Bellator 231 Results: Ilara Joanne Channels Arya Stark in Kneebar Win Over Bec Rawlings

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Bellator 231 Bec Rawlings Ilara Joanne
Bec Rawlings and Ilara Joanne Credit: Bellator MMA

“A girl has no name,” Ilara Joanne said after defeating Bec Rawlings at Bellator 231. But she has a list, and is crossing off names.

The Queen of Bare Knuckle made her debut in the Bellator cage Friday night in Uncasville, CT. At Bellator 231, former Invicta FC and UFC fighter Bec Rawlings took on Ilara Joanne. Rawlings, upon her exit from the UFC in 2018, had made the jump to bare knuckle boxing, going 3-0 and winning a title under the Bare Knuckle FC banner.

It was back to MMA on Friday, however, against Joanne, an 8-4 flyweight out of Brazil on a two-fight win streak. Joanne was also making her promotional debut at the event.

Joanne went on the attack almost immediately, firing her kicks, and getting her hands going as well. Bec answered back with a leg kick of her own, but Joanne was bullying her early, and had her right hand cocked. Joanne would then press for a takedown, landing it off a trip and working from half-guard. Joanne looked to be setting up a choke, but couldn’t step over Rawling’s leg, and wound up in full guard. Rawlings was able to trap her opponent, preventing Joanne from posturing up. She couldn’t escape, however, with Joanne getting plenty of control time until ref Big Dan finally stood them up with just under a minute remaining. Rawlings would try to get going then, but Joanne seemed to be one step ahead.

To start the second, Ilara Joanne almost immediately kicked Rawlings’ legs out from under her. She pounced, ending up in half guard as Rawlings tried to buck her off. She’d at least get Joanne back in full guard, closing it. But with over four minutes remaining, Rawlings desperately needed to get back to her feet. This time, Rawlings was able to utilize the fence, but gave up her back trying to work her way up. Joanne looked for a choke, but was too high on Rawling’s back. Joanne would then find herself reversed, which led to another transition, and Joanne trapping a leg! With a knee-bar locked in, Rawlings was forced to tap!

After the fight, Joanne, who walked out to the theme song from Game of Thrones, channeled a little Arya Stark. “A girl has no name, but I have a list,” she said. Crossing off Rawlings’ name, the list had a handful of additional flyweights on it, including Valerie Letourneau, and champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

“My goal is to kill everyone on the list and get the queen,” Joanne stated. If only she’d walked out to the Rains of Castamere.

Official Result: Ilara Joanne def. Bec Rawlings by submission (kneebar), Round 2, 3:35

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