UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The fans at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., seemed surprised to hear Khadzhi Bestaev’s name called as the winner against Ty Gwerder.
And maybe they had good reason. Their reaction at Bellator 264 has a lot of validity added to it if Bestaev himself was surprised at the outcome.
Bestaev (11-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who was making his promotional debut, took a unanimous decision from Hawaii’s Gwerder (5-3 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) on the preliminary card. All three judges gave Bestaev the second and third rounds.
Gwerder took the first round thanks to a big head kick that put Bestaev on the canvas. But Gwerder couldn’t finish him, and ultimately that cost him.
“After he kicked me, I’m like, ‘I think it’s time to give up,’” Bestaev told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “And them I’m staying. I’m like, ‘I think I’m going to keep going.’ And then another punch – one-two. I’m like, ‘F*ck. It hurt. I want to give up now.’ … Second round, he hurt me again.”
Despite losing the first, and saying he was sure Gwerder would start to tire in the second and third rounds, Bestaev wasn’t sure he’d have his hand raised after 15 minutes.
If anything, he wondered if Gwerder’s hand would be up along with his.
“I’m still surprised with the decision,” he said. “I think it was a draw or a split decision. But I didn’t see the fight. I have to see it. In my head, he kicked and punched me so many times. … I dropped him a couple of times. I tried to finish him. Ask my (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) coach: Nobody gets away from my triangle (choke). He got away three times. That means something. … He’s tough.”
Check out Bestaev’s full post-fight interview in the video above.