Friday night in Verona, New York, Bellator MMA returned to action with Bellator 182: Koreshkov vs. Njokuani. The promotion brought some sanity back to the MMA world if ever so briefly prior to the sideshow Saturday night, and had a number of key match-ups on the card. Following the opening about between A.J. McKee and Blair Tugman, the action switched to the women’s flyweight division. There, flyweights Bruna Ellen and Veta Arteaga collided, with Cageside Press, well, cage side.
Arteaga immediately pushed the action following the opening bell, moving forward with her jab while Bruna Ellen looked to counter, staying light on her feet and circling out of harm’s way. Arteaga continued to walk Ellen down, connecting with a combo roughly ninety seconds in and tying her up against the cage. Ellen would escape, and they’d continue the dance back in the center of the cage. As the round progressed, the pattern would repeat, with Arteaga continuing to be the aggressor. However, a clinch along the fence resulted in a reversal with Ellen briefly winding up in control. After the break, she’d look for a takedown, with no success. She’d eat a few punches shortly thereafter, but Ellen would finally score a takedown at the end of the first with just seconds to go.
The second opened in similar fashion with Arteaga charging forward throwing a combo. Ellen would go to work in the clinch along the cage, using underhooks and looking to make something happen, only to eat a number of knees from her opponent. A number of solid shots were traded off the break, and moments later Ellen landed a huge taketown, allowing her to take the back and look for a rear-naked choke. Arteaga was able to reverse, however, and go to work inside Ellen’s guard. Despite Ellen being active off her back, Arteaga would work her way into side control, and land a number of punches to the body, softening up her opponent.
In the third, Ellen found herself clipped early, but appeared unharmed. She’d work her way back to once again clinch and grind on her opponent against the fence, throwing several knees. Arteaga would power out and come forward with a combo, while Ellen would return fire, looking considerably more comfortable on her feet. She’d take things to the ground with ninety seconds to go as Arteaga would attempt to pull guard/look for a guillotine. Ellen then worked from inside Arteaga’s closed guard, but eventually stood up after posturing up, unable to make anything happen from the top. They came on at the end, with both fighters exchanging. To the scorecards it went, with Bruna Ellen picking up a close split decision.
Bruna Ellen def. Veta Arteaga by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)