Venum fighter Andrey Koreshkov got a shot at the Bellator Welterweight World Title on July 17, 2015. With 17 wins and just 1 loss, he proved to be a big threat to Douglas Lima, the title holder.
Before the bout, the Russian fighter said,
“I feel nothing. Make my weight. Win the belt. Go home.”
Going into the match, Andrey enjoyed a 3” reach advantage over his opponent, whom most considered to be a much larger man. Andrey used that reach advantage in some surprising ways.
Andrey opened up the fight with his flashy spinning back kick, and as Lima came in, he swung long and hard. Andrey then changed up his game and decided to shoot, and with a big trip up and drop he put Lima on his back! Andrey landed a beautiful elbow when Lima cage walked up, and then Andrey set the theme of the night when he threw Lima down again.
Andrey really let Lim a have it when the Brazilian stood, but then tasted Lima’s excellent low kick for the first time. He turned cautions for a few moments, but his strategy of a level change and shoot worked for him a third time to end the opening stanza.
Andrey came out more aggressive in the second round and caught Lima with a jab as he was coming in. He continued to fake out Lima with level changes, combinations, and a shoot, but Lima got under hooks and scored his first takedown. Andrey did not let it stay there and quickly got back to his feet. He resumed his striking offense, backing up Lima again.
Andrey did a beautiful combination then dropped to shoot again, ending up with a single leg to get Lima down for the fourth time in the match, which was the same number of takedowns he got in his entire career before! He ended the round with dominant striking from inside Lima’s open guard.
As round three began, Lima began to throw more strikes, but Andrey was able to slip and get Lima backing up yet again. Andrey worked his shoot a minute in and set Lima down, landing inside half guard. Lima finally got a foot in for a sweep, but Andrey didn’t let the black belt keep it in his preferred territory.
Andrey stayed on Lima against the cage until the referee separated them. Andrey threw a beautiful head kick, shot for a high crotch that Lima immediately tried to transition to a triangle but Andrey kept it rolling and got to the dominant top position. And from there, he kept the pressure on and landed big looping punches to the bell.
As the championship rounds began, Andrey used his jab to keep Lima wary. Lima tried to land but Andrey slipped and bobbed right out. With just two minutes gone, Andrey got the takedown without much effort at all. Lima got another sweep but Andrey didn’t allow it to stay there as he quickly got back to the top position.
With a minute left, Lima got the sweep again, but Andrey sat out and stood up, ending the sequence with a fantastic highlight reel-worthy throw. The ref quickly asked them back to their feet with seconds left. At the bell, Lima nodded his respect and approval to Andrey.
Final championship round! Andrey began to get a little flamboyant because he knew he had to be up on the scorecards. With seven takedowns in this match, he was really showing a new side to his game that nobody expected. Andrey again backed Lima to the cage.
In the latter half of the round, Andrey picked his shots and began landing low kicks and combinations inside. Against the cage and Lima got his only reversal but Andrey didn’t let him keep it for long. As Andrey shot for his final takedown, Lima caught him with a punch, but Andrey still had 90% of the round in his firm control.
Venum fighter Andrey Koreshkov won by Unanimous Decision, 48-47, 50-45, 50-45, becoming the new Bellator Welterweight World Champion!
After the fight, Andrey said,
“It’s not my belt, it’s our belt, it’s my team’s. I did it for my family, my fans, for everybody. I respect everyone who respects me. So I wish anyone good luck for this belt. We will see.”