Minakov pressed forward and immediately landed an accidental kick to the groin to start the title fight. Kongo was given time to recover and the fight was restarted. The Russian went right back to applying pressure. He closed the distance and took Kongo to the ground. He landed short right hands as Kongo worked to get back to his feet. As Kongo stood, Minakov delivered a knee to the groin. Kongo was once again given time to recover.
After a couple of minutes, Kongo indicated that he was okay to continue and referee Herb Dean deducted a point from the champion. Kongo pressed forward and landed a combination. Minakov planted his feet and fired back. He landed a right hand the knocked Kongo to the canvas. He followed the Frenchman to the ground and dropped back for a leg lock. Kongo defended well and Minakov ended the round in the top position.
Minakov stalked Kongo in the early going of the second frame. Kongo tied him up and secured a takedown. Minakov used the cage to stand and separated. On the break he landed a knee that Kongo felt was low. Referee Herb Dean didn’t agree. Minakov didn’t attack as Kongo recovered with his hands on his knees as Dean instructed the two men to fight. Minakov landed a right hand that wobbled Kongo. He took Kongo down and quickly advanced to the mount position. Kongo rolled to his knees, but Minakov stayed with him. Kongo scrambled to his feet at the bell.
Kongo came out aggressive in the third round, landing right hands. Minakov decided to take the fight to the ground. With Kongo propped against the cage, Minakov delivered punches. Kongo reversed the position, but the Russian worked his way back to his feet. He took Kongo down and moved to side control. He battered Kongo’s body with left hands for the final minute of the stanza.
Kongo quickly got the fight to the ground in the opening seconds of the fourth round. Minakov worked his way back to his feet only to be taken down again. Kongo delivered elbows to the thigh of Minakov. Dean warned Kongo about grabbing Minakov’s shorts. Kongo was unable to inflict much damage, but controlled the champion on the ground. Dean stood the fighters up in the closing seconds. Kongo moved in, landing a knee. Minakov secured a late takedown, but it was Kongo’s round.
Minakov wasted no time taking Kongo down in the final frame. He delivered left hands from the half guard position. He peppered Kongo with punches to the body and head before advancing to the mount position. Kongo was unable to get out of the mount and Minakov delivered punches and elbows for the remainder of the round.
“I fought with a very tough fighter today. I fought the strongest fighter in this weight division today and now I feel like a real champion,” said Minakov following his successful title defense.
Herman Terrado and Justin Baesman fought to a Majority Draw in the co-main event. Terrado dominated the opening round by controlling the distance and getting the fight to the ground. He mounted Baesman and pounded away with short shots. Baesman rolled but was unable to free himself from the mount until the closing seconds of the round. He reversed Terrado and landed elbows, but it was too little too late to win the round. All three judges scored the fight 48-46 for Minakov.
Terrado came out in the second frame with his hands down and looking exhausted. Baesman turned up the pressure, landing a high kick that forced Terrado to think about getting the fight to the ground. Baesman stuffed the takedown attempt and took Terrado’s back. Terrado rolled for a leg, but Baesman escaped the position. He stuffed another takedown attempt and Terrado rolled to his back. Baesman unleashed a violent assault of punches and elbows for the remainder of the round. Referee Jason Herzog took a close look, but Terrado survived the round.
In the final frame, Terrado pressed forward and landed shots on the feet. Baesman fired back with a spinning back first that missed. He landed a combination and secured a takedown, but Terrado isolated an arm. He applied an armbar and extended the arm, but Baesman powered free of the submission attempt. Terrado ended the round in the top position. One judge scored the fight for Terrado while the other two scored the fight a draw resulting in a Majority Draw decision.
“The judges, I still love you,” said Baesman following the fight. “You all here know I won that.”
In light heavyweight action, Kelly Anundson had a successful promotional debut, handing Volkan Oezdemir his first career loss.
Oezdemir entered the bout as a favorite riding a ten-fight winning streak and landed a leg kick that tripped Anundson to the ground in the opening moments of the first round. After that, the story of the fight was Anundson’s wrestling. He secured seven takedowns in the opening round.
Anundson wasted little time getting Oezdemir to the canvas in the second frame. He took the 24-year-old’s back and worked for a rear naked choke. He eventually finished the Swiss fighter with a neck crank.
Bellator 115 Official Results:
Vitaly Minakov def. Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
Herman Terrado vs. Justin Baesman Majority Draw (29-28 Terrado, 28-28, 28-28)
Kelly Anundson def. Volkan Oezdemir by submission (cross-face crank) at 3:29, 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 1:52, R1
Benito Lopez def. Oscar Ramirez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)