Up until Friday night at Bellator 264, it had been a good long while since former welterweight champ Andrey Koreshkov had set foot in the Bellator cage.
The Russian had been out since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, even securing permission to take a fight outside of the promotion earlier this year.
Picking up a win on the regional circuit at home in Russia, Koreshkov finally returned Friday, taking on Sabah Homasi. For Homasi, it was his first fight back from an all-out war with Paul Daley earlier this year.
There was plenty of clinch work in the opening minutes of Koreshkov vs. Homasi, but the pair cancelled each other out. Even when Homasi perfectly timed a spinning attack to change levels, Koreshkov proved to have incredible balance, staying on his feet and fending off the takedown attempt.
Koreshkov had flashes of brilliance towards the end of the first round, connecting with a flying knee and following that up with a number of punches — but none were enough to put Homasi away.
By the midpoint of the second frame, Andrey Koreshkov had again connected with a knee, landing on the head of Homasi. Again, he let his fists fly, again, Homasi proved too tough. Koreshkov then changed things up, landing an emphatic takedown, and going to work on an arm triangle choke.
Homasi fired a wild right hand to open the third frame, putting himself completely out of position. That seemed to be the theme of the fight. Homasi, try as he might, remained a step behind, a step out of position. Koreshkov controlled the remainder of the fight, putting Homasi on his back and keeping him there.
Koreshkov had said ahead of Bellator 264 that he was keen on joining the upcoming Bellator Moscow in the fall. An impressive win Friday should certainly help get him there.
Official Result: Andrey Koreshkov def. Sabah Homasi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)