Bellator 145: "Vengeance" takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Nov. 6, 2015) from inside Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., featuring three rematches and two world title fights, headlined by the third encounter between Featherweight champion Patricio Freire and former champion Daniel Straus.
Indeed, Bellator has put together an all-star line-up for its return to "Gateway of the West," with local fan favorites Michael Chandler and Justin Lawrence in action, as well as a "Colossal" Heavyweight bout between James Thompson and Bobby Lashley, for a fun-filled night of fights.
Bellator 145 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 145) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 145: "VENGEANCE" QUICK RESULTS:
Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus -- Straus via UD 49-46, 48-47 X2.
Will Brooks vs. Marcin Held -- Brooks via UD 50-45, 49-46 X2.
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Justin Lawrence -- Sanchez SD 29-28 X2, 28-29.
Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels -- Chandler via TKO 3:05 R2.
Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson -- Lashley via TKO 0:54 R1.
Alex Huddleston vs. Augusto Sakai -- Sakai via UD 29-28 X3.
Adam Cella vs. Chel Erwin-Davis -- Erwin-Davis via TKO 0:35 R3.
Garrett Gross vs. Jeff Crotty -- Gross via UD 30-27 X3.
Steve Mann vs. Kyle Kurtz -- Kurtz via sub (triangle) 2:59 R1.
Kain Royer vs. Clay Mitchell -- Royer via sub (kneebar) 3:41 R1.
Adam Meredith vs. Jordan Dowdy -- Meredith via sub (RNC) 1:54 R1.
Scott Ettling vs. Fazlo Mulabitinovic -- Mulabitinovic via sub (armbar) 1:52 R1.
BELLATOR 145: "VENGEANCE" PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus
The challenger and former champion Straus is in the blue trunks tonight. He's got so much energy he can barely stand still as he's being checked over at the prep point, shifting constantly from side to side. The reigning and defending champion Freire comes out with the belt around his waist and black trunks on to the sounds of pitbulls barking and the strains of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." The champion is 24-2 and the challenger is 23-6. Straus fights out of Coconut Creek, Florida and Freire fights out of Natal, Brazil. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy. Here we go!
Round 1: Straus takes the center and is head hunting right away, although his first significant strike to land is a leg kick. Freire ties him up and they battle for position against the fence. Straus breaks at 1:39. Straus goes for the takedown and Freire answers with a knee. They break again at 2:16, flurry at each other without landing big, and Straus looks for a takedown against the fence. He just can't complete it. Freire lands some knees and elbows before both men reset. Freire bounces away as Straus paws at him with the right hand. Leg kick from Straus. Straus finally gets his takedown at 3:50 but quickly he slips away, and Straus throws a well timed jumping knee but doesn't hurt Freire enough to swarm. Freire goes for a takedown as the seconds tick away then breaks before another big knee. He throws a kick at Straus right as the bell ends R1.
Round 2: Straus is aggressive again to open R2. He keeps landing the leg kicks over and over and just misses with a head kick. Freire ties him up and lands some knees to the body. The fight stalls here against the fence as McCarthy looks on. Straus finally slips away at 1:45. Straus cracks Freire with a left and tries to pour it on on the ground. Freire goes for an armbar, Straus picks him up and powerbombs him, Straus continues to unload against the fence as we pass the halfway point but Freire is being every chance by McCarthy to survive and he does. Freire momentarily considers a kimura and lets it go - same for Straus on a guillotine. Straus pounds on the ribs as Freire shrinks on on himself to not let his head be a target. Freire stands with 46 seconds and lands some solid elbows on Straus. Straus goes for a head kick but Freire catches it. That's a 10-9 or maybe even a 10-8 round for Straus.
Round 3: Straus is smelling blood in the water and hurts Freire with a solid left to the head. Another one at 45 seconds. Most people would be out cold from either of those blows but Freire is still standing. Straus goes for a takedown and lets it go. Straus is taking his time and waiting for opportunities to land a big shot. Another big left at 2:33 and Straus turns it up a little more. Straus with a series of leg kicks and another takedown attempt. They rush toward the fence and separate at 3:59. McCarthy stops the fight as Freire takes a finger to the eye. McCarthy rules it accidental and lets the fight continue with no deduction. Straus takes this round too thanks to his heavy left hand.
Round 4: Straus looks for a takedown early in R4 and abandons the attempt with a left elbow to Freire's head. Freire claims a clash of heads and McCarthy stops it to check both men over. Once again he rules it an accident and lets the fight continue unmarred. Two big lefts from Straus at 2:18. Freire walks through every shot that connects but it makes me concerned about his long term health. Straus may have actually hurt his left hand landing it so much - he's trying to wring it out. He goes for a takedown and doesn't get it. Freire goes for a spinning backfist and almost hits it. Straus is clearly having trouble making a fist with his left hand. He's relying more on his right. Freire tries and fails on a late takedown. You can see his face is battered and swollen all over.
Round 5: Straus has a commanding lead at this point, but that sore left hand is trouble, and he needs to just get through round five even if he gives it away on the feet. The only way he can lose now is if Freire gets a submission or a knockout. Freire goes for a takedown and Straus has to be careful as Freire keeps putting his hand down to avoid being kneed in the head. There's a lot of dirty boxing against the fence until Freire backs away at 1:52. Freire goes for the single leg and gets it, taking Straus' back. Freire only has one hook in and Straus is covering up to avoid damage. Two minutes remain for Freire to pull off a miracle. Freire loses the one hook he had, then gets it back as Straus starts to stand. He's up with 80 seconds to go. Freire tries and tries to get him back down, misses wildly with a spinning backfist, and Straus responds by standing in front of Freire and letting his hands go. 20 seconds left and each man tries to knock down the other with all they have left. McCarthy gets between them at the bell and it looks like Straus should take the belt in their third encounter.
Final result: The judges score this contest 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47 for the winner and NEW Bellator Featherweight Champion Daniel Straus.
Will Brooks vs. Marcin Held
Brooks is in the red trunks and Held the black. Brooks is 16-1 as the Lightweight champion and the challenger Held is 21-3. Held fights out of Tychy, Poland and Brooks fights out of Chicago, Illinois. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy. Here we go!
Round 1: Brooks takes the center and Held dances back and forth in front of him. They tie up and Held tries to pull him down against the fence. He sweeps a leg out and completes the takedown but Brooks sits calmly against the fence waiting for his opportunity to get up, not wanting to open up a submission for Held. Held tries to pick him up and put him down again to improve position to no avail. Held is trying and trying to find a submission and the impatient crowd is booing as we pass the halfway mark. Brooks finally gets back up at 3:03 and then he throws held to the ground at 3:16, who promptly goes for an armbar off his back. McCarthy warns Brooks not to hold the glove, Held spins for a knee bar but Brooks gets free at 4:28. Brooks decks him with a right hand and gets on top for some elbows to close R1.
Round 2: Brooks gets a takedown 16 seconds into R2 and quickly moves to side control, but ends up in full guard when he tries to pass. Held keeps contorting his body trying to find a submission but Brooks pulls his left arm free. Held goes for the leg again and Brooks hits him in the face with rights as he moves up to full mount. The left arm is around Held's neck so the right arm pummels the ribs of Held. Brooks goes for the arm triangle as he tries to step over with the left leg to the side. Brooks doesn't get the choke but gets another full mount. Brooks keeps grinding Held with elbows. Brooks has a back mount late as R2 ends. I've got it 19-19 so far.
Round 3: Held dives for a leg and immediately ends up on his back with Brooks on top. Held is in danger here without the cage to keep Brooks from passing to dominant positions and he knows it, as he's trying to scoot his way there inch by inch. McCarthy calls for work at 1:35. Held tries to throw his legs up and is rewarded with more shots to the face. The crowd boos periodically but Brooks is fighting to retain against a dangerous foe, not to please the fans. Brooks inches his way up in half guard then jumps out of a submission attempt and right back on for more elbows. Held goes for a knee bar onre more time and it's not there. Brooks traps the left arm and drops a big elbow. Held goes for a heel hook and ironically he's so close to the fence now he can't push off to get it. We're going to round four.
Round 4: Held is knocked down or falls down looking for a leg lock but switches to an inverted heel hook and can't get that either. Brooks is on top in guard at 55 seconds. Held's face is slowly and inexorably being bloodied and bruised up. Brooks is staying just busy enough for McCarthy to not stand them up, whether the crowd likes it or not (and they don't). With every punch, with every elbow, you can see Held becoming more and more desperate. Held can't get the kneebar and has to let it go with 30 seconds left. Brooks hammers away to take the 3-1 lead with a round to go.
Round 5: Brooks leads with a right hand and pops a shoulder into Held's face before the takedown at 32 seconds, drawing boos from the crowd. McCarthy calls for work at 1:41, a call rarely heard in this fight. Brooks pushes Held around on the ground and pops him in the head whenever he gets the opening. His ribs and his face have both got to be hurting from the relentless assault. McCarthy stands them up at 3:05. Brooks immediately puts Held on the fence. Held tries to drop down for a submission and Brooks sprawls and smothers him, hitting him with more lefts as he flattens Held out. McCarthy shouldn't bother with another stand-up as this is Held's only chance to win. He tries to find a submission late and there's nothing there. 4-1 in favor of Brooks.
Final result: The judges score the contest 50-45 and 49-46 x2 all in favor of 'Ill' Will Brooks.
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Justin Lawrence
The opening bout for Spike TV! Sanchez is in the yellow trunks, Lawrence is in the red. Sanchez is 11-2 and fights out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lawrence is 8-2 and fights out of Pacific, Missouri. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Lawrence rushes to the center at the opening bell and throws a high kick. Sanchez controls the center and lands a left hook as Lawrence circles outside. Lawrence lands another high kick and a leg kick. Lawrence keeps circling on the outside and checks a head kick from Sanchez. Sanchez checks a right hook. Lawrence is constantly moving, while Sanchez is trying to walk him down, heading straight for wherever Lawrence is. Lawrence always seems to slide out of the way right when you think he'd pin Lawrence against the fence. Sanchez pins him up against the cage with hands around his waist, and Lawrence slides sideways toward the cage door trying to get free. McCarthy calls for more work with 14 seconds left and Lawrence steps free to throw a few shots. Close first round.
Round 2: Side kicks by Lawrence to open R2 as Sanchez tries to swarm. Lawrence dips down for some body shots and ducks under a head kick. Lawrence lands a nice counter left when Sanchez tries to cut an angle, and Lawrence getting the better of exchanges is the story of this fight thus far. Sanchez ties him up again at 90 seconds and Lawrence spins to avoid being thrown to the ground. Sanchez is burning a lot of energy with these attempts. You can see Lawrence has opened up some cuts on Sanchez face. McCarthy calls for work at 2:54 and warns Sanchez to let go of the cage. Sanchez is trying to pull the head down to land a knee but can't get it there. "Work it out, let's go" is the call at 3:49. He resets them with a minute left. Sanchez lands a flush right kick to the head with just over 10 seconds left and Lawrence falls backward but is held up by the fence. In the center of the cage he might have pounced and finished it but instead Lawrence survives to the bell.
Round 3: Both men high five and go right back to swinging. Sanchez rushes Lawrence to the fence and hits a few foot stomps. McCarthy calls for work as things stall out. Sanchez is warned to watch fingers to the eyes. Sanchez gets that takedown he was looking for but Lawrence quickly spins his way on top. Sanchez goes for elbows from his back and keeps trying to slide his legs up. Gold Bond gets a lot of free advertising as they slide back and forth across the logo. Well not free - I'm sure they paid plenty for the placement. Perhaps "bonus time" is the word. Sanchez keeps fishing for some submission attempts but Lawrence avoids one after another. Sanchez gets up with 30 seconds to go. Sanchez lands a knee but goes for a takedown late and runs out of time.
Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28 Lawrence, 29-28 Sanchez, 29-28 for Sanchez by split decision.
Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels
Rickels comes out with a club in his arms and a sabre-tooth headdress on. Chandler has no gimmicks other than being from Missouri, and he points up to the Gateway Arch as he walks in. Rickels is 16-3, Chandler is 13-3. Rickels is in the gray trunks and fights out of Derby, Kansas. Chandler is in the black trunks with blue trim and fights out of High Ridge, Missouri. Our referee in charge is Mike England.
Round 1: Both men sprint to the center to touch gloves and quickly put their hands up. Chandler pushes Rickels toward the fence throwing bombs and ends up on top on the ground as they battle for a takedown. Chandler loads up and delivers a right elbow. Rickels tries to tie up the arms and pull down the head so Chandler can't posture up and punish him. Chandler tries to jump pass at 1:58 but Rickels' long legs keep him in full guard. England warns them to stay busy at the halfway point of R1. Chandler pushes off and stands up when he smells a submission attempt coming. Chandler takes Rickels down again at 3:55. Chandler takes half guard briefly with 20 seconds left but is back in full guard at the bell for a solid 10-9 R1 in his favor.
Round 2: Chandler is again the aggressor to open R2 and lands a nasty leg kick before pushing Rickels to the cage. He kicks a leg out to complete another takedown at 40 seconds. Rickels gets back up at the minute mark but Chandler rocks him with a right in the exchanges and goes for a guillotine. Chandler pours on the ground and pound and takes the neck for another guillotine attempt. Rickels pulls out at 2:23 but he's covered in his own blood. England is warning Rickels to fight back. Chandler pours on rights until it's stopped just after the three minute mark.
Final result: Michael Chandler wins via TKO at 3:05 of the second round.
Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson
20-14 for Thompson, 13-2 for Lashley. Thompson has on red trunks, sports a red mohawk, and fights out of Arlington, Texas by way of Manchester England. Lashley has on white trunks and fights out of Coconut Creek, Florida by way of Parker, Colorado. Our referee in charge is Mike England.
Round 1: No "gong and dash" for either man - instead Lashley dives for the takedown at 12 seconds and gets it. Lashley hammers away with lefts and a whole lot of rights and England stops the fight at just under a minute. Thompson falls over when he tries to stand up after the fight.
Final result: The fight is stopped 54 seconds into round one for Bobby Lashley by technical knockout.
Alex Huddleston vs. Augusto Sakai
Round 1: Red trunks for Alex Huddleston. Dark trunks for Augusto Sakai. Huddleston's record is 6-1 and he fights out of Denver, Colorado. Sakai's record is 8-0 and he fights out of Curitiba, Brazil. Our referee in charge is Mark Wasem. Huddleston lands the first leg kick at 25 seconds. Both men are being cautious, circling and feeling out the range, which one would think favors the taller and lankier Huddleston. Sakai kicks him right in the top and the ref calls time at 1:43. Huddleston doesn't need the full five to recover so action resumes in short order. The crowd is remarkably patient given how few significant strikes have landed. Sakai is getting through with a few jabs here and there. Huddleston keeps trying to push him toward the fence and pays for it when he eats a big right hand. He recovers and gets back up for the final 25 seconds of R1. Sakai may have won that round just for the knockdown.
Round 2: Huddleston keeps getting tagged in exchanges throughout the first round of R2, but is still trying the same strategy as the last round, with the same result - Sakai nails him when he tries to get it to the fence. Huddleston keeps wiping his right eye. Huddleston tries to drop levels for a takedown and Sakai shuts him down and momentarily considers a guillotine, then backs Huddleston straight up into the fence and lands a good left knee before letting Huddleston go. Huddleston is winning less with cage control than almost any heavyweight I've seen - he's had the better position and consistently eaten damage from it. Another round to Sakai.
Round 3: Huddleston shows no urgency through the first two minutes for a guy who is probably down two rounds. "Very silent crowd so far" quips Jimmy Smith. In this fight they definitely are. Huddleston stays at range throwing kicks and then covers up when Sakai hammers him in response. Sakai hurts him as he comes in at 4:05 forcing Huddleston to back off. Huddleston shoots at 4:25 and doesn't come close to getting it. Huddleston hurts Sakai with a counter right with just seconds left but has no time to pound it out.
Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28 all for the unanimous winner Augusto Sakai.
Adam Cella vs. Chel Erwin-Davis
Round 1: The 2-1 Erwin-Davis is in the yellow and black trunks. The 6-4 Cella is in the green trunks. Our referee in charge is Mike England. Erwin-Davis gets a takedown to side control 28 seconds after we begin, but Cella sweeps and ends up on top in the same position. After a reversal attempt they both wind up on the feet at 1:13. Erwin-Davis and Cella battle for position until Erwin-Davis takes him down at 1:52, he pulls guard looking for a guillotine, and England is keeping a close eye on Cella to see if he'll tap. He pops his head free at 2:44 and lays in strikes from on top. Erwin Davis stands at 3:10 and is immediately taken back down. Cella tries to get knee on belly for a full mount, lays in a pounding, takes the back and goes for the chin, Erwin-Davis turns his head to avoid Cella getting it in deep. Erwin-Davis escapes an armbar attempt and ends up laying in a pounding of his own right before the bell ends R1.
Round 2: Both men stand and trade to open R2, with Erwin-Davis firing off solid leg kicks. Cella closes the distance but loses position against the fence. They break at 0:59. Cella keeps looking for an uppercut. Erwin-Davis tries to keep him at distance with body and leg kicks. Cella closes distance and Erwin-Davis takes him down. He's trying to elbow Cella in the head from half guard. Erwin-Davis' corner calls for more work. Cella gives up his back as he gets blasted with elbows, then gets up and slams Erwin-Davis to the ground at 3:03. His head is trapped in a guillotine as he hits it but he's free at 3:30 and passes, but Erwin-Davis sweeps and ends up back on top. More elbows and lefts from Erwin-Davis. The bell comes as sweet relief for Cella. England warns Cella he'll stop the fight if Erwin-Davis gets another dominant position like that and Cella doesn't defend.
Round 3: A sporting tap of gloves starts off R3. Erwin-Davis rocks Cella with a right at 28 seconds and it's stopped less than 10 seconds later.
Final result: Chel Erwin-Davis wins via technical knockout 35 seconds into the third round.
Garrett Gross vs. Jeff Crotty
Round 1: Making his pro debut out of Staunton, Illinois is Jeff Crotty in the black and green trunks. His opponent Garrett Gross is 6-4 in the gray trunks out of Coconut Creek, Florida. Mark Wasem is the referee. Crotty gets the first takedown of the fight. They both stand up at 42 seconds, Crotty jumps on his back. Gross succumbs to his wait and is taken down, he gets up, Crotty pulls guard for a guillotine and lets Gross on top. He kicks him away with his feet and tries to get back up. Gross circles and kicks the legs, then nails Crotty with an uppercut when he gets up. Crotty tries to respond by charging at him throwing shots, and the more experienced Gross drops him with a right uppercut at 3:01 and circles a bit before jumping on him on the ground. Gross turns on the ground and pound at 3:50 but Crotty gets back up and hurts Gross with a shot before taking him down. Crotty passes to side with 30 seconds left and holds on 'til the bell.
Round 2: Gross opens up R2 staying at range and throwing leg kicks. Gross hurts Crotty with another big punch a minute in but Crotty responds by going for a single leg and getting a takedown. Call for work from the ref at 2:10. Crotty responds by getting full mount at 2:19. It's not enough as Crotty is warned to be more active. They are stood up at 3:12. Crotty gets another takedown at 3:30. Another warning for work with a minute left. Crotty is on top as R2 ends.
Round 3: Both men tap gloves for the third and final round. Crotty gets yet another takedown 20 seconds into R3 and spins his way to North-South, then throws his leg back to get a full mount at the minute mark. They start rolling and Gross winds up on top at 1:40. Crotty goes for an inverted triangle and can't get Gross to tap but he's back on top in side control as Gross rolls to escape danger. Both men stand at 2:35 and Gross is immediately throwing uppercuts. Crotty tries to get a single leg but lets Gross on top in guard doing so. Crotty scrambles and gets away at 3:33 then gets decked with a big right hand. He dives for a single leg and can't get it. Crotty falls down from fatigue and uses butterfly to keep Gross at bay. Gross tries to ground and pound it out but Crotty avoids just enough strikes to survive to the bell.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27 x3 for Garrett Gross.
Steve Mann vs. Kyle Kurtz
Round 1: Kurtz is in black trunks, 4-1, fighting out of Jackson, Missouri. Mann is in the blue trunks, 10-3, fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri. Our referee is John Duver. Mann is the aggressor early, and he gets a takedown 19 seconds in. Mann quickly moves to side control and has to defend as Kurtz tries to trap an arm. Mann finally gets loose and lands a big elbow, but Kurtz momentarily sweeps his way free, and Mann responds by getting a full mount. Kurtz gets loose and up and is taken right back down at 1:50. Mann is trying to posture up but Kurtz gets his legs around Mann's head looking for a triangle and taps Mann before the three minute mark.
Final result: Kyle Kurtz submits Steve Mann via triangle at 2:59 of the first round.
Kain Royer vs. Clay Mitchell
Round 1: Mitchell is 1-0 in the black trunks out of Carlyle, Illinois. Also in black trunks and sporting a mohawk is the 1-2 Royer out of Carrolltown, Illinois. Mark Wasem is our referee. Royer goes for a single leg immediately and Mitchell sprawls and defends well, even winding up on top when it appears Royer finally has it. Mitchell pounds him in the head and Royer gives up his back. Royer manages to spin on top but Mitchell turns goes for a triangle. Royer escapes it, nearly gets caught in it again, and settles into full guard on top with 2:30 left. Mitchell throws his legs up again when Royer tries to pass. Royer goes for a kneebar and Mitchell taps out.
Final result: Kain Royer wins via submission (kneebar) at 3:41 of the first round.
Adam Meredith vs. Jordan Dowdy
Round 1: Blue trunks for Dowdy, 2-0, fighting out of Collinsville, Illinois. Black trunks for Meredith, 3-1, fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri. Our referee in charge is John Duver. They tap gloves and we're underway. Meredith is trying to wing in big left hands from the get-go. Dowdy responds by shooting in for a takedown and they end up stuck to the fence. Dowdy keeps trying to sneak a leg in and trip him, then ends up taking Dowdy's back on the ground and getting the rear naked choke quickly at 1:54. Textbook definition of a lightning submission.
Final result: Adam Meredith via rear naked choke at 1:54 of the first round.
Scott Ettling vs. Fazlo Mulabitinovic
Round 1: Black/white trunks, 2-0, fighting out of Hillsboro, Illinois is Scott Ettling. Black trunks, 2-1, fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri is Mulabitinovic. Our referee is Mike England. Ettling looks for a takedown early and gets it at 36 seconds. Mulabitinovic tries to throw his legs up around Ettling's neck a couple of times as they battle for position along the fence. England warns Mulabitinovic about shots to the back of the head. He goes for an armbar and taps Ettling out quick.
Final result: Fazlo Mulabitinovic via armbar submission at 1:52 of the first round.