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In the co-main event Friday at O2 Arena in London, Edwards (10-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) stunned, dropped, and knocked unconscious former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (26-12 MMA, 2-4 BMMA). The stoppage occurred at the 3:18 mark of Round 1.
The fight started out with the classic methodical pacing that comes with a typical Machida fight, but Edwards quickly woke up his home country arena when he connected with a short elbow upon exit of the clinch. The shot visibly wobbled Machida, who backpedaled but could not escape.
Edwards pushed forward and hurled more punches. A left hook sent Machida to the canvas, where he was met with follow-up punches that knocked the lights out. Machida was down for a moderate amount of time, with his eyes eerily open but no one was home.
Lights out 💡
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) May 13, 2022
— Farah Hannoun (@Farah_Hannoun) May 13, 2022
With the win, Edwards snaps a two-fight losing skid in his first bout since a May 2021 loss to Austin Vanderford. As for Machida, he now has lost four fights in a row. Bellator 281 was the final bout on his current promotional agreement. His future is uncertain.
The up-to-the-minute Bellator 281 results include:
Fabian Edwards def. Lyoto Machida via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:18
Kana Watanabe def. Denise Kielholtz via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 3:03
Paul Daley def. Wendell Giacomo via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 4:09
Simon Biyong def. Luke Trainer via unanimous decision (29-27, 28-27, 29-28)
Daniel Weichel def. Robert Whiteford via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:12
Elina Kallionidou def. Kate Jackson via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:53
Oliver Enkamp def. Mark Lemminger via submission (buggy choke) – Round 3, 0:25
Alfie Davis vs Tim Wilde ends in a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Andrew Fisher def. Attila Korkma via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Charlie Ward def. Alan Carlos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
Maciej Rozanski def. Lee Chadwick via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Chiara Penco def. Lanchana Green via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)