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Bellator 225 pre-event facts: David Rickels first to 23 Bellator bouts

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Bellator returns from a more than month-long hiatus on Saturday with Bellator 225, which takes place at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., with a main card that airs on Paramount following prelims on MMA Junkie.

A heavyweight rematch is featured in the main event. After their February fight ended in a no-contest due to an accidental low blow, Matt Mitrione (13-6 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) and Sergei Kharitonov (28-6 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) will run it back in attempt to clarify who is the better man inside the cage.

For more on the numbers behind the event, check below for 25 pre-event facts about Bellator 225.

* * * *

Main event

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Photos: Best of Matt Mitrione

Mitrione vs. Kharitonov marked the third shortest no-contest in Bellator/UFC/WEC/Strikeforce/PRIDE combined history at just 15 seconds. Only Marius Zaromskis vs. Waachim Spiritwolf (six seconds) at Strikeforce Challengers 12 and Kevin Casey vs. Antonio Carlos Junior (11 seconds) at UFC Fight Night 80 were faster.

All of Mitrione’s career bouts have taken place under the Bellator or UFC banners.

Mitrione has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes three of his four Bellator wins.

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Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 215: Best photos

Kharitonov is 10-1 (with two no-contests) in his past 13 fights dating back to September 2011.

Kharitonov has earned 26 of his 28 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 23 of those wins in Round 1.

Kharitonov has earned both of his Bellator victories by knockout.

Co-main event

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Cheick Kongo def. Vitaly Minakov at Bellator 216: Best photos

Vitaly Minakov (21-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) enters the event following the first defeat of his career.

Minakov’s four stoppage victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Ayala (six) and Kongo (five).

Minakov’s four knockout victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for most in divisional history.

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Cheick Kongo def. Javy Ayala at Bellator 199: Best photos

Javy Ayala (11-7 MMA, 6-4 BMMA) competes in his 11th Bellator heavyweight bout, the second-most appearances in divisional history behind Cheick Kongo (14).

Ayala’s six victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Kongo (12).

Ayala has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by stoppage. That includes all six of his Bellator wins.

Ayala’s six stoppage victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.

Ayala’s four knockout victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for most in divisional history.

Ayala’s 15-second knockout of Kharitonov at Bellator 163 is the second fastest stoppage in Bellator heavyweight history. Only Eddie Sanchez’s 10-second finish at Bellator 7 was faster.

Remaining main card

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Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Alejandra Lara at Bellator 201: Best photos

Alejandra Lara (7-3 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) enters the event on the first two-fight losing skid of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2017.

Taylor Turner (4-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has earned three consecutive wins after a five-fight losing skid.

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David Rickels def. Guilherme Bomba at Bellator 210: Best photos

David Rickels (21-5 MMA, 15-5 BMMA) competes in his 23rd Bellator bout, the most appearances in company history (two appearances have resulted in no-contests).

Rickels is 5-1 in Bellator welterweight competition. He’s 3-1 since he returned to the weight class in January 2017.

Rickels’ 15 victories in Bellator competition are third-most in company history behind Patricio Freire (17) and Michael Chandler (16).

Rickels’ nine stoppage victories in Bellator competition are tied for third-most in divisional history behind Freire (11) and Chandler (11).

Yaroslav Amosov’s (21-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) 21-fight MMA winning streak is longest among active Bellator fighters.

Amosov has earned both of his Bellator victories by decision.

Rudy Schaffroth (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) returns to competition for the first time since Nov. 30, 2018. Th 268-day layoff is the longest of his nearly three-year career.

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