Javy Ayala
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Facing off against Vitaly Minakov
September 24, 2019
Ayala will fight Vitaly Minakov at Bellator 232 on Oct. 26, MMAFighting.com reports.
Ayala is a seasoned veteran in the Bellator, posting wins over Frank Mir and Sergei Kharitonov via knockout. This will be Minakov's third Bellator fight since February, and he has a 1-1 record in the division since then.
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Storms back against former UFC champion
December 15, 2018
Ayala defeated Frank Mir via submission (punches) at 4:30 of Round 2 at Bellator 212 on Friday in Honolulu.
Ayala picked up the biggest win of his career and stopped a former heavyweight champion. Early in the first round, it looked like Mir was in the driver's seat due to his veteranship and grappling ability. He scored an early takedown and went looking for submissions from the top. However, late in the round, Ayala exploded to his feet and started to hurt Mir with strikes. That trend continued into the second round and eventually Mir had enough. Ayala has now scored an impressive pair of upsets in Bellator, this victory and a knockout of Sergei Kharitonov, but he has struggled at times in the spotlight. In the end, this win might say more about Mir than Ayala.
Falls to second-straight UFC veteran
May 12, 2018
Ayala lost to Cheick Kongo via KO (punch) at 2:29 of Round 1 at Bellator 199 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
After his first six fights in Bellator, it appeared as if the career trajectory for Ayala would be on of an high-level gatekeeper. However, when he upset Pride FC veteran Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 163, it looked like maybe he was a future title contender. Since that win, he has dropped two-straight bouts against Roy Nelson and Kongo. Against Kongo, he actually held his own in the clinch, but he ended up eating a counter that ended his night. With the loss, Ayala falls to 10-7 overall and 5-4 in Bellator.
Drops decision against Roy Nelson at Bellator 183
September 24, 2017
Ayala lost to Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (26-30, 28-29, 28-29) at Bellator 183 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
After picking up an upset victory over Sergei Kharitonov in his last fight, Ayala was looking to shock another MMA veteran here. He put a scare into Nelson with some hard striking, but he simply could not handle the wrestling and grappling. He spent large chunks of this fight on the ground and eating strikes. Ayala has made it clear that he belongs in the Bellator heavyweight division. However, it is also clear that he will struggle against higher level fighters.
Will square off with Roy Nelson
June 25, 2017
Ayala will fight Roy Nelson at Bellator 183 in September, Danny Segura of MMAfighting.com reports.
Ayala is coming off one of the biggest victories of his career after taking down Sergei Kharitonov in November despite being a +380 underdog. He's now now put together back-to-back wins, so he should have momentum on his side. Heading into Bellator 183 against the 41-year-old Nelson, Ayala will certainly have youth on his side, but he'll need to avoid Big Country's heavy hand, as Nelson owns 14 career knockouts over 22 wins.
Stuns Sergei Kharitonov with first-round KO
November 4, 2016
Ayala defeated Sergei Kharitonov via KO (punch) at 0:16 of round 1 at Bellator 163 on Friday in Uncasville, Conn.
Well, that was a huge upset. Ayala came into this fight against the Pride FC legend as a +380 underdog. However, that did not mean anything in the cage. Ayala went for a takedown early, and it was stuffed. Back at distance, he threw a huge overhand right, which knocked out Kharitonov. The Russian was out before he hit the ground. This is clearly the biggest win of Ayala's career and should earn him a shot a high profile fight considering the lack of depth in the Bellator heavyweight division.