San Jose, California (Saturday, November 19, 2016)— Live from the SAP Center in San Jose California Bellator MMA made their return to the Bay Area with one of its biggest title fights of all time. Lightweight champion of the world Michael Chandler defended his title against MMA legend Benson Henderson. Benson Henderson is in his third fight since signing with Bellator and after defeating Patrico Pitbull to earn this title shot the biggest free agent signing of all time is looking to make history again. Chandler making his first defense sense regaining the title is looking to make history by finishing another MMA legend. In the co main event top welterweight and rising star Michael Page is taking on the up and coming Fernando Gonzalez. With a new champion being crowned the division is wide open, and with the recently signed Rory McDonald now lurking the waters the winner will shoot right up the ladder. MVP is on a roll of his career another finish could bring him that gold he has been chasing, and for Gonzalez there is no better way to make an impact with a win over MVP. Also on the card a lightweight war between the undefeated Adam Piccolotti and Brandon Gritz. A huge light heavyweight war between two fighters that have been on a role, Francis Carmont took on Linton Vassell. And to kick off the main card the Bay Area Skrap Pack Princess Keri Melendez makes her MMA debut against the undefeated Sheila Padilla. Another Blackzilian rising star Carrington Banks looks to keep things rolling as took on Jake Roberts. Also to headline the prelims the 3rd times the charm as Kimbo Slice JR makes his long-awaited MMA debut. All that and more live from the Shark tank.
We kick things off in the division as Nick Pica (5-0) took on Diego Herzog (3-2), little time wasted as Diego Herzog KO’s Pica and that was all she wrote. Winner: Diego Herzog KO (4-2) Round 1. – Loser: Nick Pica (5-1). Next up we head to the welterweight division were hometown hero James Terry (17-9) took on Justin Baseman (19-10), The hometown hero does it again as Terry overwhelmed Baseman from the jump and he earned the decision victory. Winner: James Terry (18-9) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,30-27). – Loser: Justin Baseman (19-11-1). Next we stay in the welterweight division as Dwight Grant (6-1) took on Danasabe Mohammed (5-0), a lot of action early form both guys but after going the distance it was Grant that was able to get the win. Winner: Dwight Grant (7-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-26,30-26). – Loser: Danasabe Mohammed (5-1). Next we stay in the welterweight division as Justin Roswell (1-0) took on Dominic Summer who was making his pro debut. Little time wasted as Dominic Summer made an impact for his pro debut when he finished Roswell in dramatic fashion. Winner: Dominic Summer (1-0) by TKO Round 1. – Loser: Justin Roswell (1-1). Next up in the lightweight division Blackzilian undefeated rising star Carrington Banks (5-0) took on the undefeated Jake Roberts (7-0), a couple of undefeated fighters went head to head and the fight does go the distance but Jet Banks comes out strong and steals the show once again. Winner: Carrington Banks by Unanimous Decision (29-28,30-27,30-27). – Loser: Jake Roberts (7-1). Next up a catch weight bout, as it was the pro debut for Baby Slice Kevin Ferguson Jr and he took on Aaron Hamilton (0-1), Baby Slice got the chance to compete and had a nice showing but Aaron Hamilton played spoiler and earned the submission victory. Winner: Aaron Hamilton (1-1) by Submission (Guillotine) Round 2. – Loser: Kevin Ferguson Jr (0-1). Next up a women’s flyweight bout as Sarah D’Alelio (10-6) took on Jaimelene Nievera (4-1), the ladies coming out strong as Sarah D’ Alelio sinks in a mean arm bar for the finish. Winner: Sarah D’Alelio (11-6) by Submission (Arm Bar) Round 2. – Loser: Jaimelene Nievera (4-2).
The main card kicked off with a light heavyweight war between the Blackzilians Linton Vassell (16-5) and the surging Francis Carmont (25-11), a dominating performance for Vassell. Into the later rounds Carmont gassed out and Vassell continued to put on pressure and that was all she wrote. Winner: Linton Vassell (17-5) by Unanimous Decision (30-26,30-26,30-25). – Loser: Francis Carmont (25-12). Next up we head to the women’s strawweight division as the Skrap Pack Queen Keri Melendez made her MMA debut against the undefeated Sheila Padilla (2-0). HERE COMES THE BOOM!!! What a finish for Keri Melendez as she finishes Padilla in the very 1st round. What a debut and what a finish. The hometown girl steals the show. Winner: Keri Melendez (1-0) by KO Round 1. – Loser: Sheila Padilla (2-1). Next we had a huge fight in the lightweight division as the undefeated Adam Piccolotti (8-0) took on Brandon Gritz (14-4), what a fight! From start to finish these two lightweights went back and forth. Gritz had a nice striking game was finding a home for his counters but Piccolotti never stopped coming and did enough to earn the victory. Winner: Adam Piccolotti (9-0) by Unanimoius Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Loser: Brandon Gritz (14-5). Next up in the co main event a welterweight was between the undefeated hype train MVP Michael Page (11-0) and the always dangerous Fernando Gonzlaez (25-13), not a lot of action in this fight at all, from start to finish but MVP did enough to earn the victory and stay undefeated. Winner: Michael Page (12-0) by Split Decision (29-28,30-27,29-28). – Loser: Fernando Gonzalez (25-14).
Main Event Lightweight Title Fight
C. Michael Chandler (15-3) Vs Benson Henderson (24-6)
In the main event two of MMA’s best went head to head for the lightweight title of the world. The challenger Benson Henderson looked to make history again by winning yet another title in a different organization. The champion Michael Chandler looks to take down another challenger and cement his legacy as one of the best. Two of the best step into the Bellator cage and fight for the gold. Into the 1st round we go the action kicks off right away the champion waste no time getting to work as he lands some big combos that has Henderson rocked. Chandler closes off the cage and gets Henderson to the mat with a big German supple that lands perfectly. Now on the mat the champion attempts multiple submissions but fails. Henderson shows his strong ground game and works his way out and fails at a triangle attempt. Chandler delivers some big blows as Round 1 comes to an end. Into Round 2 Henderson starts to be the aggressor and starts having Chandler backing up. Chandler recovers to keep Henderson striking to a minimum and round 2 comes to an end. With little action in round 2, we head to the 3rd. Chandler seems to have regained his strength and starts to put the pressure on Henderson. Chandler get the fight back to ground where he tries to slip in another Guillotine choke. But once again Henderson slips out and we go to the 4th. The action just keeps coming the champion lands two big takedowns and hits some big ground and pound. As the round comes to a close Henderson gains position and lands some big elbows to the body that hurts Chandler. After the bell rang Chandler needed help to his feet. Into the 5th Henderson smells blood in the water but the champion knows he’s up on the score card and won’t go down without a fight. Benson lands a big takedown and attempts a rear naked choke, with the body lock locked in Chandler gets out. Henderson regains position and starts working on Chandlers beaten body. Henderson continues the ground and pound but the champion is relentless and won’t stop defending himself. Henderson works the body with big elbows and Chandler just defends himself as best he can and that’s all she wrote. Chandler is bloody and hurt but fought a great fight. Henderson still looks fresh but fought an amazing fight. Both fighters clearly don’t like each other and have to be separated. Both guys left it all in the octagon but the winner by split decision #AndStill lightweight champion of the world Michael Chandler. Both guys hug after and it was well deserved these guys tore it down. Henderson no shame he brought everything he had.
Winner: #AndStill Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler (16-3)
Looser: Benson Henderson (24-7)
Good night from SAP in the Bay Area. The best fight I have ever seen in person these guys left it all in the cage. You can’t ask more!!
By: Rick San Bartolome
Photo Cover Credit : Bellator MMA
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