Bellator 285 Review

Bellator MMA once again entertained the masses in an exciting sell out show from Dublin, Ireland. The prelims got off to a hot start with the first three fights ending by finish. Luca Poclit and Kenny Mokhonoanna got the job done with early submissions while Asael Adjoudj finished his fight by knockout via head kick and punches.

The Irish fans started to pack the 3areana around 7 PM in anticipation for their countryman Peter Queally in the main event. To kick off the main card highly touted Light Heavyweight prospect Karl Albrektsson (13-3) took on Irish journeyman and local fan favorite Karl Moore (10-2).

The heavy betting favorite Albrektsson who holds a victory over current LHW Bellator champion Vadim Nemkov took control of the fight early in the first round taking his opponent down twice while maintaining top control for a majority of the round.

With :34 seconds left Albrektsson hit Moore with a short right elbow in the clinch that knocked down the Irishman and looked like the beginning of the end, but Moore weathered the storm and just survived long enough for round one to end. What happened next was truly incredible, as Moore dug deep in the second round he got a beautiful body lock takedown and finished the Grappler Albrektsson by submission (rear naked choke) in the early stages of the second round in-front of his Irish countryman. 

Co-Main Event: Melvin Manhoef vs Yoel Romero

The Co-Main event for Bellator 285 featured MMA royalty as former Cage Rage light heavyweight champion and devastating knockout artist Melvin “ no mercy” Manhoef took on the Olympic silver medalist (freestyle wrestling), Yoel “the soldier of god” Romero.

Romero (15-6) has previously challenged for the UFC middleweight title on three separate occasions coming up short to Robert Whittaker, and Israel Adesanya. This matchup started out slow for the first two minutes of round one as each man was trying to gauge distance, but Romero shot for a taken down with lightning quickness half way through the first round and maintained top position until the end of the round.

In round two Manhoef came out strong and threw multiple crisp combinations to the body then head of his opponent, doing the best he can to keep the wrestling threat of Romero at bay. This round was very competitive but it was eventually Yoel Romero who once again took Manhoef down at the end of round two securing himself a 2-0 advantage in the fight.

The relentless takedowns looked to tire the 46 year old Manhoef and the Olympic Wrestler took him down once again and finished Manhoef by Knockout via brutal elbows from the top in round 3.

After the fight Yoel Romero called out the entire 185 pound division and Bellator and claimed that he is still “ the best 185 pound fighter in the world”. For Manhoef this was a somber moment that meant the end of his miraculous fight career that spanned over 20 years, he said goodbye to the cage, his promoter Scott Coker, and the fans that followed his career every step of the way.

Bellator 285 Main Event: Peter Queally vs Benson Henderson

The main event could barely keep the roof on the 3Arena in Dublin as native Irishman Peter Queally took on former UFC lightweight champion and veteran Benson Henderson. Queally came out to the cranberry’s hit song “zombie” which left the Irish crowd in a frenzy singing the song well into the first round of the main event.

That was the loudest the Irish crowd got however because Benson Henderson put on a mixed martial arts clinic and controlled this fight in almost every possible position, on the feet Henderson was landing effective leg kicks and elbows in the clinch that actually started a cut over Queallys left eye after round 1.

The remainder of the fight was Controlled by Henderson who won the unanimous decision victory 49-45 on all judges’ scorecards. This victory pushed Henderson (30-11) straight to the top of the Bellator Lightweight rankings and was a fantastic start to what could very well be the MMA Legends last title push.

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