Leone Edges Former Champ Makovsky

Leone was able to top the former Bellator Bantamweight Champion (Photo by Keith Mills, Sherdog.com).

Cageside Recap

New York Native Claims Split Decision Victory in Atlantic City

Former Bellator Bantamweight Champion Zach Makovsky (14-4) will likely be happy to close the book on 2012, a year that saw him lose his belt to Eduardo Dantas in April and now suffer a tight loss to Anthony Leone (12-5) at Bellator 83 on Friday night. The event was hosted at Caesars in Atlantic City, with Leone earning a close split decision win over the former titleholder.

The preference of both fighters was a stand-up scrap at the onset of this one, exchanging hands and kicks until a mutual clinch brought the action more closely knit. A grapple for position then ensued, but neither competitor gained a significant advantage from the close range affair. In the final minute of the opening round, Leone landed a couple of nice strikes by the fence before attempting a standing guillotine, but Makovsky was able to escape before the bell.

The second frame got underway with a battle for advantage amid a clinch on the feet until Makovsky was able to push his weight forward and earn a takedown around the 3:30 mark. The time on the canvas was short-lived following the takedown, but the action soon returned to the ground after a brief stint of stand-up. Makovsky seeked the back of Leone, but he eventually chose to fall on his own back with the head of his opposition in a choke attempt. However, the grip was not strong enough to contain Leone, who shook loose only to soon find himself victim of an arm bar attempt. He then retaliated with a quick reversal, and the round would end with the two bantamweights on their feet.

As soon the final bell rang for the final stanza, the action quickly hit the canvas where both fighters rolled for an advantage. Leone eventually gained control on the ground, but Makovsky soon repositioned and tried a leg lock. Leone then forced another roll until Makovsky found himself on his back, where he appeared to be rather comfortable. The former champion went for a guillotine choke once he saw an opening, but Leone intelligently blocked the attempt by moving into side control and eventually finishing out the bout from that position.

After 15 hotly contested minutes, the cageside judges would be needed to determine the victor in this bout, and Leone saw his hand raised via split decision by grabbing two out of three cards that tallied 29-28 counts.

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