Titles Change Hands; Records Break at Bellator 301

November 22, 2023
3 months

Bellator 301 was a great event as some exceptional fights took place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Championships were decided, and career trajectories changed their outlook in the wake of the results.

Jackson Wins Welterweight Strap

The Ass-Kicking Machine, otherwise known as Jason Jackson, had a night to remember at Bellator 301 as he defeated Yaroslav Amosov to become the Welterweight Champion, as reported by all MMA news sites. While all of his prior Bellator victories had ended with the judges’ scorecards, he didn’t want to leave anything to chance in the biggest fight of his career. As such, his punches grounded Amosov and put him down without looking able to defend himself. The ref stepped in and called an end to proceedings, awarding the Jamaican fighter the belt.

Jackson had done what no other fighter had done before. Defeating Amosov, whose undefeated record was brought to an abrupt end and is now reading 27-1. The Ukrainian fighter will no doubt press for a re-match to get his title back and avenge the loss.

Mix Ditches Interim Moniker

Patrick ’Patchy’ Mix went into Bellator 301 with a title belt, yet it was the interim Bantamweight Championship. While still an achievement, he wanted to lay claim to the real deal. After months of jostling around, trying to make the unification bout between him and Sergio Pettis was set for this card, a fight that got many MMA news websites excited.

The second round was a masterclass of grappling on the ground. However, Mix was able to lock in a position of dominance with a rear-naked choke, which would make Pettis submit on the night. Mix would improve his record to 19-1, with 13 of his victories coming by submission.

Bloodbath in Mckee vs. Outlaw

The lightweight division was on notice as the number five and six ranked fighters faced off. A.J. McKee and Sidney Outlaw fought in an intense fight. Early into the second round, Outlaw was visibly hurt as he was opened up by opposition elbows, leading to excessive blood dripping on the canvas – which would stain the floor for the rest of the evening.

Despite wearing a crimson mask for around half of the contest, Outlaw continued to fight and defend himself for the entirety of the bout as it went the distance. The judges ruled that he wasn’t as offensive as his opponent and awarded a unanimous decision victory to McKee, who climbed to a 21-1 record.

Kielholtz Begins Comeback Campaign

A few years ago, it looked like Denise Kielholtz would be on the way out of MMA with three consecutive losses and more success in kickboxing fights. However, at Bellator 301, she looked to prove herself as she fought the undefeated Lady Samurai, Sumiko Inaba, in a fight pitting the number five and six ranked fighters in the women’s flyweight division.

Miss Dynamite showed that she was far from finished. She threw just as many hands and kicks as Inaba in a tight contest – however, ultimately outclassed her opponent as she earned a unanimous decision victory. Kielholtz will no doubt be looking for a title shot shortly, whereas Inaba will be evaluating her techniques if she is to succeed.

Taylor-Melendez Remains Undefeated

One of the most interesting fights on the prelim cards pitted Keri Taylor-Melendez against the Turkish fighter Sabriye Şengül. The returning Şengül started with great viciousness as she was able to block key moves from the undefeated American. Yet, after that initial flurry, it was easy to see why Taylor-Melendez was 5-0 going into the fight as she worked her opponent into the cage wall and isolated her attacks while landing all her knee attacks.

Halfway into the second round, Taylor-Melendez secured a headlock, which signaled the end for her opponent. After taking the lock to the ground, she was able to secure her leg to apply a guillotine choke, leading Şengül to tap out.

Wilde Gets the Crowd Going

Tim ’the Experiment’ Wilde might not be the most marketable fighter on the block right now, but he certainly made some MMA breaking news by delivering one of the best finishes at Bellator 301. His fight against Mike Hamel was a decent exchange as it went into the final round. The Englishman, Wilde, landed a massive head kick, which made Hamel exceptionally groggy, opening himself up to a powerful straight right, which sent him down to the canvas, only for the ref to call off the fight moments after. This maneuver arguably received one of the bigger pops of the night, as many of the fights went the distance.

Japanese Champ Handed Bellator Re-Debut Loss

Back in Japan, Isao Kobayashi was a champion. He’d won 26 fights and in his last fight, lifted the Pancrase Featherweight Championship. It was that type of form that led Bellator to get excited about re-signing the fighter for a second stint in the company, as he had proven he was too good for the Japanese leagues again.

Unfortunately, he was handed his third Bellator promotion loss. That’s all three he’s fought with the company. His opponent on the night was relatively unknown 19-9 record holder Yves Landu. The French fighter made his resume look very impressive with a win over the former title holder – but the result is a louder indictment that Japanese MMA isn’t at the same level that it used to celebrate.

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