THACKERVILLE — One of the world’s largest fighting promotions came to WinStar World Casino and Resort Friday night when Bellator MMA took over the global event center.

THACKERVILLE — One of the world’s largest fighting promotions came to WinStar World Casino and Resort Friday night when Bellator MMA took over the global event center.

Bellator 218 ‘Sanchez vs Karakhanyan 2’ aired live from WinStar, the most visited venue the fight company has promoted from on United States soil.

In front of a packed house, nine prelim fights and four main event fights wowed the crowd all night.

On the main card, the first fight brought Norbert Novenyi Jr. (3-0, 2-0 in Bellator” from London, England to face Will Lavine (2-1, 0-2) from Independence, Kansas  in a middleweight bout. 

Novenyi, almost half the age of Lavine, was dominate throughout the fight, taking Lavine to the ground whenever he wanted. After not being able to finish the fight in the first round, Novenyi got Levine to tappet early in the second round with a head and arm choke to finish the fight.

Even with the victory, who made his first ever trip to America for the fight, was still not fully pleased with his performance.

“I expected myself to finish him in the first round and unfortunately it went to the second,” Novenyi said. 

“I am really disappointed about that, but at the end of the day it shows when I am dying in the cage I can still get it done.”

The second fight o the fight card was between Anatoly Tokov (28-2, 4-0 in Bellator) from Stary Oskol, Russia versus Gerald Harris (25–8-1, 0–31 in Bellator) fighting out of Tulsa, Okla. 

Fighting in his home state, Harris looked like 

he was going to defend his home turf with a first round knockout of Tokov.  

Harris threw a left hook that sent Tokov to the ground early in the first round, and although Harris was still in control on the ground and throwing a ferocious punches to Tokov, referee Kerry Hatley saw enough from Tokov to continue the fight. 

After escaping a near knockout loss, Tokov bounced back in the second with a body kick and left punch of his own. Took then sealed the victory by forcing Harris to tap out using a ten finger guillotine.

After almost being knocked out in the first, Tokov, whose little brother Vladimir also won his match up during the prelims, was happy the referee did not stop the fight.

“I did not see the punch coming,” Tokov, speaking through a translator said. “That moment I understood I got a shot to the head, I thought I should get up as soon as possible. I thought the ref could stop it so I should get up as soon as possible.”

In the Co-main event of the evening, Valentin Moldavsky(8-1, 3-0 in Bellator) of Stary Oskol, Russia faced Linton Vassal (18-7, 7-4 in Bellator) of Milton Keynes, England in a heavyweight bout. 

Moldavsky,  the third and final member of the Fedor Emelianenko camp fighting at Bellator 218, was trying to win his third straight fight in the heavyweight division. 

Vassell, who moved up a weight class to fight Moldavsky, had a good start to the fight, landing power punches and cutting Moldavsky above his eye. 

The second and third rounds were all controlled by Moldavsky, and earning him the unanimous decision victory from the judges.

Moldavsky was not expecting the strength of his opponent to be as big a factor in the first round as it was.

“He (Vassell) was very strong, but then I felt him begin to become tired,” Moldavsky said. “I felt I could take the initiative and beat him.”

The main event of the evening are in a rematch between Emmanuel Sanchez (18-4, 10-3 in Bellator) and Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1, 6-7 in Bellator) in a featherweight bout.

Coming off a defeat in his last fight, Sanchez looked for revenge against Karakhanyan. 

Karakhanyan landed early takedowns against Sanchez, but did no damage while on the ground. Sanchez controlled the entire fight, and landed more punches. 

The judges all scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Sanchez for the win.

After already facing Karakhanyan once, Sanchez was surprised in the different approach in their rematch.

“When you watch the first fight, he submission hunted more, he was going for my back and a guillotine in the first one,” Sanchez said. “This time around, he just held me down. Let’s be real he just held me and that wasn’t a good idea either because I hit him every chance I got. I feel I won all three rounds.”