The fourth Bellator MMA event of 2015 was the "Warren vs. Galvao" card, also known as Bellator 135, taking place last Friday night (Mar. 27, 2015) on Spike TV at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
The headline fight on the card was an anticipated rematch between Joe Warren and Marcos Galvao. Warren picked up a controversial win in their last meeting, but this time the Bellator bantamweight title was on the line along with Warren's five fight win streak. Would Warren be able to hang onto the belt he just unified in a bout with Eduardo Dantas?
Joe Warren's takedowns were a key part of the first round, but he couldn't keep Galvao down for long on any of them. By getting them with enough frequency and landing his right hand effectively, the first five minutes were the champ's.
That was the end of Warren winning. Marcos Galvao rolled for a kneebar in round two, torquing it grotesquely until Warren screamed in pain and John McCarthy stopped the fight. The submission earned Galvao the Bellator bantamweight championship at 0:45 of Round two! Zombie Prophet has the agonizing wail of Warren below.
Marcos Galvao spoke to Jimmy Smith after the fight via translator.
"I respect Joe Warren. I respect him a lot. He's a nice guy. He talked a lot because he's promoting the fight. It was a verbal submission, he didn't tap but that's a verbal submission, that's the same."
Joe Warren was pacing the cage anxiously just waiting to respond.
"He had a good move but c'mon gimme a break. I did not submit, you all saw that c'mon. I'M THE BADDEST MAN - THAT'S MY BELT!"
The co-main event had future title contender potential. Undefeated thus far in Bellator, LC Davis vowed he had yet to show the promotion his best work, but veteran Japanese fighter Hideo Tokoro had the chance to play spoiler and upset Davis' bantamweight title aspirations.
Tokoro literally came flying out at the opening bell with a knee, which was a hallmark of the action packed first round, with neither man gaining a clear advantage even though Davis consistently landed his left jab and hook. The amazing thing is that neither man slowed down in the second or third round.
Davis outstruck Tokoro throughout the second but Tokoro never quit going for submissions even when he got dropped. Tokoro rocked Davis early in the third and Davis had to pull out of several armbars, but he in turn was scrambling for takedowns and submissions. Jason Herzog stopped the action for what he believed was an illegal upkick by Tokoro (replay showed it was not) and that may have helped Davis recover. Zombie Prophet has the replay.
Davis had a guillotine late, but Tokoro survived. After fifteen minutes of almost non-stop action, the judges were able to come to a decision - scoring the contest 29-28 Tokoro and 29-28 X2 for the winner LC Davis.
Davis dedicated the fight to his deceased brother afterward and spoke to Jimmy Smith about the fast paced fight.
"Man, every round was tough. Hat's off to that guy. He's a veteran, it was an honor to fight him. I was looking for a knockout, I didn't get it, but I'm glad the fans liked it. I'm glad I made an impression. I want to stay active. There's a St. Louis card coming up, I want the winner OR the loser. Give me that title shot, or give me the #1 contender. I'm ready!"
Two formerly UFC affiliated fighters made their debuts tonight in the Bellator cage at light heavyweight. Francis Carmont was looking to pump the brakes on a three fight losing streak with a move up in weight, while former The Ultimate Fighting (TUF) Brazil 3 prospect Guilherme Viana was looking for a major upset.
Things seemed close in the first round, as both fighters worked at a measured pace, and Viana was able to block Carmont's takedown attempts. The leg kicks of Carmont were starting to take a toll though, and as Viana slowed down in the second round, Carmont rocked him with a right and poured it on against the fence. He went for a takedown, possibly hoping to finish with a submission, but Viana hung on and survived R2.
Just when it seemed like Viana had no chance, he swept his way out of a takedown over a minute into R3, quickly transitioning to the back and looking for a rear naked choke. Carmont stayed elusive, keeping his chin tucked and controlling the hands and arms, but his escape from danger nearly put him into an armbar. He broke away from that and was on top for the rest of the round, leading to the judges awarding him a unanimous decision 29-28 X3.
The opener for Spike TV was a lightweight contest with a lot at stake for both men. Dakota Cochrane sought a second chance to make a first impression in Bellator, while Ryan Couture wanted to move up the lightweight ranks. Only one man could achieve their goal tonight in the cage.
Cochrane looked strong early in the bout, snapping Couture to the ground with a takedown when they spun across the fence, and he went looking for another after they traded strikes when Couture stood up. If he had Couture dazed that would have been the right call, but a fresh Couture stuffed it, took the back and sunk in the rear naked choke at 3:24 of the first round. The visual is courtesy of Zombie Prophet.
Couture spoke to Jimmy Smith after the fight about the finish.
"As soon as I get that first hook in, especially if I got that wrist right on the other side, I'm a nightmare to get off. I give guys fits in the training room from there. So once I was there, I was comfortable and confident, just biding my time to open him up, get that second hook and find his neck - and that's exactly what I did."
Smith asked him if he has lightweight title aspirations: "Dakota's a tough established veteran, and I got in here and took care of business quick. Hopefully someday soon I'll be knocking on the door of that title shot."
The televised bouts were paired with exciting preliminary action that aired exclusively on Spike.com.