After three years away from MMA with various fight cancellations, Anatolij Baal makes his return to MMA tonight. Baal has shown his ability to finish, scoring six finishes in his first seven fights. “The Siberian Tiger” last competed at GMC Fight Night in August 2020, scoring a unanimous decision win over Raymond Jarman.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Sebastian Santana Guedes is also a proven finisher, with victories before the final bell coming five times out of his eight career victories thus far. A former War of Spartans Lightweight Tournament champion, Guedes last fought in September, scoring a decision over Jimmy Sandlin.
This is a lightweight showcase bout, with both men having an opportunity to showcase what they’ve got in front of PFL officials.
The two start feeling each other out, as Baal presses forward and forces Guedes back to the SmartCage. Guedes comes in and scores a takedown. Baal gets back to his feet but has to battle in a clinch with his back to the SmartCage. Baal is able to break off briefly, but Guedes clinches him up against the fence. The fight comes to a halt when Baal lands a knee to the groin of Guedes.
Guedes lands a big hook and level changes but is stuffed by Baal. The two scramble, but Baal remains in top control and forces Guedes back to his feet. Both land a low kick, but Guedes lands a hook. Baal focuses his strikes to the body of Guedes. Guedes shoots in again, and Baal stuffs it again.
Guedes goes into guard and tries to go for an armbar before transitioning into a triangle. Baal, however, is able to hammer fist his way out of the submission! Baal gets into mount and nearly gets an arm triangle before standing back up. A combination by Baal before he gets a takedown on a fatigued Guedes. Baal lands a strong right hand and an uppercut! He looks ready to finish Guedes, but Guedes is saved by the bell!
Guedes lands a jumping knee and scores a takedown to start off the round. Guedes passes his way into side control before the two scramble for control. Guedes goes for a D’Arce choke, and Baal is able to shake it off before getting into top position. Baal gets back into the mount, and Guedes tries to hold him down to prevent ground-and-pound.
Guedes gets Baal into half-guard, but Baal is fighting his way out of it, using his arm to frame his way out and lands some strikes from up top. Baal stands up and lands some powerful kicks to the legs of Guedes and forces him back to his feet. Baal lands a left hand, and Guedes goes back to the ground, but Baal isn’t baited into another ground battle.
An exhausted Guedes pins Baal against the cage, but can’t get Baal back to the ground. Baal then gets on top of Guedes and pounds away until the referee steps in!
Anatolij Baal gets the finish after three years away from MMA!
Anatolij Baal def. Sebastian Santana Guedes via second-round TKO (strikes, 4:16)