The Brazilian competitor served notice to the bantamweight division that he’s a force to be reckoned with, as he scored a one-sided victory over Ricky Bandejas. A rear-naked choke got the tapout at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. at the 2:32 mark of the second round.
Higo (20-5 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) was the aggressor from the outset, as he pushed forward and landed repeated leg kicks on Bandejas (13-5 MMA, 3-4 BMMA), who seemed gun shy from the outset. Higo eventually earned a takedown around the round’s midpoint and worked to improve his position from there. By the final minute of the round, Higo had Bandejas pinned against the cage with his right arm isolated and landed right hands to Bandejas’ head, but the round expired before Higo could go for the finish.
In the second, Higo, who missed weight by three pounds on Wednesday, wasted little time going right back to the takedown, although this time, after shooting the double, Higo turned it into a slam. The end was an inevitability at this point, as Higo got his back, then a body lock, then perfectly applied the RNC for the finish.
With his sixth career rear-naked choke finish, Higo has now won two straight. American Top Team’s Bandejas has now lost two straight and four of his past six.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 249 results:
- Leandro Higo def. Ricky Bandejas via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 2:32
- Steve Mowry def. Shawn Teed via TKO (knee and punches) — Round 1, 4:22
- Saad Awad vs. Mandel Nallo is ruled a no-contest (accidental groin strike) — Round 1, 1:44
- Andrew Kapel def. Joseph Creer via TKO (doctor stoppage) — Round 2, 5:00
- Kemran Lachinov def. Kyle Crutchmer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Christian Edwards def. Hamza Salim via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 1:28
- Da’Mon Blackshear def. Mike Kimbel via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 4:14
- Aviv Gozali def. Logan Neal via submission (Kimura) — Round 1, 3:22
- Albert Gonzales def. Kastriot Xhema via TKO (retirement) — Round 2, 5:00