Two Brazilian grappling standouts topped Bellator 284 on Friday, with Neiman Gracie, a former title challenger, up against Goiti Yamauchi.
As it turned out, there wasn’t much ground action at all.
Yamauchi was in just his second fight since moving to the welterweight division, after starting his career at featherweight, then stepping up to lightweight before his arrival at 170. He appeared to have settled into his new home by the end of the fight.
Early on during Friday’s main event, it was Yamauchi on the outside. The pair would come together about a minute in, but did not go to the ground. Instead, in the early going, it was a stand-up battle; just over two minutes in, Yamauchi caught Gracie with a jab. Gracie’s legs instantly went to rubber. Yamauchi took that opportunity to take Gracie to the ground, but they did not stay there. Gracie would escape the round, but Yamauchi had drawn first blood.
In the second, after some early trading, Gracie would wind up on his back, trying to lure Yamauchi into his guard. Yamauchi was cautious; Gracie flashed an upkick then returned to his feet. Yamauchi then proceeded to rip several kicks to the body. Later in the round, he’d set up the finish.
With Gracie moving in, Yamauchi had his hands down — but uncorked a massive uppercut, landing right on the chin of Neiman Gracie. The connection snapped the head back; Gracie immediately went down, Yamauchi instantly had the biggest win of his career — becoming the first fighter to stop Gracie.
𝙃𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙣 🤯@GoitiOfficial may have the most submissions in Bellator history, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hang on the feet!
A spectacular finish to #Bellator284 live on @SHOsports. pic.twitter.com/b7I5AxY3PL
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) August 13, 2022
“I have no words to describe this moment,” Yamauchi said following the fight, having knocked out a man he considers one of the best fighters in the world.
Official Result: Goiti Yamauchi def. Neiman Gracie by knockout (uppercut), Round 2, 3:58