Marcin Held has half as many submission wins as his age after Bellator 120. The 22-year-old locked up his 11th tap out victory when he locked in an armbar and submitted Nate Jolly.
Held (19-3) was originally scheduled to meet Patricky Pitbull in the Season 10 lightweight tournament final, but Pitbull suffered an injury. He agreed to meet Jolly, lost his fight when Will Brooks stepped in for Eddie Alvarez.
After working for several submissions, Held found an opening when Jolly started landing shots from the top. He grabbed his arm and tightened his grip, earning his third straight submission win.
“I saw an opportunity (and took it),” Held said.
An early striking exchange was fine with Held, as he said he was “looking for the knockout.” However, the fight going to the ground was his area of expertise.
“I was very confident,” he said. “We went to the ground and that was my work.”
Held lost to Dave Jansen in the Season 7 final back in 2013, but has reeled off finishes over Rodrigo Cavalheiro, Derek Anderson and now Jolly. Prior to the loss to Jansen he won five straight following a 2011 loss to former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.
No date has been set for the Held-Pitbull tournament final.
Jolly (13-6) was making his debut for Bellator after a win over Gerric Hayes last October. He is now 5-4 in his last nine fights overall. The submission loss was his first since a 2009 armbar defeat at the hands of current UFC fighter Dustin Poirier at Cajun Fighting Championships.