Former welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov made relatively easy work of Anthony Njokuani in the Bellator 182 main event and put himself on a path back to title contention.
Koreshkov (20-2 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) stopped Njokuani (17-5 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) with a heavy dose of ground-and-pound and got the finish at the 4:08 mark of the first round.
The fight headlined Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Koreshkov kicked low early, but Njokuani fire back with an even heavier one, then continued to throw the low kicks at the ex-champ’s lead leg. Koreshkov tried a high kick, but had it blocked. Koreshkov started working his left jab, but again ate a low kick from Njokuani, then another. It forced Koreshkov to push in to look for a takedown, and he tied Njokuani up on the fence, where he got a takedown 90 seconds into the round. Njokuani scrambled back to his feet, but Koreshkov stayed on him.
When they broke away, the crowd eurupted when Koreshkov landed a kick, then slipped and found Njokuani trying to run him down. But seconds later, past the midway point, Koreshkov took Njokuani down and started landeing major left hands. Njokuani got back to his feet, but Koreshkov tied him up with his back on the cage and landed knees. Again, he slid him to the ground and made easy work of the ground-and-pound while referee John McCarthy watched closedly. Njokuani covered up and blocked many, but Koreshkov let quite a few slip through, and Njokuani had nowhere to go. Finally, after more than two dozen punches and elbows, McCarthy shut things down.
Koreshkov got back on track after losing his welterweight title to Douglas Lima this past November. Njokuani lost for the first time under the Bellator banner and for the first time in more than four years.