It was a rough night for multiple-time IBJJF Champion AJ Agazarm, who succumbed to a split decision loss in his MMA debut at Bellator 214.
AJ took on Jesse Roberts, who was also making his professional MMA debut.
Roberts took the center of the cage early and stalked AJ. Roberts threw a jab, but AJ stepped out of the way. Roberts then landed a jab, and AJ backed away. Agazarm landed a light body shot.
With a little under two minutes in, AJ went for a double leg, but he couldn’t keep the action on the ground. Agazarm shot in for another, but Roberts pushed him off. Again, AJ went for a takedown, but again he couldn’t get Jesse down.
Roberts landed a nice jab right before Agazarm pulled guard. Agazarm landed some body shots from the ground, but nothing serious.
Jesse pushed his way out and landed another hard jab. Agazarm went for a single and pushed Roberts against the cage. Agazarm then maneuvered to the back, working his hooks in. AJ tried to flatten his opponent out, but Roberts stayed on his knees before the round came to a close.
Roberts took the center of the cage again in the second. He even mocked AJ by keeping his hands down and smiling. A little over a minute in, he shot in for a jab, but AJ moved out of the way.
AJ went for a single, but couldn’t hold Roberts down. He pressed Jesse up against the cage and kneed him in the leg. Roberts held strong for a bit, then went down.
Agazarm held Roberts down on his knees, softening him up more with knees to the leg.
Roberts worked his way back up and slipped away, taking the action back to the center of the cage. Jesse punched, and AJ again went for a single, but couldn’t get his opponent down.
The two threw some jabs at each other, and AJ landed another single, and then slipped to the back and got his hooks in. AJ went for an RNC, but couldn’t get his arm under his opponent’s chin.
The round ended.
AJ mocked Jesse by clenching his fists by his side and sticking his chin out. Roberts just smiled.
Agazarm did a little more chasing, but didn’t land anything significant.
Halfway into the round, AJ landed yet another single and put Roberts on his back. Again, he couldn’t hold Roberts down for long, though, and the fight went back to standing.
AJ landed some leg kicks, but Jesse fired back with a nice one-two punch. Agazarm went for a double, but Roberts sprawled and then backed away.
With one minute remaining, the two went back to standing, but not for long. AJ went for a double again, and again Roberts stuffed it.
A minor flurry ensued before the final bell, and Jesse Roberts landed some strong shots.
With Jesse winning the first round, AJ winning the second, and neither man clearly dominating in the third, it was a close fight. The judges, however, awarded the victory to Roberts.
AJ was clearly unsatisfied with the decision, and he left the cage before shaking hands with his opponent.