MMA Week in Review: Bellator 115, Legacy FC 30, Fight Announcements, and more

Take a look back at the past seven days, which included fight cards from Bellator, Legacy and many other promotions.B115 WI

Along with looking back at the fights that took place over the weekend, this week-in review includes the latest news, TV ratings and fight announcements.

The MMA Recap
1. Vitaly Minakov (14-0) successfully defend his heavyweight championship at Bellator 115 by winning a unanimous decision over Cheick Kongo (20-9-2). In spite of having a point deducted early on for illegal groin strikes and losing the fourth frame, Minakov was dominant in the other periods, using his wrestling to neutralize Kongo.

The rest of the Bellator 115 main card bouts saw welterweights Herman Terrado (11-3-1) and Justin Baesman (14-4-1) fight to a majority draw thanks a dominant second round from Baesman, Kelly Anundson (7-2) gave light heavyweight prospect Volkan Oezdemir (10-1) the first loss in his career by submitting him in the second round with a neck crank after controlling with him takedowns, and Mikkel Parlo (12-2) took home a decision over Johnny Cisneros (8-3) by turning the fight into a grappling contest and dominating Cisneros from a positioning standpoint.

2. Holly Holm (7-0), one of the rising names in women’s MMA, remained unbeaten in the main event of Legacy FC 30, winning the promotion’s bantamweight strap by knocking Juliana Werner (7-4) with a head kick in the fifth round.

On the undercard of the Legacy card, flyweight up-and-comer Ray Borg (6-0) submitted Nick Urso (6-2) in the second round with a rear-naked choke, and veteran featherweight Flavio Alvaro (47-10) out-grappled Donald Sanchez (29-14) to win a unanimous decision.

3. Former UFC heavyweight Jeff Monson (49-18-1) lost his fifth fight in a row at M-1 Challenge 47 when Chaban Ka (7-3-1) finished him with strikes in the first round.

In the night’s main event, Luis Miranda (12-1), an interesting name to keep track on at light heavyweight, submitted Vasily Babich (9-2) in the first round with a guillotine choke. Former Cage Warriors lightweight champion Ivan Buchinger (26-4) got a submission victory of his own, beating Sergey Golyaev (23-11) via rear-naked choke in the first.

Also, Polish heavyweight Marcin Tybura (10-0) finished his eighth professional fight by ending Maro Perak’s (23-4-1) night in the third round in TKO fashion, and M-1 Featherweight Champion Marat Gafurov (9-0) retained his title by winning a five round unanimous decision over Lee Morrison (13-4).

4. BAMMA returned with BAMMA 15, and two-time UFC heavyweight Oli Thompson (12-6) was finished in the first round by a guillotine choke from Gzim Selmani (4-1). Another former UFC fighter in action on the card was Colin Fletcher (10-4), who unlike Thompson, was victorious. Fletcher edged out Tony Hervey (16-16) to win a spit decision.

5. Although Holly Holm was the women’s bantamweight that garnered all of the headlines over the weekend, another 135-pounder that impressed was 19-year-old Larissa Pacheco (10-0) who maintained her 100% finishing rate by eliciting a tap from Lizanne Conceicao (2-1) with a triangle choke in the third frame.

6. In Ultimate Fighter news, Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier advanced to the welterweight tournament finals by choking out Australia’s Richard Walsh in the first round with a rear-naked choke. Aubin-Mercier will meet fellow Canadian Chad Laprise in the finals of the welterweight bracket on the finale.

On TUF Brazil 3, Antonio Carlos Jr. made it to the semifinals of the show’s heavyweight bracket by finishing Edgard Castaldelli in the first round with strikes.

The News
1. World Series of Fighting welterweight Josh Burkman went to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the promotion. In a response to a fan, Burkman tweeted “I feel they did me wrong contractually. I asked to be released [from his contract].”

WSOF Executive Vice President Ali Abdel-Aziz replied to Burkan with a tweet of his own that stated “@MMAWorldSeries gave Josh Burkman 5 fights in 16 months, made more $ than any other fighter we have, bent over backwards for him.”

2. The Bellator 115 card suffered a big hit the day of the event’s weigh-ins as the welterweight tournament bout between Andrey Koreshkov and Sam Oropeza was scratched because Koreshkov was suffering from the flu, and Jeremy Kimball’s inability to make canceled his middleweight tournament bout with Dan Cramer.

3. Speaking of fight cancellations, Alptekin Ozkilic withdrew from his UFC Fight Night 39 match-up with Dustin Ortiz due to an undisclosed injury. Since the card is on April 11, Ortiz will end up getting a fight on a later date.

4. Visa issues have forced Leandro Higo to step down from a flyweight championship match with Matt Manzares at RFA 11 this Friday. Junior Maranhao has stepped up to take on Manzares on late notice.

Fight Announcements
RFA 14 – April 11
FLW Title: Matt Manzares (6-2) vs Junior Maranhao (9-2)

TUF Nations Finale – April 16
W BW Bout: Amanda Nunes (9-3) vs Sarah Kaufman (16-2, 1 NC)

UFC on FOX 11 – April 19
FW Bout: Alex White (9-0) vs Estevan Payan (14-5, 1 NC)

Bellator 120 – May 17
LW Bout: Will Brooks (13-1) vs Nate Jolly (13-5)

UFC 173 – May 24
BW Bout: Chico Camus (14-4) vs Chris Holdsworth (5-0)

UFC Fight Night 41 – May 31
FW Bout: Andy Ogle (9-4) vs Maximo Blanco (9-6-1, 1 NC)

UFC Fight Night in Albuquerque – June 7
LHW Bout: Patrick Cummins (4-1) vs Francimar Barroso (16-4)

UFC Fight Night in San Antonio – June 28
HW Bout: Anthony Hamilton (12-2) vs Oleksiy Oliynyk (48-9-1)
MW Bout: Andy Enz (7-1) vs Marcelo Guimaraes (8-1-1)

UFC 175 – July 5
MW Bout: Uriah Hall (8-4) vs Thiago Santos (9-2)

Ratings Reports
The ratings used in this section are non-DVR preliminary viewership averages according to Nielsen sources.

Bellator 114 – 711,000
WSOF 9 – 242,000
TUF Nations, Episode 12 – 198,000

Quick Results
Bellator 115
HW Title: Vitaly Minakov (14-0) def. Cheick Kongo (20-9-2) via Unanimous Decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
WW Bout: Herman Terrado (11-3-1) and Justin Baesman (14-4-1) fought to a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
LHW Bout: Kelly Anundson (7-2) def. Volkan Oezdemir (10-1) via submission (neck crank) – Round 2, 3:19
CW Bout: Mikkel Parlo (12-2) def. Johnny Cisneros (8-3) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
FW Bout: Rudy Morales (3-0) def. Jimmy Jones (4-3) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
WW Bout: Rick Reeves (10-4) def. James Terry (13-7) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
HW Bout: Freddie Aquitania (7-1) def. Josh Appelt (10-3) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
LW Bout: Sinjen Smith (1-0) def. Jason Powell (0-1) via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:52
FLW Bout: Benito Lopez (1-0) def. Oscar Ramirez (2-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)