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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
BELLATOR 144 OCTOBER 23, 2014
LIVE FROM UNCASVILLE, CONNECTICUT
The card kicks off with a rundown from Sean Grande and Jimmy Smith, leading into a quick video package on Michael "Venom" Page into our first bout of the night.
FIGHT ONE: MICHAEL PAGE VS. CHARLIE ONTIVEROS (WELTERWEIGHT)
-Page did a full-on pro wrestling style entrance, calmly walking out, dancing a bit with sunglasses on, and taking his time down the aisle while giving high fives with fans on both side.
ROUND ONE: Page took a side stance with his hands down and looked to walk Ontiveros down. Some in the crowd started booing. Page missed a spinning kick. He landed a nice combination as he popped in with punches. He landed another right. He switched his stances a few times while Ontiveros just circled on the outside kind of unsure what to do. Ontiveros stepped forward and ate a right hand before they clinched. Page scored a takedown off the clinch into half guard. He transitioned to mount, and Ontiveros immediately rolled to give up his back. He tried to stand, but got dragged down with Page in side control. Page threw some big elbows from side control and hurt Ontiveros badly. He landed a flurry of them and the fight was stopped. Nicely done from Page. Brutal elbows, and on replay it may have been a verbal submission from a broken jaw. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
WINNER: Page via TKO at 3:21 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**) It wasn't much of a fight, as Ontiveros did very little overall. Page doesn't have a ton of skills on the ground at this point in his young career, but Ontiveros made him look like a seasoned ground vet; still, Page pulled off a sick series of elbows for the finish, giving him another solid, if unspectacular, victory.
FIGHT TWO: GOITI YAMAUCHI VS. ISAO KOBAYASHI (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Yamauchi tried to walk Kobayashi down early. He missed a jumping kick. He essentially pulled guard on Kobayashi, then attacked for a leg. He lost the position, but shot in on Kobayashi in the transition. Yamauchi landed a hard elbow in close, then got in a knee. Yamauchi went for a takedown, then pulled guard when the trip didn't work. Yamauchi was the aggressor from the bottom, and attacked for the leg again after first going for the armbar. Yamauchi used the trip to transition to Kobayashi's back, getting both hooks in after a scramble. Kobayashi defended as Yamauchi tried to set things up. He got on a body triangle and tossed out punches trying to loosen Kobayashi up. He tried for the rear naked choke, but lost the hold. Kobayashi defended the choke attempts well. Yamauchi attacked for the rear naked choke again, but Kobayashi again got out. Yamauchi landed some heel strikes to the gut, then tried to transition up. He lost position and Kobayashi wound up on top. Yamauchi landed an upkick and avoided damage to the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Yamauchi. Good opening round ground work.
ROUND TWO: Kobayashi came forward with a punch. Yamauchi landed a hard kick to the body. Yamauchi landed a nice jumping knee to the body and tried to grab a tight clinch. Kobayashi tripped him, but Yamauchi pulled guard tightly and landed a hard elbow from the bottom. They traded some strikes. Yamauchi continued looking for openings to improve his position. Kobayashi postured up and landed a few strikes. Yamauchi tried to attack for a kimura from the bottom. He got the arm loose and transitioned to top position. Yamauchi gave up the hold but ended the transition in half guard. He landed a few strikes. Yamauchi landed a hard elbow from the top. That opened Kobayashi up. Yamauchi tried to transition to pass, and wound up in side control after a few hard strikes. He then passed to mount and again got Kobayashi's back. He didn't have a ton of time to work, and attacked for the next to the bell.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Yamauchi. He's working effectively on the ground from the bottom and top right now, and Kobayashi just doesn't really have an answer for it.
ROUND THREE: Yamauchi landed a nice step-in elbow early on. After some minor exchanges, Yamauchi knocked Kobayashi down with a short left. Kobayashi recovered as Yamauchi followed him to the ground. He attacked for the kimura, lost it, but transitioned somehow to Kobayashi's back. Hell of a move as he almost lost position. Yamauchi tried to lock on the rear naked choke, but didn't have it fully under the chin. Kobayashi continued to defend as Yamauchi stayed on the offensive. He again went for the rear naked choke, and put on tons of pressure even without having it under the chin, and Kobayashi had to tap. Fantastic performance from Goiti Yamauchi.
WINNER: Yamauchi via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:50 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**+) Very nice performance from Yamauchi start to finish, and it was mostly entertaining to watch him work. Well done.
FIGHT THREE: BRENNAN WARD VS. DENNIS OLSON (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Olson shot in almost immediately, but was forced to pull guard as Ward went for a guillotine choke. Ward scored some short elbows from half guard and kept Olson on his back. Olson got him to guard briefly, but Ward passed easily to side control. They eventually got up to their feet. They traded strikes on the feet and Ward sent him to the ground with an exchange. Olson tried to scramble, but Ward wound up mounting him by the cage. Olson was briefly sitting up at the cage, but Ward flattened him and landed several strikes. Olson got it back to half guard and tried to lock Ward down. Ward was cut open somewhere on his face on top. Ward continued to work from the top, landing some hard elbows to the face and body. He finally stood. The blood was coming from Ward's mouth badly. Ward then dropped Olson with a left hook followed by a big right hand, pounced with a big flurry, and the fight was stopped. As he stepped away the cut was clearly between his lip and his chin. Very weird spot. Nice work from Ward.
WINNER: Ward via TKO at 4:37 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Fun one round bout. Good work from Ward; really nice stoppage finish after some solid ground work.
-Following the quick finish they air a prelim bout between Matt Bessette and Kevin Roddy. Bessette won the bout with a slick heel hook. Great job on Bessette immediately letting go of the hold on the tap as well.
-Before the main event, they run down a couple of upcoming events, including the just announced Bellator 147 card in San Jose this December.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: BRANDON HALSEY VS. RAFAEL CARVALHO (MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUNDONE: Halsey wasted no time closing distance and scoring an early takedown. He looked to set up an arm triangle choke, then stepped over beautifully to mount, passed over to side control, and tried to tighten the hold. Carvalho fought it hard, and somehow survived! Carvalho tried for an inverted triangle but didn't have it. Halsey stayed on top in a scramble and things stalled out a bit, leading to some boos from the crowd. Carvalho made it back to his feet and landed a hard knee, then an uppercut in the clinch. Halsey ducked down and scored another takedown. Carvalho fought back up, but Halsey brought him right back down and powered into full mount. He tried to pick his spot a bit but missed a few strikes from the top. Good defense from Carvalho. Carvalho tried to rock Halsey off, but Halsey held position. Carvalho managed to avoid too much more damage, but Halsey rode out the round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-8 Halsey. Shocked; absolutely shocked Carvalho didn't tap to that arm triangle. Just about as close to a finish as you'll get with that hold without it actually finishing your opponent.
ROUND TWO: Halsey again came straight ahead, backing Carvalho up. Carvalho landed a hard knee, but Halsey got a leg and took him down. Carvalho worked back to his feet, though. Halsey stalled out in the clinch a bit, then looked for a single leg takedown. Carvalho continued to battle him off, keeping on his feet off multiple takedown attempts. Carvalho then threw a kick that sent Halsey down! He followed up with a strike and Big John McCarthy stopped it. Huge liver kick that just forced Halsey to collapse! Wow. Big upset, and after surviving that arm triangle in the first as well. Liver kicks are freaking brutal.
WINNER: Carvalho via TKO (liver kick) at 1:42 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***) Crazy tale of two rounds there. Halsey had that arm triangle choke on real tight in the first round, and Carvalho somehow managed to survive. He then held off some very good takedown attempts in the second, and just landed the most perfect shot he could have hoped for in that body kick to floor Halsey. Huge win, and a significant upset for the new Champ.
-That's our report for tonight! Thanks for joining us tonight; we'll be back tomorrow with live coverage of the UFC Fight Night 76 card from Dublin on UFC Fight Pass!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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