Heading into the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix, Dovletzhan Yagshimuradov was the big mystery man of the tournament. That mystery has been solved.
Corey Anderson figured out Yagshimuradov, using his wrestling and vicious ground-and-pound to earn a third-round TKO victory at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Anderson’s win sets up a semifinal showdown with former champion Ryan Bader.
In the first round, the debuting Yagshimuradov (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) initially looked like he could be a problem for Anderson (15-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). Yagshimuradov threw heavy hands, which kept Anderson at bay even though he often missed. Yagshimuradov closed out the round with a spinning wheel kick that caught Anderson on the neck and knocked him backward. It came just seconds before the horn sounded.
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Anderson, though, wasted no time shooting for a takedown in Round 2. It resulted in a long clinch sessions against the cage. It was clear that Anderson’s strategy was to get the fight to the mat, and he eventually secured a takedown with about one minute left and quickly transitioned to full mount. It proved to be a strong finish to the round for Anderson, who poured on punches and elbows to cut open Yagshimuradov.
As the third round opened up, Anderson immediate brought the fight to Yagshimuradov as she shot in for a takedown. Although he failed, he tried again, and then a third time in which he secured the takedown inside the first minute. That all but signaled the beginning of the end for Yagshimuradov, who again was mounted and absorbed vicious ground-and-pound until the referee waved it off at the 2:15 mark.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 257 results include:
Corey Anderson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:15 – advances to light heavyweight grand prix semifinal
Veta Arteaga def. Desiree Yanez via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Julia Budd def. Dayana Silva via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Julius Anglickas def. Gregory Milliard via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Steve Mowry def. Shaun Asher via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:55
Grachik Bozinyan def. Demarques Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Raymond Daniels def. Peter Stanonik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Lance Gibson Jr. def. Marcus Surin via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Karl Albrektsson def. Viktor Nemkov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mads Burnell def. Saul Rogers via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:08
Pedro Carvalho vs. Jay Jay Wilson def. Pedro Carvalho via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:53