Opening up the Bellator 251 main card on Thursday, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, were welterweights Derek Anderson and Killys Mota. Both fighters relatively new to the weight class.
For Mota, the fight was a step up in competition after the Brazilian handed TriStar prospect Mandel Nallo the first loss of his pro career. Anderson, meanwhile, had been lined up with Paul Daley for a fight last month. But Daley was hospitalized following a weight cut gone wrong. The fight was scrapped, with Daley announcing that whenever he fights again, it will be his retirement bout.
If Anderson had any hope of getting back into a booking with Daley, or even picking up a big-name welterweight clash, a strong performance against Mota would be key. Mota, however, was able to get the fight to the ground early, utilizing a trip along the fence while in the clinch. Anderson nearly gave up his neck climbing back to his feet, but he would make it upright, only for Mota to take the back. A little high up, Mota slipped off, and instead began attacking with elbows as Anderson drove him into the fence. Mota then pulled guard for a guillotine, rolling with it to end up on top. Anderson gutted that out, but was falling behind on the scorecards. Mota finished the round on Anderson’s back, looking fora rear-naked choke.
Round two saw Anderson going low and high with kicks, while trying to cement himself in the center of the cage. However, roughly a minute in, Mota caught a kick and dumped Anderson on his back. From there, Anderson flirted with an arm-bar, but Mota was never in any real danger. Anderson would later get Mota down himself, having to contend with an arm-bar in turn. However, as Mota got up from a downed position, Anderson connected with what appeared to be an illegal kick to the head. However, Mota was coming up, and his knee came off the ground — making it a legal blow.
— ShayMyName (@ImShannonTho) November 6, 2020
Mota was unable to continue. Even Anderson unappeared unsure of the soccer-style kick, backing off immediately out of respect to his opponent. But going to instant replay, it was clear that Mota’s leg had just come up, while one hand and one foot remained down. Timing is everything, and Anderson brought home the win.
After the fight, Anderson told media members that it was just good timing, and that he felt Mota was playing possum.
Official Result: Derek Anderson def. Killys Mota by TKO (head kick), Round 2, 4:27