Saturday’s Bellator 266, which went down in the promotion’s stronghold in San Jose, CA, saw an interesting clash of styles in its co-main event.
Welterweights Neiman Gracie and Mark Lemminger collided in the penultimate fight of the event; Gracie flying the flag for jiu-jitsu, Lemminger coming into the fight with a solid wrestling base. Gracie himself had expected something of a grappling match, as both fighters looked to make a statement prior to Douglas Lima vs. Michael “Venom” Page next month.
Round 1: Neiman Gracie ran to meet Mark Lemminger in the middle of the cage and took cage control. Lemminger took his time finding his range while Gracie rushed in to clinch and was succesful. Gracie put Lemminger on the fence and with over hooks and working foot stomps while Lemminger tried elbows. A big uppercut shot from Gracie hurt Lemminger on the fence, Gracie blitzed him and finished the fight! Gracie wins via TKO.
It wasn’t the grappling match many expected in the end. Still, prior to the fight, Gracie had spoken of falling in love with all aspects of the fight game, including striking — from boxing to Muay Thai. He finally got to display his stand-up skills Saturday, with his first career win via knockout. Statement made.
Official Result: Neiman Gracie def. Mark Lemminger via TKO 1:20 of Round One.