Bellator 291 Review: Amosov vs Storley

Yaroslav Amosov returned after nearly two years to defend the undisputed welterweight title in a dominant victory over Logan Storley. Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Yaroslav Amosov made a statement at Bellator 291 with a decisive decision win over Logan Storley. After nearly two years away from the sport, Amosov came back looking better than ever. The undisputed Welterweight Champion is now (27-0) and has the best record in all of Mixed Martial Arts. In the Co-main event, No.5 Jeremey Kennedy defeated No.3 Pedro Carvalho by unanimous decision. Kennedy was able to utilize his superior wrestling to grind out a win against his first top-five opponent in Bellator. Also, the Bellator 291 prelims included some highly entertaining finishes from up-and-coming prospects like Khasan Magomedsharipov.

(C) Yaroslav Amosov Def. (IC) Logan Storley

The Main Event of Bellator 291 was completely different than the first encounter between Amosov and Storley. The first fight was a highly competitive split decision but this time around there was a clear winner. Amosov returned from a near two-year absence from the sport after fighting in the Ukrainian military to defend his home country. Many wondered what version of Amosov we would get after his lengthy layoff, but Amosov silenced all doubters and dominated this fight wherever it took place. On the feet, Amosov looked sharp landing over 60% of his significant strikes thrown. Storley was unable to take the fight to the ground throughout the contest which led to significant problems for the Interim Champion.

In round one, Storley came out aggressively putting pressure on Amosov early. Amosov started firing vicious leg kicks to keep Storley at distance. Storley was unable to find a takedown and gave up top position momentarily. When the fight got back to the feet Amosov started to find his timing with his punches and kicks putting together combinations. As the rounds progressed Storley seemed to have no answer for the volume striking of Amosov and was unable to take the fight to the ground. The leg kicks of Amosov started to take a toll on Storley whose movement seemed to be compromised. Midway through round three Amosov was able to take down the former collegiate wrestler Storley. This was a big moment in the fight that highlighted Amosov’s advantage in all areas.

Championship Rounds and What’s Next?

In the final rounds, Storley began to tire and again struggled to find takedowns. Amosov was dominating on the feet in the later rounds putting together multiple unanswered combinations. Storley showed tremendous heart in this fight as he was badly outstruck. After five rounds the judges scored the fight for Amosov by Unanimous Decision (50-45,50-45,50-45). Amosov is now the undisputed champion and will have many challengers waiting. I personally would like to see Amosov fight No.3 Jason Jackson who has won six in a row at 170 pounds defeating former champion Douglas Lima and former UFC champion Benson Henderson during that stretch. This would be an interesting matchup between the well-rounded Amosov and the extremely athletic Jackson.

#5 Jeremey Kennedy Def. #3 Pedro Carvalho

In the Co-main Event ranked Featherweights clashed as Jeremey Kennedy defeated Bellator veteran Pedro Carvalho. Carvalho has challenged for a Bellator title in his career and is a very well-respected fighter. Kennedy was coming off the biggest win of his career against highly touted prospect Aaron Pico. Kennedy dominated this fight from beginning to end controlling Carvalho for the majority of the fifteen minutes on the ground. Throughout the fight, Kennedy seemed to be physically stronger, and Carvalho had no answer for his relentless pressure on the top. Kennedy was in dominant positions at times but was unable to put together a submission.

After three hard-fought rounds, the judges scored the contest for Kennedy by Unanimous Decision. Kennedy called for a title fight opportunity against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, and he might get his wish. Currently, the Featherweight division needs challenges with A.J. Mckee moving up to 155 pounds for the Lightweight Grand Prix. Opportunistic timing may lead to Kennedy receiving a title shot. Kennedy is a tremendous wrestler who could possess problems for “Pitbull”. Kennedy would have a significant height and reach advantage in that potential championship matchup as well.

Bellator 291 Prelims:

The Bellator 291 prelims contained a few entertaining finishes and up-and-coming contenders. Khasan Magomedsharipov (8-0) is an extremely talented prospect that won by first-round TKO. Being the younger brother of former UFC contender Zabit Magomedsharipov comes with added pressure, but Khasan was able to put the nerves behind him and perform impressively. Magomedsharipov (22 years old) is now (3-0) inside the Bellator cage and will be a future-ranked contender in years to come. Also, on the Bellator prelims, Bryce Logan (13-7) defeated Ireland’s Peter Queally in front of his native fans. Logan put on the most impressive performance of his career and finished the former title challenger by TKO in round three.

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