ST. CHARLES, Mo. – That Alex Polizzi beat Jose Augusto at Bellator 276 was legendary. That he made it to a post-fight news conference may have been a miracle.
Polizzi (10-1 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) got cracked by Augusto (7-4 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) with a flying knee early in the second round of their light heavyweight fight at Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., this past Saturday. It wasn’t just any flying knee, either. It was the kind that not only ends fights, but lives on the giver’s highlight reel in perpetuity.
There was just one problem for Augusto: Polizzi didn’t go out. Well, if he did, he didn’t stay out. He somehow managed to survive what was a fight-ender in likely 99 percent of cases. And after he battled through the ensuing barrage from Augusto, he rallied to submit him with a rear-naked choke early in the third round.
“Whatever reflexes I have left wanted me to continue fighting, continue in the cage, and pulled me through. We were able to scramble, get back on top, get where we needed to be. I got my check, and here we are,” Polizzi told MMA Junkie after the fight. He kept his sense of humor about eating the knee, too. “I was in control that whole fight according to what I had going on (in my head). If you guys saw something else, that wasn’t me.
“Second round, Jose really had my number and was following that. Lucky for me, reflexes took over. We were able to keep on keeping on and get that ‘W’ where we needed it.”
Augusto fought Anthony Johnson in May 2021 and had the former UFC title challenger on the ropes and on his way to a big upset win. But Johnson survived, then took Augusto out in the second round.
The Brazilian lost to Polizzi in a similar way at Bellator 276 after he had him nearly finished, as well.
Polizzi said he isn’t much of a studier of film before fights, but he’ll be watching his win over Augusto to see what he can take away from the flying knee that he doesn’t remember much about.
“To put it out plainly, it was hard for me to go off plan because I didn’t really come in there with a plan,” Polizzi said. “As far as watching my opponents, before the fights I’m not going a lot of that. But I’ll be watching a really exciting match, apparently, after and we’re going to be learning and keeping our head a little better defended while we’re shooting in.
“… I’m letting you guys in on a little secret: That’s the first time I’ve been rocked like that in a fight. … This fight just goes to show I can take those and keep pushing that pace and being offensive after. It’s going to be maybe a good thing down the road after I take off and rest up a little.”
Check out the full post-fight interview with Polizzi in the video above.
Photos: Best of Bellator 276
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