Bellator MMA returns to us tonight, June 16, 2023, for Bellator 297, going down live from Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
Headlining the event is a light-heavyweight championship affair between current three-time defending champion Vadim Nemkov (16-2, 1 NC) and former three-time UFC middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero (15-6).
Co-headlining is also a title bout, this one coming at 135 lbs showcasing Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis (22-5), who aims to make the second defense of his title against Bellator featherweight champion and former Bellator lightweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire (35-5).
Our feature fight of the evening came, like the main event, came at 205 lbs between former Bellator light-heavyweight champion Phil Davis (24-7, 1 NC) and former title challenger Corey Anderson (17-6, 1 NC).
This is a fight we could’ve seen in the UFC long ago, but we finally got to see it go down tonight.
Both men were in the top five of the UFC’s light-heavyweight division at the time they departed for Bellator, Davis having gone 11-3 since, and Anderson having gone 3-1, 1 NC since.
One interesting fact about this fight, both of them put on the exact same performance against future, now former UFC light-heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira, each claiming handed 30-27’s against him via their dominant wrestling; they’re the only two men to have ever done that to Teixeira.
Continue reading to see how this epic light-heavyweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Corey Anderson def. Phil Davis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Anderson takes the center of the octagon once the bout begins, though Davis is the first to change levels. Anderson easily stuffs the takedown and presses Davis into the fence where he eventually secures a double leg takedown.
Davis immediately reverses the takedown once his back hits the mat and he accumulates some control time himself.
Anderson appears to be winning the striking exchanges, though the first five minutes were very back-and-forth.
The second round is less eventful, though Anderson is still making Davis go backwards.
Davis lets go of his hands with confidence for the first time in the third and final round, but Anderson came back in the end and kept doing his thing. This was a very close fight with maybe a slight nod to Anderson.
If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to share it on social media!
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 ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!