Thursday night at Bellator 251, Tyrell Fortune looked to return to the win column. Opposite him was a promotional newcomer in Said Sowma. While not a household name, Sowma entered the bout on a six-fight win streak, culminating with his win of the Titan FC heavyweight crown.
Fortune had suffered his first defeat earlier in 2020, at the hands of Tim Johnson. He had hoped to get back on track in September, only for a fight with Jack May to end in a no contest, and Fortune landed an accidental low blow.
Things went quite differently on Thursday. Though it was not an easy fight for Tyrell Fortune by any means.
Fortune kept Sowma on the outside early in the Bellator 251 co-main event. With Sowma circling, Fortune stayed patient, going to the body once or twice. They’d reverse positions later in the round, Fortune on the outside. He worked his kicks, both low and high, mixing things up well. Fortune’s jab was going early, and while Sowma was certainly in the fight, Fortune seemed to have the edge by the end of the frame, initiating a clinch shortly before the buzzer.
Sowma opened the second round with a kick. When Fortune engaged, he sent Sowma backpedaling into the fence. Fortune just seemed to be a little crisper, a little more powerful. While Sowma would land a kick to the ribs while Fortune closed the distance mid-round, for the most part, Fortune was in the driver’s seat. At least until an accidental low blow by Sowma briefly halted the action. Late in the round, Fortune would slip, putting Sowma in control briefly. A body kick, a couple of shots upstairs, and suddenly, Fortune was covering up, although he would survive the round.
Entering the third, the scorecards easily could have been one round a piece. At least depending on how the judges viewed Sowma’s strong finish late in the second. Sowma certainly had a strong third, at one point trapping Tyrell Fortune in a head lock, landing several knees. Fortune’s corner appeared concerned about him losing even the wrestling exchanges, and he appeared to be slowing. In the final minute Sowma had control, pinning Fortune against the cage and landing some foot stomps. But he allowed Fortune to escape and finish on top in the last few seconds.
The end result was a close but unanimous decision win for Fortune. Who now returns to the win column for the first time in 2020.
Official Result: Tyrell Fortune def. Said Sowma by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)