INGLEWOOD, Calif. — That long list of A-list, blue-chip prospects Bellator has compiled over the past few years? Let’s hold off awhile before we include A.J. Agazarm.
The much-hyped jiu-jitsu standout and former Ohio State wrestling great made his pro mixed martial arts debut on Saturday night at Bellator 214, and the matchup didn’t exactly set the world afire.
Agazarm and Jesse Roberts fought for 15 minutes in a 160-pound catchweight bout, and while both were inexperienced, Roberts simply fought like he wanted it more, and that was enough to earn a split-decision victory, getting the better end of 29-28 scores.
Roberts, a Missouri native who had a 1-0 amateur record and was also making his pro debut, got the best of things in the first round, picking Agazarm apart in the standup and sprawling most of his takedown attempts, although Agazarm did land one late.
In the second, Agazarm had his best round of the fight, getting things to the ground and working for submissions, including a rear-naked choke late in the round which Roberts survived.
The third round opened with Robert dropping his hands and holding his chin out and Agazarm doing the same, which went on long enough to draw boos from the crowd. When the action again commenced, Roberts got the best of things, again sprawling takedown attempts, and a spirited final flurry over the fight’s closing seconds likely sealed the deal in his favor.