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Jon Fitch is one of the finest minds at adapting wrestling for MMA usage the sport has ever produced. But even the knowledge gained by a long career’s worth of experience could only fend off a submission artist like Neiman Gracie for so long.

Gracie (10-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) basically spent the entirety of their Bellator 246 co-main event welterweight fight hunting for a submission, and he finally got the nod at the 4:47 mark of the second round.

After the fight, Fitch (32-8-2 MMA, 1-1-1 BMMA) put his gloves down to symbolize his retirement.

“It’s been a long journey, my body’s been through a lot, I have a lot of things I’m looking forward to in the future outside the cage, so it’s time to go,” Fitch said.

Gracie put on a grappling clinic in the opening round, as he attempted nearly a half-dozen submission attempts, from rear-naked chokes to heel hooks and everything in between. It was to Fitch’s credit that he managed to finagle his way out of several hairy situations.

Fitch was doing a better job neutralizing Gracie in the second round for the majority of the stanza. But Gracie none the less found himself in a position he wanted on the mat with Fitch in the final minute, and he sunk the knee bar in tight, giving Fitch no choice but to submit.

Gracie shook off his first career loss, to then-welterweight champion Rory MacDonald, in earning his ninth career submission out of 10 victories. Fitch, in his final fight, had a six fight unbeaten streak (5-0-1) snapped.

The welterweight fight was the co-feature bout of Bellator 246, which tool place Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card aired on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 246 results:

  • Neiman Gracie def. Jon Fitch via submission (heel hook) — Round 2, 4:47
  • Liz Carmouche def. DeAnna Bennett via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 3, 3:17
  • Keoni Diggs def. Derek Campos via technical submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 3, 4:59
  • Daniel Madrid def. Pat Casey via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
  • Ty Gwerder def. George Tokkos via TKO (strikes) — Round 3, 1:05
  • Davion Franklin def. Ras Hylton via unanimous technical decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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