Bellator 183 post-event facts: Patricky Freire, Goiti Yamauchi produce record work

Bellator put on another solid event Saturday with Bellator 183, which took place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., with a Spike-televised main card following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie

In the main event, Patricky Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) continued to put a damper on Benson Henderson’s (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) Bellator stint with a competitive split-decision victory over the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion.

A number of other notable names competed on the promotion’s 14th fight card of the year. For more on the numbers to come out of Bellator 183, check below for 25 post-event facts.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 1-1 at the event.

Betting favorites went 2-3 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to to 9-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 44:44.

* * * *

Main card

Freire improved to 4-3 in Bellator main events.

Freire’s 11 victories in Bellator lightweight competition are tied with Michael Chandler for most in divisional history.

Henderson suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his Bellator career. He’s 3-5 in his past eight fights overall.

Henderson fell to 1-2 since he returned to the lightweight division in August 2016.

Henderson has suffered all three of his Bellator losses by decision.

Henderson fell to 0-3 in decision under the Bellator banner after going 9-1 on the scorecards during his UFC career.

Paul Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past five Bellator appearances.

Daley has earned 32 of his 40 career victories by stoppage.

Daley has earned all 32 career stoppage victories as a result of strikes. That includes five of his six Bellator wins.

Lorenz Larkin (18-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) fell to 4-3 since he dropped to the welterweight division in January 2015.

Larkin fell to 5-5 in his past 10 fights.

Larkin has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Javy Ayala (10-6 MMA, 5-3 BMMA) suffered his first decision loss since Nov. 15, 2012 – a span of 1,773 days (nearly five years) and 10 fights.

Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) was successful in his featherweight debut.

Pico earned a victory on his 21st birthday.

Justin Linn’s (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since September 2014.

Linn suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Goiti Yamauchi (22-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) improved to 3-0 since he moved up to the Bellator lightweight division in October 2016.

Yamauchi has earned 19 of his 22 career victories by stoppage. That includes eight of his nine Bellator wins.

Yamauchi has earned all three of his Bellator lightweight victories by stoppage.

Yamauchi’s six submission victories in Bellator competition are tied with Marcin Held and Alexandre Bezerra for most in company history.

Adam Piccolotti (9-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) has his nine-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 183, with an always-welcome nod to 'The Karate Kid'

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s Bellator 183 event in San Jose, Calif., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Patricky Freire def. Benson Henderson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Patricky Freire: “Bate Pesadao” by Pegador Luo

Benson Henderson: “Awesome God” by R-Swift

Paul Daley def. Lorenz Larkin via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:40

Paul Daley: “Wins And Losses” by Meek Mill

Lorenz Larkin: “This Is Now” by Hatebreed

Roy Nelson def. Javy Ayala via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)

Roy Nelson: “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen

Javy Ayala: “Congratulations” by Post Malone feat. Quavo

Aaron Pico def. Justin Linn via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:45

Aaron Pico: “Nuthin’ But a G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre

Justin Linn: “Puritania” by Dimmu Borgir

Goiti Yamauchi def Adam Piccolotti via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:19

Goiti Yamauchi: “You’re The Best Around” by Joe Esposito

Adam Piccolotti: “Can’t Be Touched” by Roy Jones Jr.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

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Bellator 183 video highlights: Freire edges Henderson, Daley and Pico deliver big

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

Saturday’s Bellator 183 event was heavy on talent, and the card delivered on entertainment value.

Bellator 183 took place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In the night’s main event, Patricky Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) handed former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) his second straight split-decision loss.

In the night’s co-feature, hard-hitting Paul Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) ended his rivalry with Lorenz Larkin (18-7 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) in impressive fashion, catching the fellow striker with a big left hand. However, it was top prospect Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) who may have delivered the most memorable moment of the night, scoring a crushing knockout of Justin Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

Check out the video above to see highlights of all the action.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the night.

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What debut? Aaron Pico just hit the reset button on an again-promising career

Want to make people forget about your embarrassing debut? Send your next opponent crashing to the canvas.

Things didn’t quite go as planned for Aaron Pico’s coming out party at Bellator 180. But they couldn’t have gone any better for his follow up at Bellator 183.

Fighting at featherweight, Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) manhandled Justin Linn on the mat before a perfectly placed left hook knocked Linn  (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) out cold at the 3:45 mark of the first round.

Check it out.

Even more encouraging, Pico didn’t get ahead of himself, telling Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith he would stay in his lane and do it his way before calling out the big names.

In three days, Pico turns 21. But his birthday celebration is coming early. And after an incredible return to the cage, it seems there will be plenty more of Pico to watch in the future.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

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Bellator 183 results: Aaron Pico destroys Justin Linn with 1-punch knockout

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Aaron Pico’s second Bellator fight went much better than his first. Not only did he win at Bellator 183, but he picked up a highlight-reel knockout in the opening round.

Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), who was competing on his 21st birthday at the event, knocked Justin Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) out cold with a picture-perfect left hook at the 3:45 mark of Round 1, giving him the first victory of his MMA career.

The featherweight aired on Spike as part of the Bellator 183 main card, which took place Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

After going into his debut fight as arguably the most hyped prospect in the sport’s history, Pico stumbled badly in the form of a 24-second submission loss to Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC in June. Pico kept his head held high after the stunning defeat and bounced back with a much better performance against Linn.

After a brief standup exchange, Pico shot for a takedown on Linn and got it with ease. They stayed on the ground for a short while before Pico stood up and the action returned to the feet, and from there it got really good.

Pico stood toe-to-toe with Linn, eating some hard shots in the process. He waited for his moment to strike with the fight-ending shot, and when it arrived, he planted a mean left hook to the chin of his opponent. Linn went down in a heap, and Pico celebrated the ideal birthday moment.

“I’m really happy right now – really happy,” Pico said in his post-fight interview. “It’s a proud moment to get my first victory, something I’ll always remember on my 21st birthday.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 183 results include:

  • Aaron Pico def. Justin Linn via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:45
  • Goiti Yamauchi def. Adam Piccolotti via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:19
  • Tony Johnson def. Mike Ortega via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:49
  • Kaytlin Neil def. Brooke Mayo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Brandon Laroco def. Gaston Bolanos via technical submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:16
  • Jaimelene Nievera def. Corina Herrera via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)
  • Fernando Gonzalez def. Alex Lopez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Ricardo Vasquez def. Justin Tenedora via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:39
  • J.J. Okanovich def. Luis Jauregui via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 0:42
  • Daniel Gonzalez def. Anthony Castrejon via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:03

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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5 reasons to watch Bellator 183, a Saturday card with high-stakes matchups

Bellator returns to SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., for Saturday’s Bellator 183 fight card, and the event features some very familiar names.

The main event competitors, Benson Henderson and Patricky Freire have had different experiences at “The Shark Tank” as of late. Henderson dropped his most recent fight there, a split decision to then-lightweight champion Michael Chandler. As for Freie, he knocked out former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson in his most recent bout at the arena.

In the co-main event, one of Bellator’s big – in both a figurative and literal sense – signings makes his debut. In that fight, Roy Nelson meets Javy Ayala.

The three other fights on the main card – Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin, Adam Piccolotti vs. Goiti Yamauchi, and Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn – might not be receiving the same amount of attention as the headlining bouts, but these three matchups have high stakes of their own.

Bellator 183 airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Here are five reasons to watch the event.

1. Post-surgery ‘Bendo’

It turns out Henderson wasn’t fighting at 100 percent during his first three Bellator bouts. In April, Henderson, who is currently No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, told MMAjunkie he’d seriously damaged his knee before his promotional debut, a unanimous decision loss to then-welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov.

In December, after his decision loss to Chandler, Henderson went under the knife. Henderson said the surgery repaired a torn “ACL, MCL, two meniscus and a bunch of loose cartilage.”

If the surgery did its trick, expect Henderson (24-7 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) to use his speed and motion to work from the outside to pick apart Freire (17-8 MMA, 10-7 BMMA) with powerful kicks. If Henderson’s knee is not up to par and he’s not able to move as well as he did in the past, Freire’s chances of catching Henderson with his powerful hands increase exponentially.

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It’s unlikely that the winner of this fight will earn an immediate shot at the lightweight title. Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie in June he was leaning more toward a rematch between champion Brent Primus and Chandler.

Freire defeated Josh Thomson by knockout in his most recent fight.

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2. Big signing

After nearly eight years with the UFC, Nelson signed a free-agent deal with Bellator in May. Nelson, who never got a shot at UFC gold, left the promotion with a losing record. Despite that, the vet, with his iron chin and one-punch knockout power, was always one of the more popular UFC heavyweight fighters.

Bellator has been loading up at heavyweight lately. The division now features Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo, Sergei Kharitonov, Bobby Lashley, Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir. While none of these fighters is a young man, they all do make for an interesting lineup. This is especially true since they’re all jockeying for a shot at a title that has been vacant for more than a year.

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Nelson (22-14 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) begins his pursuit of Bellator gold against Ayala (10-5 MMA, 5-2 BMMA). Ayala enters this fight coming off a stunning one-punch knockout win over Kharitonov at Bellator 163.

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3. Bad blood

Daley and Larkin both have the same goal: to get a crack at welterweight gold. Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) lost a unanimous decision to current champion Douglas Lima in his most recent fight, while Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) dropped a decision to Lima in a 2016 title-eliminator.

While a shot at the belt is the longterm goal for these two, the short-term goal is a return to the win column. Like the No. 8 ranked Larkin, Daley enters this fight coming off a second-round submission loss to Rory MacDonald.

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This matchup promises a return to form for Daley and Larkin. Daley has never been a ground fighter; MacDonald exploited that deficiency. Larkin had never participated in a five-round fight before his bout with Lima. That fact might have affected Larkin’s game plan and effectiveness in that bout.

This fight is a three-round affair. Fans should expect these two strikers, who don’t seem to like each other in the least, to get after it early. Between them, Larkin and Daley have 40 knockout victories and just two true knockout losses.

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4. Knocking on the door

Piccolotti passed his first big test inside the Bellator cage when he earned a unanimous-decision win over the more experienced Brandon Girtz in November. At Bellator 183, Piccolotti (9-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) faces another opponent with more experience, 23-fight veteran Yamauchi (21-3 MMA, 7-2 BMMA).

Piccolotti, best known for his ground game, showed improved striking in the Girtz fight. Piccolotti used his height and reach advantages to work from the outside, touching Girtz with a good mix of kicks and punches. That striking should come in handy against Yamauchi, who is very dangerous off his back after winning 17 contests via submission. Yamauchi has won his two most recent fights by first-round tap-out.

These two lightweight prospects are inching toward the top of the division. A win in this matchup is likely to earn the victor a shot at a top-five opponent.

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5. Give it a second try

Bellator has handled most of their recent blue-chip signings with kid gloves. The promotion has matched unproven fighters such as Ed Ruth, Tyrell Fortune, Jarod Trice and Joey Davis against opponents equally unproven opponents. For some reason, the promotion didn’t do that with Pico, its most hyped prospect.

In his first pro fight, Pico matched up against 8-2 Zach Freeman. Just 24 seconds into that bout, Pico tapped to a guillotine choke from the former RFA lightweight title challenger.

Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) drops to featherweight at Bellator 183 to face another much more experienced opponent in Linn (7-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). Linn, who turned pro in 2010, enters this fight with losses to former UFC fighter Cody Gibson and current UFC combatant Matthew Lopez in past two outings. Linn has not fought since his April 2016 loss to Gibson.

Pico’s calamitous loss to Freeman puts even more pressure on him for his second fight. If he loses, Pico can expect to hear murmurs and whispers of “he’s a bust” from unforgiving MMA fans. Pico needs to bounce back in a big way against Linn.

For more on Bellator 183, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Take 2: Aaron Pico's reboot set for Bellator 183 at featherweight vs. Justin Linn

After a highly publicized stumble out of the gate, Bellator prospect Aaron Pico is changing weight classes and forging ahead.

The Viacom-owned promotion today announced Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) will face Justin Linn (7-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a featherweight bout at Bellator 183, which takes place Sept. 23 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The fight serves on the Spike-televised main card following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The event is just a short drive from Pico’s American Kickboxing Academy, which struck a development deal with Bellator as the 20-year-old amateur wrestling standout transitioned from the mat to the cage.

Hopes where high for Pico’s professional debut against unheralded lightweight Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC, the promotion’s second foray into pay-per-view. But Freeman pulled off a huge upset, rocking Pico with a punch before securing a guillotine choke just 24 seconds into the first round.

Pico and his team hope to reset from the disaster against Linn, a Team Tompkins product making his Bellator debut on a two-fight skid. Linn had won four straight before dropping fights against UFC vets Matthew Lopez and Cody Gibson; Lopez famously tapped Linn with a painful face crank.

For more on Bellator 183, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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