Josh Barnett wasn’t the only UFC vet to have his Bellator debut spoiled.
Toby Misech laid out bantamweight Erik Perez with a pair of blistering left hands, ending Bellator 235 with a bang after the letdown of Barnett’s last-second scratch in the main event.
The replacement main event had barely gotten started when Misech, who’d missed weight for the bout, landed a left that took Perez’s legs from under him. Perez was stunned but conscious until a second left finished the job, forcing referee intervention just 54 seconds into the opening frame.
Misech gets back to the win column after a decision setback against ex-champ Eduardo Dantas in second Bellator appearance. Perez, who served a short stint in Combate Americas after his UFC exit, sees a five-fight winning streak snapped.
Toby "2 Quick" Misech (12-7) spoils Érik Pérez's Bellator debut, sparking the UFC vet and his five-fight tear with thunderous lefts in 54 seconds! All eight of the Hawaiian's finishes are knockouts. Alas, missing weight by over 5 pounds puts a damper on the win. #BellatorUSO pic.twitter.com/WPkh3fR982— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) December 21, 2019
Alejandra Lara batters, bloodies Veta Arteaga for decision
Alejandra Lara re-introduced Veta Arteaga to the elbows that left her a bloody mess eight months ago.
Lara re-opened the cut that ended Arteaga’s title hopes against champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, putting a brutal exclamation point on a dominant performance that ended with a unanimous decision.
All three judges awarded Lara 30-26 scores that reflected her dominant performance from bell to bell. Arteaga’s heart kept her in a fight she was clearly losing on technique, and she managed to make things interesting every time she powered her way inside. It just wasn’t enough to overcome her offensive deficits.
Lara’s body kicks set up straight lefts that repeatedly snapped back Arteaga’s head. Then the Columbian went upstairs, landing a pair of head kicks that produced a knockdown in the second frame. In the final stanza, she went back to work with the elbows she threw in close against the cage, and one found the same spot Macfarlane found in April.
After a title loss to Macfarlane in June 2018 and a return setback against Juliana Velasquez, Lara now has won two straight and makes her case for another shot at the belt.
Tywan Claxton rebounds from first career loss, dominates Braydon Akeo
There was nothing high-flying about Tywan Claxton’s win over Braydon Akeo, no thanks to Akeo’s unwillingness to abide Claxton on the feet and pressure toward the mat.
When he could catch up to Akeo, Claxton had success using his hands and elbows, and he stuffed all attempts to take him down. Even with his arms locked in the final frame, Akeo was forced to give up on a body lock and grind it out in the clinch. And just to solidify his dominance, Claxton slammed his foe to the mat and later took mount, nearly securing a rear-naked choke in the final seconds.
Joey Davis slices through Chris Cisneros
An early, high-amplitude double-leg was a preview of the control Joey Davis had over Chris Cisneros. Davis sliced open a cut on Cisneros’ head at the midway point of the opening round, and it wasn’t long before the referee was forced to stop a flurry of shots on top.
Davis is now 7-0 as a professional and has picked up five first-round wins.
Full Bellator 235 results:
Toby Misech def. Erik Perez via KO (punch) - Round 1, 0:54
Alejandra Lara def. Veta Artega via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Tywan Claxton def. Braydon Akeo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joey Davis def. Chris Cisneros via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 3:55
Cass Bell def. Pierre Daguzan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Joseph Creer def. Ty Gwerder via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-26)
Hunter Ewald def. Brysen Bolohao via submisssion (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 1:42