The tenth Bellator MMA event of 2015 was "Guillard vs. Girtz" -- also known as Bellator 141 -- which took place last night (Fri., Aug. 28, 2015) on Spike TV inside Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
In the main event, Melvin Guillard made his promotional debut, still a relatively "Young Assassin" at 32 years of age, but one in serious need of consistency with only three wins in his last 10 fights. Promotional veteran Brandon Girtz was looking to spoil his debut and make a statement with a second straight win.
Girtz was able to foil Guillard's plans by being patient, measuring the range, landing a big shot and immediately throwing Guillard to the ground. By the second round Guillard had trouble seeing out of one eye.
Guillard still had a chance in the third when referee "Big" John McCarthy stood up Girtz for inactivity. Girtz did not turn to face his opponent and got creamed. By getting on his bicycle and getting another late takedown, he avoided a knockout loss and sent the fight to the judges. Girtz took a 29-27 from two out of three viewing the fight for a split decision.
After the fight Girtz spoke to Jimmy Smith about his lapse in concentration late.
"I'm an idiot. The ref told me to turn around, and I turned around right into a punch. I was thinking damn, I should have been ready."
Ready or not, he won the fight.
Lorenzo Hood and Raphael Butler were scratched late because of an unfortunate knee injury as Hood was warming up, so Bellator added a Tito Ortiz interview to the show to fill time.
"I started this camp a lot earlier than I usually do. I'm in great shape, I'm ready for five five minute rounds. I have a great opportunity and that's a chance to be a world champion again. (McGeary) can want all these wants, but he's not going to make a name off of me. I have everything on my shoulders. I'm living the American dream right now."
Ortiz was then shown a clip of McGeary talking about his title defense against Ortiz at "Dynamite 1."
"I'll see him on September 19th. He can talk all the s--t he wants. I'll soon shut his mouth after that cage door closes."
Ortiz was more than happy to respond.
"I guess I'm not the one talking s--t! Thank you Liam, thank you for giving me this opportunity. On September 19th, when we get in this cage yes it is going to be locked behind. I hope you're ready for some damage, because Tito Ortiz is going to rain havoc on your face."
Fan favorite Patricky "Pitbull" Freire is on a quest to achieve his younger brother Patricio Freire's level of championship success. Standing in his way was Saad Awad, a man who had already faced current champion "Ill" Will Brooks twice (and knocked him out once).
The fight was a back and forth affair for all 15 minutes with Awad seeming to control the pace in the first round, Freire seeming to control it in the third, and the second round completely up for grabs - though Freire landed enough stinging hands and elbows to have Awad bleeding from the mouth. Still it was up to the judges to make a ruling on this one, and they ultimately decided (to some dismay from the California crowd) that Freire won every round for a 30-27 sweep.
Jimmy Smith spoke to Freire and his translator after the fight and asked if he wants a shot at Will Brooks down the line.
"Awad is a good guy. He knows my hand is power. Awad has power too. I respect him, he respect me, so I'm back. (Will Brooks) talks too much, he's a clown. Shut up! I'm coming."
Justin Wren spent five years away from MMA doing humanitarian work in the Congo, but was not coming to Bellator MMA to give Josh Burns any charitable gifts. Burns was a middling journeyman going in (8-8), but had the benefit of not being inactive over that same time span.
Wren needed to get tagged a couple of times by Burns to remember he wasn't in the Congo any more, but once he got a little blood trickling from his nose, his old instincts seemed to take over. Wren was particularly explosive in the second round, tying Burns up against the fence and unloading over and over with knees. The barrage left Burns bloody, but unbeaten. A doctor cleared him to continue in the third round and he lost that one too, going down 30-27, 30-26 X2.
Wren spoke to Jimmy Smith after his hand was raised.
"I couldn't have planned or prepared for the adrenaline dump. Five years off - there's a lot of ring rust and I felt it. He had cuts over both of his eyes, and I really landed some knees that are solid. My knees are swollen from hitting his head. I'm disappointed with my performance, but I'm happy with the exposure I got for my Pygmy family."
The show opened with a fight previously unannounced for Spike TV featuring one of the pioneers of women's MMA - Marloes Coenen - taking on Arlene Blencowe at Featherweight. Blencowe tried to brawl with Coenen to open each round but the wild punches did not yield knockdowns - they yielded openings for Coenen's takedowns. Coenen's submission game was too strong for the up-and-coming Blencowe, who tapped to an armbar at 3:23 of R2.
Coenen spoke to Jimmy Smith after the fight.
"I thought I had (the armbar) one time before but she slipped away so she trained really good on that. I'm so grateful to Mr. Coker over there. He was the first big promoter who saw that women are warriors."
The televised bouts were paired with exciting "Prelims" action that aired exclusively on Spike.com.
Check out our live streaming Bellator 141 results RIGHT HERE to see who else made a name for themselves inside the cage last night in Temecula.