Team Fedor’s Valentin Moldavsky put the pressure on early, leaned heavily on his wrestling and top control, and never let up against Javy Ayala at Bellator 239.
A heavyweight clash opened up the Bellator 239 main card in Thackerville, Oklahoma on Friday night. Javy Ayala, having moved past some bad luck that kept him out of the cage for over a year, was taking on Team Fedor member Valentin Moldavsky — who had won all three of his bouts in Bellator to date.
Ayala, of course, rose to prominence with wins over Sergei Kharitonov and Frank Mir.
With the action getting underway, it was Moldavsky securing an early takedown. Ayala worked his way back to the fence and was able to climb back up, but it was mere seconds before he was taken down a second time. Moldavsky then latched on with an arm-triangle, stepping over Ayala despite being cramped along the fence. Ayala, however, survived and moved back to his feet again, only to wind up giving up the back.
Ayala powered up, Moldavsky quickly took him back down. That seemed to be the scene on repeat through the first three-plus minutes of the fight. Moldavsky would throw the odd strike while working on position and submissions; Ayala meanwhile was surviving, but simply couldn’t escape or create space. Another takedown, a trip, was landed by Moldavsky in the final minute. That put him in side control, but Ayala would escape the round.
Round two opened with an early clinch, and before long Ayala was down. He was back up in a scramble, but down once more in short order. Ayala would again spend way too much time on the ground, with Moldavsky in full control despite being unable to finish.
Round three offered more of the same, with Moldavsky hitting home with some heavier shots. Moldavsky came close to moving to mount, although Ayala still proved he could escape to his feet — if little else. Moldavsky was in control from the opening bell to the close. In the end, he left Thackerville with his fourth win inside the Bellator cage.
Official Result: Valentin Moldavsky def. Javy Ayala by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-24)