27 Mar

Corey Anderson claims title, Patricio Pitbull scores vicious TKO

The third time proved to be a charm for Corey Anderson as he won the light heavyweight championship in the main event of Bellator Belfast on Friday night. Anderson outworked and out-grappled Karl Moore in his third chance to win Bellator gold.

Moore hurt Anderson in the first round with heavy left hands and a head kick. Anderson responded with a takedown to grind out the remaining time in the opening frame and regain his bearings.

Having found success with the takedown late in the first round, Anderson fully locked in on trying to wrestle his way to victory. When Moore was able to defend the takedowns, he was stuck with his back to the cage as Anderson held on to the clinch. In the third round, Anderson’s desire to fight on the floor was nearly his undoing as Moore locked in a deep armbar that left Anderson scrambling until he was able to slip out of the hold.

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— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 22, 2024
When the fight was on the feet and at striking distance, Moore often did good work with his hands, connecting with many clean punches. Unfortunately for Moore, those moments were few and far between because he could not prevent Anderson from closing distance and turning the fight into a grappling contest.

After five rounds, Anderson took a unanimous decision by scores of 49-46, 49-46, 50-45.

Anderson had twice challenged Vadim Nemkov for the light heavyweight championship. In the first fight with Nemkov, Anderson was winning the fight but a clash of heads resulted in a no-contest just seconds before the end of the third round. The rematch saw Anderson come out flat and get outworked before losing a unanimous decision.

After Nemkov vacated the light heavyweight championship to move to heavyweight, Anderson made good in his third bid to win a major championship.

Patricio Pitbull returns to form, defends crown
In the co-main event, Patricio Pitbull showed there’s still some gas left in the tank. Entering his featherweight championship defense against Jeremy Kennedy, Pitbull had lost back-to-back fights for the first time in his career, dropping a decision against Sergio Pettis in a bid to win the bantamweight title and then getting knocked out by Chihiro Suzuki after taking the 154-pound fight on extremely short notice.

Back at featherweight, Pitbull flashed moments where he looked like his old self, battering Kennedy’s lead leg with heavy kicks while dealing with a steady diet of jabs coming from the challenger.

In the third round, Pitbull connected with some heavy punches that put Kennedy on unsteady legs. Once Kennedy was wobbled, Pitbull didn’t take his foot off the gas, continuing to flurry with punches, elbows and knees before Kennedy slumped to the canvas, forcing the referee to jump in at the 4:07 mark of the round.


Patricio Pitbull stops Jeremy Kennedy in the third! 🔥#BellatorBelfast | LIVE NOW
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— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 22, 2024
The victory was Pitbull’s second defense of his third reign as Bellator featherweight champion and his first victory since December 2022.

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