlemenko. The story driving this bout was how would Mousasi be able to stand toe to toe with the very tough, rugged, and hard-hitting Shlemenko. It was not an easy debut fight, despite Mousasi being a highly regarded fighter.

Mousasi and Shlemenko touch gloves (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Mousasi attempting the rear naked choke (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The fight began with Mousasi out-wrestling Shlemenko and continuously trying to lock in a rear naked choke.

Mousasi’s swollen right eye (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

However, Shlemenko showed his power and sneaked in a strike that formed a mouse on Mousasi’s right eye. The eye immediately began to swell grotesquely.

Shlemenko lands an overhand left (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

As the fight progressed Shlemenko began focusing on Mousasi’s eye. Mousasi was on his back foot trying to protect himself from Shlemenko’s scary strength. Mousasi had success on the mat, but Shlemenko successfully defended his rear naked choke attempts.

Mousasi trying to get a read naked choke (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Shlemenko has Mousasi down (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Heading into the third Shlemenko took control as Mousasi was backpedaling away from him. Shlemenko even had success on the mat as Mousasi seemed exhausted and hurt. Many in the audience believed Shlemenko won the fight as he was thoroughly in control in the third and final round.

Shlemenko lands a left hook on Mousasi (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

But the winner was Mousasi by unanimous decision. The crowd was irate as many believed Shlemenko had won. Both men had to be taken to the hospital after the fight for further evaluation.


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