Bellator 234 results: Linton Vassell TKOs Sergei Kharitonov, Austin Vanderford still unbeaten

Linton Vassell is back in the win column – and in a big way.

In his return to heavyweight, Vassell, a former two-time light heavyweight title challenger, defeated Sergei Kharitonov via second-round TKO on Thursday. The fight between Vassell (20-8 MMA, 8-5 BMMA) and Kharitonov (30-8 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) served as the headliner for Bellator 234, which took place at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel, and aired on Paramount/DAZN on Friday via tape delay.

The fight opened with Kharitonov stalking Vassell, who was content to circle on the outside during the opening couple of minutes of Round 1 before shooting in for a takedown. It was initially stuffed, but Vassell managed to complete it despite Kharitonov’s initial grabbing of the fence. Vassell spent the second half of the round controlling from top position with composed ground-and-pound until the horn sounded.

Round 2 opened the same way as the first, but Vassell mixed things up with a high kick that was blocked before shooting for another takedown. This time, Vassell completed it on his first attempt, and the two men crashes to the canvas. It didn’t take long for Vassell to control Kharitonov’s back. At one point, Vassell sunk in a rear-naked choke that he released in favor of throwing punches from a back mount. All Kharitonov could do was turtle up, forcing the stoppage midway through the round.

With the victory, Vassell snapped a three-fight losing streak that consisted of losses to champion Ryan Bader, former champ Phil Davis and highly touted prospect Valentin Moldavsky. Kharitonov, meanwhile, suffered his first defeat in eight fights dating back to March 2017.

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Gozalis earn victories, leading to Haim’s retirement

Father and son had a successful night at home one last time.

First, 46-year-old Haim Gozali (12-6 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) was victorious, defeating Artur Pronin (16-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) by first-round heel hook submission. Then, in the night’s next bout, 18-year-old Aviv Gozali (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) won with his own first-round submission, using an anaconda choke to finish Zaka Fatullazade (14-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

Afterward, as expected, Haim, affectionately known as “Batman,” @bellatormma to give me opportunity to fight in the biggest organisation in the World.

And thanks to all my fans that give me the strength to continue.

And to all my fans I love you!!!

and to all the haters I love you too!!!

His son replied:

Love you pops good luck on your new way I’m here to continue the Legacy

Vanderford remains undefeated

Austin Vanderford (9-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) still has a perfect record.

Vanderford, who made his debut with Bellator earlier this year, won his third fight with the promotion, earning a unanimous decision over Grachik Bozinyan (10-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

Vanderford, the husband of UFC star Paige VanZant, has gotten off to a good start in Bellator since being denied a UFC contract last year following a submission win on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He’s 3-0 with the promotion and 9-0 overall.

Complete Bellator 234 results include:

Linton Vassell def. Sergei Kharitonov via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3: 15
Sidney Outlaw def. Roger Huerta via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Aviv Gozali def. Zaka Fatullazade via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 0: 56
Haim Gozali def. Artur Pronin via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 4: 12
Austin Vanderford def. Grachik Bozinyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sinead Kavanagh def. Olga Rubin via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4: 37
Robson Gracie Jr. def. Amir Bashir via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 4: 39
Adam Keresh def. Vladimir Fedin via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3: 29
Simon Smotritsky def. Illia Hladkii via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2: 10
Vuqar Keramov def. Gustavo Wurlitzer via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1: 29
Kirill Medvedovsky def. Akhmed Al Farazha via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 0: 46
Raz Bring def. Naziri Daniliuk via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
Mihail Dulgher def. Ofir Leibel via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ron Becker def. Artem Kazartsev via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2: 57
Ben Cohen def. Maksym Tkachuk via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3: 17
Eli Aronov def. Sari Hleihil via split decision (30-26, 27-28, 30-26)
Itay Lipszyc def. Yizhak Yakobov via submission (ankle lock) – Round 1, 2: 51
Noam Voldman def. Nisim Rozalis via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Itay Tratner vs. Elias Mamadov declared a split draw declared a split draw (28-27, 28-29, 28-28)
Tomer Maslis def. David Malka via TKO (exhaustion) – Round 3, 1: 32

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