Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson knocks out Jose Augusto at Bellator 258

Anthony Rumble Johnson

In the co-main event of Bellator 258, we saw the final quarter-final matchup in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (22-6) was making his promotional debut against Jose Augusto (7-2, 1 NC).

Originally, Rumble was set to take on Yoel Romero in the co-main event tonight. However, Romero didn’t pass the pre-fight medicals and as a result, he was pulled off of Bellator 258.

The promotion decided to move forward with the Grand Prix and Jose Augusto got the call. Augusto just fought and won a month ago and he trains under the Pitbull brothers.

Augusto just made his Bellator debut back and April and he seemed more than ready to take on the challenge of Rumble Johnson. This is the first fight for Rumble Johnson in four years. The last time we saw him was at UFC 210 when he lost for the second time to Daniel Cormier.

Daniel Cormier is the only man to defeat Rumble in his last fourteen fights. Rumble was released from his UFC contract and signed an exclusive deal with Bellator. His debut was one of the more hyped Bellator debuts in recent memory. He was looking to make quick work of Jose Augusto tonight.

Bellator 258 Recap

Round 1

The Bellator 258 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Rumble immediately takes the center of the cage and starts working his feints. A big leg kick from Rumble is countered by a 1-2 from Augusto.

Another good leg kick lands for Rumble. Rumble putting some pressure on Augusto and he throws a good push kick that backs Augusto up to the fence. Augusto tries to establish his jab, but he’s a bit out of range.

A really nice combination lands for Augusto. Augusto lands a right hand and you can tell he injured his hand. He tries to shake it out, but it’s clearly compromised. Rumble turns up the pressure afterwards.

Another right hand lands for Augusto, and he turns in pain. Rumble turns up the pressure and starts landing bombs, but Augusto isn’t backing down. A huge left hook lands for Augusto and down goes Rumble.

Incredible turn of events and Augusto is going for the finish. Rumble gets up and shoots for a takedown. Rumble lands the takedown as he tries to recover. The first round comes to a close and Rumble survives. 1-0 Augusto after one here at Bellator 258.

Round 2

Rumble definitely looked a little weary entering the second round at Bellator 258. He tries to start the striking with a leg kick, but he was a bit out of range. Augusto lands a good body kick to start his striking.

Solid lead left hook lands for Jose Augusto. Big left hook to the body lands for Augusto. Augusto is a one-handed fighter, but he’s winning the striking here. Nice jab lands for Augusto.

Rumble looking extremely tentative here in the second round. Then out of no where, a huge 1-2 lands from Rumble and Augusto is out. Rumble wins his Bellator debut by knockout.

Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson def. Jose Augusto by KO – Round 2

Bellator announces interim heavyweight title fight between Tim Johnson and Valentin Moldavsky

Bellator is going to crown an interim heavyweight champion. With Ryan Bader competing in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, the promotion has decided to create an interim title for the heavyweights.

Bellator announced today that next month Tim Johnson (15-6) will take on Valentin Moldavsky (10-1) for the interim heavyweight title. The matchup will take place at Bellator 261 on June 25th.

Tim Johnson has completely turned his career around. Johnson made his Bellator debut back in 2018 after a stint with the UFC and lost two straight fights by knockout. After those two losses, Johnson took off 2019.

He returned in 2020 and looked like a completely different fighter. He knocked out Tyrone Fortune and Matt Mitrione in the first round. After those two wins, he got a rematch with Cheick Kongo.

Kongo was the first man to face and knock out Johnson in Bellator. However, this time Johnson was able to grind out a split decision. On the heels of these three consecutive victories, Johnson is getting a shot at heavyweight gold.

Moldavsky looks to remain unbeaten in Bellator

Standing across from Johnson on June 25th will be the Russian Valentin Moldavsky. Moldavsky is a protégé of the great Fedor Emelianenko and he’s ready to capture his first world championship in Bellator.

Moldavsky made his debut with Bellator back in 2017 after a four-fight stint in Rizin. Since making his debut with the promotion, Moldavsky has been a perfect 5-0 and he got the biggest win of his career in his last fight.

At Bellator 244 in August, Moldavsky took on Roy Nelson. This was also the same night that his teammate Vadim Nemkov dethroned Ryan Bader of his light heavyweight championship.

Moldavsky was able to pickup the unanimous decision victory over the former Ultimate Fighter winner. With that win, Moldavsky has earned him a shot at Bellator 261. With no definitive timeframe on Bader’s heavyweight return, the winner of this matchup could defend the title before unifying down the road with Ryan Bader.

Bellator 258 Preview: Patrick “Patchy” Mix – Albert Morales

Tomorrow night at Bellator 258, former title challenger Patrick “Patchy” Mix (13-1) will look to bounce back. He’s taking on six-fight UFC veteran Albert Morales who will be making his Bellator debut.

Morales will enter the Bellator 258 cage having won two fights in a row. Both of those wins came under the Light Out Xtreme promotion and they both took place in 2019. This is Morales’ first fight since November of 2019.

When he was with the UFC, Morales went an underwhelming 1-4-1 in six fights. He earned himself a contract with the UFC after going 6-0 with five finishes. However, things went down hill quickly once he got to the UFC.

In his Bellator debut, he’s going to have his hands full. Patchy Mix is an absolute stud and he’s a finisher. At Bellator 246 last September, Mix got his shot at the bantamweight title against Juan Archuleta.

Patchy Mix looked great earlier on and got Archuleta in a lot of compromising positions on the ground. Mix’s ground game is sick and if you go to the ground with him, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of trouble.

However, Mix couldn’t keep his fast pace up for all five rounds. After the first couple of rounds, Mix really started to fade and Archuleta won by decision at Bellator 246. It was a learning experience for Mix who will look to bounce back tomorrow night.

Bellator 258 Prediction

As much as Bellator wants to build this up as a competitive fight, this is screaming ‘tune-up fight’ to me. Don’t get me wrong, Albert Morales can definitely do some damage in the cage.

He’s got some decent skill on the feet and on the mat. It’s not going to be a complete layup tomorrow night, but in reality, I don’t see Morales giving Mix any issues at Bellator 258.

If Mix were to lose tomorrow night, it would be a massive upset. I see Mix getting this fight down to the ground pretty early in the first round. Once it’s there, it will just be a matter of time. I think Mix picks up his tenth submission victory tomorrow night.

Prediction: Patchy Mix by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 1

Bellator 258 Preview: Michael “Venom” Page – Derek Anderson

Tomorrow night on the main card of Bellator 258, we will see the return of one of the more dynamic strikers on the roster. The entertaining Michael “Venom” Page (18-1) makes the walk for the first time in 2021 against Derek Anderson (17-3).

Since making his Bellator debut back in 2014, MVP has been a puzzle that only one man has been able to solve. Page has used his dynamic striking and unique style to fluster the entire welterweight roster.

Back at Bellator 221, MVP got his shot at the welterweight title against Douglas Lima. Page was doing well at times, but ultimately got clipped and put to sleep by the Bellator welterweight champion.

Since that loss, MVP has been trying to work his way back to a title shot. He will enter the cage tomorrow night riding a four-fight win streak. Should he win, he will definitely get the next crack at the title.

However, Derek Anderson is looking to play spoiler at Bellator 258. Anderson has always been considered one of the better Bellator prospects, but his inactivity has really hurt him. He’s won three in a row, but this is only his sixth fight since the start of 2016.

However, this is the shortest turnaround he’s had in this stretch. We last saw him in November at Bellator 251 where he knocked out Killys Mota. Should he get the win tomorrow night, it would be hard to deny him of a shot at the title.

Bellator 258 Prediction

I’m extremely excited about this matchup at Bellator 258. Both men have good striking and both men have power to put the other out. One thing about Anderson’s game that I love is how well-rounded he is.

If you look at his seventeen wins, six are by knockout, six are by submission, and five are by decision. Wherever the fight goes, Derek Anderson will be comfortable. The key for him tomorrow is going to be mixing in his grappling.

For MVP, the game plan should be simple. That game plan should say keep this fight on the outside. If this is a kickboxing matchup from the outside, MVP is getting the win at Bellator 258.

Ultimately, I think you’re going to see a mix of both. I think you’ll see these two in the clinch some, but I also expect a lot of distance striking. In the end, I think it’s a closer fight than some thing, but MVP edges this one by landing the more significant shots.

Prediction: Michael “Venom” Page by Unanimous Decision

Bellator 258 Preview: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson – Jose Augusto

Anthony Rumble Johnson

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of Bellator 258, we will see the return of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6). Rumble returns for the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix and he meets Bellator newcomer Jose Augusto (7-2, 1 NC) tomorrow night.

Originally, Yoel Romero was supposed to take on Rumble in the Grand Prix. However, last week we learned that Romero didn’t pass pre-fight medicals. With that, he was pulled from the Bellator 258 co-main event.

When Romero fell out, Bellator searched for a replacement for tomorrow’s co-main event. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Jose Augusto who trains under the Pitbull Brothers.

Augusto will be making his Bellator debut tomorrow night. Currently, he’s riding a five-fight win streak. The last time he fought was on April 2nd and he seems more than game to take on Rumble tomorrow night.

As mentioned, Rumble’s Bellator debut is his first fight in four years. Rumble last fought at UFC 210 where he lost for the second time to Daniel Cormier. In Rumble’s last 14 fights, he’s 12-2 with Cormier being the only man to defeat him.

Rumble was released from his UFC contract and signed with Bellator a few months ago. It was a surprising move by all parties involved, but it’s a fresh start for Rumble who is going to look to make a statement tomorrow night.

Bellator 258 Prediction

When it comes to the Bellator 258 co-main event, the big thing is going to be the grappling of Jose Augusto. Rumble Johnson looks like he’s in the best shape of his life leading into his Bellator debut.

If this fight stays on the feet, I don’t see Augusto doing well at all with Rumble. Rumble is one of the most prolific knockout artist in the history of the light heavyweight division and I just don’t see Augusto holding up well against the power.

Now, if Augusto comes out and is able to land takedowns at Bellator 258, he can definitely make things interesting. His submission and grappling skills could pose some problems.

However, I just don’t see it happening. I think Rumble makes a big statement tomorrow and gets a first round finish on his way to the semi-finals of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Prediction: Anthony Johnson by KO – Round 1

Bellator 258 Preview: Juan Archuleta – Sergio Pettis

Juan Archuleta

Tomorrow night in the main event of Bellator 258, we will get to see the bantamweight title fight we’ve been waiting for. The bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta (25-2) will be defending his title against Sergio Pettis (20-5).

Pettis has been perfect so far since making the jump from the UFC to Bellator. He made his debut with Bellator in early 2020 and he’s won both of his matchups thus far to earn himself this title shot.

Pettis has been in there with some of the best in the world including Henry Cejudo, Joseph Benavidez, Rob Font, and Brandon Moreno. During his time with the UFC, Pettis primarily fought at 125 pounds, but upon arriving at Bellator, he wanted to be a bantamweight.

Pettis has always had the talent and tomorrow he gets his chance to become a champion. However, winning that title tomorrow is not going to be easy. He will have his hands full with Juan Archuleta.

Archuleta made his Bellator debut in 2018 and he’s been nearly perfect since. In eight bouts with the promotion, Archuleta is 7-1 with his lone loss coming to Patricio Pitbull at 145 pounds.

That said, he’s been perfect in Bellator‘s bantamweight division. In his last fight, He won a decision over Patchy Mix to capture the title and he’s looking for Sergio Pettis to be his first successful title defense tomorrow night.

Bellator 258 Prediction

This Bellator main event is incredibly intriguing and I’m very curious to see how it plays out. Sergio Pettis is good everywhere, but he really shines when he’s able to kickbox from range.

Pettis has very clean technique and when he’s point fighting from the outside, he’s tough to deal with. Archuleta has good hands and he fights with a very strong pace. He is also incredibly smart in there and he knows when to push the pedal down and when to slow down.

We’ve seen Archuleta go to his wrestling some in the past and that could be a key at Bellator 258. If these two just strike from range for five rounds, I really like Sergio Pettis to get the win here. I think the combination of kicks and accuracy from distance will be on full display.

That said, I’m going to go with Juan Archuleta here by a razor close decision. I think the Bellator champion will do a good job of mixing in the grappling with striking. Even if he’s not able to get Pettis down, I think he’ll force enough clinches and get enough control to edge three rounds.

Prediction: Juan Archuleta by Split Decision

Bellator announces that Yoel Romero – Anthony Johnson is off

The one matchup that fans were the most excited about when it comes to the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix was Yoel Romero (13-5) – Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6). The two were supposed to fight next weekend at Bellator 258.

Rumble and Romero were both released from their UFC contracts last year. Almost immediately, Bellator snatched both men up and put them in the upcoming Grand Prix. The two knockout artists seemed like they were going to deliver the goods for the promotion.

However, late last night, we learned that the fight was off. Bellator announced that Yoel Romero was not cleared and the fight next weekend with Rumble is off. You can read the full statement below.

“Yoel Romero did not clear pre-fight medical testing and as a result, his Bellator MMA debut against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has been postponed. Bellator will confirm a tournament alternate to face “Rumble” Johnson in the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix as soon as possible.”

Bellator statement on Yoel Romero

What’s next for Bellator 258

This is a major hit to next weekend’s Bellator card. Yes, there are still some great fights including Juan Archuleta – Sergio Pettis, but the world was waiting for the battle between Rumble and Romero.

At this time, there is no word as to why or what made Romero fail his pre-fight medicals. Hopefully it’s not something that will keep him from competing moving forward. While Romero is 43 years old, he still seems to have plenty left in the tank.

I’m very curious to see who the promotion can find to take on Rumble next weekend. Rumble appears to be in phenomenal shape and he looks like he’s ready to make a statement at Bellator 258.

If Rumble wins next weekend, he will move on to take on Vadim Nemkov for the title in the semi-finals. However, before we can think about Rumble fighting for the Bellator title, we will have to figure out who he’s fighting first. This will be a story to follow over the coming days.

Bellator 257 Preview: Corey Anderson – Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov

Corey Anderson

In the co-main event of Bellator 257, we will see another quarterfinal matchup in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Corey Anderson (14-5) will be making his second Bellator appearance as he welcomes in Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-5-1).

Yagshimuradov is being looked at as a dark horse in this Bellator Grand Prix. He’s an unknown to most casual fans, but I can assure you, the guy has tremendous skill and he’s not going to be an easy out.

A native of Turkmenistan, Yagshimuradov is very well rounded. He has really good grappling, good striking, and decent power in his hands. When it comes to hand speed and power, he’s probably going to have the advantage at Bellator 257.

Coming into this Grand Prix, Yagshimuradov has won eight straight outside of the Bellator cage. His opponent tonight had an extremely interesting year last year.

When 2020 began, Corey Anderson looked like he was going to challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title. However, Anderson was knocked out badly by Jan Blachowicz in February which derailed those plans.

Still, Anderson was a top five light heavyweight in the UFC. However, when he asked for more money and the promotion said no, Anderson asked for his release. Once released, Bellator signed him immediately.

He made his debut last November at Bellator 251. Anderson got a layup in his first matchup as he took on former middleweight Melvin Manhoef. Corey Anderson used his dominant wrestling to get the fight to the ground and earn a TKO win in his Bellator debut.

Bellator 257 Prediction

This fight is going to be incredibly fascinating. When the betting lines opened for Bellator 257, Yagshimuradov was actually the betting favorite. Since then, the odds have shifted and Corey Anderson is now the betting favorite.

However, it does show you just how much people think about Yagshimuradov. One thing that I think really plays into his advantage tonight is the way that he carries his hands.

Yagshimuradov carries his hands low which is usually not a good thing. However, when fighting a dominant wrestler like Corey Anderson, having his hands low could help him with defending the takedowns.

For Corey Anderson, the Bellator 257 game plan is what it always is for him. Use your striking just to close the distance and go for takedowns. If Anderson is able to land takedowns, he’s going to get a decision.

We’ve seen Anderson get knocked out and Yagshimuradov does have some pop in his hands. I would be shocked at all if Yagshimuradov catches him with something coming in. However, I’m going to go with the safe pick here and ride with Corey Anderson to use his wrestling to earn a decision.

Prediction: Corey Anderson by Unanimous Decision

Bellator 257 Preview: Vadim Nemkov – Phil Davis 2

In the main event of Bellator 257, we will see another quarterfinal matchup in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. However, in this matchup, the light heavyweight title is on the line.

Bellator‘s light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (12-2) takes on Phil Davis (22-5). This fight is a rematch from Bellator 209 back in 2018. That night, Nemkov was able to edge Davis by split decision.

Vadim Nemkov joined Bellator back in 2017 and he’s been perfect with the promotion. The Russian who trains under the great Fedor Emelianenko appears to be someone who can be a face for the promotion moving forward.

Since making his Bellator debut, Nemkov is a perfect 5-0 with only the Davis fight going the distance. Everything culminated for Nemkov at Bellator 244 when he stopped Ryan Bader to become the light heavyweight champion.

Phil Davis made the jump from the UFC to Bellator back in 2015. Since making that jump, Davis has gone 9-2 with his only losses coming to Nemkov and Ryan Bader. Both of those losses were split decision losses.

Heading into Bellator 257, Davis has now won three fights in a row. His last victory was a split decision over Lyoto Machida, but prior to that win, he had back-to-back TKO victories.

Bellator 257 Prediction

When it comes to tonight’s main event at Bellator 257, I think Phil Davis has the much tougher task. I believe Vadim Nemkov is the much better fighter on the feet which is where I think this fight will primarily take place.

Davis does have the wrestling skills to get the Bellator champion down, but Nemkov is an extremely good grappler as well. Even if Davis can land a takedown, I’m not convinced he can keep the Russian down.

With that, I think we will primarily see these two striking in the Bellator 257 main event. I love the kicks of Nemkov and I think he’s going to utilize those to his advantage. Phil Davis is a crafty striker so I’m expecting him to have his moments.

However, if Phil Davis wants to win tonight, he has to be active and push the pace. If he’s at all passive against Nemkov, this fight isn’t going to be close. Ultimately, I think that Nemkov is going to remain the Bellator light heavyweight champion tonight.

Prediction: Vadim Nemkov by Unanimous Decision

Bellator books Douglas Lima – Yaroslav Amosov

The Bellator welterweight title is going to be defended in June. Yahoo’s Kevin Iole was the first to report today that the promotion had finalized a matchup between welterweight champion Douglas Lima (32-8) and unbeaten top contender Yaroslav Amosov (25-0).

The title fight will take place at Bellator 260 on June 10th. For Amosov, this is the opportunity that he’s been waiting for since he joined Bellator. “Dynamo” signed with the promotion back in 2018 and debuted against Gerald Harris.

After an impressive win against Harris, Bellator put Amosov in there with UFC veteran Erick Silva. Again, it was another impressive win for the welterweight out of The Ukraine.

After three more impressive victories, Bellator booked him against Logan Storley last November. The matchup against Storley told us a lot about how good Yaroslav Amosov can be.

The fight was razor close. While there were times where Amosov looked vulnerable, he ultimately pulled out the decision win at Bellator 252. That win was good enough for Scott Coker to make Amosov the number one contender at 170 pounds.

Bellator 260

At Bellator 260, we will see the welterweight return of Douglas Lima. Douglas Lima is one of the best welterweights in the world regardless of promotion. However, last fight took place at middleweight.

At Bellator 250, Lima attempted to become a two-division champion. Lima moved up to take on Gegard Mousasi. Lima had won three fights in a row and he was a popular pick on the betting lines.

Mousasi proved to be too much for the welterweight champion. Lima was extremely hesitant to pull the trigger and he just wasn’t active enough to earn himself a decision.

Now, Lima will go back to his natural weight class where the undefeated Ukrainian awaits him. We should see an incredible matchup at Bellator 260 and I expect the grappling of Amosov to push Lima hard. Will it be enough to take the belt away from him? Time will tell on that one.