MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for November: A slick choke caps a historic return

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from November: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for November.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Ilima Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote at Bellator 186

Ilima Macfarlane (7-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) may have become Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion, but Emily Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) did not go down without a major fight.

Macfarlane finally put Ducote away with an armbar and a verbal submission from a triangle choke late in the fifth round. But Ducote tested her most of the fight in what may have been a close one had it gone to the judges. The finish, however, came with less than 90 left in the final round.

Instagram Photo

Georges St-Pierre def. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) promised to make history against Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC), and he delivered by becoming just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes when he claimed the middleweight belt.

Former longtime welterweight champ St-Pierre was successful in his return to the octagon after nearly four years when he defeated Bisping by third-round technical submission, tying the record for most wins in UF history.

Instagram Photo

Haim Gozali def. Arsen Faitovich at Bellator 188

Haim Gozali (8-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) made his way to the Bellator cage with style, complete with Israeli musical group The Shadow performing a song specifically for him. To be clear, Gozali entered with style and finished his fight the same way.

Arsen Faitovich (4-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) made the big mistake of shooting for a take down in the opening moments, and Gozali made him pay, transitioning to a triangle choke and putting Faitovich to sleep in his promotional debut.

Instagram Photo

Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks at UFC Fight Night 121

There was a little bit of bad blood between Nik Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) and Will Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) heading into their lightweight showdown, but in the end “The Carny” emerged victorious.

Lentz submitted Brooks with a second-round guillotine choke, then called out anyone at his former camp, and Brooks’ current camp, American Top Team – with a $50,000 bet on the table. Lentz forced the 5-1 favored Brooks to tap in the second round.

Instagram Photo

Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Sheymon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 122

Zabit Magomedsharipov (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made things look easy when he extended his winning streak to 10 with a dominant performance former WSOF title challenger Sheymon Moraes (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Magomedsharipov outworked Moraes for nearly 15 minutes, then put the Brazilian away with a late anaconda choke. Magomedsharipov was on his way to an easy win on the judges’ scorecards, but no doubt was glad for the finish, which came with 30 seconds left in the fight.

* * * *

The Winner: Georges St-Pierre

After four years away, St-Pierre made UFC history in his long-awaited return to the octagon against Bisping.

St-Pierre, who left the sport as a long-reigning welterweight champion, returned to the UFC and choked out middleweight champion Bisping to become the new 185-pound titleholder and just the fourth two-division champion in the promotion’s history.

St-Pierre went to the center and faked a kick while Bisping circled on the outside. Bisping tried to pepper a jab, but St-Pierre landed a right hand over the top. He tried a spinning kick shortly after that. St-Pierre missed on a right hand that had bad intentions. Bisping landed a left, but Bisping hit a solid jab seconds later. With two minutes left, St-Pierre clipped Bisping with a right hand, but couldn’t drop him.

A spinning kick whiffed for St-Pierre with 90 seconds left, and with a minute left St-Pierre dropped down for a takedown and secured it. It didn’t take long for Bisping to get back to his feet, but St-Pierre landed a right and a glancing kick before the horn. If anyone wondered how St-Pierre would respond after four years off, they got their answer.

St-Pierre tried a side kick early in the second, then tried it again 90 seconds into the frame. A right hand clipped Bisping not long after that. But Bisping’s best punch of the fight came a little more than two minutes into the round when he popped St-Pierre’s head back with a right. With two minutes left, St-Pierre got Bisping down in the center of the octagon and got to half-guard.

But without taking any damage, Bisping was right back to his feet and landed a big right hand. Bisping nearly took St-Pierre off his feet with a punch and slip, and St-Pierre looked to be much slower deep in the second than he was at the start of the round. Bisping glanced a high kick off St-Pierre’s head, then another not long before the round ended.

Fifteen seconds into the third, St-Pierre took Bisping down for the third time. But Bisping landed elbows from the bottom and cut St-Pierre open. Bisping wrapped St-Pierre up in guard and played defense from his back. St-Pierre got an elbow through. Just past the three-minute mark, Bisping got back to his feet. St-Pierre was a bloody mess from Bisping’s elbows. Bisping landed a right hand, but St-Pierre landed seconds later.

But a perfect left hook landed for St-Pierre and put Bisping on the canvas. St-Pierre dropped down and started hammering away with punches. John McCarthy gave the champ plenty of time to defend and work his way out. But St-Pierre let Bisping get out – only to take his back and quickly sink in a rear-naked choke.

Bisping refused to tap and went out cold, and St-Pierre was the latest two-division champion in UFC history.

I knew he had a problem with the shot coming from the right,” St-Pierre said afterward. “That’s what we did most of the fight. (The submission) was a trick. I think the best thing in fighting is to set up a trap.”

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

Bellator 188 post-event facts: John Salter's submission skills getting record-book recognition


Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator 188’s main card underwent a bevy of changes, but in the end the local crowd got a moment to celebrate when Israel’s own Noad Lahat defeated Jeremiah Labiano in the featherweight headliner.

The event took place Friday at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv and aired via one-day delay on Spike.

Lahat’s (12-3 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) unanimous-decision win over Labiano (11-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) closed out a four-fight televised lineup that saw all previous matchups end inside the distance via first-round submissions.

For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 188.

* * * *


Debuting fighters went 1-0 at the event.

Betting favorites went 4-0 on the main card.

Betting favorites improved to 14-4 (one fight had even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 18:56.

* * * *

Main card

Noad Lahat

Lahat improved to 3-1 since he was released from the UFC in February 2016.

Labiano has suffered both of his Bellator losses by decision.

Haim Gozali (8-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) has earned all eight of his career victories by stoppage.

Gozali has earned both of his Bellator victories by first-round submission in a total fight time of two minutes and 26 seconds.

Gozali’s 45-second submission victory was the second fastest in Bellator welterweight history behind Evangelista Santos’ 30-second finish of Brennan Ward at Bellator 153.

Arsen Faitovich (4-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

John Salter

John Salter’s (15-3 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) five-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is tied with Rafael Carvalho for the longest active streak in the division.

Salter has earned all 14 of his career victories by stoppage.

Salter’s four submission victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Jason Radcliffe (12-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He last won in March.

Radcliffe has suffered all five of his career losses by stoppage.

Denise Kielholtz

Denise Kielholtz (1-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned the first victory of her career.

Jessica Middleton (2-3 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) suffered her third consecutive loss after starting her career 2-0.

Middleton has suffered both of her career stoppage losses by submission.

For complete coverage of Bellator 188, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 188 highlights: John Salter is really on a roll


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

John Salter’s career resurgence continued at Friday’s Bellator 188 event.

Salter (15-3 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) picked up his seventh straight stoppage victory – and his fifth conservative Bellator win – after tapping out Jason Radcliffe (12-5, 1-1 BMMA) with a first-round rear-naked choke.

Salter, who set the Bellator-middleweight submission record with four, is now 10-1 with 10 stoppages since a 1-2 stint with the UFC in 2010.

Bellator 188 took place Thursday at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, it and aired Friday on Spike via one-day delay.

Also on the card, Israeli featherweight Noad Lahat (12-3 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) topped Jeremiah Labiano (11-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) via points in the headliner, welterweight Haim Gozali (8-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) put Arsen Faitovich (4-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to sleep with a triangle choke in the co-headliner, and flyweight Denise Kielholtz (1-1) submitted Jessica Middleton (2-3) with a scarf hold armlock.

Check out all of the highlights above.

For complete coverage of Bellator 188, including a full event recap, check out the MMA events section of the site.

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

5 reasons to watch Bellator 188, where Noad Lahat headlines in his native Israel

Bellator is making the most of its time overseas.

Last week the promotion visited 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, for Bellator 187. On Thursday, the Bellator cage touches down at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel, for Bellator 188, which airs Friday via tape-delay on Spike.

In the main event, Noad Lahat fights in his home country for the second time under the Bellator banner against Jeremiah Labiano in a featherweight contest.

In the co-headliner, Haim Gozali also fights in Israel for the second time with the promotion. Like Lahat, he won his first Bellator fight in his home country via first-round submission. Gozali faces Arsen Faitovich, who is 20 years his junior in a welterweight bout.

Also on the card is middleweight title hopeful John Salter, who puts his four-fight Bellator winning streak on the line against Jason Radcliffe.

Here are five reasons to watch Bellator 188.

1. Bringing it back home

After a 2-2 run with the UFC, Lahat signed with Bellator. In his promotional debut, which took place in Israel in late 2016, Lahat steamrolled Scott Cleve. He won the bout via first-round tapout. The Israeli-born Lahat followed that victory with a technical submission win over Lloyd Carter. With those two wins it looked like Lahat was prepared to step up and face the sharks who patrol the top of Bellator’s featherweight division.

At Bellator 182 Lahat faced former two-division King of the Cage champion Henry Corrales. Lahat, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, could not overcome the striking of Corrales and lost a unanimous decision.

At Bellator 188, Lahat (11-3 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) heads back to Israel where he faces Labiano (11-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) in the headlining bout.

Labiano was set to face rising star James Gallagher in the main event of Bellator 187, but the Irish fighter suffered a knee injury before that contest, and the promotion shifted Labiano to this card.

Labiano, who is also a BJJ black belt, won the Conquer FC featherweight title in June. Lahat doesn’t have as much hype behind him as Gallagher, but if the American fighter can get a win here, he’ll be in position to move up in competition in his next outing.

2. A long, storied career

Gozali ‘s MMA career has been long but not very active. He made his pro debut in 1998 against a young Carlos Newton. He lost that bout to the future UFC champion by first-round submission. Over the next six years, Gozali went 5-0. He won each of those matchups by first-round stoppage. After more than two years away from the sport he faced Ronaldo Souza on a Jungle Fights card. Like the Newton fight, that “Jacare” bout ended with Gozali on the wrong end of a first-round submission.

After the loss to Souza, Gozali took almost six years off from MMA. He returned in 2012 and has gone 2-2 since then. His most recent bout was a decision loss to Ryan Couture at Bellator 180. That fight was the first time Gozali left the first round in his career.

The 44-year-old Gozali is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie. As a BJJ player he was the first Israeli athlete to compete in an ADCC event, doing so in 2005. He also promotes Bellator fights in Israel.

Gozali meets Faitovich in this welterweight bout. The 24-year-old Ukrainian makes his Bellator debut on this card. Like Gozali (7-4 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), Faitovich (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) likes to work fast. His four wins have come by stoppage, while his only loss is a first-round knockout defeat.

3. In need of an impressive win

Before his Bellator 181 fight against Kendall Grove, Salter told MMAjunkie he wanted to have the Bellator middleweight title around his waist before 2018. That’s not going to happen since current champ Rafael Carvalho will defend that title in December at Bellator 190 against Alessio Sakara.

An additional roadblock was placed in Salter’s path when Gegard Mousasi joined the promotion’s 185-pound division and defeated former champ Alexander Shlemenko in October. Before the fight, Mousasi told MMAjunkie that Bellator promised him the winner of the Carvalho vs. Sakara fight with a win in that contest.

The black cloud over Salter’s head reappeared in the lead-up to Bellator 188. He was originally booked to face the 25-2 Anatoly Tokov on this card, but an injury put Tokov out of commission. Salter (14-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) now faces Jason Radcliffe, (12-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) who is on a two-fight losing skid.

Salter has been impressive during his run with Bellator. Four fights into it, he has racked up four stoppage victories, including a first-round submission win over former middleweight champion Brandon Halsey.

If Salter wants to stay in the mix for a title shot in the coming months, he needs to add a fifth stoppage victory.

4. Give it another go

If you’ve been following Bellator Kickboxing, the name Denise Kielholtz should be familiar. The 28-year-old Dutch fighter is 4-1 with the kickboxing promotion and 47-3 overall. She’s also the current Bellator Kickboxing flyweight champion.

Kielholtz tries her hand at MMA for the second time at Bellator 188. Her first MMA bout did not go well. She lost that 2015 contest via first-round submission at Torarica Summer Fights 1.

Kielholtz, who holds a kickboxing win over current Glory super bantamweight champion Tiffany van Soest, has heavy hands and is very effective when she throws counter combinations. Kielholtz (0-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will need to rely on that speed in this flyweight bout against Jessica Middleton (2-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA), who holds significant advantages in both height and reach.

Middleton began her MMA career with two wins, but she’s dropped her two most recent fights. All four of her bouts have come under the Bellator banner.

5. It’s been a busy year

Kirill Medvedovsky’s first run with Bellator lasted two fights. He lost both those contests by first-round stoppage. To be fair, the promotion didn’t give the young Israeli fighter easy matchups. In his first Bellator fight he faced former WSOF featherweight champ Georgi Karakhanyan in a 150-pound catchweight bout. Medvedovsky then faced Gallagher.

Since those losses, the 24-year-old has gone 4-1. Three of Medvedovsky’s victories came via first-round stoppage. His fourth win was a second-round technical submission.

The most eye-opening thing about that run is all seven of those fights have taken place since last November.

For his return to Bellator, Medvedovsky (11-5 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) gets an opponent who is more in line with his experience level. Luiz Victor Rocha, who trains with Pitbull Brothers, is 3-1. Rocha (3-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has two wins by decision and one TKO.

This bout should be a good opportunity for Medvedovsky to show that he can fight on the big stage while also providing an introduction to the 28-year-old Rocha, who makes his Bellator debut on this card.

For more on Bellator 188, check out the MMA Rumors section of the

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu rolls out welcome mat for Bellator 188

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos

Dann StuppIsrael has rolled out the welcome mat for this week’s Bellator 188 event.

Ahead of Thursday’s event, which takes place at Menora Mivtachim Arena Arena in Tel Aviv (and airs on Spike on Friday via delay), Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with some Bellator luminaries.

The PM’s press office released some photos, as well as a video (watch it above) on its official YouTube page.

Meeting PM Netanyahu were Bellator 188 fighters Noad Lahat and Haim Gozali, as well as Bellator brand ambassadors/notables Fedor Emelianenko and Royce Gracie. They met at the nation’s Parliament in Jerusalem.

The PM even did a little sparring. Check out the above and some photos below.

And for more on Bellator 188, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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

Bellator 188 pre-event facts: Can John Salter overtake middleweight submission record?

Bellator’s second consecutive overseas event take place on Friday when Bellator 188 goes down from Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel.

After losing the original main event just days out, the four-fight line-up on Spike (which airs via tape-delay) features a featherweight headliner. Israel’s own Noah Lahat (11-3 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) takes on Haim Gozali (7-4 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

For more on the numbers behind Friday’s Bellator 188 fight card, check out a dozen pre-event facts.

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Main card

Noad Lahat

Lahat, 33, is the oldest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

Lahat is 2-1 since he was released from the UFC in February 2016.

Gozali has earned all eight of his career victories by first-round stoppage. Six of those wins are by submission.

John Salter’s (14-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) four-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind Rafael Carvalho (five).

Salter has earned all 13 of his career victories by stoppage. He’s also been stopped inside the distance in all his losses.

Salter’s three submission victories in Bellator middleweight competition are tied with Justin Butcher for most in divisional history.

Jason Radcliffe (12-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) returns to Bellator for the first time since a 14-second knockout victory in his promotional debut at Bellator 158 in June 2016.

Radcliffe is 3-2 since his initial Bellator appearance.

Radcliffe has never gone to a decision in his 16-fight career.

Jessica Middleton (2-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) competes in her fifth Bellator flyweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Ilima Macfarlane (six) and Emily Ducote (six).

Middleton has suffered her two career losses to Macfarlane and Ducote.

Arsen Faitovich (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) 24, is the youngest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

For more on Bellator 188, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Bellator 180 media-day staredowns, including fiery 'Strabanimal,' title fight rematch

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos

NEW YORK – Fight week is officially underway in New York for Bellator’s dual-event evening, and the featured fighters of Bellator 180 today came together for traditional pre-fight staredowns.

Bellator 180 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The event airs on Spike following additional bouts that stream on MMAjunkie, and the card serves as the prelims for the promotion’s Bellator NYC pay-per-view event that immediately follows.

Bellator light heavyweight champ Phil Davis (17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) and Ryan Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who meet in a rematch from the pair’s UFC days, were the featured fighters of the staredowns.

Meanwhile, the man known as “The Strabanimal” James Gallagher (6-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), made it clear he means business against a man 20 years his senior in Chinzo Machida (5-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

Also featured were Neiman Gracie (5-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), Heather Hardy (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) vs. Alice Yauger (4-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Ryan Couture (10-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).

Check out the video above to see highlights from the face-offs.

And for more on Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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