The sixth Bellator MMA event of 2015 was the "Halsey vs. Grove" card, also known as Bellator 137, taking place May 15th, 2015 on Spike TV inside the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
The featured bout at the top of the card saw undefeated middleweight Brandon Halsey putting his perfect record on the line against UFC and TUF veteran Kendall Grove, after Halsey missed weight and was stripped of his Bellator title.
Halsey needed just 35 seconds to beat Alexander Shlemenko, while "Da Spyder" earned the right to face Halsey by submitting former light heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu. How did Halsey fare in this bout, and did Grove claim the vacant middleweight title in their fight?
Halsey exerted his physical dominance for the first three rounds, taking Grove down, whose sole hope seemed to be that the muscular "Bull" would run out of gas. That did not occur. Grove hunted for a triangle choke a couple of times in the third round, but Halsey avoided each attempt.
He hoped for a guillotine after getting rocked in round four, but that didn't emerge and he was taken down again 48 seconds in. After being warned multiple times to fight back, Beltran finally saw enough and stopped the fight at 2:25 (watch the video replay here).
The former champion did not speak to Jimmy Smith after the main event, remaining undefeated in victory but having to consider his options for the future as a middleweight.
Second from the top was a 139-pound catchweight fight with ranking implications for contenders to Marcos Galvao's bantamweight belt. Former champion Galvao already holds a win over Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 89, but to earn a another shot at getting the title he would have to first beat the larger man in Mike Richman.
The size advantage proved troublesome for Dantas. His takedowns were effective in the first round, non-existent in the second, and he only managed one in the third. Richman continued to tune him up with strikes for the last 10 minutes and by the third, had opened a nasty cut just above the left eyebrow.
The result seemed clear until judges scored the fight and Michael Smith announced the results: 29-28 x3 for Eduardo Dantas, and the boos rained down in Temecula at the verdict. Dantas offered no post-fight comment on the judging.
Temecula fan favorite Fernando Gonzalez came into last night's card with a three-fight winning streak in Bellator's competitive welterweight division. One more win over "Curtious" Curtis Millender was potentially enough to put him in line for the winner of Douglas Lima vs. Andrey Koreshkov in July. Millender looked to foil those plans and avenge a loss to Brennan Ward in his Bellator debut.
Things did not seem to favor Gonzalez early, giving up both a height and reach advantage to Millender, although a late takedown and hammerfists made the first round close. In the second round, Gonzalez couldn't find Millender's chin and wound up taking a lot of jabs as his opponent backed away, followed by push kicks to the knee. "The Menifee Maniac" seemingly pulled guard out of desperation in round three, thinking he was two rounds in the hole, and it paid with a guillotine submission at 1:14.
Zombie Prophet has the visual.
Gonzalez spoke to Jimmy Smith afterward.
"I felt that I won the first round, I knew if I won the third, I'd get the decision, but I wanted to finish. Skiers get cold, swimmers get wet, and fighters get hit. I knew I'd get hit and I'd have to use my heart to pull it out. I want that belt. This is my fourth win in a row. I think I'm the one that's the closest to (it) but whatever Bellator wants."
Darrion Caldwell put his perfect record on the line against Rafael Silva, a man who had previously strung together seven and 13 fight winning streaks. Silva's only loss in the last four years came against Joe Warren. Either man could arguably have leapfrogged their way into the upper echelon of the bantamweight class with a big win.
Caldwell used his superior wrestling technique to hand the once-dominant Silva a loss. There was little Silva could do to block the single legs and leg trips, and his only response was to go for a couple of heel hooks and a guillotine, each of which Caldwell was able to escape without ever appearing to be in danger. Knowing he was in the hole in round three, Silva did nothing but beg Caldwell to exchange, and Caldwell's response was more takedowns.
After the scores were announced -- a unanimous 29-28 x3 -- Caldwell dedicated his victory to a close personal friend who committed suicide, then told Jimmy Smith about his title aspirations.
"Scott Coker, I'm here to be your guy. The 135-pound champion. Give me a chance and I will thrive."
The televised bouts were paired with exciting preliminary action that aired exclusively on Spike.com.
Check out our live streaming results RIGHT HERE to see who else made a name for themselves inside the cage at Bellator 137 in Temecula.