Bellator 155: "Carvalho vs. Manhoef" takes place TONIGHT (Fri., May 20, 2016) from inside CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, featuring a Middleweight title match between champion Rafael Carvalho and the ferocious, hard-hitting Melvin Manhoef.
Manhoef rocketed into title contention with a sterling first round knockout of Hisaki Kato at Bellator 146 in Nov. 2015. Just one month earlier, Carvalho finished off Brandon Halsey via liver kick to capture the vacant title belt.
In addition, two earlier fights on the Spike TV-televised card could determine future contenders in their respective weight classes. Pat Curran and Georgi Karakhanyan clash in the co-main event, while Marloes Coenen and Alexis Dufresne will have a key women's fight also in the Featherweight division.
Bellator 155 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 "Prelims" undercard action airing on Spike.com at 7 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 155) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 155 QUICK RESULTS:
Rafael Carvalho (c) vs. Melvin Manhoef -- Carvalho SD 48-47 X2, 47-48.
Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan -- Curran UD 29-28 X3.
Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai -- DRAW 30-26, 28-28 X2.
Marloes Coenen vs. Alexis Dufresne -- Dufresne via sub (armbar) 4:33 R1.
Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley -- Gormley SD 29-28 X2, 28-29.
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen -- Held UD 30-27, 29-28 X2.
Joe Hamilton vs. Tyler Freeland -- Hamilton via sub (RNC) 0:22 R1.
Veta Arteaga vs. Jackie Vandenburgh -- Arteaga UD 30-27, 29-28 X2.
Vince Morales vs. Hamilton Ash -- Morales KO 2:32 R3.
Brendan Raftery vs. Casey Johnson -- Johnson via sub (RNC) 1:16 R2.
Scott Thometz vs. Josh Tyler -- Thometz UD 30-27, 30-25 X2.
Sean Powers vs. Will Noland -- Noland KO 3:29 R1.
Jesse Brock vs. Olly Bradstreet -- Brock via sub (RNC) 3:57 R3.
BELLATOR 155 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Rafael Carvalho (c) vs. Melvin Manhoef
Manhoef is in the red trunks. He's 30-12-1, 2 NC and fights out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The champion Carvalho is in the white trunks. He's 12-1 and hails from Rio de Janeiro, fighting out of Campo Grande, Brazil. Our referee in charge of the main event is John McCarthy. Here we go!
Round 1: Both men step forward and cautiously put their hands up. Carvalho lands the first leg kick. Carvalho keeps landing kicks. Manhoef is doing his best to stay out of Carvalho's long range. Carvalho goes upstairs with a kick. Body kick by Carvalho. He keeps inching closer and closer to Manhoef with each strike delivered. McCarthy calls for work at three minutes as the crowd starts booing. Front kick by Carvalho. McCarthy stops the fight at 3:40 and gives them a stern warning to pick up the pace. They don't appear to have understood. The crowd starts booing again. Some of you at home may be reaching for the libations right now. Carvalho wins a very lackluster 10-9 round.
Round 2: The crowd is mercilessly booing right from the start of R2. Manhoef throws a high kick that's checked. Both men trade leg kicks. Carvalho's right hand keeps reaching out and grabbing Manhoef's left. Manhoef throws a hard body kick. Body kick and leg kick by Carvalho. The boo birds are back at 2:20. Leg kicks by Carvalho. One lone woman is screaming her head off trying to make it seem exciting. I wonder if it's Carvalho's wife. Carvalho is shaking his right fist like he wants to throw it -- but he doesn't. Leg kicks from Manhoef. Flurry at 4:03 but Carvalho is not phased by it. Jumping knee by Carvalho. Carvalho lands an errant knee but doesn't know it and an elbow to the head as McCarthy was trying to break it up. This is a mess. McCarthy drops an F bomb. Carvalho apologizes repeatedly to McCarthy before he restarts it with 16 seconds left. Manhoef throws a couple of high kicks. He may have won R2.
Round 3: Manhoef lands a combo 10 seconds into R2 and Carvalho backpedals. Manhoef takes a finger to the eye and McCarthy calls time and tells Carvalho he's not going to warn him again. And then he stops the fight to warn him again at 40 seconds -- that's got to be the LAST last time. Body kick by Manhoef. Carvalho ties up with him and pushes into the fence. Manhoef turns him around, throws him to the side, and clips him with a left. Carvalho trips him to the ground at 2:14. Manhoef stands back up at 2:32. Carvalho lands a knee to the groin and McCarthy stops the fight. McCarthy doesn't take a point but says this is absolutely the last time. Manhoef recovers and the fight resumes. Carvalho throws a punch and drops levels, and they tie up against the fence as the crowd boos. This time Carvalho is getting the better of the dirty boxing until Manhoef lands an uppercut on the break. I don't know who to score this round for and I'm reaching the point I have a hard time caring who won it.
Round 4: Manhoef is going to the fourth round for the first time ever in MMA. Carvalho goes for a double leg and misses. Manhoef almost cleans his clock with a left hook. Carvalho goes for the jump knee, drops levels, and gets the takedown at 1:08 into side control. The crowd is nonplussed with Carvalho laying on top and McCarthy feels the same way. This crowd was so excited about Bellator coming to their city and they're now openly belligerent and hostile toward what they're seeing. Manhoef stands up at 2:20. Jimmy Smith sounds desperate on commentary. "I'm just trying to come up with something dude!" Manhoef grazes Carvalho's chin with a left hook as he backpedals. Loud displeasure from the patrons at 3:45. If the concession stands were still open they would be getting beverages right now. Manhoef misses with with a spinning head kick. He throws the left hook and Carvalho backs away. Leg kick by Manhoef lands. Carvalho's hands are down around his waist now. Both men walk away before the bell ends R4 and the boos are thunderously loud. Jimmy Smith: "Beyond my comprehension."
Round 5: And now with a fifth and final round we can all be put out of our misery. The crowd is now entertaining themselves by chanting BOISE, STATE. Hard body kick by Manhoef. Jump knee by Carvalho misses. Carvalho shoots for a takedown at 1:47 and he's got it, and Manhoef is back up 20 seconds later. Carvalho keeps the clinch against the fence and McCarthy calls for work. Now it's Melvin Manhoef taking Carvalho down twice. It's looking more and more like Manhoef is going to win the title. No one will accuse him of having the most exciting fight of his career, but you have to call it an effective strategy, whether you enjoyed watching it or not. Jimmy Smith: "A great man once said the world needs plenty of bartenders!" Carvalho just walked away after he got up. McCarthy warns them for inactivity at 4:20. Carvalho waves his hands like he doesn't even want to be there. Manhoef throws a head kick. Inexplicably and unbelievably we are going to the judges.
Final result: The judges scored this contest 48-47 Manhoef, 48-47 Carvalho, and 48-47 for Carvalho by split decision.
Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
Karakhanyan is in the aquamarine trunks and blue gloves for our co-main event. He's 24-5-1 and originally hails from Moscow, Russia -- now fighting out of Riverside, California. Curran has on the red trunks and red gloves. He's 21-7 and fights out of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Our referee is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: They touch gloves once during the instructions, a second time to start the bout, and Karakhanyan throws the first kick. Curran is bouncing like a boxer, switching his feet, keeping his hands up and his chin tucked. Karakhanyan walks straight at him to throw another leg kick. He flinches with Curran feints a knee. Curran throws a leg kick. Both men dance side to side. Spin kick from Karakhanyan. Flying knee for Karakhanyan misses. Push kicks by Curran. Spinning heel kick from Karakhanyan misses. Curran rocks him with a left hook to the chin and Karakhanyan hangs on for dear life trying to clear his head as Curran jumps on top. Curran is trying to pull his left leg through to mount or a pass to side, and he jumps for full mount at 4:12 and goes for the armbar. Karakhanyan escapes it but Curran jumps right back on top. 10-9 round for Curran.
Round 2: Karakhanyan shoots and Curran easily stuffs it and is right on top 9 seconds into R2. Karakhanyan spends the first minute fishing for a submission position off his back but ultimately gives up his back, getting one hook in at 1:48 and patiently waiting for an opening to come. If Curran can lock on a submission and tap Karakhanyan out he'll be the first man to do it in Karakhanyan's entire career. Karakanyan rolls out of danger, goes for a guillotine, can't find it and winds up on top at 3:21. Curran tries to throw his legs up but Karakhanyan senses it coming and blocks it. Herzog stands them up for inactivity with 30 seconds left. I'd score this round for Curran because he was on top longer but neither man achieved their goals.
Round 3: Karakhanyan shoots again and is stuffed at 11 seconds. His corner told him he was down 2-0 between rounds. Leg kick from Curran. Curran dances and jabs. Dueling leg kicks. Curran puts a hand on his chin and swarms to take his back against the fence. He throws a knee to the body but Karakhanyan uses that opening for a takedown. If he is down 2-0 he's got half a round to turn it around. Curran successfully blocks or neutralizes every move Karakhanyan makes, leading to scattered boos from the crowd in Boise as they want more action. Time ticks away as Karakahnyan looks for an arm triangle but winds up back in full guard. We're going to the judges.
Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28 X3 for Pat Curran by unanimous decision.
Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai
Sakai is 9-0 in the black trunks and fights out of Curitiba, Brazil. Charles is 10-3 in the white trunks and fights out Gilbert, Arizona. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Charles takes the center and throws the first leg kick. Sakai takes a right to the chin, but grabs the clinch and throws a couple of hard knees to the body, then misses with a right hand uppercut as Charles quickly backs away. Now Sakai throws the hard leg kick. High kick misses. Charles with another leg kick. Sakai's leg kicks look so nasty. There's a crispness to the way he delivers them. Charles is clearly wary of taking more as the fight draws on. Sakai lands one on the arm and then a left one on the cup that doubles Charles in pain, forcing McCarthy to call time. Charles is able to walk it off, McCarthy warns Sakai he "won't get any more chances" if he does it again, and we resume at 2:45. Sakai continues to work the kicks and he lands one at 3:25 to the cup, and McCarthy is pissed about it. Charles goes over to his corner a second time to try and shake it off. McCarthy gives the one point deduction he promised and the fight resumes. Charles doesn't do anything to steal the round in the last minute so this is going to wind up a 9-9 on the scorecards.
Round 2: Charles is trying to jumpstart R2 by throwing a few kicks of his own. Sakai seems to be claiming a cup shot of his own but McCarthy says it was on the belt line and the fight continues. Charles keeps circling and kicking, and the deduction seems to have gotten into Sakai's head. He's very tentative now. He lands a hard kick to the body and goes up high for a head kick that's blocked. The crowd is nearly silent during this fight - only reacting when one or the other lands a strong kick. Sakai finally seems to be loosening up in the fourth minute. Charles throws a good left hand to the head. It's anybody's fight but there's every chance a full three rounds could lead to a draw.
Round 3: Charles charges in and gets a takedown 8 seconds into R3 but Sakai is able to spring back to his feet when Charles tries to step over. Sakai lands a hard and loud body kick. Sakai has to stop for a second and pull his trunks up around his love handles. Another body kick connects. Sakai tries to corner Charles against the fence to brawl but he slips out. He throws another nasty leg kick. It looks very good for Sakai that Charles is backpedaling almost this entire round. Sakai keeps attacking the legs and pushing forward. Front kick to the face momentarily wobbles Charles. Leg kick. Charles keeps backing away then throws his hands in the air like he won after the bell and McCarthy has to hold Sakai back. These will be interesting scorecards.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-26 Charles, 28-28 and 28-28 for a majority draw.
Marloes Coenen vs. Alexis Dufresne
Coenen is 23-6, Dufresne is 5-2. Dufresne fights out of Temecula, California. Coenen fights out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This fight was changed to a catchweight of 150 pounds due to Dufresne missing weight. Our referee is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Dufresne goes for a leg trip and gets it but Coenen is more than happy to go for an armbar off her back. Dufresne escapes but that doesn't stop Coenen from going for a neck crank. I can't imagine why Dufresne was so eager to go to the ground with Coenen but then again I can't imagine why she missed weight by such a wide margin either. Dufresne is getting off no offense on top - all she's doing is blocking submission attempts. Coenen and Dufresne scoot toward the fence as Dufresne tries in vain to posture up. Coenen sweeps on top at 2:50. Now Dufresne is trying to hold onto Coenen's arms to avoid damage. Dufresne goes for a triangle and grabs the armbar for the tap at 4:33. I'm impressed by the submission but I'm still unimpressed she didn't make weight for the fight. That saves her job in Bellator but shouldn't by any right get her the inaugural title fight with Julia Budd. Somehow it probably will anyway.
Final result: Alexis Dufresne wins via submission (armbar) at 4:33 of the first round.
Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley
Round 1: 17-12 to 12-5 from Beltran to Gormley. Gormley is in the blue gloves and fights out of Los Angeles, California. Beltran is in the red gloves and fights out of Carlsbad, California. Our referee is Tom Supnet. With a tap of the gloves we are underway. Gormley is the pressure fighter early, coming forward with left hands and kicks. Beltran is staying right in the pocket with him looking for an opening. This is the second fight I've seen tonight where the two men look like they're in completely different weight classes - Gormley is huge in comparison. He lands a hard overhand right at 1:47. It'll take more than one of those to drop "The Mexecutioner." He throws another big one at 2:38. Beltran's only real response so far has been leg kicks. Nice body kick by Gormley at 3:36. He moves very fluidly for a guy who is 264 pounds. Beltran tags him with a left and swarms but Gormley never seemed to be wobbled. Overhand right lands again for Gormley. Beltran had a good moment or two but the majority of R1 is Gormley's for an easy 10-9.
Round 2: Even though Beltran is being out-struck so far he's barely giving up an inch of range to Gormley. He'll move to the outside for a second then step right back in. Gormley tries the overhand right again. Beltran lands a couple of good jabs to the nose. They exchange hard shots at 1:52. Nice left hook by Gormley at 2:03. Big leg kick follows seven seconds later. Good right hook from Beltran at 2:44. Good body kick for Gormley 12 seconds later. Beltran lands a right hand and Gormley doesn't flinch. Beltran being the smaller and less exhausted fighter may be starting to work to his advantage -- he's getting in and out and landing effective jabs and body shots. He ends R2 with a flurry trying to secure it in the eyes of the judges.
Round 3: This is anybody's fight right now. Beltran gets Gormley's attention with a big right. Gormley goes for a single leg, Beltran stumbles around, and Gormley is on top until Beltran turns out at 47 seconds. Beltran is the aggressor this round. Gormley must think he's up 2-0 right now. Big overhand right from Gormley at 3:03 but it's not on the button. He misses wide with the same punch a half minute later. No bell ringing blows from either fighter in the last minute so it's up to the judges now. Whoever gets it on the scorecard may wind up feeling they just squeaked by.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 Beltran, 29-28 Gormley and 29-28 for Gormley by split decision.
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen
Round 1: Held is 21-4 and fights out Tychy, Poland. Jansen is 20-3 and fights out of Portland, Oregon. Held is in the black trunks with orange trim, Jansen the yellow. Jason Herzog is our ref. Held charges forward throwing strikes. They tie up against the fence trying to gain the upper hand and break at 37 seconds. Jansen goes for a head and arm throw and has Held in a headlock on top. Held is trying to fight it off from his back with right hands to the head. That's not working. He tries to throw his legs up around Jansen's head. That's not working. Jansen tries to step over to mount but can't get it. Held goes for the footlock but Jansen slides out at 2:43. Held gives up his neck trying to get position to drag Jansen to the ground and go for another submission. Jansen lets go of a guillotine and they both stand at 3:25. Held with a takedown at 3:36 and Jansen has to scoot to the fence looking to get up. Jansen can't shake him off until only a few seconds are left in R1. Very close first round but I'd give a slight edge to Held for better strikes and takedowns, and because you can't award Jansen points for his failed submission attempt off the head and arm throw.
Round 2: Held tries a backward spinning head kick but then settles for the good old fashioned takedown. Jansen adopts a defensive posture from his back as some blood leaks out of a cut behind his ear. Held is turning him into a paintbrush as he pushes Jansen backward through the pools of blood. Finally Herzog calls time at 2:30 because he wants the doctor to take a look at the cut. On replay they believe it was the cartwheel kick that cut Jansen open. The doctor says it's okay and the fight continues. Jansen tries to keep Held at bay with leg kcks and lands a left hook, Held shoots for the takedown, Jansen tries the guillotine but quickly lets it go because he doesn't have it. Held is trying to slice him up with elbows on top, then falls back for the inverted heel hook. Jansen tries to spin out as Held goes for a foot lock in transition. He can't get either but Held is able to stay on top. Jimmy Smith compares Jansen's bloody face to Abdullah the Butcher. This is another 10-9 round for Held.
Round 3: Both men tap gloves to open up R3. It's Jansen who gets the advantage in the wrestling department this round but Held rolls for a leg at 1:30, then goes for a knee bar, then goes for the inverted heel hook, and Jansen has to keep defending one thing after another. Jansen gets back up at 2:13 and is immediately looking for his own takedown. Jansen tries to counter and Held sprawls. Held goes for an arm and Jansen goes for a toe hold. Jansen finally winds up on top in side control at 3:20 but he can't keep Held down. He pulls guard for a guillotine and Held immediately steps over into half guard. This is the only round I could even possibly see Jansen winning with the judges but I wouldn't score it that way myself - Held got the better of Jansen in any battle for position and was busting Jansen up with his fists to close out the fight.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 all for Marcin Held by unanimous decision.
Joe Hamilton vs. Tyler Freeland
Round 1: Both men are 3-0. Hamilton is out of Twin Falls, Idaho. Freeland is out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog. This is at a catch weight of 137 pounds. Hamilton rocks Freeland with a punch and chokes him out on the ground via RNC in 22 seconds with one hook in.
Final result: Joe Hamilton via submission (rear naked choke) at 0:22 of the first round.
Veta Arteaga vs. Jackie Vandenburgh
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Veta Arteaga scores the win via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 X2).
Vince Morales vs. Hamilton Ash
Round 1: Morales is 3-1 out of Ontario, Oregon. Ash is 3-1 out of Whitefish, Montana. Our referee in charge is Tom Supnet. Ash is wearing the red gloves and Morales the blue. Ash is trying to force Morales to the outside and use his size and reach to throw big kicks. Morales is counter striking well and landing some hard shots as he circles and backs away. Ash ties him up at 1:26 and attempts to unload with knees from the muay thai clinch. Morales gets busted up. Ash lets him free and Morales gets his back taken, smearing his blood all over Ash's arms in the process. Morales gets back up but he's leaving a trail of blood everywhere he goes before he's tripped to the ground again. It's spraying out of his head as he's tripped to the ground a third time. Morales gets free at 4:18 but Ash is just out-muscling him everywhere the fight goes. Easy 10-9 for Ash.
Round 2: Morales gets the cut over his eye cleaned up between rounds but I doubt it will take much to open it up again. Ash shoots for a takedown and hits the outside trip at 1:40 right into side control. Ash looks for full mount as Morales squirms around and tries to push off the fence with his feet. Ash takes his back and jacks him up with hands to the head until he stands at 2:50. Morales hasn't had the fight beaten out of him yet. Ash goes back to throwing kicks at range. It's like two different weight classes in size between the two men. 10-9 for Ash again.
Round 3: Morales has a big hole to dig himself out of now in this final round. Morales is trying to strike more aggressively but he's backing up more than he's coming forward. Ash is really unloading with the body and leg kicks. His right hand to the head is finding the target too. Morales is landing some good hands at 2:20 and suddenly Ash crumples like a house of cards off an overhand right and an uppercut - the ref only needs a few hammers on the ground before he waves it off.
Final result: Vince Morales wins by knockout at 2:32
Brendan Raftery vs. Casey Johnson
Round 1: Johnson is 4-0 originally out of Middleton, Idaho in the white trunks - he's fighting out of Las Vegas. Raftery is 4-2 fighting out of Boise, Idaho in the black trunks. John McCarthy is our referee. There's plenty of bad blood between these men - a previous fight between the two got scrapped and the leftover tension from that was on display at the weigh-ins yesterday. Raftery lands a solid left that puts Johnson on his back but he quickly closes guard to clear his head. Raftery tries to posture up for damage but it's a swing and a miss. He tries again at 2:50 but Johnson nearly escapes. He finally lands a few good shots at 3:25 and you can see Johnson's face is turning beet red. McCarthy calls for more work at 4:20. A wipeout round but it will only read 10-9 for Raftery on the scorecard.
Round 2: Johnson charges forward swinging right as the bell opens R2. They wind up against the fence and Raftery spins trying to get to a better position but gives up his back doing so and Johnson gets an arm under his chin and chokes him out at 1:16. He's pumped up about it and screaming at everybody he can see.
Final result: Casey Johnson via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:16 of round two.
Scott Thometz vs. Josh Tyler
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Scott Thometz wins via unanimous decision 30-27 and 30-25 X2.
Sean Powers vs. Will Noland
Round 1: Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Will Noland wins via knockout at 3:29 of the first round.
Jesse Brock vs. Olly Bradstreet
Round 1: Bradstreet is 39-12 out of Salt Lake City, Utah in the orange trunks. Brock is 21-8 out of Boise, Idaho in the black trunks. Our ref is Tom Supnet. Bradstreet goes for big kicks then drops levels at 36 seconds for a takedown, but Brock gets back up quickly. They finally break and reset at 1:12. Brock goes for a clinch against the fence, Bradstreet tries to counter with a leg trip but it's not there, Brock drops levels for a single leg but Bradstreet only goes to his knees for a second. Brock tries again at 2:16 and gets a takedown to side control. Bradstreet gets him back to full guard but can't shake Brock off. Brock takes the back with one hook in at 3:20 and rolls as Bradstreet rolls. He's trying to sink in the rear naked choke but he's too high up. He's got both hooks in with 15 seconds left and goes for an armbar late but the bell rings. 10-9 Brock.
Round 2: Bradstreet throws a head kick, a leg kick, and another high kick to open. Brock decides to answer back with leg kicks of his own, shoots and gets the takedown at 37 seconds. Brock ends up in North-South with Bradstreet trying to push off the fence with his feet. The announcers are making Anchorman jokes to entertain themselves. Brock stands up and goes for a standing guillotine, nails Bradstreet with a knee as he tries to escape, and takes him back down. Brock has side control at 2:55. He's trying to pin down the right arm with a knee but Bradstreet rolls for a single leg. That opens up Brock for another guillotine attempt, he doesn't get it, but he ends up back on top again. Bradstreet USA just can't get away. Brock double legs him to the ground again at 4:37 when he nearly escapes. 10-9 Brock.
Round 3: Bradstreet comes forward throwing desperation strikes knowing he's down two rounds. Brock answers that with a shoot and a slam at 33 seconds - or as Phil Davis would say "HE SKIIED HIM!" The only thing going for Bradstreet right now is that he's keeping Brock in his guard. Brock slowly works his way to side control and negates that advantage. Bradstreet's escape attempt only opens up the back for Brock. Bradstreet tries to backroll and sescape but Brock is all over him against the fence, throws a few knees, and hits a legal knee as Bradstreet doesn't have his hands down. Bradstreet gets free momentarily at 3:10 but Brock is smothering him against the fence. Another double leg at 3:30. Bradstreet might as well phone it in with short time left. And he does - he gives up his back to the rear naked choke.
Final result: Jesse Brock via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:57 of the third round.