Bellator 211: Kent Kauppinen finishes Alessio Sakara by first-round KO

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Kent Kauppinen appeared to be nothing more than a warm body for Alessio Sakara heading into the main event of Bellator 211. This marked Sakara’s fifth fight in his native Italy, having gone 3-1 there prior to Saturday. He looked to post another stellar performance in front of his countrymen.

But Kauppinen had other ideas in mind, blasting Sakara with a left hook to win by KO at 1:10 of the first round at RDS Stadium in Genoa, Italy.

Kauppinen came out striking, including hard right hand that hurt Sakara.​ The 37-year-old was stalking Kauppinen to the point where the former pro boxer had his back to the cage. Sakara connected on a right to the body and Kauppinen went over the top to drop Sakara with a vicious right hand. Kauppinen hesitated as he thought referee Dan Miragliotta would have stopped the fight. Kauppinen blasted Sakara with two ground-and-pound punches and Miragliotta stepped in and stopped the fight to silence the Italian crowd.​ 

The victory snaps a two-fight losing streak for Kauppinen (11-4), who propelled himself as a serious contender in the light heavyweight division.

Co-Main Event

Domingos Barros def. Hesdy Gerges via TKO (punches) at 2:53 of the first round.

A very good showing from Barros. He didn’t let Gerges get into a rhythm by immediately taking down the kickboxing veteran. Barros kept transitioning positions until he went from half guard to a mounted crucifix and then to full mount. From there, Barros unloaded a series of heavy strikes to force referee Todd Anderson to call the fight.

Main card results

Pedro Carvalho def. ​Luca Vitali by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:43 of the first round.

Alen Amedovski def. Ibrahim Mane via KO (punches) at 0:12 of the first round.

Kiefer Crosbie def. Orlando D’Ambrosio by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).