Mon. Jan 30th, 2023

Hello everyone, Zach Harkness checking in live from San Jose for Bellator 266, starting now I am going to continuously update you all throughout the night. Keep checking this page for the best updates for this highly anticipated event

 

Jesse Delgado (0-0) vs Joshua Dillon (1-1, 0-0 Bellator)

Delgado is performing as anticipated. as the decorated wrestler is implementing his takedown game with little resistance. While attacking submissions, Delgado is showing impressive positional awareness. The damage he’s done so far should be enough to earn him all three rounds and claim a victory in his professional debut.

Result: Delgado wins by 30-27 on all three of the judges’ scorecards. Delgado is a fighter to watch, as his credentials will be able to take him far. An excellent debut.

 

Edwin De Los Santos (0-0) vs Jon “Superhero” Adams (0-1-1. 0-1 Bellator)

Round 1: De Los Santos is pressuring early, attacking the legs heavily. Adams is backing up easily and keeps eating shots. Momentum is clearly in the hands of De Los Santos but Adams lands a big hook. De Los Santos hits an accidental low blow but Adams jumps back in immediately. De Los Santos lands a thunderous body kick which sends Adams to the mat. A few follow-up shots and Jason Herzog calls the fight.

Result: Edwin De Los Santos wins by first-round knockout (3:29). Another impressive pro debut. De Los Santos did not lay off the brakes at all, pressuring and intelligently picking his shots. What a win for the hometown kid.

 

Rhalan Gracie (0-2, 0-0 Bellator) vs “Shuga” Shane Keefe (1-0. 0-0 Bellator)

Round 1: The feeling-out process begins with Keefe stalking Gracie back. Keefe lands a double jab that stifles Gracie. A huge shot from Keefe sends Gracie back, he is uncomfortable on the feet. Keefe has him flying back. Gracie’s defense is porous. Gracie shoots in on a single bur Keefe grabs the cage which allows him to defend. Keefe goes down but grabs no to a leg trying to sweep Gracie. Keefe gets into full guard while Gracie tries to grab a submission from his back. Keefe gets an inactivity warning. Gracie is searching for a triangle choke but resorts to liver kicks from the bottom. Bell rings, Keefe 10-9.

Round 2: Gracie starts with a whiffing overhand and Keefe begins to immediately push Gracie back again. Keefe keeps landing on the poor defense of Gracie. Keefe’s output has seemingly slowed. Gracie lands a small combo, a 1-2. Gracie has his mouth wide open, as Keefe keeps hitting the body. Finally, in the final seconds of the round, Keefe lands something to pick up a much slower round than the first. Keefe 20-18.

Round 3: Gracie needs to get a finish in this round. Gracie throws a leg kick that gets countered but gets sent back with a big straight. Gracie keeps attacking the legs yet still seems clueless on the feet. Gracie shoots a takedown to no avail. Fortunately for Gracie, Keefe seems quite tired as well. Gracie lands a big straight, the first big land for him. Keefe is now starting to back up. Gracie’s momentum is slightly halted by a big straight. Gracie is starting to unload on Keefe, using the rest of his energy to get the finish he needs. Gracie lands more but Keefe still seems unhurt. The two men trade jabs and Keefe gets a small cut. Keefe has woken up and has started to throw back at Gracie. Keefe lands a huge combo as the round ends and throws his hand in the air. 29-28 Keefe, but a 30-27 would not be unreasonable.

Result: Shane Keefe gets three 29-28s to set back Rhalan Gracie for the third time. MMA does not seem to be Gracie’s calling, his defense and striking were incredibly subpar and he practically handed Keefe the victory with poor cage awareness. Keefe put on a solid showing to claim two wins in two fights. An entertaining scrap to say the least, minus the uneventful second round.

 

Albert “Big Al” Gonzalez (2-2, 1-1 Bellator) vs Abraham Vaesau (5-3 1 NC, 2-1 Bellator)

Round 1: Gonzalez pushes Vaesau back immediately and hits the body. Vaesau reverses and grabs the takedown on Gonzalez. Gonzalez gets back up and starts unloading on Vaesau. More light shots from Gonzalez keep Vaesau at range. Gonzalez whiffs on a pair of strikes and gets cracked by Vaesau. Vaesau hits Gonzalez and sends his mouthpiece flying. After a few more huge shots, Gonzalez goes down and the fight gets called.

Result: Abraham Vaesau wins by 1st round KO (2:17). Gonzalez’s defense was non-existent and he allowed a more powerful hitter to crack him. Vaesau is known for his power, leaving your chin open for him will spell your doom. Big win from the San Francisco native.

 

Socrates Hernandez (0-0) vs Bobby “The Humble Warrior” Seronio III (0-0)

Round 1: Before the fight even begins, chants of “Bobby!” ring loud throughout the arena. It’s clear who the fans want to win. Seronio hits two large low kicks and eats a jab from Hernandez. Seronio rocks him and the two men start trading, rocking each other. Seronio lands a takedown and gets to the back, landing big shots. Wild start to this fight. Hernandez gets up but Seronio lands a massive suplex, more “Bobby” chants ring out. Seronio postures up in guard and hammers away. Seronio postures on Hernandez’s back. Seronio is laying a beatdown on Hernandez from the top position. Big round for the crowd favorite, 10-8 Seronio but a 10-9 would not shock me.

Round 2: Seronio tries a side kick and when it misses, he goes straight to another suplex. Smothering Hernandez’s face, Seronio looks to pass into mount. Some big elbows stun Hernandez as Seronio continues to look to pass. More hellacious ground and pound from Seronio as he stands up in guard. Hernandez gains his footing but Seronio drags him right back down. He is firmly in control in a dominant effort. Returning to the back, Seronio lands more vicious ground shots. Hernandez gets his footing back again and looks to gain separation. Hernandez gets underhooks and lands a clinch knee but eats a body shot as the round ends. 20-17 Seronio.

Round 3: A high-five kicks off the third round. Seronio lands a big 1-2 and immediately goes back to the takedown. Hernandez lands a few good elbows but is dragged down by Seronio. Hernandez throws up a triangle choke and seems to have locked it in tight. Seronio raises his hips to gain separation but the legs are still in place. Seronio is dealing very well. Seronio keeps hitting Hernandez’s face but is cautious, as one wrong move means he will get submitted. Seronio’s counters are getting stronger but the legs are still in place for the triangle. The round ends with the kegs in place. 29-27 Seronio, but the judges will most likely score it a 30-27 or 30-26. Either way, Seronio wins.

Result: 29-27 and two 29-26’s for Bobby Seronio III as the crowd erupts. Hernandez made an impressive showing for someone who took the fight on such short notice but Seronio was the story. Two rounds of masterful fighting for the debuting Seronio. Welcome to the pro game, Mr. Seronio.

 

Anthony “Sugafoot” Adams (8-2, 0-0 Bellator) vs Khalid Murtazaliev (15-2, 1-0 Bellator)

Round 1: The feeling out process begins, neither man wanting to give an inch. Khalid throws a deflected side kick and Adams answers with a kick of his own. Khalid continues to fire kicks at Adams as both show decent ringcraft. Khalid lands a decent 1-2 but the fight is starting off slow. Khalid lands a lead hook and is starting to back down Adams heavily. Adams slightly stumbles Khalid. Khalid hits a big straight and is firmly in control of the cage but he gets caught and backed up. Khalid gets a takedown and immediately snatches the momentum back. Tough round to score, but I would guess it to be 10-9 Adams.

Round 2: Adams starts the round off with control of the cage, having an easier time backing Khalid down. A superman punch misses for Adams, he is reflecting a higher sense of confidence than he had in the first. Khalid lands a big shot which injects a much-needed boost of momentum in a slow round. Khalid is starting to take over. He is having an easier time blocking Adams’ shots although he gets cut up. Khalid lands a thunderous 1-2, landing the most damage in the round so far. 19-19, all tied up after two.

Round 3: Khalid lands a shot over the top of Adams’ guard. Khalid shoots in on a takedown but Adams reverses with a beautiful counter. Khalid is controlling Adams while backing him up while eating the occasional shot. Adams tries to rush forward but is pushed back immediately. Adams is starting to pick up the volume but he gets hit with a takedown shot. On the shot, Khalid low blows Adams, the action is paused. The fight resumes and Khalid goes right back to the pressure game. Adams is throwing up lots of shots but that leaves him open and he gets taken down. Finally, Khalid gets the takedown he was looking for as the round comes to a close. Solid end to the fight, 29-28 Murtazaliev.

Result: 29-28 Adams, a very questionable decision in my eyes. The first was clear for Adams and the third was clear for Murtazaliev. The second is the round in contention. Big win for Adams, picking up the most impactful victory of his career over a heralded Dagestani. A true renaissance after losing on the Contender Series and suffering four straight cancellations.

 

Alex “Easy” Polizzi (8-1, 2-1 Bellator) vs Grant ‘The Truth” Neal (6-0, 5-0 Bellator)

Round 1: Polizzi starts cutting the cage and looking for jabs but he gets tied up in the clinch by Neal. Neal separates and tags a rushing Polizzi. Both men trade big shots in the pocket as neither stops moving. Polizzi hits a big leg kick which gets a reaction out of Neal. Neal gets a takedown, but Polizzi is still sat up, looking for a guillotine. Polizzi gets up and tags Neal two times. Polizzi rushes forward and clips Neal but gets hit with another takedown, sitting him back on the mat. Neal ties the legs of Polizzi but loses the position, giving Polizzi the chance to get back to his feet. Neal takes him down yet again, stifling any sort of momentum that Polizzi starts. Neal ties Polizzi up in the clinch as the round comes to a close. Very close round, but I’m giving the first to Grant Neal. 10-9 Neal.

Round 2: Polizzi presses Neal against the cage, stalling in the position, limiting what Neal can do. On the separation, Polizzi marches forward and fires straights. Neal seems fatigued, as Polizzi is having a far easier time making him back up and react to feints. In a turn of events, Polizzi takes down Neal. He can’t seem to hold him down or gain position and he gets caught in a guillotine. Polizzi looks to pass to side control to break the lock. Polizzi starts looking for a Von Flue choke. The guillotine is broken and Polizzi gets Neal’s back. Polizzi looks to flatten Neal out and he gets it for a moment. With little time left in the round, Polizzi attacks a rear-naked choke. With 1o seconds left, Neal reverses him. Neal is tired and the momentum is with Polizzi. 19-19 after 2.

Round 3: Neal whiffs on an overhand as Polizzi marches forward. Winging shots connect for both men as Polizzi goes for the takedown. Polizzi hits a combo on the cage and clinches Neal in a dominant position. Polizzi drops for a single leg and gets Neal down. On the separation, Polizzi dives again, however unsuccessfully this time. Both men now seem incredibly fatigued. Polizzi shoots again but Neal sprawls and gets back to the feet. Neal hits a big hook which stumbles Polizzi. Polizzi fires back and both men take a moment to stare at each other. Neal shoots this time, but Polizzi gets his back to the fence. After some resistance, Neal gets the huge takedown. That may have stolen the round. Neal drives into Polizzi but gives him his feet back. Polizzi somehow lands a piledriver but eats an overhand. Insanely close fight, but I score it 29-28 Neal. Great showing from both men.

Result: It is a split decision victory for Polizzi! He hands Neal his first pro loss and inserts himself into the rankings. After losing in his Bellator debut, Polizzi is reversing his Bellator run around. In a Light Heavyweight division that is currently wide open, a big win like this for Polizzi will mean everything when it comes to future bookings. On to the main card.

 

Ben “Big Tuna” Parrish (4-1. 0-0 Bellator) vs Christian “Pain” Edwards (5-0, 5-0 Bellator)

Round 1: Edwards is keeping Parrish out. Parrish lands, which Edwards acknowledges. Suddenly a massive hook floors Edwards, down he goes! Parrish picks up a huge knockout as a huge underdog.

Result: Ben Parrish by first-round KO (0:38). Who saw that coming? Edwards was a -1000 favorite and he got knocked out within a minute. A monumental win for “Big Tuna” as he shocks the world. The statement has been made. The Light Heavyweight division has had huge shifts tonight.

 

Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan (31-11-1, 9-9 Bellator) vs Saul “The Hangman” Rogers (14-4, 2-2 Bellator)

Round 2: Sorry for missing the first, everyone, media duties called. Rogers takes down Georgi at will, standing in guard and landing punishing shots. Georgi tries to stand but he is immediately reversed. Georgi cannot seem to gain any progress on Rogers. The punches are adding up for Saul but he gets caught in a guillotine. Georgi lands a flurry but Rogers smiles through it. Georgi’s chance is gone and Rogers gains the back. Rogers seems to have cleared off the cobwebs and is back to dominating. Rogers has recovered brilliantly and has most likely won the round. 2-0 Rogers.

Round 3: Rogers gets the takedown with ease immediately. His gameplan is very clear. As Georgi tries to stand he gives his back yet again. Georgi crawls to the fence while Rogers gains position and tries to wrap an arm. Rogers keeps landing shots on Georgi from the back. The story of the fight continues as Georgi is helpless on the ground against Rogers. Rogers returns Georgi to the mat as boos ring throughout the arena. A grappling masterclass is being put on by Rogers in his first fight at 155. There is no doubt as to who won the fight. Clear 30-27 for Saul Rogers.

Result: Saul Rogers wins one 30-27 and two 30-26es. Standout showing for the Englishman in his debut at lightweight. He is a big addition to this division and will begin to run up the rankings. Beware the Hangman.

 

DeAnna “Vitamin D” Bennett (10-7-1, 0-1 Bellator) vs Alejandra “Azul” Lara (9-4, 3-3 Bellator)

Round 1: Bennett is starting off aggressive. The extra weight is giving her an advantage as she is able to get a takedown and walk through some of the shots she is throwing. Bennett is trying for an armbar on the ground but settles to flattening Lara out and she lands ground and pound. Bennett attempts the RNC but abandons it and then goes back. Frantic pace for Bennett. Lara is doing a good job defending and escapes the position. Lara nearly gets to her feet but is stifled by Bennett. Bennett holds Lara against the cage Lara lands a big shot on separation but eats one as well. Huge round for Bennett. 10-8 for Bennett.

Round 2: Lara starts out stronger, throwing a leg kick. Lara clips Bennett with a big hook. Lara lands again with the hook. She seems to have recovered very nicely. They tag each other and return to the center of the cage. Lara takes the front foot but gets clipped. Lara lands a head kick and throws a flurry. She eats a few shots but stays composed. They keep landing on each other. Bennett shoots for a takedown but Larsa defends with a guillotine and gains a dominant position. They separate and Bennett takes the front foot. Bennett shoots but Lara reverses her. Lara misses on a side kick and gets countered. Lara gets caught and stunned but she returns nicely. Lara eats an elbow over the top but throws back and lands. Lara tries a spin kick but she gets caught and taken down. The round ends and it is clearly more convincing for Lara. 19-18 Bennett after 2.

Round 3: Lara starts off very strong with a few 1-2s on Bennett. Lara lands a ripping hook and is looking defensively sound. Bennett seems tired after her impressive first-round showing. Bennett lands a few shots and takes the front foot. Bennett is starting to land more and more. Lara finally connects a few times and gains the momentum back before getting caught by a flurry. Lara ties Bennett up on the cage but they separate quickly. Lara is looking for the takedown. Lara throws a head kick and pins Bennett on the fence. A massive straight stuns Bennett. Lara counters a Bennett kick and then another, taking the fight to the ground. Lara stands and gets caught by upkicks. She dives in with a superman punch and stuns Bennett. Lara holds onto the top position as the round ends. This fight is most likely a draw.

Result: Bennett wins all three rounds? I disagree with that decision, I thought that fight was clearly a draw. Bennett’s weight miss is making it hard to feel too happy for her. Oh well.

 

Mark Lemminger (12-3, 2-2 Bellator) vs Neiman Gracie (10-2, 8-2 Bennett)

Round 1: Gracie lands early on Lemminger. The feeling out process is starting to fade. Gracie ducks in and clips an overhand. Gracie gets Lemminger clinched against the cage. Gracie connects multiple times and has Lemminger hurt. A huge flurry and the ref calls it off. Gracie by knockout!

Result: Gracie TKO in round 1, 1:37! What a performance and one of the least Gracie-esque performances you will find. This was an absolute statement win for Neiman, bouncing back from his title eliminator. He looked like a world beater. Amazing win for Gracie.

 

Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero (13-5, 0-0 Bellator) vs Phil ” Mr. Wonderful” Davis (22-6, 9-3 Bellator)

Round 1: I’m gonna watch This one, no updates. Enjoy!

By Zach Harkness

Zach Harkness is the head fight analyst at MMA Island.