Bellator 183: “Henderson vs. Pitbull” takes place TONIGHT (Sept. 23, 2017) at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., featuring “Smooth” Benson Henderson (24-7) — who has lost two title shots in his last three bouts — in a Lightweight affair with knockout artist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (17-8), winner of three of his last four. It’s a critical must-win fight for both men.
Fans at the “Shark Tank” will also be treated to the promotional debut of Heavyweight star “Big Country” Roy Nelson (22-14) in the co-main event. Hopefully he will not make the mistake of underestimating Javy Ayala (10-5) like Sergei Kharitonov did at Bellator 163 almost a year ago.
Bellator 183 will start with “Prelims” undercard matches at 7 p.m. ET followed by the main card at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play updates for the entirety of Bellator 183’s card below.
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 183) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 183 QUICK RESULTS:
Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Freire — Freire SD 28-29, 29-28 X2.
Roy Nelson vs. Javy Ayala — Nelson UD 30-26, 29-29 X2.
Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin — Daley KO 2:40 R2.
Adam Piccolotti vs. Goiti Yamauchi — Yamauchi via sub (RNC) 3:19 R1.
Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn — Pico via KO 3:45 R1.
Brooke Mayo vs. Kaytlin Neil — Neil UD 29-28 X3.
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Alex Lopez — Gonzalez SD 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.
Ricardo Vasquez vs. Justin Tenedora — Vasquez via sub (guillotine) 2:39 R1.
Mike Ortega vs. Tony Johnson — Johnson KO 1:49 R2.
Brandon Laroco vs. Gaston Bolanos — Laroco via technical sub (guillotine) 2:16 R2.
Corina Herrera vs. Jaymee Nievara — Nievara UD 30-26, 29-28, 29-27.
Luis Jauregui vs. JJ Okanovich — Okanovich via sub (armbar) 0:42 R1.
Anthony Castrejon vs. Daniel Gonzalez — Gonzalez KO 4:03 R1.
BELLATOR 183 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Freire
Henderson comes in 24-7 fighting out of Glendale, Arizona. Freire comes in 17-8 fighting out of Natal, Brazil. Blue gloves and black trunks for Freire. White trunks and red gloves for Henderson. Our referee in charge is John McCarthy.
Round 1: A glove tap gets is underway as Henderson dances forward and Freire moves side to side as he backs up. Henderson throws a right hand and a leg kick. Henderson steps cautiously forward and back, not wanting to be sucked into a hard counter shot from “Pitbull.” Body kick by Henderson. 90 seconds gone. Henderson slips to his knees avoiding a Freire left but gets up without any damage. Leg kick by Freire. Superman punch left hand attempted by Henderson. Freire catches a body kick and kicks the leg before letting go. Left hook by Henderson. Spinning back kick by Freire. Freire is trying to push Henderson toward the fence. Henderson with a left kick. McCarthy calls time as Freire got an accidental finger to the eye. He restarts them with no warning. Henderson goes for a flying head kick and Freire quickly backs away from a follow up takedown attempt. Both men are attempting to faint and get the other to get overanxious to throw a responds strike. A close first round.
Round 2: Freire charges to the center to start R2 and Henderson circles away. Henderson shoots at 36 seconds and Freire stuffs it. Freire lands a right hand and Henderson resets. Henderson lands a flush left hand then throws a punch to the thigh. Henderson shoots again for a double and pushes Freire to the cage. He switches to a single, gets a leg in the air, hits Freire’s chin a couple of times, and Freire draws a warning from McCarthy to let go of the fence. Henderson switches to a double and Freire gets another warning. Henderson throws knees to the legs. Henderson had Freire down for maybe a half second on a single leg and he popped right back up. Foot stomps by Henderson. Henderson tries to lift a leg high in the air and Freire throws a jump knee. Henderson just won’t give up on this takedown. 1:20 left. Freire gets another warning. Knees from Henderson. The natives are restless in San Jose. Freire tries to body lock Henderson and the two spin around on the cage as the boos rain down with short time left. Freire has a one second takedown and Henderson is right back up. 10-9 Henderson.
Round 3: Freire connects with a combo 31 seconds into the third, Henderson ducks under a punch to drop levels, Freire escapes. Henderson throws a wild left hand that doesn’t connect. Henderson goes for a single leg at 1:28 and Friere runs away. A shoulder connects and causes Henderson to falter for a second. 2:30. Freire lands a right and Henderson lands a big left in response. Henderson goes for a head kick. Freire lands another right. Henderson with a right on Freire’s chin. Freire charges for a kick. Henderson shoots for a double. Reverse elbow to Freire’s head while he’s going for it. One minute left. Freire breaks free and hits a right hand. Freire with a knee to the body. Right hand by Freire. Jumping knee from Freire doesn’t land flush. Left hand. Two straight body kicks by Henderson. Freire chases him down at the bell. 10-9 Freire.
Final result: 29-28 Henderson, 29-28 Freire, 29-28 Freire by split decision.
Roy Nelson vs. Javy Ayala
Nelson comes in 22-14 for his Bellator MMA debut and he fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Ayala is 10-5 and fights out of Porterville, California. Ayala has the black trunks and blue gloves tonight. Nelson has on the American flag trunks and red gloves. Our referee in charge of this tilt between heavyweights is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: There’s no tap of gloves after the opening bell. Both men are circling and looking for their power shots. Ayala has landed a few right hands in the first minute but none that wilted or dropped Nelson. Ayala wings out a spinning back kick that misses. He keeps hunting with that right hand as Nelson steps his way forward and jabs to the body. Ayala tries a jumping right elbow. 2:30 gone. Nelson and Ayala clinch up and Nelson drops levels for the takedown at 2:55. Nelson unloads with right hands from half guard. Ayala is pinned against the fence and going nowhere. Nelson rotates and is fishing for an arm lock, but in defending it Ayala gives up full mount at 4:10. Nelson goes for the Americana but Ayala escapes and hits a knee to the face in the waning seconds of R1. A close 10-9 for Nelson.
Round 2: Ayala opens R2 with a chopping leg kick. Nelson clips Ayala with a right hand but Ayala is firing back and lands another leg kick and some more standing strikes. 45 seconds into the round Nelson responds with another takedown. Nelson is landing multiple left hands to the head from half guard, throwing them so hard he’s almost punching the fence. Nelson looks to trap the left arm with a knee but Ayala gets free, giving up his back in the process. Nelson gets both hooks in with over two minutes left to work but Ayala escapes and they both stand at 2:56. Now Ayala looks to take Nelson down but Nelson escapes at 3:14. Nelson takes a big front kick to the chin and responds with uppercuts then gets another takedown at 3:42. Nelson is dropping heavy and cutting right elbows as time winds down. 10-9 Nelson.
Round 3: We finally get a glove tap to start the third round. Ayala comes forward with strikes and a jumping knee. Nelson throws a clubbing right backhand to Ayala’s head. Push kick by Ayala. Big leg kick by Ayala makes Nelson turn away and reset. Nelson puts a left on Ayala’s chin, and another, and the right, and a double leg takedown at 1:27 puts Ayala on his back. Nelson takes side control and is inching up higher looking to transition to full mount or lock up an arm. Ayala is trying to prevent that by pushing off the fence with his feet. Two minutes left. Ayala pushes off for a moment but Nelson gets all his weight right back on top immediately. The crowd is a bit frustrated because they were enjoying the stand and bang action more than the ground fight. Nelson stands up and re-positions to drive knees to the body and legs. Nelson decides to dump the gas tank with multiple right hands to the head as time expires. 10-9 Nelson.
Final result: 30-26, 29-28 and 29-28 for Roy Nelson by unanimous decision.
Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin
Daley brings a pro record of 39-15-2 and he fights out of Nottingham, England. Larkin is 18-6 (1 NC) and fights out of Riverside, California. Larkin is wearing the red trunks and blue gloves. Daley has on the black trunks and red gloves. Our ref is Mike Beltran. No glove touch between foes.
Round 1: Larkin takes the center early and eats a right kick to the body from Daley. Both men are light on their feet with their hands up high. Another kick from Daley. Larkin tries a spinning leg kick. Daley goes high and low with his kicks. The crowd is getting a little impatient at the 90 second mark. Daley throws a jab to the body that falls short. Larkin and Daley continue to dance on their feet, not looking to give either man an angle for strikes. Solid leg kick by Larkin and another to Daley’s left leg. Daley almost caught him with a hook on the second. Larkin is turning it up with the kicks. An outside leg kick by Daley. Larkin throws a flurry and Daley retreats. Beltran’s mustache swings back and forth as he follows both men around the cage. Larkin connects with a combo and Daley backs off again. Leg kick by Daley. Larkin hurts Daley with a right but he recovers quickly. Daley throws some power shots and a head kick but that knocks him off balance and Larkin jumps on. Daley tries to transition to a triangle choke but Larkin avoids it and takes side control. Daley spins him back to guard. Larkin throws right hands from there and more from half at the bell. 10-9 Larkin.
Round 2: Larkin and Daley clinch 28 seconds into R2. Larkin searches for a leg trip as Daley tries to muscle his way out. Beltran calls for more action. Daley throws Larkin to the side and unloads with power then looks for a takedown of his own, but he and Larkin end up spinning around each other on the cage before breaking at 1:46. Daley with a knee. Larkin with a kick. Larkin misses with an uppercut and Daley misses with a right hook. Larkin and Daley push against each other on the fence and Beltran warns them to work to the finish. Larkin responds with a knee as Daley tries to break free. Daley misses with a right spinning backfist but as Larkin stands there looking at it he gets CLOBBERED with a left hook that has him wobbling, two more left hooks connect, and Daley gets in maybe one shot on the ground before Beltran waves it off.
Final result: Paul Daley wins by KNOCKOUT at 2:40 in the second round.
Adam Piccolotti vs. Goiti Yamauchi
Piccolotti comes into this fight a perfect 9-0 and he fights out of Half Moon Bay, California. Yamauchi is 21-3 and fights out of Curitiba, Brazil. Piccolotti has on gray and red trunks and Yamauchi has on red Venum trunks. Our referee in charge is Josh Rosenthal.
Round 1: Yamauchi opens the contest with leg kicks and Piccolotti responds with his hands, but he takes a kick on the chin at 28 seconds and then Yamauchi pulls guard to go for a guillotine. Piccolotti pops out at 1:15 but Yamauchi immediately tries to trap the right arm with his legs. Piccolotti spins out and stands back up but Yamauchi hooks a leg and makes Piccolotti stumble across the cage into the fence. Yamauchi rides his back and throws knees at his head from behind. Yamauchi tries and fails to hoist Piccolotti into the air but stays on him like glue. Piccolotti blatantly grabs the fence but doesn’t get a warning. Yamauchi jumps on his back anyway and has a tight rear naked choke. Piccolotti taps out at 3:19.
Final result: Goiti Yamauchi wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:19 of round one.
Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn
Pico is 0-1 and fights out of Whittier, California. Linn is 7-3 and fights out of Colombia, California by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Pico has on the red gloves. Linn has on the blue gloves. Our referee in charge of this fight is Michael Bell.
Round 1: Pico takes a left hand from Linn early but gets behind him and throws Linn to the ground at 18 seconds. Pico rains down hard right hands then more on the back with the left hand when Linn tries to get away. Pico backs up and eventually Bell forces Linn to stand at 1:15. Linn lands a 1-2 combo but Pico comes forward throwing heavy leather at high speed and Linn is covering up. Bell warns him to fight back and the two throw down once Linn lets the hands go. Linn connects with a right and Pico takes him down again. Hard left from Pico in the guard as he’s looking to pass. The left arm and elbow grind into Linn’s head as he does so. Linn puts his hands behind his head as Pico backs up, Bell makes him stand up, and PICO FLOORS HIM WITH A LEFT HOOK 14 seconds later. This is EMPHATICALLY over.
Final result: Aaron Pico wins via knockout at 3:45 of the first round.
Brooke Mayo vs. Kaytlin Neil
0-1 for Mayo in the red gloves and white top, 0-2 for Neil in the blue gloves and black top. Neil fights out of Spanish Fork, Utah and Mayo fights out of Sacramento, California. Our ref is Josh Rosenthal.
Round 1: Mayo pushes the pace early with jabs and kicks. Neil keeps backing up as Mayo strings 3-4 body kicks in a row together. Both women settle in for the second minute and Neil is getting more confidant in her striking. Mayo answers that with right hands that back Neil into the fence. They spin around on their feet and Mayo continues to fire knees to the body. Mayo seems to be looking to slip to the back on a takedown and that's just what she does at 3:05 only to be countered by Neil turning over on top. Mayo simultaneously goes for an armbar. Neil pulls free with just over a minute left and has Mayo stacked up on her neck. Mayo tries to throw upkicks but Neil lets her back up at 4:47. Mayo pushes Neil into the fence to end R1.
Round 2: Mayo looks to push Neil into the fence and get a let trip to a takedown, but Neil is able to finally stand up out of it at 1:44. Mayo is relentless though and she's trying to take the back, even trying to get one hook in, and Neil turns and ends up on top at 2:28. Mayo is going for an armbar off the bottom and Neil wants to push Mayo down onto her head against the fence so that she can't get the leverage to complete it. Neil gets free with 30 seconds left looking to do damage but she gets tied up in another armbar attempt which goes to the bell.
Round 3: A tap of the gloves opens our third and final round. Neil is throwing 1-2 combos until Mayo clinches with her, but she shakes loose at 0:32. Neil throws a left head kick that's checked. Mayo jabs to the body as she pushes forward and puts Neil on the fence throwing knees. Mayo pulls Neil to the ground, Neil winds up 50/50 and stands back up, both women fall down trying to pull each other into the mat, and Neil jumps on top of Mayo in full guard. Both women get back up with just over a minute left and Mayo pushes her to the cage after a quick exchange on the feet. They break apart to swing at each other for the final 15 seconds.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 X3 for Kaitlyn Neil by unanimous decision.
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Alex Lopez
Gonzalez has on the red gloves, Lopez the blue. Gonzalez is 1-0, Lopez 3-0. Lopez has on white trunks and fights out of Salinas, California. Gonzalez has on gray trunks and fights out of San Jose, California. Our referee in charge is Josh Rosenthal.
Round 1: They tap gloves and we're underway with Lopez immediately throwing leg kicks and high kicks. Gonzalez manages to back Lopez up to the fence for a second but he covers up to avoid damage and throws more leg kicks. Gonzalez comes forward to the fence again with two hard lefts. The fight starts buffering and we come back with Gonzalez battering Lopez and Lopez trying to clinch up for a takedown. That fails. Gonzalez swings wild with a left hook and Lopez ducks under it before the stream breaks again. The action resumes with just over a minute left and the stream immediately breaks again. I'm hard pressed to score the round as I didn't see over half of it but Gonzalez seemed to be the more effective striker.
Round 2: Lopez is once again throwing out axe kicks and low kicks and apparently one of his strikes was a groin kick. Rosenthal looked to be calling time to let Gonzalez recover but the stream started buffering. We come back and Gonzalez did indeed get a time out. Rosenthal asks if he's okay, he says yes, they touch gloves and we start buffering again. One minute gone when it clears up. Gonzalez keeps pressing forward then backing up when Lopez throws a kick, that is, when I can even see the stream on their website. Gonzalez pops Lopez with a left hook. Gonzalez walks him down and throws a right hook against the cage. Another left sends Lopez reeling backward. Gonzalez overwhelms him and lands combos but then inexplicably backs up. Lopez is throwing almost nothing but kicks. He's not using his hands at all. Gonzalez lands hard shots at 4:13 and loses his mouthpiece in the process. Rosenthal stops it so he can put it back in then he nails Lopez with an uppercut and combos. Lopez comes forward with a switch kick and leg kicks in response. 10-9 Gonzalez.
Round 3: Gonzalez backs Lopez up immediately to start the third round. Lopez throws a few leg kicks to back Gonzalez up. Lopez goes for a takedown and it's not there. He goes for it again at 54 seconds and it's easily stuffed. Gonzalez pops a left hook right into Lopez' head as he's coming forward. Another big left right down the middle. Lopez charges forward and Gonzalez easily sidesteps. Lopez kicks to the body. Lopez clinches up but there's no takedown there for him. 2:30. Both men stand there for 20 seconds and size each other up until Lopez wings out a few kicks. Gonzalez is letting Lopez be the aggressor and not doing much, and the crowd is getting fed up with it. Lopez finally opens up with his hands, he lands a left, then he tries to grab a muay thai plum to throw knees. Clashing left hands land and Lopez briefly drops to his knees. Gonzalez may have given away this round by letting Lopez be the aggressor. We'll see if that hurts him on the scorecards.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 Gonzalez, 29-28 Lopez, 29-28 Gonzalez by split decision.
Ricardo Vasquez vs. Justin Tenedora
Round 1: Unaired on Spike.com.
Final result: Ricardo Vasquez wins via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:39 of round one.
Mike Ortega vs. Tony Johnson
Johnson has the green trunks and is 5-2 out of San Jose, California. Ortega is in the red trunks, 2-3, fighting out of Dublin, California. The referee is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: A tap of the gloves and we are underway. Both men are content to circle and feel out the range for the first minute. Both men open up with leg kicks at 1:30. Neither one is moving much beyond the center of the cage. Ortega has some success with a combo at 2:38. Johnson throws a body shot. His nose is turning a bit red from the right hands and left jabs of Ortega. Ortega throws a spinning backfist. Ortega's leg kick is caught and Johnson pushes forward. Ortega lands an uppercut and a punch kick combo. Leg kick by Ortega. Ortega lands a jab flush. 10-9 round for Ortega.
Round 2: Another glove tap opens the round. Unfortunately the stream immediately starts buffering again. As it comes back Johnson is chasing Ortega across the cage throwing power shots, but Ortega is countering in kind with leg kicks and liver kicks until ONE BIG RIGHT CROSS PUTS ORTEGA OUT COLD.
Final result: Tony Johnson wins via knockout at 1:49 in the second round.
Brandon Laroco vs. Gaston Bolanos
1-0 for Bolanos in the red gloves, 1-1 for Laroco in the blue gloves. White trunks for Bolanos fighting out of Dublin, California and black trunks for Laroco fighting out of Vallejo, California. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Tap of the gloves gets us underway. Laroco is taking backward steps and throwing kicks at the left knee of Bolanos. Bolanos is throwing right leg kicks to the body. Laroco runs in for a few shots then backs off. Bolanos with a hard right hand. Bolanos tries to close the range and get a takedown but Laroco breaks free at 2:25. Spin kick and then Laroco jumps to pull guard. Bolanos pulls his way to his feet at 3:06. Bolanos checks a right head kick and throws a spinning back elbow. Laroco with a left over the top and Bolanos momentarily slips to the mat but pops back up for a clinch. Laroco lands a right hook. Bolanos presses forward and Laroco hits a counter right. Laroco gets a leg trip takedown and jumps to the back with one hook in and short time left. Bolanos takes some ground and pound until the bell. 10-9 Laroco.
Round 2: Laroco hurts Bolanos with a kick almost immediately as R2 starts and then takes Bolanos down, then looks to finish him with right hands when he stands back up. Beltran is taking a close look as Bolanos is getting battered standing and barely fighting back. Beltran lets it go and Bolanos gets a takedown at 1:23. Laroco goes for the triangle as Bolanos tries to stand up and pop his head out. He gives up a mounted triangle, flips over again, and Laroco tells Beltran he's out cold and he's right. Bolanos is not moving when the fight is stopped.
Final result: Brandon Laroco wins via technical submission (triangle choke) at 2:16 of round two.
Corina Herrera vs. Jaymee Nievara
Nievara has red gloves, 4-3. Herrera has blue gloves, 3-3. Herrera fights out of Porterville, California. Nievara fights out of San Francisco, California. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: No tap of the gloves to start. Herrera is pressuring immediately and has Nievara backed up to the fence. Nievara tries to back her up with leg kicks and a right hook but she keeps pressuring. Nievara finally gets it back to center and lands a left hook then the two clinch up and trade positions against the fence. A takedown is secured by Nievara, Herrera tries to get a guillotine but it wasn't there, now she's going for an armbar. Nievara tries to stand up and pull out of it, that's not working, she drops back to her knees. Two minutes left in round one. Herrera tries to throw hammerfists at her from the bottom. Herrera just won't give up and Nievara just can't get her right arm free. One minute remains in R1. This has become a stalemate. Nievara pulls free at the last second and tries to overwhelm Herrera with ground and pound late -- too late.
Round 2: Herrera starts a little more conservatively this time. Nievara stands toe to toe with her at the center then starts pushing Herrera toward the outside. Herrera tries to circle around Nievara. Nievara throws a leg kick. Herrera misses with a right hook. Nievara connects with several kicks to the left lead leg. It's becoming a familiar target as the round wears on. Nievara lands a right hand. Her corner claims Herrera is gassed and they might be right. Nievara pins Herrera against the fence and grabs the thai plum to throw some knees. Herrera turns her around. Herzog warns the fighters not to grab the fence. Nievara turns Herrera back around then completes a takedown to full guard. She's got a dominant position but she's not doing much with it. Herrera goes for an armbar late but doesn't get it. I give Nievara a 10-9 round and that ties it up a round apiece.
Round 3: Both women stand and trade to open R3 until Nievara ducks under a spinning strike and perfectly times a takedown into side control. Herrera sweeps to the top and she's looking to step over but ends up being trapped in full guard. Now it's Nievara trying to go for a submission off her back instead of Herrera. Herrera is trying to free her arms to throw some ground and pound. That just gives Nievara another chance to go for an armbar. Nievara sweeps but opts to stick to the armbar attempt. Nievara finally has to let go but she's on top and throwing bombs on top. One minute remains. Herrera is implored to work by Herzog. Nievara is the one working as she's raining down damaging left elbows. 10-9 Nievara to win the round and the bout.
Final result: The judges score it 30-26, 29-28, and 29-27 all for Jaymee Nievara.
Luis Jauregui vs. JJ Okanovich
Round 1: Unaired on Spike.com.
Final result: JJ Okanovich wins via submission (armbar) at 0:42 of the first round.
Anthony Castrejon vs. Daniel Gonzalez
Round 1: Unaired on Spike.com.
Final result: Daniel Gonzalez wins by knockout at 4:03 of the first round.