Bellator 263 results: Mads Burnell overcomes Emmanuel Sanchez’s volume, wins unanimous decision

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Mads Burnell kept his undefeated Bellator run alive with an impressive showing against a high-volume opponent.

Although Emmanuel Sanchez offered punches in bunches, Burnell found a way to adjust throughout the fight to earn a unanimous decision victory.

The bout served as the co-main event of Bellator 263 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and aired on Showtime.

The two immediately began trading strikes once the fight began, and Sanchez (20-6 MMA, 12-5 BMMA) appeared to get the better of the first few exchanges.

Burnell (16-3 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) began offering a few kicks in return, but Sanchez kept putting together punching combinations that found the mark. The striking output from Sanchez continued at a high clip, mixing in punches to the body as he marched forward.

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Burnell landed a nice counter of his own and decided to take the fight to the canvas by securing a nice takedown.

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The fight returned to the feet moments later, where the furious striking pace continued. Burnell secured another takedown before the round expired, but nothing came of it.

The second round started with the same high offensive output from Sanchez that was seen in the first round. Burnell once again wanted to slow his opponent down by securing a takedown, but Sanchez popped back up before any damage could occur and continued to let his fists fly.

Burnell realizing he could get the fight to the mat if he wanted, continued to close the distance and brought the fight back to the canvas to close out the round.

Burnell looked for a takedown quickly at the start of the third round and found himself on Sanchez’s back. While he had a dominant position for a moment, Burnell couldn’t find the opening for a submission attempt before Sanchez created a scramble to escape.

Sanchez found himself on top briefly, but Burnell reversed position, putting his opponent on his back yet again. The fight would come to a conclusion with Burnell on top, landing punches as Sanchez did his best to defend.

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All three judges saw the bout in favor of Burnell with scores of 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27.

The former Cage Warriors champion extends his win streak to seven while putting himself on the shortlist for a title shot in the featherweight division.

Sanchez drops his second fight in a row, but turned in a strong performance in a losing effort.

Up-to-the-minute results of Bellator 263 include:

  • Mads Burnell def. Emmanuel Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Usman Nurmagomedov def. Manny Muro via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 1, 3:30

  • Islam Mamedov def. Brent Primus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Goiti Yamauchi def. Chris Gonzalez via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:03

  • Vanessa Porto def. Ilara Joanne via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Gadzhi Rabadanov def. Daniel Carey via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:57

  • Khasan Magomedsharipov def. Jonathan Quiroz via TKO (ground-and-pound) – Round 2, 4:21

  • Joshua Jones def. Johnny Cisneros via TKO (ground-and-pound) – Round 2, 4:15

  • Georgi Karakhanyan def. Kiefer Crosbie via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:25

  • Brian Moore def. Jordan Winski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)