Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results, streaming video of the prelims and detailed play-by-play as Bellator 136: Brooks vs. Jansen takes flight from the Bren Center in Irvine, CA.
Recently crowned lightweight monarch “Ill” Will Brooks looks to sustain his championship run in a title defense against lurking gamer Dave Jansen in the headliner while Glory kickboxing mauler Joe Schilling meets once-beaten striker Rafael Carvalho in the co-main. The Russians hold down the remaining two main-card spots as lightweight Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy draws Polish submission whiz Marcin Held and former heavyweight champ Alexander “Drago” Volkov meets American Kickboxing Academy up-and-comer Tony Johnson.
The preliminary card, which will stream live and free on Bloody Elbow, is the promotion’s strongest of the year: Brazilian featherweight prospect Fabricio Guerreiro takes on TUF: Brazil’s John Teixeira; Saad Awad, the only man to defeat and finish Will Brooks, faces former BAMMA lightweight champ Rob Sinclair; Joey Beltran, a former heavy- and light-heavyweight, makes his middleweight debut versus fan-favorite Brian Rogers.
Live results and play-by-play will commence with the preliminary card at 7 p.m. ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. Check out this week’s Bellator 136 Vivisection for detailed analysis, predictions and betting odds.
Will Brooks vs. Dave Jansen — Bellator lightweight championship
R1: Jansen starts with a stiff linear kick to the knee and a high kick that’s blocked. Brooks lands a sharp check hook. Jansen lands an outside low kick as Brooks is throwing a high kick and it briefly sweeps the champ off his feet. Double right shovel punches from Brooks as he looks to knife inside. Jansen stays busy with a wide variety of kicks from range. They both sit down on big right hands and Brooks gets the better of the exchange. Jansen strikes his way into the clinch and puts the champ on the cage, landing a trio of heavy knees to the body before disengaging.
The dizzying output continues for Jansen from range, including front, low, high and spinning kicks. Jansen punches his way into the clinch and lands a knee to the body and a long sequence of knees to the the thighs. Brooks circles off the fence and glances with an uppercut. And another that lands flush. Jansen with a front kick to the body after they disengage. Now Brooks starts to go off with punches from the clinch, bobbing Jansen’s head back with short uppercuts and rights. Jansen whiffs with an axe kick, then smiles after missing a high kick/spin kick/right hand combo. Glancing right lands for Jansen at the bell. 10-9 Jansen.
R2: They throw kicks simultaneously and Jansen’s lands to the cup. We pause while Brooks recovers. Jansen lands a right cross on the restart. Brooks stings with a jab on the next exchange. Jansen clinches up and Brooks circles off the fence, landing a few short rights and a knee. Jansen circles off the fence and lands a few body knees. Brooks circles off and thuds a knee to the body, then forces Jansen to separate with a pair of stiff rights to the jaw. Brooks lands a clean left high kick. Brooks with the jump knee. Jansen going off with hammer-fists to the knee in the clinch.
Brooks with another knee to the midsection. Right roundhouse kick to the ribs for Brooks. Brooks starting to find his rhythm with one-twos from range and the occasional knee or kick to close his combos. Jansen counter clinches with 90 seconds left but can’t hold position. Brooks catches a Jansen high kick and takes him down. Jansen quickly scrambles to his feet and separates, then we pause as Brooks loses his mouthpiece. Brooks now backpedaling and timing his counters more effectively. 10-9 Brooks.
R3: Brooks thunders a left kick and a spinning kick into the body of Jansen. Jansen clinches up and Brooks circles him onto the fence. Brooks keeps him there and Jansen goes from the double chin post to the guillotine to force Brooks to separate. Double jab and right hand score for Brooks. They clinch and Jansen goes high for the necktie and Brooks lowers his level to hit a takedown.
With slippery hips, Jansen creates space and stands up. Glancing check hook for Brooks. Jansen dives on a single leg and Brooks limp-legs out of it while landing short strikes to the head. Jansen sneaks in a left body kick and shoots again, this attempt smacking of desperation. Brooks easily defends but takes an accidental eye poke, leading to another brief pause. Jansen with a stomp kick to the knee on the restart. Brooks establishes his range with crisp punches from range as Jansen starts to fall short on his kicking barrage. Brooks thwacks Jansen with a counter knee to the body and a lead right to close the frame. 10-9 Brooks.
R4: After a few neutral exchanges, Jansen shoots a single but can’t finish it. He keeps Brooks on the fence with an under-hook and goes back hammer-fisting the knee. Now a foot stomp from Jansen, and they’re separated. Brooks dabs him with a left and easily brushes off another takedown attempt. Brooks keeps Jansen on the fence, then steps back to land a pair of uppercuts and a right hook.
Brooks with more heavy knees and rights in the clinch, and he’s starting to assert his dominance. Jansen’s face is bloodied up but he’s still throwing with heart. Lead step-in knee lands to the body for Brooks, who keeps Jansen on the cage and continues to methodically batter him. Jansen grazes with an axe kick and Brooks responds with a foot-to-the-face high kick. 10-9 Brooks.
R5: Jansen fires off a medley of kicks but it’s Brooks that scores with a step-in right. Brooks puts Jansen on the cage and chips away with right hands from the single collar tie. Jansen almost gets the rear waist cinch but Brooks defends and buries him back on the fence. They’re separated just before the halfway mark but Brooks puts him back on the fence a few seconds later.
Left under-hook and right hands for Brooks as Jansen alternates between strikes, guillotines and the Thai plum, none of which are effective. They’re separated by the ref and back in the same position on the restart. Brooks big-brothering Jansen with grinding cage control and incessant short-range mauling. Brooks hits a takedown with 20 seconds left and gets quarter nelson to keep Jansen from escaping. 10-9 Brooks. I have it 49-46 his way.
- Will Brooks defeats Dave Jansen by unanimous decision (49-46 x 3)
Rafael Carvalho vs. Joe Schilling
R1: Carvalho starts in southpaw, throwing a hesitant front kick, then he switches to orthodox and circles away from the stalking Schilling. Schilling lets his hands go and Carvalho counter clinches to muffle the outburst; Schilling lands a knee to the cup and we pause briefly. Carvalho catches a Schilling kick on the restart and uses it to put Schilling on the fence with the body-lock. Schilling gets an under-hook to keep his balance and they stalemate on the fence.
Short body knee and uppercut elbow graze for Schilling with his back on the fence. Schilling circles off but Carvalho nearly hits an outside trip and puts Schilling back on the cage. Carvalho backs off at the two-minute mark and they restart in open space. Schilling clips him with a counter left and Carvalho catches a right body kick and takes Schilling down but the kickboxing specialist hits a textbook sweep to take top position. Open, full guard for Carvalho with double wrist control. Schilling backs out but attacks as soon as Carvalho stands. Carvalho dots Schilling with a long right and left, then scores with a pair of stiff body knees to close the round. 10-10.
R2: Schilling dances in circles with his hands at his waist, taunting Carvalho. Check hook lands for Schilling as Carvalho engages. Carvalho clinches up and Schilling circles off the fence but eats a knee to the ribs in the process. Schilling keeps Carvalho on the fence and Carvalho loses his balance briefly. He regains his footing and immediately shoots and hits a double leg. Carvalho passes to side mount but Schilling quickly regains guard. Carvalho hits a stack pass back into side mount.
Schilling regains half guard as Carvalho lands a right hand. Carvalho looks for knee-on-belly but uses it to bait for a kimura. He loses position but holds the two-on-one grip, then resumes his hunt for the kimura. Schilling hand-fights out of it and stands up, landing a knee to the body. They both land simultaneous knees downstairs in the clinch. They end the round in a neutral clinch. 10-9 Carvalho.
R3: Carvalho opens with a left high kick that flows into a spinning kick, neither of which land. Schilling spears a long left cross through his guard, then drops Carvalho with a quick right counter. Carvalho pops back up and Schilling curiously holds him on the fence with an under-hook, throwing foot stomps. More foot stomps and a shoulder striker from Schilling until Carvalho circles off the fence, gets the body lock and takes Schilling down. Schilling falls back for an Achilles lock and dangerously ends up in the 50/50 guard.
Schilling persists despite being out of position, then gets taken down when he tries to stand up and separate. Schilling gives up his back while rolling to escape, then rolls onto his back when Carvalho doesn’t sink a hook in. Carvalho separates and Schilling stays on the ground, possibly winded. Carvalho dives back in and passes to side control, looking to isolate the far-side arm once again. Knees to the lower back from Carvalho. 10-9 Carvalho. I have it 30-28 his way.
- Rafael Carvalho defeats Joe Schilling by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Marcin Held vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy
R1: Sarnavskiy opens with a long jab and a spinning kick to the body. Held knifes in with punches and gets the double necktie but Sarnavskiy pushes him away. Held shoots a double leg as Sarnavskiy gets an under-hook and a wide base to stay upright against the fence. With blinding quickness, Held rolls into a heel hook, then settles for top position when Sarnavskiy defends. Closed guard for “Tiger” with good head and wrist control.
Sarnavskiy leans over for a kimura and Held spikes a few forearms into his ribs to break the hold. Held glides into side control with 90 seconds left. Sarnavskiy hits a sweep with just over a minute left and Held immediately angles into an omoplata. Sarnavskiy stands up and Held hammers him with a clean up-kick, then transitions into another heel hook. They close the round in the 50/50 guard. 10-9 Held.
R2: Sarnavskiy follows a one-two with a sharp left kick to the ribs. Held clinches up and puts Sarnavskiy on the fence in pursuit of a double leg. After a short stalemate, Held turns the corner and finishes it, then slithers into side mount. Held cross-faces, then switches to cross-face elbows, targeting the cut on Sarnavskiy’s eye. Now a slick pass into full mount for Held.
In mount, Held angles for an armbar, then bails on it but manages to keep position. Held might have pursued an inverted triangle as Sarnavskiy rolls out of mount and into top position. Again, Sarnavskiy is forced to defend from on top, then he disengages completely and jogs out of range. On the restart, Sarnavskiy stays curiously upright while rushing forward, allowing an easy takedown for Held. 10-9 Held.
R3: Held shoots for a single, then a double leg, again rolling into a leg lock. Sarnavskiy easily avoids this attempt and lands a solid counter combo. Sarnavskiy, in another odd decision, initiates a clinch with Held, prompting the Pole to vanish and reappear on Sarnavskiy’s leg in kneebar position. He wrenches the hold and Sarnavskiy cries out, rendering a stoppage due to verbal submission.
- Marcin Held defeats Alexander Sarnavskiy by verbal submission (kneebar) R3 1:11
Tony Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov
R1: Johnson wades forward slinging heavy leather and Volkov holds his ground and peppers with quick counters. Johnson barrels into contact range and clinches up with Volkov, failing to hit the double leg and eating a short up-knee from the double necktie. Johnson digs in a left under-hook and looks to hammer home with rights with Volkov on the fence. Volkov defends but can’t circle off despite his wrist-control and overhook medley. Johnson glances with a short uppercut, then steps back, disconnecting from the clinch with a salvo of big punches.
Again, Volkov defends the barrage well but can’t shake Johnson, who keeps the Russian on the cage after a failed single leg. Another short uppercut for Johnson. Two knees to the body from Volkov, who finally circles off the cage. We pause for an accidental eye rake to Volkov but he’s ready to resume quickly. Volkov jams his toes into Johnson’s mouth with a sharp front kick. And another to the body, followed by an outside low kick. Johnson shoots on the latter and completes a takedown. Volkov sits up on the cage and Johnson clings to a body lock to keep him down. Johnson stands up, overhooks the head in the front headlock and then moves to back control. Half nelson for Johnson but Volkov slips free and stands, landing a short knee to the body. Volkov grazes with another front kick. 10-9 Johnson.
R2: Volkov opens with a one-two and a body kick but it allows Johnson to latch on and take him down. Volkov in guillotine position from half guard; Johnson elbows him in the thigh and slips his head out. Volkov keeps a closed full guard with little activity other than posture control. Johnson can’t gain ground with strikes so he looks to pass, and powers into half guard. Crisp left forearm to the face for Johnson. Make it two more.
Volkov uses a butterfly hook to regain full guard, then leans over for the kimura. He gets the two-on-one grip and isolates it, but loses position on the elbow and Johnson moves to his back. Volkov stands and Johnson lands a heavy knee downstairs, then stays adhered to Volkov. Johnson has Volkov sandwiched against the cage and the big Russian is unable to counter with the double chin-post. 10-9 Johnson.
R3: Johnson wastes no time shooting a single leg, and settles for more control on the cage. Volkov peels Johnson’s arm away with wrist control and lands a hard knee to the body, then creates enough space to thud two more from the Thai plum. Johnson resets and resumes the previous position, using an under-hook to keep Volkov in place and throwing short shots with the other arm. Volkov separates and lands more body knees before Johnson reattaches.
More close-range knees from Volkov with his back on the fence and they’re starting to add up. Johnson lowers his level and commits to a hoist double-leg but he can’t finish it. They’re separated by the ref and Volkov drills a few jabs and a right cross through Johnson’s guard. Johnson lowers his head and barrels into range to clinch up. This time Volkov circles off the fence immediately and tags Johnson with a combo. Johnson reconnects and holds Volkov on the cage. 10-9 Volkov. I have it 29-28 Johnson.
- Tony Johnson defeats Alexander Volkov by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x 2)
Preliminary Card Results
Joey Beltran vs. Brian Rogers
R1: Rogers lands an inside low kick. Then one outside. Rogers grazes Beltran with a heavy overhand right. Outside low kick from Rogers now, who’s showing excellent rhythm. Rogers misses the lead right but lands the follow-up left kick to the liver. Inside low kick from Rogers, continuing his high output. Another low kick for Rogers.
Beltran whiffs on a right but half-checks the next low kick. Rogers counters the Beltran low kick with a flurry that misses and checks the next one. Rogers continues to punish the lead leg of Beltran with kicks and it’s starting to show. Beltran finally scores with a stiff right hand. Rogers answers with an uppercut. Quick lead right lands for Beltran. Rogers comes back with a right hand and a knee to the body from the single collar tie. Rogers tries to change levels but settles for some dirty boxing when Beltran defends. Counter elbow on the clinch break glances for Beltran. Solid 10-9 for Rogers.
R2: Rogers digs his shin into Beltran’s lead leg to start the second stanza. Rogers’ one-two to jump knee is blocked, but he lands a counter on the next exchange. Beltran upping his output and closing his combos with a left kick to the body. Rogers almost times a quick up-knee to the face as Beltran’s head is ducked. They’re warned for extended fingers and Rogers gets a finger in the eye on the next encounter. We pause while he recovers.
They restart just shy of the halfway mark with Rogers sitting down on a pair of one-twos. One-two to left body kick is Beltran’s offering of choice but he can’t land definitively. Rogers stays in forward gear and steers Beltran to the fence but can’t keep the clinch. Beltran lands a clean right off his back foot, then glances with a pair of short elbows. Right hand scores for Beltran. And another, it wobbles Rogers. Beltran goes bananas with punches, launching an endless sequence of rights and lefts. Now a few short elbows for Beltran as Rogers stumbles around with a dazed look on his face. Rogers puts both hands down and stands motionless as Beltran pummels him with right hands, yet the ref lets it go. That’s worthy of a rare 10-7 on my card as the fight easily could’ve/should’ve been stopped.
R3: Beltran lands an accidental kick to the cup and it gives Rogers his discretion of five minutes to recover. He doesn’t utilize the full five but Rogers looks refreshed on the restart. They trade a few combos from range, both firing and landing at a fairly even clip. Rogers, showing big heart, goes on the attack with one-twos from outside and knees to the body in the clinch; even a close-range left high kick that Beltran blocks.
Beltran answers with a counter right. Rogers continues to engage aggressively but Beltran bops him with a clean left counter. Now it’s Rogers who lands consecutive right hands. Beltran smiles and answers with a right. Beltran counter clinches and scores with a pair of body knees as Rogers’ combination fizzles out. No dice on Rogers’ level change and he’s moving a bit laboriously. Rogers grazes with a knee on the way in and Beltran thwacks him with a counter right off his back foot. Close and exciting round. I’ll go 10-10. I have it 29-27 for Beltran.
- Joey Beltran defeats Brian Rogers by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Saad Awad vs. Rob Sinclair
R1: Sinclair starts with an outside low kick. Awad answers with one of his own, only crisper. And another for Awad. Now Sinclair responds with the outside low kick. Awad checks the next one. Awad walking Sinclair into the corners but not letting his hands go. When he does, Sinclair tags him with a hard right counter; the best shot of the fight thus far.
The pace is unexpectedly measured between the veteran strikers. Awad snaps Sinclair’s head back with a jab. Sinclair half-checks the next outside low kick. Sinclair backs Awad off with a quick three-punch flurry. Awad’s high kick is blocked. 10-10.
R2: They trade low kicks. Awad switches to southpaw, then back to orthodox, still stalking Sinclair. Sharp outside low kick from Awad, then a nicely timed counter knee that thuds to the body. Awad’s step-in left body kick bores into Sinclair’s ribs, and Awad stomps on the gas with a series of heavy punches and knees.
Awad snaps Sinclair’s head down and then cinches on a D’arce choke, but ends up on his back wrenching it. Sinclair steps over and slips his head out, taking top position in Awad’s full guard. Awad escapes shortly after and they restart in the center. Awad stings Sinclair with more jabs from range. Sinclair sits down on a huge overhand right and it lands, but it’s partially deflected. They clinch and Sinclair gets the rear waist-lock. Awad lands a pair of back-elbows to close the round. 10-9 Awad.
R3: They show respect with a quick bro-hug in the center, then go to work. Awad still pressing forward carefully behind a rangy and jab-centric attack. Awad lands an outside low kick and pulls his head back just in time to avoid an overhand right counter. Sinclair catches Awad’s left kick but can’t capitalize.
Sinclair tags Awad with a sneaky lead hook. Now Sinclair unbolts a three-punch combo that glances and forces Awad back. We pause for an accidental kick to Sinclair’s groin. They restart quickly with a minute left. Awad changes levels for a double and tries to switch to a single, but Sinclair’s takedown defense is sturdy. Sinclair puts Awad on the fence but can’t keep him there, and Awad gets deep on a double-leg and finishes it. Awad flurries with punches from the top throughout the closing seconds of the round. 10-9 Awad. I have it 30-28 his way.
- Saad Awad defeats Rob Sinclair by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Fabricio Guerreiro vs. John Teixeira
R1: Teixeira ducks Guerreiro’s combo and wings a counter but it’s Guerreiro who finds success with the same tactic on the next exchange. Teixeira walking Guerreiro down and he unbolts a heavy three-piece combo that forces Guerreiro to scurry out of range. Guerreiro looking to establis a long jab but Teixeira continues to march forward and heave heaters, though he’s yet to connect cleanly. Guerreiro lands a check hook off his back foot.
Now Teixeira jabbing his way into range and it pays off with two glancing combos. Guerreiro snatches up a single leg and then cleverly rolls into a leg-lock attempt, but Teixeira scrambles free. No dice on Guerreiro’s horizontal elbow counter and he gets caught on the far-end of a Teixeira one-two; the follow-up flying knee misses, drawing a smile from Guerreiro. We pause for an unintentional low blow to Guerreiro, who gets countered by a punch while deciding to pull back on a flying knee of his own. 10-9 Teixeira.
R2: They trade inside low kicks to start the second. They collide with mutual combos and Teixeira’s massive power shots get him the better of the exchange, then he dings Guerreiro with a left/right salvo that stuns and wobbles him. Guerreiro pursues a takedown and then clinches up to regain his wits. Teixeira still wading forward behind sharp jabs to hurl heavy left and right hooks.
Guerreiro gets on his bike and tries to plunge long jabs from range and has some success before Teixeira takes him down from the rear waist-lock. Teixeira holds strong posture and works for arm-triangle position, then takes Guerreiro’s back as he tries to escape. Standing rear-naked choke attempt now from Teixeira but time expires. 10-9 Teixeira.
R3: Guerreiro steps into the pocket for a more assertive range but doesn’t attack with urgency. Teixeira chambers off a right/left medley of hooks to the body. Snapping jab counter lands for Guerreiro. Guerreiro with a front kick and busy jabs from range but Teixeira’s power in the pocket seems to be causing hesitation.
Guerreiro nails a takedown at the halfway mark and moves to half guard. Guerreiro throws a few meaningful shots but it allows Teixeira to recompose guard. Loose D’arce attempt from Guerreiro and it leaves Teixeira with an easy escape route. Guerreiro stays on him and hits a throw from the clinch. Teixeira looks to hit the switch and they stalemate in the half back-ride against the fence. Teixeira spins into Guerreiro but Guerreiro maintains control with the rear waist lock, landing a few knees to the hamstrings and his best punches of the fight before the bell sounds. 10-9 Guerreiro. I have it 29-28 Teixeira.
- John Teixeira defeats Fabricio Guerreiro by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
Untelevised Bouts (after Spike card)
Marcos Bonilla vs. A.J. McKee
Jonathan Santa Maria vs. Steve Ramirez
Luc Bondole vs. Chris Herrera
Chad George vs. Mark Vorgeas
Cleber Luciano vs. Aaron Miller
Jay Bogan vs. Justin Governale
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