Bellator 182's Bruna Ellen happy with big win over Veta Arteaga, but in no rush with her career

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

VERONA, N.Y. – Bruna Ellen has made no secret of her high goals. But, after a big Bellator 182 win, the flyweight is in no rush to reach them.

Ellen (4-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) edged out Veta Arteaga (3-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) in a close contest that ended in a split call this past Friday at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The win means Ellen is now two fights removed from an unsuccessful promotional debut, and off to a solid start in her still-blooming pro career.

But, as happy as she is with a main card win over a tough competitor, Ellen still believes a lot of strides are yet to come in the cage.

“I still have a lot to show,” Ellen told MMAjunkie in her native Portuguese. “I’m sure that with every fight, there’ll be more evolution, and a new show. I’m in no rush. I want to showcase my work, do it fight by fight, and show the world what I love doing. That’s why I’m here.”

Ellen admitted she wasn’t really expecting to hear the split call being announced – she thought it was pretty clear that she’d won two rounds against Arteaga. But having come out of with her hand raised, she won’t make too big of a deal out of it, either.

As for what she encountered against fellow up-and-comer Arteaga, who’d gained somewhat of a reputation of face-destroyer after her displays over Anastasia Yankova and Brooke Mayo, Ellen says she wasn’t exactly surprised.

She expected a difficult challenge. So she planned for it.

“I already knew she was a very tough opponent,” Ellen said. “That she likes to fight, and that she moves forward a lot. So I think I was able to implement my strategy well, and not let her find me in the fight.

“And impose my game both in the striking and takedowns. I knew she was a very tough opponent, so it was as I was expected: a very tough fight.”

In a closely contested bout, Ellen also knew that the third round was key to lock in a win. Clearly, she managed – and a final takedown effort may have been just the thing to help make sure she pulled it off.

Looking back, Ellen believes she was doing well enough on her feet. But still, she wasn’t about to take any chances on a key win.

“I wanted to make it extra clear, no doubts,” Ellen said. “So I looked for the takedown to decide that round beyond all doubt.”

Ellen may not have the heftiest MMA record yet, but she’s certainly off to a good start. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that she actually enjoys fighting – and gets more into it as every appointment in the cage progresses.

Much as we’ve come to see her do during her fights, Ellen says constant growth is what we can expect from her career.

“It’s what I like doing, so with every minute (of the fight) I start letting loosening up a little more,” Ellen said. “And with every fight I’m going to start loosening up a little more.”

To hear from Ellen, with the help of an interpreter, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 182, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 182 post-event facts: Unbeaten A.J. McKee makes history

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Former Bellator champion Andrey Koreshkov made a triumphant return to competition on Friday when he defeated Chidi Njokuani in Bellator 181’s headliner at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Koreshkov (20-2 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) stepped back in the cage after losing the Bellator welterweight title in his previous bout when he earned a first-round TKO of Njokuani (17-5 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) in the Spike-televised contest. Prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

For all the numbers to come out of Bellator’s latest event, check below for 20 post-event facts.

* * * *

General

Betting favorites went 2-1 on the main card. One fight had even odds.

Betting favorites improved to 9-3 (with one at even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 45:10.

* * * *

Main card

Koreshkov’s 11 victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied with champion Douglas Lima for most in divisional history.

Koreshkov has earned 14 of his 20 career victories by stoppage.

Koreshkov has earned all of his Bellator stoppage victories by knockout.

Koreshkov’s six stoppage victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied with Michael Page for second most in divisional history behind Lima (seven).

Njokuani had his nine-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since March 2013.

Njokuani has suffered all of his career losses by stoppage.

Njokuani suffered his first knockout loss since Aug. 20, 2011 – a span of 2,197 days and 15 fights.

Brennan Ward (14-6 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) fell to 4-3 since he dropped to the Bellator welterweight division in February 2015.

Ward has suffered all of his career losses by stoppage.

All 15 of Ward’s Bellator fights have ended in a stoppage.

Bruna Ellen (4-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) has earned both of her Bellator victories by decision.

Ellen has earned three of her four career victories by decision.

Veta Arteaga (3-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) has suffered both of her career losses by decision.

A.J. McKee’s (9-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) nine-fight Bellator winning streak is the longest active streak in the company.

McKee’s nine-fight Bellator winning streak is the longest streak in company history.

McKee’s nine-fight Bellator winning streak in featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Blair Tugman (10-7 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) fell to 2-1 since he moved up to the Bellator featherweight division in November 2016.

For complete coverage of Bellator 182, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 182 highlights: Watch Koreshkov's overwhelming GNP, Gonzalez's fast-acting guillotine

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

The top of Friday’s Bellator 182 card featured a pair of welterweight fights that gave the fighters an opportunity to assert their positions in the pecking order for a future title shot.

In the main event, former champ Andrey Koreshkov (20-2 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) took out Chidi Njokuani (17-5 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) in the first round in his first fight since losing the title to Douglas Lima. But was it enough to jump the line over a name like Rory MacDonald?

In the co-main event, Fernando Gonzalez (27-14 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) shocked Brennan Ward (14-6 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) with a perfectly timed guillotine choke in the third round, taking him to 7-1 in the promotion with just a split-decision loss to Michael Page as a blemish on his Bellator resume. So where does he fit in now?

Bellator 182 took place Friday at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Also on the main card, Bruna Ellen (4-1) took a split decision from Veta Artaega (3-2), and A.J. McKee (9-0) kept his perfect record as a pro with a unanimous decision win over a bloodied-up Blair Tugman (10-7)

For more on Bellator 182, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 182's Bruna Ellen eyeing finish over Veta Arteaga now, flyweight belt later

Bruna Ellen might’ve had a short path in MMA, but her relative inexperience in the cage is in no way stunting her ambition.

The 21-year-old fighter, the youngest among the main-card fighters featured on Friday’s Bellator 182, was only two fights – and two wins – into her professional MMA career when she got her first taste of the big stage. In a Bellator 159 battle of fresh faces against Jessica Middleton, Ellen came out on the losing end of all scorecards.

Six months later, though, Ellen was back at the very arena that saw her drop her first pro loss. This time, the Brazilian flyweight made the most of it, walking away from Bellator 171’s battle against Carmela James with the unanimous nod from the judges.

Other than some relieved pressure, Ellen (3-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) says the difference between the second and first fights lays on a perfectly healthy camp. So, as she heads into her tie-breaker against Veta Arteaga (3-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), she has reasons to feel encouraged.

“Mine has been a short MMA career, so far, but I still have a lot to show,” Ellen said. “For my (fight against James), I was finally at 100 percent. I had no problems at all during my camp. So I was able to let my game go inside the cage.

“And for this next one, I’m feeling even better. It’s been a great camp. I expect to arrive at 110 percent, both physically and mentally. That’s very important. Everyone will be able to see that during my fight.”

Arteaga brings a pro record identical to Ellen’s. While she’s also suffered a Bellator loss – a controversial split call to Anastasia Yankova at Bellator 161 – she’s proven herself a tough opponent by inflicting some serious damage on both Yankova and, more recently, Bellator 172 opponent Brooke Mayo. (via Instagram)

Instagram Photo

Arteaga’s strength and solid striking have not gone unnoticed by Ellen, who’s sure Friday’s Spike-televised main-card encounter at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y, will be a great one.

But, confident in the strategy that she and her team put together, Ellen believes this might just end up being the perfect occasion to give the Bellator fans something they haven’t seen from her yet.

“This time, I want to make sure it doesn’t go to the judges,” Ellen said. “I want to get a finish within the three rounds. I’ve been training every facet of MMA, including jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Maybe I’ll get a submission or a KO, but it certainly won’t go to the judges.”

As for the post-Arteaga future? Well, Ellen has some ideas.

“After this fight, I want to face whoever is best regarded in our weight class,” Ellen said. “I aim to bring the championship belt back to Brazil.”

For more on Bellator 182, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 182 pre-event facts: A.J. McKee looks to join history books

Bellator returns from a more than month-long hiatus on Friday with Bellator 182, which takes place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., with a Spike-televised main card following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In the welterweight headliner, former champ Andrey Koreshkov (19-2 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) returns for the first time since losing the title to Douglas Lima when he takes on Chidi Njokuani (17-4 MMA, 4-0 BMMA).

For more on the number’s behind Bellator’s latest event, check below for 20 pre-event facts about Bellator 182.

* * * *

Main event

Andrey Koreshkov

Koreshkov returns to competition for the first time since losing the Bellator welterweight title to Douglas Lima at Bellator 164 in November.

Koreshkov competes in his 13th Bellator welterweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history.

Koreshkov’s 10 victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied with Lima for most in divisional history.

Koreshkov’s five stoppage victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Lima (seven) and Michael Page (six).

Koreshkov has earned all of his Bellator stoppage victories by knockout.

Chidi Njokuani

Njokuani enters the event on a nine-fight unbeaten streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since March 2013.

Njokuani has earned 10 of his 11 career stoppage victories by knockout.

Njokuani has suffered all four of his career losses by stoppage.

Co-main event

Brennan Ward

Brennan Ward (14-5 MMA, 9-5 BMMA) is 4-2 since he dropped to the Bellator welterweight division in February 2015.

Ward’s nine stoppage victories in Bellator competition are third most in company history behind Michael Chandler (10) and Patricio Freire (10).

Ward’s six knockout victories in Bellator competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind Lima (eight), Freire (seven) and Hector Lombard (seven).

All 14 of Ward’s Bellator fights have ended in a stoppage.

Fernando Gonzalez (26-14 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) has earned four of his six Bellator victories by decision.

Remaining main card

A.J. McKee

A.J. McKee’s (8-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) eight-fight Bellator winning streak is tied with Michael Page for the longest active streak in the company.

McKee’s eight-fight Bellator winning streak is tied with Page for the second longest streak in company history behind Ben Askren (nine).

McKee’s eight-fight Bellator winning streak in featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

McKee has earned six of his eight career victories by stoppage

Blair Tugman (10-6 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) is 2-0 since he moved up to the Bellator featherweight division in November.

Tugman has earned four of his five Bellator victories by decision.

Bruna Ellen (3-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), 21, is the youngest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

Veta Arteaga (3-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) competes in her fourth Bellator women’s flyweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Ilima Macfarlane (five) and Emily Ducote (five).

For more on Bellator 182, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie