Stepping in as a replacement is never easy. It’s even less so against a former champion. So it’s not a huge surprise that Mike Jasper had no answer for Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 219.
Andrey Koreshkov, a former welterweight champion in Bellator MMA with wins over Douglas Lima and Benson Henderson, was back in action Friday night at Bellator 219. Originally scheduled to headline the card opposite local favorite Lorenz Larkin, the Russian was instead given little known Mike Jasper after an injury forced Larkin from the event.
What might have been. The former champ was just happy to remain on the Bellator 219 card in the end, mind you.
Koreshov went to the led early, then fired off a spinning kick to the mid-section. Then back to a leg kick. Jasper charged forward, swinging wild. Another Koreshkov spinning kick landed upstairs, sending Jasper back. Had that landed flush, it might have been goodnight, Mike Jasper. By the mid-way point of the round, Jasper was flummoxed by the impossible to predict attacks of Koreshkov. Yet his own offense finally got going, as Jasper briefly stunned the Russian with a punch. Unfortunately, he couldn’t follow up, and Koreshkov was back in the driver’s seat by round’s end.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 30, 2019
That was the case in the second as well. More spinning attacks. Koreshkov was pressing forward. As the seconds and minutes passed, you had to wonder if Jasper wasn’t feeling frustrated. He threw a superman punch toward the end of the frame. Koreshkov answered by rocking Jasper, then scored a takedown with just under a minute left in the frame.
In the third, the pair spent a little more time grappling. And this time, as the fight wore on, a tired and worn Mike Jasper found himself planted on his back. Koreshkov worked from half guard, and tried to take the back, but as time inched closer to the final minute, Jasper slipped free, and made it back to his feet. Koreshkov pursued a single leg, eating elbows for his troubles, but he’d eventually get things back to the mat ever so briefly. Short of a hail mary, Jasper would not be getting his hand raised, and it didn’t come. A final takedown by Koreshlov sealed the deal.
Andrey Koreshkov def. Mike Jasper by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)