After coming up short in the Bellator featherweight grand prix, Derek Campos packed up and headed north — to lightweight, where he’d compete Friday at Bellator 246. Well, basically lightweight. Opponent Keoni Diggs, an undefeated 8-0 to start the night, missed weight for the bout Friday, necessitating a catchweight of 157lbs.
Whether or not the extra pound mattered, Diggs was able to get Campos down in the opening round of the pair’s bout in Uncasville, CT on Saturday. Controlling the wrists, with a little nod to Khabib, Diggs worked to take the back, while Campos struggled to avoid a rear-naked choke. Towards the end of the round, Diggs managed to get under the chin, with the pair sitting back against the fence. But with time in the round winding down, he couldn’t finish.
It was Campos initiating the takedown in the opening minute of round two. He couldn’t land it, however, and the never several minutes played out on the feet, with Diggs changing levels on his strikes, mixing things up well and throwing in a kick to the body for good measure. Diggs led the dance throughout the bulk of the round, getting off his strikes first, and adding in both inside and outside leg kicks for good measure.
Round three had Campos working for a takedown again, pressing Diggs against the cage. He couldn’t land it, but Diggs managed to land one of his own not long after. He went to work inside Campos’ guard, posturing up to land a few big punches and elbows. As in the first, Diggs took the back toward the end of the round, hunting the rear-naked choke once again. As in the first, time was running out — but with seconds to go, Campos went out!
A submission win in the dying seconds of the round. Second, to be exact, as Campos went out immediately before the bell.
Official Results: Keoni Diggs. def. Derek Campos by technical submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 4:59