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Bellator 225: Congenital amputee fighter Nick Newell earns dominant debut win

Bellator 225: Congenital amputee fighter Nick Newell earns dominant debut win
Nick Newell wasted little time in making his mark on his Bellator MMA debut, securing a dominant first-round submission victory over Corey Browning in their lightweight bout in front of a raucous home crowd in Connecticut.

Newell, who was born with a congenital amputation of his left arm just below the elbow, produced an impressive performance to submit Browning via arm-triangle choke at 3:15 in the opening round at Bellator 225 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

Newell, 33, was making his Bellator bow after joining the promotion on a one-fight deal, after he missed out on the chance to join the UFC following a defeat to Alex Munoz on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last year.

But on Saturday night’s showing the man nicknamed ‘Notorious’ will have done much to impress the Bellator hierarchy as he eyes a longer-term contract with the promotion, while improving his record to 16-2 with the win.

Elsewhere on a night which remarkably saw all 14 fights end with finishes, Russian heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov defeated American Matt Mitrione in the main event – a re-run of their February bout which had ended in a no contest following a low blow from Mitrione.

On Saturday night Kharitonov secured a second-round TKO win, although the fight again witnessed bizarre scenes as Mitrione appeared distracted by mouthguard issues.

Kharitonov, 39, improved his record to 29-6, and is unbeaten since November 2016.

Fellow Russian heavyweight Vitaly Minakov also claimed victory in the co-main event, finishing UFC veteran Timothy Johnson with a big barrage of punches in the first round. 

Minakov moved his record to 22-1, and bounced back from being handed his first-ever loss in a controversial decision defeat on his Bellator debut against Cheick Kongo back in February. 

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