Featherweight, Farid Basharat (5-0)
Farid Basharat was taken down early off a caught kick but was never in danger. He was active off his back before he worked back to his feet. Farid displayed some kickboxing skills on the feet throwing from different angles. He did throw some wasted energy but the different looks had his foe guessing. The most significant shots were the hard buckling outside leg kicks Farid landed many times. Farid mixed in a few takedowns and with his strong BJJ he took the back and finished with the RNC in round two.
Welterweight, Joey Davis (7-0)
Joey Davis continued his flawless run in dominant fashion. Davis got the takedown early and from there is was the beginning to the end. Davis landed a bunch of ground strikes while having dominant positional control. He would just posture up landing punches and elbows slicing his opponent open. The ref would eventually step in after some big hammer fists landed. He fought an experienced opponent in Chris Cisneros but it’s time for a step up in competition.
Heavyweight, Mohammed Usman (6-1)
Not much to be said about this fight because nothing really happened up until the finish. Usman walked his opponent down the whole time before face-planting him with a big right hook. The fight was over and the three extra right hands to a downed opponent sent the ref in. Usman is getting better with each fight but it would be ideal to see him use more movement in the future.
Lightweight, Keoni Diggs (8-0)
Keoni Diggs getting his first big shot under the big lights he dominated in his Bellator debut. He got the takedown early in both rounds one and two and it was all him. Diggs landed a good amount of ground and pound while controlling the hands, very Khabib-like. After a failed guillotine attempt he fell onto the back and sunk in the RNC for the tap.
Lightweight, Alexander Shabliy (19-3)
Alexander Shabliy easily won this fight moving his win streak to four. He fought a decent fighter in Alexandre Cidade and Shabliy out-pointed him to a decision win. His timing was on point landing long strikes and mixing in nice kicks. Shabliy was also on point with his counters. He wasn’t close to stopping the fight but landed significant strikes and it was his timing that stood out.
Lightweight, Goiti Yamauchi (25-4)
Bellator MMA standout Goiti Yamauchi fought the well-known Daron Cruickshank and stopped him in round one. Cruickshank is known for his dynamic kickboxing style and Goiti held his own. Mid-way into the fight Goiti took the back standing. He pushed off the cage to get the fight down done very nicely. On the mat Goiti quickly put Cruickshank to sleep with an RNC.
Welterweight, Dmitry Bikrev (12-3)
Dmitry Bikrev moved his win-streak to seven and earned his ninth career finish last month opposite Aleksandar Janković. Most of the action took place on the mat. Bikrev secured two takedowns and took out his opponents’ legs once with a leg kick. The story of this fight was the ground and pound from Bikrev. Through the course of two rounds, the Russian landed a large amount of heavy ground and pound. As he took the back and flattened out his opponent the ref eventually stepped in:
Light-heavyweight, Jiří Procházka (26-3)
RIZIN champ Jiri Procházka is one the best light heavyweight prospects out there and he proved that again against former UFC veteran CB Dollaway. Dollaway found a lot of success early with the lead leg kicks. The kicks didn’t seem to faze Jiri but it did cause him to be more aggressive. Jiri started to open up more and more landing in output. He would just miss with a lead right uppercut but the follow-up left hook landed clean for the nice flash knockout.
Lightweight, Tofiq Musayev (17-3)
Tofiq Musayev came into the RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix as a huge underdog that nobody expected to win. The 4-man tournament had Johnny Case and Patricky Pitbull, and Musayev beat both of them. When he fought Case, Musayev always had an answer to what his opponent threw. Musayev also landed harder and cleaner. He caught Case with a big overhand right and went to close the fight. He did fall right into a takedown from Case but bounced right back up to finish the fight. Musayev dropped Case again but this time with a left and the extra shots sent the ref in.
His fight with Patricky Pitbull was much more competitive and went the distance. Both had awesome moments as in the first they both got a takedown and a flash knockdown. As the fight went on Musayev got much better as Pitbull slowed. Musayev won almost every exchange and overall did more. While unable to hold Pitbull down, Musayev got many brief trips from the clinch. Round three was huge from him knocking Pitbull down with a flurry. Great fight and Musyev shocked the world.
Bantamweight, Patchy Mix (13-0)
Patrick “Patchy” Mix fought Japanese veteran Yuki Motoya in his own backyard as Bellator MMA’s cross-promotion with RIZIN continued in December. Motoya has solid grappling and Mix had no fear going right after it with an easy takedown. There were some very fun scrambles where Motoya did threaten a bit with an armbar. Mix was never really in danger and escaped. In a scramble, Mix found the neck sinking in the guillotine and forcing Motoya to tap. Mix has an insane squeeze and gives Motoya his first submission loss since 2011.