Australian based Janay Harding scored a second consecutive victory in American promotion Bellator MMA as she earned a hard fought unanimous decision victory over Marina Mokhnatkina earlier today.
The two fought on the Bellator 219 card which took place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in California, USA.
Harding started slowly as she struggled to defend the takedowns of her Russian opponent who is a six-time world Sambo champion. While Mokhnatkina’s strikes were wild, she did land in particular with low kicks which she used to set up her takedowns. The 30-year-old, competing in Bellator for the first time attacked with leg locks which Harding was able to escape though struggled to get back to her corner at the end of the round.
Whatever her corner told her between rounds seemed to eventually work. While she was thrown down early, Harding was able to recover, escape and danced around her downed opponent landing leg kicks and punches down the middle. Harding jumped to side-control and transitioned to mount where she unloaded. Mokhnatkina was just able to see out the round.
Harding took control in the third round as her opponent looked slow and sluggish. Harding attacked the left leg and looked like she could finish the fight at any time as she connected with a left jab. Mokhnatkina though secured a last ditch takedown. Harding escaped only to be taken down again. With seconds remaining in the round, Harding escaped and immediately came forward landing punches and a kick to the face.
All the judges scored the bout in Harding’s favour, 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27.
Harding moves her professional record to 5-3 (2-1 Bellator) while Mokhnatkina drops to 4-2 (0-1 Bellator).