The second round has served Da’Mon Blackshear well throughout his career.
With six of his eight victories coming by finish, five of those came during the second round. His latest finish occurred at Bellator 249 where he submitted Mike Kimbel on Thursday. Oct. 15.
“I don’t expect it, but if it’s out there, I take it,” Blackshear said.
“I feel like I can come in and adapt to my opponent and then find holes a lot easier than most people. In the first round I already got a feel for my guy, in the second round, I expose them.”
Da’Mon Blackshear chokes out Mike Kimbel
Blackshear and Kimbel fought on their feet the first nine minutes of the bout, but the 26-year-old had a different idea in the final minute of round two.
Blackshear scored a double-leg takedown and Kimbel immediately gave up his back. Blackshear wasted little time, getting both hooks in and sinking in the rear-naked choke for the tap.
The North Carolina displayed a lot of patience through the fight. Blackshear mixed up his striking, using leg kicks at the end of combinations to wear down his opponent.
Once “The Diamond” noticed Kimbel slowing down, he shot in for the takedown.
“That was pretty much the game plan going into this fight is that once I took it to the ground, that is my world,” Blackshear said. “He wasn’t coming forward, he was staying on his back foot. That’s why those leg kicks were landing extra well because he was always just running back and it left this legs vulnerable.”
Kimbel is not one to backup often. At 3-3, two if his victories come by first-round TKO. He even knocked out Alex Potts in six seconds at Bellator 207 in October 2018.
Kimbel had only made it out of the first round once before facing Blackshear. He won a split decision against Sebastian Ruiz at Bellator 222 in June 2019.
Kimbel came out much slower against Blackshear, taking a more methodical approach. Blackshear said he prepared for it all.
“I always kept it in my mind that everybody is always aiming to improve. If we wants to play ti smart, especially if he seen an interview of me saying he does come out fast, he is going to try and improve his game plan a little bit,” Blackshear said. “It wasn’t too surprising he wasn’t as explosive in the beginning, I was always prepared for that.”
An impressive Bellator MMA debut for Da’Mon Blackshear at #Bellator249.
— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) October 16, 2020
What the future holds
Blackshear experienced a lot of firsts in the lead up to Kimbel. Blackshear rode in his first limo from the airport to the Mohegun Sun Casino. He also kicked off his Bellator debut with another finish.
Blackshear is letting his manager take over from here. With interest in the surging bantamweight divisions in both Bellator and the UFC, Blackshear is looking forward to what’s next
With a win over Kimbel, Blackshear expects more competition to follow.
“He’s way better than his record shows, it was a big showing for me,” Blackshear said. “I’m here for the competition. I’m here to test myself and I see tons of guys in Bellator and tons of guys in the UFC that can do that.”
Da’Mon Blackshear spoke to MyMMANews about his Bellator-debut victory. Watch the full interview in the video above.