Bellator 207: Bader Wrestles Way to Grand Prix Final

Ryan Bader’s wrestling was simply too much for Matt Mitrione to handle, as Bader, the Bellator light heavyweight champion, took a lopsided unanimous decision win in the main event of Bellator 207 to advance to the final of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Mitrione immediately tried to get the action in the center, but Bader managed to score a takedown quickly. Mitrione managed to creep back up, only to get taken back down when Bader swept Mitrione’s leg out from underneath him. Mitrione managed to work back into standing yet again but not before Bader took his back, allowing Bader to slam him back to the mat. While in top game, Bader managed to land some hard ground-and-pound, and while he didn’t get the finish, Bader finished round one by landing some heavy leather on Mitrione both on the ground and standing.

Mitrione came out swinging yet again in round two, and while he put up some defense, was taken back down to the canvas again by the former NCAA champion wrestler. After a couple of minutes of groundwork, Bader nearly forced Mitrion to tap, but Mitrione managed to roll through. Mitrione attempted a weak leg lock, but Bader easily reversed and got back in control in the clinch and on the ground.

Bader took the former NFL player down yet again at the start of the third, and Mitrione simply did not have enough left in him. The judges’ scorecards truly read this bout as one-sided, with two judges scoring the bout 30-25 and the other 30-24 — meaning one judge saw all three rounds as 10-8 rounds in Bader’s favor.

Bader will now the face the winner of the Chael Sonnen vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight, held at Bellator 208 tomorrow night, in the tournament final. The winner of the final will be declared the new Bellator heavyweight champion. With a tournament win, Bader would become the first Bellator fighter to hold two weight divisions’ titles at the same time and the second fighter to win titles in two different weight classes in Bellator altogether.

In the co-main event, despite a one-point deduction for throwing an illegal knee to a grounded Roy Nelson, Sergei Kharitonov scored a big knockout with just one second left. Meanwhile, Lorenz Larkin scored a unanimous decision to become the top alternate for the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix.

Elsewhere on the main card, Corey Browning produced a major upset with a second-round TKO over Baby Slice, and Mandel Nallo earned an early second-round knockout of Carrington Banks.

Bellator 207 Live Results:
Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal: (Bellator LHW champ) Ryan Bader def. Matt Mitrione via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-25)
Heavyweight: Sergei Kharitonov def. Roy Nelson via KO (Rd. 1, 4:59)
Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix Alternate Fight: Lorenz Larkin def. Ion Pascu via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Corey Browning def. “Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr. via TKO (Rd. 2, 2:08)
Lightweight: Mandel Nallo def. Carrington Banks via KO (Rd. 2, 0:57)

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