Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring and play-by-play for Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2, live from Thackerville, Oklahoma. This will be Julia Budd’s 1st title defense since capturing the inaugural 145 pound title, by besting MMA pioneer Marloes Coenen back at Bellator 174 this past March. Arlene Blencowe has earned 3-straight wins since her initial match with Budd, and how has the opportunity to become a world champion and avenge a loss at the same time.
This post will cover all 4 of the main card matchups, from Adam Piccolotti vs. David Rickels up to the main event title fight between Julia Budd and Arelene Blencowe. Be sure to check out our Bellator 189 MMA Vivisection with Zane Simon and Eddie Mercado. The main card will air live on Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET with the prelims streaming online at 7:00 P.M. ET.
Main Card: 9:00 PM ET on Spike TV
Budd opens with a solo leg kick as Blencowe takes the center. Budd scores with a teep to the belly, before closing the distance. Budd uncorks a series of pointy knees to the body, and then transitions to a takedown attempt. Blencowe secures a whizzer, staying vertical, but eats another knee to the midsection. Blencowe seems stuck with her back to the cage, but finds space as Budd attempts a knee. Instead of moving to open space, Blencowe stays in close, resulting in Budd reversing the position and shoving Blencowe back up against the cage. Blencowe reverses her opponent, and eats a hook from Budd as they break.
Blencowe takes the center and cracks a right hand behind her jab. Blencowe lands another straight right hand, and then follows up with a left hook. Budd eats a 2 piece as Blencowe continues to control the center of the cage. Budd scores with a kick to the midsection, but Blencowe is slowly inching forward, backing Budd up against the fence. Budd lands a solid leg kick, and Blencowe responds with a jab cross combo. A body kick lands again for Budd, but Blencowe comes back with a hard right hand. Blencowe pumps the jab while Budd launches her leg kicks. Budd finally attempts/scores a takedown in the last 15 seconds.
Blencowe again takes the center looking to land her right hand. Budd backs herself up to the cage, and Blencowe scores with a cross to the body. The athletes flurry in the pocket. Blencowe lands an inside leg kick followed by a right hand. A lot of staring is going on, but is broken up with a right hand from Blencowe. A leg kick lands for Budd, but Blencowe continues to command the center and backs Budd up to the cage. Budd closes the distance and launches a couple of knees before Blencowe shucks her off. Budd botches a takedown and almost eats a knee to the face for her troubles.
Budd closes the distance, but it’s Blencowe that shoves Budd against the fence. Budd reverses, and knees to the head as Blencowe is bent over. Budd lands a knee to the body as Blencowe exits the clinch. Blencowe inches forward and snaps a right hand as Budd is content to have her back close to the fence. Another right hand is thrown and partially blocked by Budd. A heavy leg kick lands for Budd, followed by a head kick that misses. A lot of staring is going on again with little contact being had.
The fight announcer Mauro Ranallo called for a yellow card, from the old PRIDE days, in response to the lack of activity in the main event. An upkick lands to the mouth of Blencowe, but no follow up from Budd. Budd misses high with a kick, and misses with an oblique stomp. Budd shot in for the takedown, but Blencowe sniffed it out early. Blencowe misses with a jab, and the crowd boos. The staring contest continues. Budd grabs a Thai Plum in the closing 10 seconds, but doesn nothing with it.
- Julia Budd def. Arlene Blencowe by Split Decision (49-46, 47-48, 49-46): (W) Featherweight Title
Chris Honeycutt vs. Rafael Lovato Jr: Middleweight
Lovato Jr launches a series of head kicks to open up the bout, with Honeycutt catching one of them for the fight’s 1st takedown. Honeycutt allows the BJJ black belt to stand back up, and Lovato Jr moves forward behind his kicks, looking to set up a knee. A left hook scores for Lovato Jr, and Honeycutt responds with a right hand. Honeycutt grabs the body lock and shoves his foe up against the fence. Lovato Jr wraps the head in search of a standing Guillotine. Honeycutt finally escapes the sub attempt just in time for the round to be up.
10-9 Lovato Jr
Lovato throws a 1-2 to open the 2nd stanza, and then connected with an overhand right. Honeycutt lands a thudding cross to the midsection of his opponent. Honeycutt ducks under a wild right hand to close the distance up against the fence, but Lovato Jr again worked the standing Guill from the 1st round. Lovato Jr lands a knee upstairs on the break, but Honeycutt again grabs ahold of the body lock. Honeycutt finally achieves a takedown, but Lovato Jr works the Guill from his back. Lovato Jr stays active off his back with strikes, so Honeycutt stands back to his feet. Lovato Jr lands a well timed uppercut that Honeycutt ducks into, and follows up with a cracking jab. Honeycutt closes the distance with a body lock, and Lovato Jr works for a Kimora.
10-9 Lovato Jr
Lovato Jr goes upstairs with a head kick to open the final round. Honeycutt catches a kick, but Lovato Jr stays vertical, and works the standing Guill yet again. The referee separates the fighters, and Honeycutt catches another kick, but again is unable to get the fight tot he ground. Lovato Jr leaps in and scores with a left hook. Honeycutt catches another kick, and finally gets the fight to the ground, but Lovato Jr is right back up. A liver kick lands for Lovato Jr and Honeycutt leaps in with double left hooks. Lovato Jr elects to score a takedown, but Honeycutt bounced right up to his feet, and scored a takedown of his own. Honeycutt is strictly controlling his opponent as Lovato Jr looks for the switch. Time runs out.
10-9 Lovato Jr
Chidi Njokuani vs. Hisaki Kato: Middleweight
-Kato launches his leg kicks as Njokuani takes the center of the cage. Kato kicks out the leg of his opponent as Njokuani threw a kick, but Njokuani is quick to stand back up. Njokuani lands a right hook as Kato looks to move forward. Kato again attacks the leg with a series of kicks. Kato leaps in with a hook, but eats a knee from the Thai Clinch. Njokuani lands a right hook before exiting into space. Njokuani lands another right hook as Kato rushes to the inside. Njokuani kicks to the head but Kato is well prepared and blocks it. Njokuani again kicks high but Kato again covers up well. Kato lands a right hand on the break, and time expires.
Njokuani opens the round with a straight left hand to stance switch. Njokuani presses the forward as Kato backs up and circles away from the power. Kato seems a bit gun shy as Njokuani takes the center of the cage, and eats a knee the moment the fight gets on the inside. Kato is bleeding from the nose, so Njokuani turns it up and lands a crisp cross along with ample feints. Kato fires off a body kick that barely lands, but Njokuani wears it well, and snuffs Kato with another straight right hand.
Kato comes out aggressive, launching kicks at his opponent, but eats a set of body kicks from Njokuani. A teep lands followed by a 1-2 from Njokuani, as he reclaims the center of the cage. Kato lands another leg kick, and Njokuani dances it out to shake it off. Kato takes the center as Njokuani skirts around the outside, but a well placed right sends Kato falling off balance. Kato returns to his feet and closes the distance, working for a single leg. Njokuani is caught grabbing the cage, so the referee halts the action for a hard warning, but the action resumes. Njokuani finds open space and makes his home in the middle before launching a body kick. Another Njokuani body kick lands as Kato rushes forward. Kato kicks the leg but eats a right hand as time runs out.
- Chidi Njokuani def. Hisaki Kato by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
Adam Piccolotti vs. David Rickels (30-27 x3): Catchweight of 160 pounds
Both athletes come out working their kicks, with Rickels pressing forward and Piccolotti on the back step. Piccolotti lands a jab and Rickels returns a right cross followed by right hook. Piccolotti kicks the inside of the leg, but a Rickels right hand lands to the chin. Piccolotti briefly presses “The Caveman” up against the fence, but Rickels quickly returns to open space. Rickels continues to march forward, and they exchange hooks in the pocket. Rickels misses with a spinning back fist, but scores with a 2-piece. Rickels kicks the inside of the leg, and the misses high with an upkick. Rickels finishes the round with a blitzing flurry as Piccolotti’s back is up against the cage.
Piccolotti opens up with a heavy hook and secures a brief takedown, but Rickels is right to his feet. Piccolotti shoves his foe against the cage, searching for a double leg takedown. Rickels finds open space and pressures forward behind a right cross and left hook that both land. Piccolotti lands a cross of his own but eats a left hand for it. Rickels again lands a 2-piece, prompting Piccolotti to earn a takedown. Rickels annoys his opponent with pitter from his back, but manages to create enough space to return to his feet, albeit against the fence. Piccolotti chips away with knees to the leg, and then launches a spinning backfist that is mostly blocked. Piccolotti scores another takedown and holds the top position as the round expires.
Piccolotti answers the bell with a major mouse under his left eye, resulting in the doctor coming to take a look. The doc gives the okay, and the bout resumes. Rickels pressured forward behind a flurry, but eats a big overhand left to Piccolotti takedown. Piccolotti drops a series of elbows from standing in the full guard, and Rickels used the opportunity to return to his feet, albeit against the fence again. Piccolotti secures another takedown, but is too busy defending an Oomaplata attempt to land any strikes. Rickels throws up a Triangle Choke from the bottom, and a tight one at that, but Piccolotti hangs tough and survives to the final bell.
- David Rickels def. Adam Piccolotti by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3): Catchweight of 160 pounds
Preliminary Card: 7:00 PM ET on Live Stream
Sam Sicilia def. Marcos Galvao by Unanimous Decision
Cris Williams def. Thomas Lopez by Submission (Triangle) in Rd.1
Juliana Velasquez def. Na Liang by Submission (Armbar) in Rd. 2
Brandon Phillips def. Jordan Howard by Unanimous Decision
Mandel Nallo def. Alec Williams by KO (Head Kick) in Rd. 1
Gaston Bolanos def. Rick Gutierrez by KO (Spinning Elbow) in Rd. 1
Andrew Parker vs. Frank Patterson
Ky Bennett vs. Stephanie Geltmacher
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