Liz Carmouche might not get any credit for style points, but she’s got a win.
Carmouche, a former two-weight UFC title challenger, picked up her second Bellator victory in as many tries Friday night, defeating former Invicta FC champion Vanessa Porto by unanimous decision in their Bellator 256 flyweight co-headliner. The judges’ final scores after 15 minutes read 29-28 and a pair of 30-27s.
From the start, the fight played out like a chess match, with Carmouche (15-7 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) showing comfort at range while Porto (22-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) followed her around the cage. Carmouche came out southpaw against the orthodox and spent a lot of Round 1 circling to Porto’s right while popping in and out for strikes.
Bellator 256 results: Cat Zingano shows slick ground game in armbar submission win
Bellator 256 video: Diana Avsaragova scorches in debut with 29-second knockout
Carmouche closed the distance in Round 2 and managed to hold Porto against the cage for the majority of the time, landing knees from inside the clinch. It wasn’t until less than two minutes that Porto finally found separation, but she couldn’t make anything happen.
Porto tried closing distance in Round 3, with the fight’s biggest moment coming midway through when she rushed in and Carmouche tripped near the cage. Carmouche recovered, though, and turned it into a takedown attempt, and they clinched against the fence for most of the remainder of the fight.
Carmouche now has won four of her past five fights dating back to her UFC tenure, with her only defeat to UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. Porto, meanwhile, had her three fight winning streak snapped.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 256 results include:
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMA Junkie, 6 p.m. ET)
Dalton Rosta def. Tony Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Talita Nogueira def. Jessica Borga via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Jornel Lugo def. Cass Bell via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Cody Law def. Nathan Ghareeb via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jaylon Bates def. Jeffrey Glossner via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:27
Nainoa Dung def. Izzy William via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Diana Avsaragova def. Tara Graff via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:29
John Douma def. Will Smith via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)