Bellator 144: "Halsey vs. Carvalho" takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Oct. 23, 2015) from inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., featuring a much anticipated vacant Middleweight title fight between former champion 'Bull' Brandon Halsey and a man currently on an 11-fight win streak, Rafael Carvalho.
In addition, Bellator has assembled an intriguing line up of fights for Spike TV, which will see two Welterweight bouts that put Brennan Ward and Michael "Venom" Page in action, as well as an important Featherweight fight between Goiti Yamauchi and Isao Kobayashi.
Bellator 144 will start tonight on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will be here all night long to deliver LIVE results and play-by-play for the televised fights, along with the undercard "Prelims" undercard action airing on Spike.com starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 144) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 144: "HALSEY VS. CARVALHO" QUICK RESULTS:
Brandon Halsey vs. Rafael Carvalho -- Carvalho via TKO (liver kick) 1:42 R2.
Brennan Ward vs. Dennis Olson -- Ward via TKO 4:37 R1.
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Isao Kobayashi -- Yamauchi via sub (RNC) 3:50 R3.
Michael Page vs. Charlie Ontiveros -- Page via TKO 3:20 R1.
Matt Bessette vs. Kevin Roddy -- Bessette via sub (heel hook) 3:47 R1.
Matt Secor vs. Jeremie Holloway -- Secor via sub (heel hook) 4:54 R2.
Pete Rogers Jr. vs. Marius Enache -- Enache via sub (americana) 2:37 R2.
Kin Moy vs. Walter Smith-Cotito -- Moy via sub (RNC) 3:53 R3.
Billy Giovanella vs. Brandon Polcare -- Giovanella via sub (triangle) 2:19 R1.
Sam Watford vs. T.J. Hepburn -- Watford via UD 30-27 X3.
Kevin Haley vs. Mike Zichelle -- Haley via UD 30-27, 29-28 X2.
BELLATOR 144: "HALSEY VS. CARVALHO" PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Brandon Halsey vs. Rafael Carvalho
Carvalho is wearing white trunks for tonight's main event. He's 29 years old, he hails from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and he's on an 11 fight win streak. Halsey is wearing blue trunks. He's also 29, he hails from San Diego, California and he's undefeated at 9-0. Our referee for the fight is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Halsey immediately pressures Carvalho to the fence and completes a takedown, though not without a struggle as Carvalho tried to balance on his long limbs. Halsey gets the full mount at the one minute mark, locks up the arm triangle, squeezes for all he's worth and Carvalho survives it and gets out at 1:42. Carvalho goes for an inverted triangle but Halsey gets out of it immediately. Carvalho goes for a takedown of his own but Halsey muscles him over and stays on top. The crowd boos as they stalemate against the fence at 2:30. They stand 15 seconds later. Halsey lets the hands go and completes another takedown at 2:59, but Carvalho's back up at 3:08. He's not up for long. Halsey gets full mount again. Halsey tries to posture up and drop right hands and elbows. Carvalho tries and fails to buck Halsey off. Halsey doesn't let Carvalho up again before the bell. 10-9 Halsey.
Round 2: Halsey pushed Carvalho backward to the fence and gets another takedown at 20 seconds but Carvalho stands immediately. Miragliotta calls for more work twice as it stalls. Halsey backs away at 1:34 and Carvalho hurts him with a liver kick and THE FIGHT IS OVER.
Final result: Rafael Carvalho wins the Bellator Middleweight Title at 1:42 of the second round.
Brennan Ward vs. Dennis Olson
Round 1: Olson is in the black trunks, Ward is in the yellow trunks. Olson is 14-9, Ward is 11-3. Olson hails from Lowell, Massachusetts. Ward hails from Waterford, Connecticut. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy. Olson goes for a takedown right from the bell but gives his neck to Ward in the process and has to pull guard and let Ward on top to avoid a guillotine. Ward starts grinding the left elbow in Olson's face then backs up and comes back down in side control. He backs off completely at 1:47 to force the stand up. Ward is landing uppercuts, knocks Olson down as they trade, jumps on him on the ground and Olson gets his back to the fence trying to stand. Ward gets full mount and lays in the ground and pound as the crowd erupts. Three minutes gone. Ward appears to have taken a cut around his eye in one of the exchanges. They stand with 30 seconds left, Ward DROPS him with a right hand, and the ref waves it off with 23 seconds left in the round.
Final result: Brennan Ward wins via TKO at 4:37 of the first round.
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Isao Kobayashi
Round 1: Kobayashi is 18-2-4, Yamauchi is 18-2. Kobayashi makes his Bellator debut in the red trunks, fighting out of Yokohama, Japan. Yamauchi is in the orange trunks, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil. Our referee is Brian Miner. The bell rings and Yamauchi wastes no time pushing the pace and trying to land a flying knee. Kobayashi takes him to the ground in response. Yamauchi goes for a foot lock and Kobayashi spins out and stands up. Yamauchi cracks him with an elbow against the fence and goes for a takedown but Kobayashi ends up on top again in the closed guard. Yamauchi goes for another submission attempt and takes the back in a scramble at 2:07. Yamauchi sits with his back to the fence softening Kobayashi up with shots from behind, hoping to find the RNC. He keeps fishing for it and fishing for it and finally thinks he has it but Kobayashi slips out with under a minute left. Kobayashi eats an upkick as he escapes with seconds left, but it's a 10-9 round for Yamauchi.
Round 2: Kobayashi gets an outside trip takedown at 1:01, but Yamauchi is more than happy to work off his back. Kobayashi tries to posture up and land shots to the head but Yamauchi has a tight body lock and is trying to hook the left arm for a kimura. He almost gets it but Kobayashi rolls to save himself, letting Yamauchi on top. Yamauchi cracks Kobayashi with an elbow that cuts him open and continues to work with just over a minute remaining. He gets full mount and takes the back for a neck crack with short time but Kobayashi survives. 10-9 again.
Round 3: Kobayashi opens this round like he did the last round, coming forward with strikes. Yamauchi lands a knee to the body. Kobayashi throws leg kicks. YAMAUCHI CREAMS HIM WITH A LEFT and jumps on top when the referee doesn't wave it off. He goes for a kimura to set up a transition to the back mount. He's trying one more time to cinch up the rear naked choke. Kobayashi escapes at 2:31 but his face shows that he's been on the wrong side of a largely one-sided fight. Yamauchi goes for the choke again at 3:36 and the ref finally stops the bout at 3:50.
Final result: Goiti Yamauchi gets a submission via rear naked choke at 3:50 of the third round.
Michael Page vs. Charlie Ontiveros
Time for our opening bout on Spike TV! Page makes his way to the cage in black and red trunks with his shades on. He's 8-0. His opponent Ontiveros is 6-3 in the American flag trunks and he fights out of Cleveland, Texas. Our referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Page opens the fight by striking a bunch of whacky stances and poses. The crowd is quickly booing the lack of action as Page doesn't land and Ontiveros circles away from him. They're booing again at the 90 second mark. The two clinch up and Page pushes him to the fence. Ontiveros is tripped to the ground at 2:04. Ontiveros holds on for his life but Page passes to full mount at 2:45 and takes his back, then transitions back to the top in side control. Page starts to hammer him with right elbows to the face and gets the ref stoppage at 3:20. It officially goes down as a TKO but Page broke his jaw and Ontiveros wanted out.
Final result: Michael Page wins via TKO at 3:20 of the first round.
Matt Bessette vs. Kevin Roddy
Round 1: White trunks, 15-15-1, Bricktown, New Jersey is Kevin Roddy. Pink trunks, 15-7, from Hartford, Connecticut is Matt Bessette. Kevin Macdonald is our referee. Bessette works leg kicks early as Roddy bounces around like he's pumped up on coffee. He lands a few good shots as he flails around but Bessette creams him with a head kick and takes his back on the fence. Roddy complains about fingers in the glove to no avail. Bessette backs out of the guard at 2:05 and eats an upkick. Roddy pulls guard at 2:42. Bessette backs out again at 3:12 and punishes Roddy's legs with kicks. He goes back to the ground for a heel hook and taps Roddy at 3:47.
Final result: Matt Bessette submits Kevin Roddy (heel hook) at 3:47 of the first round.
Matt Secor vs. Jeremie Holloway
Round 1: Black trunks, 7-0, Charlotte, NC is Jeremie Holloway. Blue trunks, 7-2, South Glens Galls, NY is Matt Secor. Our referee is John McCarthy. Secore catches a leg kick and takes Holloway down at 32 seconds, immediately driving a knee into the ribs as he moves to side control. Secor keeps turning like he wants to get to North South, and Holloway keeps circling with his feet as he does. Secor changes tacks and is looking for full mount, which he gets at 2:25. He inches his way up, sits up for one big shot, and Holloway immediately wraps his arms around Secor's back to hold him down. He postures up again briefly at 3:23. Secor tries to pull Holloway up and slam him chest to chest into the mat. Secor sits up at 4:02 and drops an elbow, tries to isolate an arm, and Holloway pops out and sweeps with 30 seconds left. Holloway doesn't do anything offensively, Secor gets a warning for toes in the fence, and Secor should take this round 10-9 if it goes to the judges.
Round 2: Holloway hits a nice combo 13 seconds into R2. Both fighters spend the next minute pawing at each other and dancing. Secor feints high drops low and easily gets a takedown at 1:30. Holloway sits up and Secor punches him in the ribs and puts a right on his chin once he pushes him back down. Holloway tries to hold Secor down with closed guard but he's giving him riding time on top and letting the round slip away. For being undefeated coming in I'm not seeing what got Holloway there. Secor passes to half at 3:35 and to side 10 seconds later, nearly grabbing an arm then slipping back to half guard. Secor rolls for a kneebar, Holloway tries to pry it apart, he switches to a heel hook and taps Holloway out with 6 seconds left.
Final result: Matt Secor wins via submission (heel hook) at 4:54 of the second round.
Pete Rogers Jr. vs. Marius Enache
Round 1: Black trunks, blue gloves, 2-3 is Marius Enache from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Black trunks, red gloves, 2-2 is Pete Rogers from Norwich, Connecticut. Our referee is Kevin Macdonald. Rogers is the aggressor at the outset, forcing the older Enache to circle on the outside. They trade hands for a little bit at the 70 second mark. Rogers lands a sold left hook and Enache backs away, then accidentally kicks Rogers in the cup. They trade leg kicks after a quick timeout. Rogers tries to swarm Enache on the fence but he ends up being taken down with a head and arm throw and Enache goes hard for a neck crank. Rogers sweeps on top but his head is still trapped. He's finally free at 3:49 and tries to drop a few bombs on top. Enache goes for a kimura on the right arm. Rogers throws elbows and punches with the left. He rides out the kimura attempt to the bell. 10-9 Enache.
Round 2: The fighters touch gloves to start R2. Enache lands a few leg kicks as he settles into backing away and circling. Rogers throws a spin kick and comes forward with right hooks that miss. Rogers faints a knee and Enache puts his hands up reflexively, then he goes to the fence and Enache ties him up throws a few knees. Rogers breaks out at 2:20. Enache hits another takedown just like R1 and this time he taps Rogers out with the scarf hold arm lock.
Final result: Marius Enache wins by submission (americana) at 2:37 of R1.
Kin Moy vs. Walter Smith-Cotito
Round 1: Moy is in the black trunks, Cotito the red. Cotito's record is 3-3 and he fights out of Hooksett, NH. Moy's record is 7-2 and he fights out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our referee is Brian Miner. Cotito and Moy trade standing for the two minutes. Cotito partially lands a head kick and shoots for a takedown, Moy tries to sprawl out but Cotito gets it at 2:25. Moy gets right back up. Cotito throws lefts to the body and head as Moy is pressed into the fence. Moy is getting in a few knees but eats a big uppercut. They separate at 3:35. Cotito lands a flurry and drops for the takedown again. Slam hits the mat at 4:14. Moy is up to one knee immediately and stands with 10 seconds left. 10-9 round for Cotito.
Round 2: Moy opens up R2 with kicks and strikes, leading with his left hook. Moy seems to be getting the better of the exchanges this round. The two trade leg kicks as we move to the second minute. Cotito shoots and Moy trips him to the ground in response at 1:57. Smith escapes but Moy goes for a guillotine and gets Cotito back down to the ground. Cotito gets up at 3:30 as Moy tries to take his back. Cotito stings him with a backfist and it turns into a slugfest against the fence. Cotito tries a jump knee and Moy takes him down again, grinding an elbow into his face. Cotito backs his way to the cage and tries to push off with his feet. He can't get up before the bell. 10-9 round to Moy.
Round 3: Both men touch gloves for our third and final round. Moy shoots and changes his mind. Cotito keeps the pressure on and pushes Moy into the fence. The action stalls until they break at 1:27. The ref calls time at 1:35 to make Cotito fix his shorts. (Seriously.) They trade kicks after time in. Cotito is peppering Moy with jabs, but Moy gets another takedown at 2:40. He works his way to side control then takes the back with hooks in at 1:47 left. Cotito carries his wait standing as Moy goes for the submission and he finally taps at 3:53.
Final result: Kin Moy wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:53 of the third round.
Billy Giovanella vs. Brandon Polcare
Round 1: Black trunks, 1-0 from Saratoga Springs, NY is Brandon Polcare. Black trunks with yellow accents, 8-4 out of Bellingham, Massachusetts is Billy Giovanella. Brian Miner is our ref for this 129 pound catchweight bout. They end up on the ground quickly with Giovanella trying to catch Polcare from his back with a triangle. Polcare tries to powerbomb his way out but that's just going to make it tighter. Polcare is hanging tough and not submitting, but at 2:19 he finally gives up and taps out.
Final result: Billy Giovanella wins via submission (triangle choke) 2:19 of the first round.
Sam Watford vs. T.J. Hepburn
Round 1: Black trunks, 4-1, fighting out of Ledyard, Connecticut is TJ Hepburn. Blue trunks 0-0, from Mt. Vernon, New York is Sam Watford. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy. Hepburn gets the first takedown of the fight and Watford butt scoots his way to the cage fence. Hepburn turns him away from it so he can't wall walk. McCarthy wants to see more work as they're tied up on the ground. They stand up on their own at 1:24. Watford is leaning Hepburn hard into the cage looking for a possible takedown of his own. He finally gets it at 2:34 after a couple of warnings from McCarthy to get busy. Hepburn uses butterfly guard defensively as McCarthy calls for more action, and ties up his arms to prevent striking on top. They stand up with a minute left. Watford and Hepburn spin around against the fence as McCarthy grows impatient, and breaks them up with 15 seconds left. Watford comes up the middle with a solid knee. Close round that goes slightly to Watford 10-9.
Round 2: Hepburn has blood trickling from his nose as we open round two. Watford sprawls to avoid a takedown early, then pressures Hepburn into the fence. As the camera zooms in close Hepburn's nose looks even worse. Hepburn tries to grab a guillotine as Watford gets it to the ground but he's unsuccessful. Once again Hepburn is using his guard and arm control to prevent Watford from doing a whole heck of a lot. McCarthy circles them like he's ready to stand it up. Watford spins Hepburn around and tries to push away and get a better position, then he grabs a front headlock as Hepburn gets to his knees. He tries to take the back but wins up on top in guard again. "Gotta work" is McCarthy's response at 3:42. Watford tries to do damage with body shots. "Let's work c'mon" at 4:27 and Watford nearly gets upkicked in the face trying to respond. Another 10-9 round for the debuting Watford.
Round 3: Hepburn swings wildly to start R3 and looks for a takedown but winds up being taken down himself at 28 seconds. McCarthy grows impatient as Watford sits on top in half pitter-patting punches. Hepburn can tie Watford up but he can't shake him off. Hepburn is trying to sneak his right leg through for full mount but McCarthy stands them up at 2:42. Hepburn immediately hits a takedown but it may be too little too late with two minutes left in the fight. Watford is trying to grab an armbar and Hepburn may be in more trouble on top than he was on the ground. He breaks out of it with 40 seconds left. Hepburn tries to stand, posture up and drop some shots, but time expires before he can do major damage. 10-9 Hepburn.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27 unanimously for Sam Watford.
Kevin Haley vs. Mike Zichelle
Round 1: Zichelle is 7-3 and fights out of Leominster, Massachusetts in the black trunks. Haley is 3-3 and fights out of Pittsburgh, New Hampshire in the blue trunks. Dan Miragliotta will oversee the action at 205 pounds. Haley gets a takedown immediately to open the fight but Zichelle sweeps on top with his head trapped under Haley's right arm. Zichelle's in side control but has never gotten his head free. Miragliotta warns him not to grab the shorts. He finally pops out at 1:47. Haley stands up at 2:05 and Zichelle pulls guard for a guillotine. Miragliotta looks to see if Haley will submit but he ends up on top in full mount and transitions to the back for a rear naked choke. He can't quite get under the chin. Haley gets warnings for shots to the back of the head as Zichelle tries to turn out on top. Haley rides the back throwing lefts to the head with short time remaining. He transitions to an armbar attempt but can't get Zichelle before the bell. 10-9 Haley.
Round 2: Zichelle opens R2 with a right hook then backs away. Haley single legs Zichelle to the ground and pops his head out at 1:09. Haley goes for the neck as Zichelle tries to stand and reverse the takedown. Miragliotta calls for work and Haley moves back on top, then Zichelle gets on top, but Haley still has the guillotine. He lets it go at 2:30 and Zichelle is in full guard. When Zichelle breaks free he drops good shots, but Haley is keeping him tied up most of the time. Miragliotta calls for work at 3:56. "C'mon guys, get busy down there" is Miragliotta's instruction, and five seconds later he stands them up. Zichelle lands a solid right before the bell. 10-9 Zichelle.
Round 3: Haley looks dead tired on his feet and eats a big kick 25 seconds into the round, but he gets a takedown and pins Zichelle against the fence. Zichelle tries to sit up at 1:08 but Haley pushes him back down. Haley busts Zichelle with an elbow and blood is SPRAYING everywhere. Miragliotta immediately calls time to have a doctor take a look at it. Since it's on the eyebrow and not the eyelid the doctor allows it and Miragliotta restarts them in the same position at 2:16. He calls for more work at 2:30. Haley gets Zichelle's blood smeared all over his body as he tries to maintain dominant position on the ground. Haley takes the back and starts searching for a choke as time and blood both leak away. Zichelle turns out and is on top in full guard at 3:50. Miragliotta calls for work. He stands them up at 4:37. They circle, Zichelle throws one shot, Haley takes him down and gets a little ground and pound before the bell - at which point Haley tackles him with a hug - they are friends on Facebook don'tcha know.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 all for Kevin Haley.