LOS ANGELES —
This past weekend, Brazil’s Goiti Yamauchi
(28-5) sent shockwaves through the MMA world with his breakout, second-round knockout victory over former BELLATOR welterweight title challenger Neiman Gracie
(11-4) in the main event of BELLATOR 284.
In a fight that Yamauchi declared the most meaningful of his career as his first BELLATOR main event and a matchup against the Gracie family who inspired his career, Yamauchi announced his arrival to the welterweight division and earned the No. 6 spot in the division’s rankings; Gracie fell two places to No. 7.
The SHOWTIME-televised main card also saw Canadian middleweight Aaron Jeffery
(13-3) make the most of his short-notice opportunity with recent title challenger Austin Vanderford
(11-2), as Jeffery needed just 85 seconds to knock out the previously-ranked No. 2 contender despite only accepting the fight eight days prior. Jeffery debuts in the rankings at No. 6, while Vanderford fell five slots to No. 7. Former BELLATOR flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane
(12-2) retained her position in the rankings at No. 4 with a unanimous decision win over Brazil’s Bruna Ellen
(6-4), while Turkish heavyweight Gokhan Saricam
(8-1) edged out Said Sowma
(8-4) to move up to No. 9 in the heavyweight division; Sowma is no longer ranked.
Elsewhere, two top prospects at light heavyweight and bantamweight entered their respective rankings for the first time. Arizona State University wrestling alumnus and Ryan Bader
protégé Sullivan Cauley
(4-0) took the No. 10 spot at light heavyweight, while Brazil’s Marcos Breno
(15-2) wowed in his promotional debut by outpointing previously-ranked No. 9 bantamweight and original BELLATOR World Bantamweight Grand Prix alternate Josh Hill
(21-5) by unanimous decision to enter the rankings at No. 10. DeAnna Bennett
(13-7) closed the book on her saga with Justine Kish
(8-6), defeating her for a second consecutive time on the scorecards and moving up a spot to No. 5 in the flyweight rankings; Kish remains No. 7.
returns to the spotlight on Friday, September 23 for a sensational international event headlined by MMA legend Benson Henderson
(29-11) and recent lightweight title challenger Peter Queally
(13-6-1). BELLATOR 285: Henderson vs. Queally
will air on SHOWTIME beginning at 4:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
The co-main event sees legendary competitors Yoel Romero
(14-6) and Melvin Manhoef
(32-15-1) square off at light heavyweight, and Top 5 featherweight contenders Mads Burnell
(16-4) and Pedro Carvalho
(12-6) clash on the main card as a featured bout. Also on the main card is budding star Leah McCourt
(6-2), who faces Brazil’s Dayana Silva
(10-7) in a matchup of ranked featherweights. Click here
for additional information detailing fighter eligibility, as well as additional voting criteria.