Bellator 233: Salter Wins, King Mo Retires

A veteran put on a wrestling clinic that led him to victory, while another left the sport that made him famous. At Bellator 233 inside the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma, John Salter defeated Costello van Steenis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Van Steenis (12-2) started off hot, rushing in and attacking Salter (17-4). Salter, however, would not back down, bringing him up against the cage and chipping away. Costello then decided to bring it to the floor.

That was his ultimate downfall.

Salter dominated the ground game, holding on tight whenever he could. By the second round, Costello looked lost. While he went for head kicks and flying knees, he missed them all. Trying to use the ground game again, Salter grabbed his leg and reversed it. He then went on top and kicked the body of Costello. Salter tried the rear-naked choke but couldn’t get it in right away. Salter ended up double-hooking Costello’s legs, and at one point had him in a single-arm triangle.

The third round saw a tired Salter trying to survive Costello. With Salter’s arms growing weary, Costello went for combos that was landing, even bringing Salter to the floor. The damage was done, however, and Salter was able to drop Costello down one more time as the third round came to an end.

Costello’s six-fight win streak ended, while Salter won his second straight fight.

In the co-main event, “King Mo” Lawal faced Andrew Kapel. In the final bout of his MMA career, Lawal (21-10, 1NC) was dropped by a huge punch to the face in the first minute of the fight. The former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion ends his career on a four-fight losing streak and is 2-6 in his last eight.

Bellator 233 Main Card (Paramount Network and DAZN, 9 p.m. ET) 

John Salter def. Costello van Steenis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Andrew Kapel def. “King Mo” Lawal via KO (1:21 into round one)

Arlene Blencowe def. Leslie Smith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Tyrell Fortune def. Azunna Anyanwu via TKO (1:56 into round two)

Bellator 233 Preliminary Card (DAZN, Bellator.com and Bellator Mobile App, 6:15 p.m. ET) 

Tyree Fortune def. Chuck Campbell via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29 )

Logan Storley def. E.J. Brooks via TKO (injury) (5:00 into round one)

Julius Anglickas def. Jordan Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Amanda Bell def. Janay Harding via TKO (4:44 into round three)

Kyle Crutchmer def. Antonio Jones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Romero Cotton def. Jason Perrotta via TKO/knee injury (2:16 into round one)

Christian Edwards def. Cesar Bennett via KO (0:16 into round one)

Grant Neal v. Jimmy Lugo via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-26)

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