We have a great night of fights tonight at Bellator 251, where former top five UFC light-heavyweight contender Corey Anderson (13-5) makes his promotional debut against one of the most dangerous strikers in all of MMA, Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1) 2 NC.
Co-headlining the event is a heavyweight match up between the highly touted Tyrell Fortune (8-1) 1 NC and Said Sowma (6-1).
Tonight’s feature fight showcased a middleweight match up between Austin Vanderford (9-0) and Vinicius de Jesus (9-3). Vandeford hadn’t fought in 355 days, while de Jesus had fought as recently as August of this year.
De Jesus returned to the Bellator cage tonight for the first time in nearly two years. He went 3-1 through his four promotional fights, while Vanderford had gone 3-0 inside the Bellator cage prior, using his elite wrestling to finish and out-point his opponents. We had a national champion wrestler against a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in this fight, a great contrast of styles.
Vanderford opens up with an explosive, weird type of takedown, and he was immediately locked up in a kneebar. He managed to get out of it and they were both back to their feet.
Vanderford was landing some nice overhand rights and some really beautiful jabs, as de Jesus lands some nice jabs of his own, as well as some leg kicks. Vanderford ended up catching one of de Jesus’ legs kicks and landed a hard overhand right to knock him down, and followed up with a thunderous hammerfist on the ground.
Vanderford stormed through de Jesus at the start of round two, landing a beautiful punch combination, momentarily stunning him, before taking him down immediately after. He stayed on top and pounded on de Jesus for the rest of the round, and ended the round attempting an arm-triangle choke.
Vanderford did the same thing in round three, but set his takedown up with a couple jabs, rather than an array of punches. He remained on top for the rest of the round and really started bloodying him up toward the middle of it. Like the first and second, Vanderford ended round three on top after a trademark dominant performance.
Official Result: Austin Vanderford def. Vinicius de Jesus via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.