Bellator 233 Recap

Bellator 233 brought the fireworks at the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

On Friday night, John Salter outlasted Netherlands’ Costello Van Steenis in the main event much anticipated as the All-American facing one of the better kickboxers in MMA.

Salter survived the third round:

Van Steenis brought the fight in the final round, loading up on elbows and landing ribs to the midsection – as cuts started to open up on Salter’s nose and below his eye.

“I made a major mistake. I put too much into a choke in the second. He kept coming after me in the third,” Salter said. “I knew he was hitting with everything he got, and it was a matter of taking shots for five minutes … He hits harder than I’ve ever gotten hit.”

Andrew Kapel knocked out retired Mohammad “King Mo” Lawal:

Minnesota’s Kapel clipped the Bellator veteran in the first round with a short counter punch, making his mark in his Bellator debut.

“I was anticipating a three-round war. I know I can hit hard, but I thought he would put me next to the cage and drag me to the mat,” Kapel said. “I thought he came out hard early, he did pressure me, but I just caught him clean on the chin.”

“King Mo” said goodbye to the sport that he’s been fighting professionally since 2008, alongside his family.

Australia’s Arlene Blencowe increased her bid for title shot:

The featherweight defeated former UFC fighter Leslie Smith via unanimous decision – showed her boxing skills in the middle of the cage, though she struggled when Smith clinched her to the cage and worked on her Muay Thai strikes.

Blencowe knew that winner of this bout will most likely be the challenger for the Bellator women’s featherweight belt.

“I believe I earned my spot to get another shot at the title,” Blencowe said. “If it’s against Julia [Budd] there’s my redemption to get there.”

Amanda Bell got the upset of the night:

Bell took a lot of damage during the first round, as Janay Harding established her striking and picked shots from all sorts of angles, though the tide change when Bell landed her better powerful shot in the second round and got the TKO in the final round.

“I feel very relieved. I’m glad it was a battle where I was really able to display my skills,” Bell said. “I see room for improvement but I know have improved immensely.”