Bellator155 Carvalho vs. Manhoef Recap
Saturday May 21, 2016— Live from the Centurylink Arena in Boise Idaho, Bellator MMA lined up a stacked card that was headlined by the defense of the middleweight title. To read the official results with photographs click here.
Champion Rafael Carvalho is coming off the biggest win of his career when he defeated former champion Brandon Halsey for the vacated middleweight title. Now in his 1st title defense he looked to extend his impressive winning streak to 13, his opponent Melvin Manhoef looks to add his first world title to his impressive resume. In the Co Main event former featherweight champion Pat Curran is looking to make one more run at the title as he faces the talented Georgi Karakhanyan, Curran coming off a big win and Karakhanyan coming off a tough lost a win for either guy could find themselves in title contention. A women’s featherweight battle between Alexis Dufresne and Marlos Coenen, and Chase Gormely taking on Joey Beltran in a heavyweight clash and last but not least the undefeated heavyweight Augusto Sakai takes on Dan Charles to wrap up the main card. Before Carvalho and Menhoef square off for the title, two former title challengers face off for the 2nd time as Marcin Held took on Dave Jensen. The full slate of prelims kicked off on BellatorMMA.Com
The 1st prelim bout to kick off the card was in the featherweight division as Vince Morales (4-1) took on Hamilton Ash (3-2), after a good back and forth fight through two rounds, Morales lands a huge right that floors Ash. Hammer fist follow and that was all she wrote. Winner: Vince Morales by TKO in Round 3. Next bout was in the bantamweight division as two undefeated fighters went head to head, Joe Hamilton (4-0) took on Tyler Freeland (3-1), The fight didn’t even last 30 seconds as Hamilton came in full speed and hit Freeland with a right hand that knocked him down. The rear naked choke followed and that was all she wrote. Winner: Joe Hamilton by Rear Naked Choke Round 1. Next up back to back bantamweight fights as Casey Johnson (5-0) took on Brendon Raftery (4-3), after a mental error by Raftery, Johnson sinks in the Rear Naked choke for the finish. Winner: Casey Johnson by Rear Naked Choke Round 2. The next bout was possibly the biggest prelim bout in Bellator MMA history, in the lightweight division two former title challenger went head to head for the 2nd time as Marcin Held (22-4) took on Dave Jansen (20-4). A great fight that went back and forth for the first two rounds, but as the fight went on the cardio of Dave Jansen failed him and Marcin Held took over from there. Winner: Marcin Held by Unanimous Decision. In the next bout the bantamweights took center stage again as Olly Bradstreet (39-13) took on Jesse Brock (22-8), A one-sided fight from start to finish, a big heart for Olly Bradstreet but it was just straight dominance by Jesse Brock and in the 2nd round Brock sunk in the rear naked choke to get the tap out finish. Winner: Jesse Brock by Rear Naked Choke Round 3.
The Main Card kicks off in the heavyweight division as Chase Gormley (6-0) took on Joey Beltran (16-13), with a heavyweight division wide open due to the vacant title, this fight had a lot on the line. A good fight that went back and forth through all 3 rounds and cardio didn’t seem to be a problem between the due monsters. Winner: Chase Gormley by Split Decision. The next bout on the main card was in the women’s featherweight division as Alexis Dufresne (6-2) took on Marlos Coenen (23-7), A great fight that went back and forth in the begging of round 1, but when the fight got to the ground Dufresne was able to slip in the triangle choke for the finish. A huge upset in women’s MMA. Winner: Alexis Dufresne by Triangle Choke Round 1. The 2nd heavyweight bout of the night featured an undefeated fighter in Augusto Sakai (9-0-1) and Dan Charles (10-3-1), from start to finish the fight was close but was leaning towards Sakai, but with back to back low blows by Augusto, Charles was able to do enough to stay in the fight. Results: Draw. In the Co-main event former featherweight champion Pat Curran (22-7) took on top ranked contender Georgi Karakhanyan (24-6-1), A big left hook in round 1 by Curran knocks down Georgi and from there on Curran took control of the fight. Curran maintained control on the ground and was more active on the feet, Karakhanyan just never recovered from the left hook and couldn’t get comfortable and with Curran just being resilient Georgi found himself fighting from behind. Winner: Pat Curran Unanimous Decision.
C Rafael Carvalho (13-1) Vs Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1)
Rafael Cavalho won the middleweight title back in October of 2015 when he shocked the world by beating former champion Brandon Halsey, now in his first defense he faces the legendary kick boxing star Melvin Manhoef. Manhoef has a decorated career and a Bellator World title would cap off a great career. The two different styles from these guys will prove to be the difference for the winner. In the 1st round the crowd in Boise were expecting a high level of offense but with both of these guys have the ability to end the fight at any moment, both fighters stayed very cautious and the little strikes that were thrown were short and very little effective. The 1st round came to an end with the boo birds booing and very little action. Through one round the fight is so close that neither fighter got any leverage due to the small amount of action. The 2nd round begins with more action than the 1st as the striking has turned up a notch, Manhoef lands a kick that was so loud that it echoed in the stadium. Manhoef continues to throw a volume of leg kicks that are keeping Carvalho back. Carvalho lands a big knee that send them into the clench, but an illegal low blow stops the action. As the round resumes Manhoef throws a kick that lands to the body and Carvalho seemed to be shook up. As the round comes to an end Manhoef seems to be pulling away at this point. In the 3rd round Manhoef starts to throw combos that are landing, Cavalho gets rocked by a right hand but follows up with a takedown. The strong defense of Manhoef gets him back to his feet and back to standing. After three rounds and little offense Manhoef has controlled the fight from start to finish. In the 4th round Carvalho gets stuffed on his first takedown attempt but lands the second one. After failing to get anything going on the ground the fighters get back to standing position and get back to the little offense. Through 4 rounds Manhoef leads the fight and Carvalho is just one round away from losing his title unless he can turn things on. In the 5th round Manhoef continues to land big kicks that are wearing down the champion. Carvalho fails to take down Manhoef and finds himself on his back. Carvalho gets back and is starting to show that he knows this fight is over. Manhoef starts to turn on the offense on a checked out Carvalho. The fight comes to and end after going all five rounds. There was little offense from start to finish but the little offense that did occur was all Melvin Manhoef. Rafael Carvalho just never got comfortable and got worn down by the leg kicks in the end. Melvin Manhoef fought at the debut of Bellator Kickboxing a few weeks ago and still came ready for war. The decision comes in and the winner by Split decision ANDSTILL middleweight cahmpion of the world Rafael Carvalho. A tough decision for Manhoef but still at the end of the night Rafael Carvalho is still the champion. Winner: ANDSTILL Middleweight CHAMPION Rafael Carvalho.
By: Rick San Bartolome
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