Ranked featherweights Jeremy Kennedy and Emmanuel Sanchez faced off in the co-main event of Friday’s Bellator 272 in Uncasville, CT.
Both fighters were looking to get back in the win column and improve their position in a division that was wide open since AJ McKee had toppled the dominant Patricio Pitbull.
Early in Friday night’s co-feature, Kennedy had a body lock cinched in place, allowing him to drag Sanchez down. Sanchez popped right back up; Kennedy dragged things down a second time. It was a little later that Kennedy got the former title challenger to the floor and kept him down for a few moments — but Sanchez scrambled out, and nearly escaped, only for Kennedy to press him into the cage once again.
All that grappling work nearly backfired on Kennedy when Sanchez looked for a triangle on their next trip to the ground. But the Canadian was saved by the bell.
Kennedy took things back to the ground early in the second, eating up plenty of time while in control. Sanchez eventually powered up, but “El Matador” simply could not make space to get any offense off. Another takedown saw Kennedy in half guard, with Sanchez trying to do damage from the bottom. He then used the fence to spin, trying to find room to scramble free. He couldn’t. Instead, Kennedy found himself in side control.
From there, Kennedy would take the back, getting hooks in. The Canadian went hunting for a rear-naked choke, using a few strikes to try to force an opening. It wouldn’t come. Sanchez finally escaped and got his back against the fence, regaining his feet with 30 seconds left in the round.
Knowing he needed to make something happen in the third, Sanchez came out hot. But within a minute, he was on the ground again, and before long Kennedy had his back. It wasn’t long before a body triangle was locked in place. Kennedy peppered his opponent with shots. For much of the round, Kennedy was in the driver’s seat. Then, with about 90 seconds remaining, Sanchez got his back on the fence and slapped on a guillotine while sitting. Sanchez went all in on the choke, but he didn’t have Kennedy in position.
In the end, they’d go the distance, and the winner was clear — Jeremy Kennedy handed Emmanuel Sanchez his third consecutive loss.
Official Result: Jeremy Kennedy def. Emmanuel Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)