Former UFC light heavyweight Corey Anderson made his promotional debut at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. on Thursday at Bellator 251 and made a statement by stopping veteran Melvin Manhoef in the second round.
The two headlined the fight card and Anderson did exactly what he wanted to do against the dangerous striker. Anderson’s threat of a takedown opened up opportunities to land strikes. He used the strikes to close the distance and put Manhoef on his back. On the ground, Anderson inflicted damage.
He was unable to keep Manhoef grounded in the opening frame, but in the second round Anderson dominated from top position. After securing a takedown, Anderson postured up and delivered right hands and elbows until the referee stepped in to stop it.
“It went just like we planned,” Anderson said following the fight. “I did exactly what the coaches told me.”
With his first win inside the Bellator cage behind him, Anderson called for a fight against the champion Vadim Nemkov.
“I should be fighting whoever will give me the title,” he said. Whoever is fighting for the title, I want the winner. I’m ready. Let’s go… Who ever has that strap, come see me.”
Heavyweight Tyrell Fortune got back on the winning track in the fight card’s co-main event by defeating Said Sowma by unanimous decision. In the opening round, Fortune dictated the pace and distance of the fight. He also secured two takedowns while Sowma worked to find his range.
In the second frame, Sowma began to land combinations and pressure Fortune. He connected with hard kicks to the body. In the final round, the two went back and forth on their feet and in the clinch. At the end of fifteen minutes, the judges felt that Fortune had done enough to capture the win.
In middle weight action, Austin Vanderford kept his undefeated record intact in a one-sided win over Vinicious de Jesus. Vanderford was able to establish his jab early in the bout and his wrestling took over from there.
He was able to take de Silva down early in the second and third rounds and mauled him on the ground. Vanderford made a bloody mess of de Silva to pick up his tenth consecutive victory.
Full Bellator 251 Results:
- Corey Anderson def. Melvin Manhoef by TKO (elbows) at 2:34, R2
- Tyrell Fortune def. Said Sowma by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Austin Vanderford def. Vinicius de Jesus by unanimous decisoin (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Derek Anderson def. Killys Mata by KO (knee) at 4:27, R2
- Georgi Karakhanyan def. Bryce Logan by unanimous decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julius Angelickas def. Alex Polizzi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Janay Harding def. Jessica Miele by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ali Zebian def. Painkhi Zimmerman by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jaylon Bates def. Joe Supino by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)
- Sumiko Inaba def. Jessica Ruiz by TKO (elbows) at 4:59, R1