The first fight in the Bellator welterweight tournament is in the books as the first opening-round bout was between Andrey Koreshkov vs. Douglas Lima.
As seen on the main card of Bellator 206 that went down on Saturday night (September 29, 2018) at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on their new streaming service home, DAZN, Lima defeated Koreshkov by fifth-round submission. This wasn’t a barnburner by any means, but it was the best fight out of the trilogy series between these two fighters, which wasn’t hyped much going into this bout.
In round 1, Koreshkov went for two big takedowns but Lima continued to stop them and turn it into clinching up against the cage, which led to the arena erupting in a chorus of boos as a result. Koreshkov was trying like crazy to take Lima down, but he’s unable to despite his best effort.
The second round starts with patience from each fighter with kicks still being exchanged before Koreshkov attempts a takedown that is defended. Just like the first round, the crowd was booing quite a bit for the lack of action. Not much action on the feet outside of a kick from each every now and then. Late in the round, Lima begins to open up with his punches as he goes to the body then the head. Koreshkov engages as he finds the clinch and pushes Lima to the cage.
Round three starts after Lima stumbles after a leg kick (that he threw) which leads to Koreshkov getting him tied up in the clinch. It was clear that Koreshkov was pursuing the takedown despite hearing the crowd’s annoyance. What was clear was the fact that Lima has neutralized Koreshkov’s offense with those nasty leg kicks. Koreshkov has a hematoma on his left leg. In round 4, Koreshkov nearly gets a takedown but the Brazilian stuffs him, and they go back to the clinch against the cage. Once the round hits the 10-second mark, Lima stuns Koreshkov with a right hook to the head.
The fifth and final round, Lima was the clear aggressor. Each land when they throw but Lima’s shots were more in bunches. Later in the round, A low single leg from Koreshkov leads to a sprawl, and Lima begins to land solid strikes, which would allow him to get his back and Lima locked in the rear-naked choke for the win.
Several months ago there were rumors that the Viacom-owned promotion was looking to capitalize on the depth of its welterweight division and thus, there was a ten-fighter welterweight grand prix created.
If you recall, coming into this fight, Lima suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Rory MacDonald at Bellator 192 in January to lose the welterweight title in his latest fight. This loss brought an end to his title reign.
On the flip side, the former welterweight champion was coming into this fight on a two-fight winning streak with wins over Chidi Njokuani by first-round TKO last August and by KO over Vaso Bakocevic back in July.
Bellator President Scott Coker has gone on record in the past by stating that he believes that Bellator’s welterweight division is better than the UFC’s, which is headed by its champion Tyron Woodley. Bellator MMA launched its heavyweight tournament earlier this year and has been a success for the promotion. Lorenz Larkin, Michael Page, Andrey Koreshkov, Jon Fitch, Neiman Gracie, Ed Ruth, and Yaroslav Amosov are also in this welterweight tournament.
Douglas Lima def. Andrey Koreshkov via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:04 of R5