Anthony Leone wins at Bellator 83

Anthony Leone did just enough to get a victory over Zach Makovsky by split decision Friday night. Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

Anthony Leone strung together enough moments, few as they were, during his 15 minutes with former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky to take a second straight split-decision win Friday in Atlantic City, N.J.

The upset made Makovsky 0-2 in 2012, a year in which he lost his title to Eduardo Dantas in April. "Fun Size," 30, was the smaller man against Leone, 25, and it had an impact over three rounds.

"I knew I could beat Zach Makovsky," Leone said after the scores were announced. "I love the judges tonight. Usually I don't love them. I love them tonight."

Judges William Mason and Cardo Urso tallied 29-28 scorecards for Leone, while Michael Barry dissented with the same score for the former titleholder. ESPN.com saw the bout 30-27 for Leone.

Potentially even after two rounds, Leone (12-5) asserted himself early in Round 3. He threatened but missed with a guillotine attempt, then wrestled Makovsky (14-4) down and maintained top position for the bulk of the period.

Makovsky's previous success can be tied to his wrestling, and if his defeat can be blamed on one thing, the former competitor for Drexel University fell short in that department.


Zoila Gurgel, Bellator's 115-pound female champion, moved up 10 pounds to meet heated rival Jessica "Evil" Eye in a non-title contest.

Yet again, a Bellator champion went down to defeat but managed to retain the belt.

Eye, 26, came out swinging and dropped Gurgel, 28, just four seconds into the fight with a left hook followed by a right straight.

"I spent a lot of time with boxers and standing up," Eye said. "Their pace is much different than MMA fighters. It helped me set a tone right off the bat. It's either be struck or be the striker."

The true flyweight went the way of the cobra, pouncing and unloading punches before Gurgel scrambled to her feet, where, under duress, she contended with a naturally larger woman controlling her from behind.

Eye moved Gurgel near the cage fence, cinched in a standing arm-triangle submission, and squeezed.

"I couldn't (feel Gurgel fall unconscious)," Eye said. "I was like an anaconda getting tighter and tighter. I didn't want to let go until someone told me to. I wanted the finish."

Half a minute after locking in the strangulation, Eye (9-1) released an unconscious Gurgel (12-2), victim of a technical submission at 0:58 of the opening round.

Said an elated Eye: "This is a long time coming."