Bellator 194 saw two MMA veterans inch closer to their championship hopes, while one younger star makes a case for his.
Contrary to the crowd's wishes, Matt Mitrione was able to defeat his fellow TUF 10 castmate Roy Nelson in the main event of the show after opening the fight by using his range and peppering Nelson with strikes. After Nelson took Mitrione down and landed ground and pound, Mitrione survived to take home the unanimous decision.
Below is an excerpt from our Fightful live coverage of the show
Round Three: The round begins with Mitrione keeping Nelson at bay by landing jabs, Nelson comes forward and he swings wildly at Mitrione. Mitrione catches Nelson with a kick to the midsection, Nelson scores a takedown on Mitrione and he gets the half guard. Nelson transitions to the mounted crucifix against Mitrione, Nelson attacks Mitrione with a lot of ground and pound. Mitrione scrambles to his feet and Nelson drags him back to the ground, Nelson nails Mitrione with more strikes as the round ends.
Fightful scores the round 10-9 for Nelson (Final Score: 29-28 for Mitrione)
Official Result: #1 Matt Mitrione def. #6 Roy Nelson by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mitrione now advances in the Bellator Heavyweight Championship tournament, and will face the winner of an upcoming "King Mo" Lawal vs. Ryan Bader bout, which Mitrione predicted Bader would win.
Also on the show, former Bellator title challenger and perennial main eventer Patricky Pitbull is refusing to give Bellator much of a choice but to keep him in the title picture. Just 18 months after losing a title fight to Michael Chandler in quick fashion, Pitbull finished off Derek Campos for the second time.
Round One: The round begins with Campos attacking Freire with a three punch combo, Freire starts attacking Campos with leg kicks. Freire unleashes a punching combo against Campos, Freire pops a kicking Campos with a counter right. Freire eats a right before dropping Campos with a counter left, Campos gets up and eats a bunch more strikes from Freire until going down again and the referee jumps in.
Official Result: #2 Patricky Freire def. #3 Derek Campos by TKO via strikes (2:23, R1)
Since dropping his title fight in 2016, Pitbull has reeled off wins against Campos, Josh Thomsona and Ben Henderson.
Vadim Nemkov had the biggest win of his career at the event, knocking off former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary. After nearly three rounds of working on McGeary's legs, they gave out, giving Nemkov a huge win in the 205 pound division.