It took me a while, but I finally got around to watching Bellator 165. Including the prelims there were 10 fights on this card 7 of which ended in a decision. All of the fights can be found online for free which is rad and also cuts out a lot of the cheesy Bellator promotion that contaminates the normal broadcasts. Chael Sonnen sat in the commentating booth for the Kevin Ferguson fight and through the main card, and besides being a little too talkative, I thought he was a good addition to the broadcast. Baby Slice made his debut, a KO in the first minute, the most boring MMA fight I have ever watched, and a suplex to remember all took place at Bellator 165 in San Jose.
Preliminary Card (Spike.com)
Welterweight – James Terry def. Justin Baesman – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
This fight was not close. Terry dominated Baesman in all three rounds. They started the fight trading leg kicks in the first round and then Terry brought Baesman to the ground. On the ground Terry controlled the fight keeping his elbow in the face of Baesman and after a while you could hear Baesman corner shouting to the ref to stand them up. The fighters got back to their feet at the very end of the round.
In the second round Baesman landed a brutal leg kick that clearly hurt Terry. Shortly after absorbing the blow Terry clinched up and brought Baesman to the ground. From here Terry controlled the fight and even though Baesman was able to get back to his feet, Terry slammed him down almost immediately afterwards. Before the third round Terry is heard asking Baesman if they want to hug it out, playing it safe to avoid a cheap shot. The two embraced and then Terry took Baesman to the ground and preventing him from landing anything significant.
Welterweight – Dwight Grant def. Danasabe Mohammed – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Accurately stated by Jimmy Smith in the commentary of this fight, “if we are talking about your chin, the fight isn’t going your way.” There was a lot of talk about Mohammed’s chin in his bout against Grant. Mohammed has a fighting stance that keeps his face exposed with his hands hovering below his chest. Grant took advantage of this, landing a direct right jab to the chin of Mohammed. He froze up and fell to the mat, looking finished. Grant jumped on top of Mohammed who recovered just in time to block the finishing blow. Mohammed survived and got back to his unstable legs. Grant pushed Mohammed to the mat and landed some ground and pound before the first round ended.
In the second round Mohammed almost landed a hard spinning back kick, and scored a takedown on Grant. Later in the round back on their feet, Grant landed a left that stunned Mohammed. Even though his chin was tested multiple times, Mohammed kept his hands down low. In the third round Grant fought more cautiously and ate a left from Mohammed. He was able to stun Mohammed one last time with a right, but the chin held up and went the distance. I have no idea how Mohammed survived after those monster blows, but he did a great job of not getting finished.
Welterweight – Dominic Sumner def. Justin Roswell – TKO punches – (RD 1 – 2:09)
This fight went to the ground early in the first. Roswell appeared to be doing all of the work and controlled the ground. Sumner was able to get to his feet and landed a crushing kick to the body of Roswell that clearly hurt him. Sumner smelled blood and jumped onto the back of Roswell landing strikes until the TKO was called. Body kicks are the worst.
Lightweight – Carrington Banks def. Jake Roberts – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Both Banks and Roberts entered this fight with an undefeated record. Similar to the Grant match before it, Banks stunned Roberts with a right punch to the forehead that looked prime for a TKO. Instead Banks allowed Roberts to recover in the clinch but scored a takedown shortly after. Banks landed a counter right once they got back to their feet and scored another takedown.
Banks brought Roberts down with a right again in the second but allowed him to recover and get back to his feet. Roberts tripped Banks with a powerful leg kick. Much of this round was spent standing up and striking which gave Banks several opportunities to land counter right jabs. In the third Banks scored a counter takedown and spent the rest of the round throwing Roberts back to the ground as soon as he got to his feet. Roberts was told several times by Big John to stop grabbing the fence throughout this fight. Banks was the clear winner in this decision.
Catchweight (165 LB) – Aaron Hamilton def. Kevin Ferguson Jr. – Submission guillotine choke – (RD 2 – 3:00)
Kevin Ferguson Jr., the son of Kimbo Slice finally made his pro MMA debut against Aaron Hamilton. The first round of this fight which was called with Chael Sonnen, was eventful. As soon as the fight started Hamilton landed a jab and shortly after Ferguson scored a takedown. Ferguson scored two more takedowns and landed an illegal knee to the head of Hamilton as he was on the ground. The ref stopped the fight and allowed Hamilton to recover but did not deduct a point from Ferguson. After the time stoppage Ferguson came out swinging and was rocked by Hamilton before taking him to the ground.
In the second round Ferguson attempted his second spinning back fist of the fight and took Hamilton down again. Here both fighters battled for position using up a lot of energy. Ferguson went for a weird choke that I have never seen before but it was not tight enough. Hamilton quickly reversed position and submitted Ferguson with a guillotine.
Ferguson was very emotional after the loss and Hamilton’s left eye was swollen closed. This was am extremely active and peculiar fight.
Main Card (Spike)
Light Heavyweight – Linton Vassell def. Francis Carmont – Decision unanimous – (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
The first fight of the main card was essentially all ground fighting. At the beginning of the first two round the fighters traded kicks for a little bit before going to the ground. In the first round Vassell controlled Carmont on the ground in a body triangle while landed some punches and elbows. Carmont took the back of Vassell for a bit in the second round, but Vassell dominated the ground in the second half of the second round and all of the third. In the third round they put a anti UFC tweet from a fan who was watching the Bellator card instead of the UFC card (you will never see the UFC do something like this). They also showed a feed of GSP who was coaching on Carmont. At the end of the fight Carmont was clearly over it as he walked away and almost turned his back to Vassell twice.
Women’s Strawweight – Keri Anne Melendez def. Sheila Padilla – KO punch – (RD 1 – 0:47)
Melendez in her pro MMA debut rocked Padilla with a right jab and two hammer fists for a KO in under a minute. Leslie Smith was there to congratulate her. That’s all there is to say, brutal KO in under a minute. Oh yea, Melendez is the wife of Gilbert Melendez who joined in the post-fight interview.
Lightweight – Adam Piccolotti def. Brandon Girtz – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The first of 3 straight decision featured Piccolotti and Girtz. In the first round Piccolotti had Girtz reeling with a flurry of attacks and Girtz responsed with a knee which stunned Piccolotti. To end the first round Piccolotti landed a knee and hook.
Piccolotti landed several knees and scored a take down in the second. In the third Girtz threw more over hand punches that didn’t land and Piccolotti scored another takedown. On the ground Piccolotti attempted a knee bar submission (never seen that before). Girtz was able to escape and get a few hammer fist in before the fight ended.
Welterweight – Michael Page def. Fernando Gonzalez – Decision split – (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Page is fresh off from knee’ing a guy so hard he fractured his skull. He has a 6 inch height and a 9 inch reach advantage over Gonzalez. This might be the most boring MMA fight I have ever watched. Page bounced around waiting for Gonzalez to attack and Gonzalez didn’t show much aggression until the third round. The ref even stopped the fight and told Page to do something, anything, in the third round. The crowd boo’d loudly all 15 minutes and even though Page won in a split, no one won watching this match.
Lightweight – Michael Chandler ( c ) def. Benson Henderson – Decision split – (48-46, 46-48, 48-47)
This was a long but active fight for the lightweight belt. Chandler came out hard in the first round, landed several rights, and upper cut, and one of the cleanest suplex’s you will ever see. Chandler went for a choke and just crushed Henderson with ground and pound.
I agreed with Sonnen and Smith in that the 2nd and 5th rounds were the only ones that could be scored in Henderson’s favor. Time was stopped for a nut shot on Chandler in the second. In the third round, Chandler attempted a guillotine and controlled most of the round. In this round you could see the damage on Chandlers left leg from Henderson’s leg kicks.
In the 4th round the fighters went into the clinch and Chandler picked up Henderson walking with him in his arms looking for a powerful slam. He still got a brutal takedown but Henderson did a good job of preventing a knock out slam. Late in the round Henderson attempted a rear naked choke but Chandler was able to jump and roll out of it.
Henderson won the 5th round being more aggressive and controlling the clinch and ground. Chandler was ok with losing this round in the clinch and on the ground as he knew all he had to do was survive to win in a decision. Chandler did just enough to prevent Henderson from finishing him and to eat up the clock. In the last 10 seconds of the fight the fighters got to their feet and Henderson kind of pushed big John out of the way looking for one last blow. This fight saw a lot of action and I believer Chandler should have won unanimously. That middle judge had some weird score cards all night.
Bellator 166 is December 2nd and Bellator 167 is December 3rd. I will watch 166 but I wont watch 167 as I will be duel wielding college football and the TUF finale, with maybe a little Capcom Cup mixed in. I will probably procrastinate until the last minute to catch up on 167, just like I did with this card. In fact, its 7 pm, time to tune in for the Bellator 166 prelims.