In the co-main event, two Russian finishers squared off for the Bellator heavyweight championship. Vitaly Minakov (12-0) will look to take the title from Alexander Volkov (19-3) who will try to defend his belt for the first time.
The undefeated Minakov has only been to decision once in his career while Volkov has finished 15 of his 19 career wins.
Heavyweight Championship: Vitaly Minakov defeats Alexander Volkov via TKO (strikes) at 2:57 of Round 1.
Minakov was able to use his strength to hold Volkov against the cage for the first few minutes of the bout. Minakov attempted to throw Volkov but landed on his own back, only to sweep Volkov and regain control of the grappling.
After a questionable stand-up by referee Dan Miragliotta, Minakov unleashed a huge right uppercut out of his back pocket that dropped Volkov. Minakov pounced on the now former champ and continued to drop absolute bombs on Volkov until Miragliotta had seen enough, calling an end to the fight in the opening round.
The knockout victory asserts Minakov as the best heavyweight in Bellator, giving him the title and his first defense against former UFC fighter, Cheick Kongo.