Adam Borics looked spectacular in one of the hardest fought victories of his career.
“The Kid” won a unanimous decision over Mads Burnell (16-4) in the main event of Bellator 276 in St. Louis on Saturday, earning the nod after a brutal back-and-forth standup war. The scorecards (49-46, 50-45, 49-46) were decidedly in Borics’ favor, but they didn’t provide a full picture of how competitive the contest was.
In the end, it was the diversity of Borics’ Muay Thai attacks that gave him the edge over the more boxing-minded Burnell. He improved to 18-1 with his fourth straight win, and afterward he called for a shot at the Bellator featherweight title.
“Look, I’m not even breathing, so the hard work pays off, guys,” Borics said. “I’m next!”
Borics showed unreal cardio during the five-round fight, relentlessly throwing strikes at a hard-charging Burnell and mixing up his Muay Thai techniques beautifully to prevent Burnell from swarming him. Even then, Burnell was more than game, as he absorbed an absurd amount of damage while throwing accurate combinations to the head and body of Borics.
The most notable strike of the fight — and there were many — occurred near the end of Round 2, as Borics caught Burnell with a right hand on the button that dropped the Dane. However, Burnell recovered quickly and the action continued from there.
Burnell marched forward in Round 3 and landed power punches around Borics’ head and to the body. Always, Borics fired back with strikes right down the middle.
The intense duel was interrupted by a brief bit of levity in the fourth as Burnell broke out some dance moves.
Borics stuck with the game plan in Round 5, where he had an answer for every burst of offense that Burnell threw at him. He went on to take a convincing decision, though when the final strike count is tallied, it will likely reflect favorably on both fighters.
In the co-main event, Phil Davis racked up career win No. 24 with a dominant decision against Julius Anglickas. The well-rounded game of “Mr. Wonderful” was on full display as he controlled the distance on the feet before taking Anglickas down to the mat. The former Bellator light heavyweight champion scored at least one takedown in all three rounds and was rarely threatened throughout the contest.
Davis has now won two straight and seven of his past nine, with his only two losses over that stretch coming against current Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov.
Also on the main card, middleweight contender Johnny Eblen (11-0) likely punched his way to a shot at champion Gegard Mousasi with a three-round shutout of one-time title challenger John Salter (18-6), and Gadzhi Rabadanov (17-4-2) won a decision to hand the previously unbeaten Jay Jay Wilson (8-1) his first loss.
See the full Bellator 276 results below:
Adam Borics def. Mads Burnell via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46)
Phil Davis def. Julius Anglickas via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Johnny Eblen def. John Salter via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Gadzhi Rabadanov def. Jay Jay Wilson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)