Bellator 126 goes off tonight from the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Dominant middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko defends the title against up-and-comer Brandon Halsey in the main event while, in the Lightweight Tournament Finals, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire meets Polish limb-mangler Marcin Held in the co-main slot. Also on the main card: Division 1 wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins faces Brazilian newcomer Thiago Meller and, in his bantamweight debut, the heavy-handed Mike Richman draws unorthodox scrapper Ed West.
Bloody Elbow will provide live results, free streaming video of the entire preliminary card, and detailed play-by-play for the Spike TV card. The Bellator 126 lineup and results follows.
Bellator 126 Main Card
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey – MW Championship
R1: Halsey, looking frighteningly 205ish, changes levels when Shlemenko plants his feet to unload a volley of body shots. After hitting the double leg just 15 seconds in, Shlemenko oddly gives up his back and posts both arms, leaving him unable to hand-fight the choke until it’s too late. Halsey constricts the mata leao and taps the Russian out in just 35 seconds, becoming the new middleweight champion in the process.
- Brandon Halsey defeats Alexander Shlemenko by submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:35 of Round 1
Marcin Held vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire – LW Tournament Final
R1: After a half-minute of feinting, Held leaps in with a jumping switch kick. Double jab from Held, then the Pole somersaults into a leg lock from distance, taking top control when he can’t find the submission. Freire uses a butterfly hook and underhook to roll Held off and they restart in the center. Freire, with great timing, catches Held with a step-in knee to the body. Held shoots a double, tries an outside trip and another double-leg, then falls back into a heel hook after Pitbull defends the chain of takedown attempts.
Freire steps out of the heel hook and patiently works his way into top control but Held welcomes him into an omoplata on the transition. Again Freire stays calm and negates the risk though his arm is still trapped. Held fires a short left elbow to the face from his back before they’re restarted on the feet. Quick left from Held before the bell. 10-9 Held.
R2: Right body kick from Pitbull. Held jams his next attempt and shoots, pushes Freire against the fence with a body lock when he doesn’t get it, and snatches up a successful double leg on his second try. Held passes to side mount quickly and smoothly, then goes two-on-one with the kimura grip. Freire breaks the hold but eats a volley of left punches for his efforts.
Held lands elbows to the thigh to break the triangled legs of Freire’s half guard and nearly mounts him. Freire fends off the mount pass but ends up taking more punishment with his head on the cage. A steady stream of punches, shoulder strikes and forearms from Held on top, and Freire is cut — which spurs Held on, as the Pole frenzies with ground-and-pound until the bell sounds. 10-8 Held.
R3: Held gets in on a double leg 20 seconds in and drives through until he completes it. Held resumes his stifling top game, attacking with strikes betwixt his attempts to pass or submit. Domination from Held on top as Pitbull defends well but is unable to even attempt anything offensive. Held passes to mount just after the halfway mark and Freire cage-walks to roll out and get back to his feet. However, Held is still firmly adhered and in on another double leg; now Held falls back for another heel hook but again settles for top position when he doesn’t get it. Held rides out the round on top. 10-9 Held. I have it 30-26 his way.
- Marcin Held defeats Patricky Freire by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Bubba Jenkins vs. Thiago Meller
R1: Jenkins heaves a right, pumps two jabs and follows the second with a big overhand right. Jenkins has his surprising spinning heel kick blocked by Meller. Jenkins changes levels after another jab/overhand combo but slips a short uppercut through when Meller defends. Meller jabs lazily and Jenkins counters his next attempt with a right. Meller responds with a sharp outside low kick.
Jenkins gets a bit too repetitive with his jab/overhand medley and Meller parries it with a crisp right. Counter left from Meller, who’s slowly finding his groove. Jenkins lands an uppercut but whiffs with the overhand. Jenkins shoots and gets a deep double leg but Meller cinches on a tight guillotine and immediately sweeps Jenkins. Meller stays with the guillotine as Jenkins tries to scramble free — Jenkins passes to half guard to break the guillotine. Short forearms to the head from Jenkins on top, and the volley looks to have cut Meller. Jenkins tries a spinning back-fist guard pass but falls into Meller’s triangle. It’s too lose and Jenkins, after stuffing a Meller armbar attempt, closes the frame landing hammer-fists. 10-9 Jenkins.
R2: Jenkins sneaks a quick left high kick through to Meller’s jaw. Outside roundhouse kick to the thigh lands for Jenkins, but he takes an errant finger to the eye and we pause. Jenkins heaves his jab/overhand combo three times in a row and finds the mark each time. Meller loosens a series of lunging jabs and right crosses, showing an increase in output. Jenkins times a duck-under double leg on Meller’s next attack and gets it. Jenkins goes to the front headlock when Meller tries to escape and holds him in place by switching to an underhook.
Meller forces a scramble and Jenkins picks the ankle to put him back down. Meller takes a knee and lands a few rights whilst trying to stand but Jenkins drags him back down by switching to a body lock. Meller, now in a full, open guard, throws his leg over for a triangle but has no space to work with his head on the cage. Jenkins throws cross-face forearms, stands up and throws a flying Superman punch at the bell. 10-9 Jenkins.
R3: Meller starts with a step-in switch knee that nearly lands clean to the head. Outside low kick for Jenkins. Meller clocks Jenkins with a right hand to counter his next kick. Jenkins again uses Meller’s momentum against him with a duck-under double leg and Meller immediately laces on the guillotine. Jenkins starts to lose his shorts but manages a pass to half guard to alleviate the guillotine, and Big John McCarthy calls time for the wardrobe malfunction.
Jenkins is restarted in half guard and maintains position until a near back-take when Meller tries to scramble out. Jenkins is able to hold his high half guard and pepper Meller with short right hands and forearms. Meller, battered and exhausted, is unable to stay active off his back for the first time in the fight. Jenkins amplifies his ground-and-pound and causes some more leakage with a wave of hard right hands. 10-8 Jenkins. I have it 30-26 his way.
- Bubba Jenkins defeats Thiago Meller by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x 2)
Mike Richman vs. Ed West
R1: Outside low kick is there for Richman. They trade leather before West answers back with an outside low kick. Front-leg side kick for West from out on the fringe. They trade outside low kicks again. Richman is walking West into the corner but eats a clean right cross. Richman gets a glove in front of West’s right high kick at the last second. Richman grazes with an overhand right before West jogs back into the center of the cage.
Richman’s inside kick to the thigh catches part of West’s cup and we pause. Richman stays on the hunt on the restart and sprays more combos in West’s face. West plants and returns fire but his back is against the fence. Richman lands a short left high kick to the face and spears a straight left through the defense of West, then chases him down and plasters him with a hook/cross combo. West folds, unconscious.
- Mike Richman defeats Ed West by KO (punches) at 2:44 of Round 1
Preliminary Card results
- Nick Rossborough defeats Ryan Martinez by TKO (bicep injury) at 5:00 R1
- Brandon Girtz defeats Benny Madrid by TKO (punches) at 0:51 R1
- Derek Campos defeats Estevan Payan by KO (punch) at 0:31 R1
- Dan Charles defeats Stuart Austin by KO (punches) at 0:18 R3
- Joe Taimanglo defeats Michael Parker by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x 2)
- Clifford Starks defeats Jacob Ortiz by technical submission (guillotine) at 0:52 R2
- LaRue Burley defeats Raymond Pina by submission (guillotine) at 0:22 R2
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