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PFL vs Bellator results: Johnny Eblen survives knockdown, wins razor-close split decision over Impa Kasanganay


Johnny Eblen had to scratch and claw his way to a split decision win over Impa Kasanganay to remain undefeated in the co-main event at PFL vs. Bellator on Saturday.

In the second round, Eblen faced one of the scariest moments of his career after suffering a knockdown following a blitz of punches from Kasanganay. It looked like the fight might get finished but Eblen managed to hold on until he could regain his composure and turn things around again.

From there, Eblen’s relentless pressure, wrestling and grappling attacks helped him grind Kasanganay’s momentum to a halt. In the end, two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Eblen with the third official giving the same 29-28 score to Kasanganay after three grueling rounds.

That was still enough for Eblen to get the nod as he moves to 15-0 in his career.

“It was a close fight,” Eblen said afterwards. “Second round he caught me, I had to f***** show up and be a champion. Honestly, I was just surviving for a little bit. He caught me pretty good.”

It didn’t take long for Eblen to snatch his first takedown in the fight but Kasanganay managed to scramble free and get back to his feet rather quickly. In the striking exchanges, Kasangany was more than holding his own, countering with huge hooks every time Eblen tried to get inside on him.

As the second round started, Kasanganay let his hands go and he blasted Eblen with a combination that dropped the Bellator middleweight champion to the canvas. Kasanganay unleashed a flurry of strikes in an attempt to get the finish but Eblen survived the onslaught to reset again.

The fighters continued blasting away at each other with Kasanganay still getting the better of the exchanges with Eblen desperate to bring the fight back to the canvas. Eblen eventually dragged Kasanganay down where he started to pepper away with his ground and pound attack.

With time ticking away in the final round, Eblen’s constant pressure and relentless striking assault started to pay dividends with Kasanganay slowing down. Of course, Eblen still had to be careful not to get sloppy but his conditioning really started to wear down Kasanganay.

Eblen eventually got the fight back to the floor again with a well-timed takedown with less than two minutes remaining and Kasanganay was running out of options. Eblen continued hammering away with Kasanganay firing back with elbows until the horn sounded.

It was a tough fight to score but Eblen’s output in round one and dominant performance in the third round helped him get the job done. He survived a potential upset and now looks towards his next title defense in Bellator later this year.

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