Bellator Kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz made her debut on the MMA side of the promotion at Bellator 188. Would she find the same success in the cage as she has in the ring?
The women’s flyweight division was back in action at Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Airing Friday via tape delay on Spike TV, the card opened with Jessica Middleton taking on Denise Kielholtz in 125lb action. Kielholtz, a champ in Bellator Kickboxing, was making her promotional debut on the MMA side. Overall, the bout was her second MMA fight; she entered the night at 0-1 and was looking for her first win.
Middleton, meanwhile, was looking to play spoiler. She had the height and reach advantage, but it was Kielholtz who connected first. A right hand landed early, followed up by a combination from Kielholtz that saw her land clean several times. The judo blackbelt then found herself in a clinch by the cage and used a judo throw to take Middleton down. Kielholtz would then go to work on an arm-bar, and despite being out of position, was able to earn the tap!
With that, the kickboxing champion had a submission win in her Bellator MMA debut!
Denise Kielholtz def. Jessica Middleton by submission (scarf hold arm-bar), Round 1, 1:16