Vitaly Minakov successfully defended his heavyweight title for the first time last night at Bellator 115 after outpointing former UFC fighter Cheick Kongo.
Minakov had mixed fortunes in the first couple of rounds. On the down side he was deducted a point after two illegal groin strikes in the first round, but far more encouraging was the fact that he was able to drop Kongo with a straight right in that opening five minutes and then appeared to wobble him again a couple of times in the second.
Kongo started brightly in the third, but Minakov was then able to take him down a couple of times and largely control him on the mat. Kongo did win the fourth though by giving Minakov a taste of his own medicine, taking him down and maintaining position, though not landing much in the way of damaging blows.
In the final round Minakov quickly secured a takedown and landed some steady ground and pound over the course of the five minutes that followed.
That was enough to secure a unanimous decision victory for Minakov (48-46 x3) who remains unbeaten in his 14 fight career while handing Kongo his first loss in three Bellator fights.
There were no other tournament bouts on tap at Bellator 115 as the card had been hurt badly by two late call-offs that resulted in a welterweight and a middleweight semi-final being scrapped earlier this week.
See all the results from last night’s event below.
Vitaly Minakov def. Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
Herman Terrado vs. Justin Baesman Majority Draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
Kelly Anundson def. Volkan Oezdemir by submission (cross-face crank) at 3:29mins of R2
Mikkel Parlo def. Johnny Cisneros by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rick Reeves def. James Terry by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Freddie Aquitania def. Josh Appelt by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sinjen Smith def. Jason Powell by submission (armbar) at 1:52mins of R1
Benito Lopez def. Oscar Ramirez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)