After missing weight for his last fight and suggesting he was done with lightweight, Goiti Yamauchi was back at 155lbs Friday at Bellator 256. Stating that he had one last run in him for the lightweight division, he was ready to get back to work against Dan Moret, a promotional newcomer who previously fought in the UFC.
Early leg kicks gave Yamauchi some success, but it was Moret dropping his opponent early on. Wisely, the American opted not to follow Yamauchi to the ground, instead backing off and forcing the fight to remain on the feet. Yamauchi would fire a jump knee just as Moret was moving in, but Moret was too close to hit, and instead, Yamauchi ended up on his back, Moret on top. That just proved why Moret needed to avoid going to the ground, however, with Yamauchi quickly transitioning to the back. Moret wound up in a three-point stance with his opponent glued to his back.
Moret would spend more time that he not doubt would have liked fending Yamauchi off, but he did finish the round pretty much sitting on his opponent, dropping hammer fists. Yamauchi, meanwhile, did not come close to a finish.
Yamauchi looked to impose his will in the grappling department in round two. Moret managed to fend off a powerful bodylock takedown, but Yamauchi stayed on him. Eventually, Yamauchi climbed the back, a similar scene to the opening round. With a good 90 seconds remaining, he dragged Moret down, got hooks in, and began hunting for a rear-naked choke. Yamauchi thew a few punches to the body, and added some kicks to the thigh before locking in a body triangle. The round was about to expire, but Yamauchi was up on the scorecards.
Dan Moret managed to keep the fight on the feet early in round three, and throughout the first two minutes. When they did clinch, Moret landed a few knees, and fought Yamauchi off with overhooks. Yamauchi, however, was undeterred. He dropped down for a single leg, while Moret defended with a whizzer. When they did hit the mat in the end, it was Moret coming out on top, in half-guard. Yamauchi rotated on bottom, looking for an arm-bar. While it wasn’t there, it took up the time remaining.
Yet when the scorecards were read, those expecting a Yamauchi win, including Goiti himself, were left dumbfounded when two judges awarded the bout to Moret. A questionable decision, frankly.
Official Result: Dan Moret def. Goiti Yamauchi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)