Bellator 207 Report: Ryan Bader dominates Matt Mitrione to advance to the Grand Prix final

John Pollock goes through Friday's Bellator 207 card from Uncasville featuring Ryan Bader vs. Matt Mitrione in the Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Bellator 207 took place on Friday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with the first of two consecutive nights of events from the promotion.

Below are the main card results from the Friday’s show that aired on the Paramount Network and DAZN.

Mandel Nallo def. Carrington Banks by KO at 0:57 of Round 2 – Lightweight

In the first round, Nallo had the best opportunity for a finish by getting the wrestler to the mat and working for a D’arce choke. Banks defended and escaped danger as he gained top position and rode out the round.

Nallo dropped Banks with a right knee flush to the head early in Round 2 and Banks was out. This was among the top knockouts of the year

Nallo improved to 7-0 with the knockout and his longest fight has only gone 6:49 with this fight falling under that mark.


Corey Browning def. Kevin Ferguson, Jr. by TKO at 2:08 of Round 2 – Lightweight

Ferguson came out of the gate with a takedown and started landing on top of Browning. Browning got to his feet as they clinched against the cage and Ferguson drilled him with two big knees to the head that Browning absorbed. Browning had some momentum towards the end of the round, but it was Ferguson’s round in the first.

Both men entered the second tired with some fatigue. Browning caught Ferguson with a counter and dropped him. Ferguson recovered and attempted a head-and-arm choke unsuccessfully. He moved to the mount position but Browning escapes and was indicative of how tired Ferguson was. Out of the mount, Browning got on top and quickly finished “Baby Slice” with strikes.

Browning was fighting for Bellator for the first time, having lost his last two fights and only fought once since July 2016. The loss ended a three-fight win streak for Ferguson.

Lorenz Larkin def. Ion Pascu by unanimous decision (29-28 all) – Welterweight 

I scored the fight 30-27 for Larkin, but there is an argument for the third round, although I felt Larkin did enough during the first half of that round on his feet.

Larkin was on point with his striking, was the quicker fighter and mixed his leg kicks with right hands before shifting to southpaw in the final round. Larkin threw a leg kick that was caught in the second round and managed to drill Pascu with a right uppercut while balancing on one leg.

In the third, Pascu ate a lot of strikes before securing a takedown from the single leg and attempted an Achilles lock to no avail at the end.


Sergei Kharitonov def. Roy Nelson by KO at 4:59 of Round 1

It appeared Kharitonov would be fighting back from a deficit after being penalized one point for an illegal knee while Nelson was clearly down. Kharitonov landed two illegal knees and announcer John McCarthy stated that because they were intentional and caused damaged, you could deduct two points for the foul.

Nelson resumed and Kharitonov found success with his jabs. It was a steady exchange until the final minute when Nelson’s back up against the fence. Kharitonov lit him up with strikes, including numerous right uppercuts, several knees from the clinch and a fight-ending knee that dropped “Big County” and Dan Miragliotta waved it off with one second remaining.

Kharitonov improved to 29-7. For Nelson, this was only the third stoppage loss of his career and falls to 23-16 in his career.

Ryan Bader def. Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-26) in the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix

Bader completely dominated Mitrione for each second of every minute this fight lasted.

Bader secured takedown after takedown and punished Mitrione on the mat with his nonstop ground and pound.

Bader was landing big shots on top in the first round, but Mitrione got away and improved his position. In the closing seconds of the round, they stood up and Bader landed some huge shots.

It was a wash, rinse and repeat in the second and third rounds. Bader kept him contained on the ground, would lace his arm for added control and suffocated Mitrione with pressure.

I scored it 30-24 for Bader as each round was dominant from start-to-finish.

Bader moves on to the final of the Grand Prix to face the winner of Saturday’s fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen. Bader has to be considered a big favorite against either fighter.

About John Pollock 5598 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.