Bellator 120 takes place tonight in Southaven, Mississippi. The card is headlined by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson taking on Mohammed "King Mo" Lawal, oddly enough both men being involved with iMPACT Wrestling. These are the quick results for tonight's card.
Spike TV Preliminary Bouts:
Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock open the broadcast with a rundown of the top three fights on the pay per view broadcast. First fight is in the cage.
Prelim Fight #1 - Mike Richman vs. Goiti Yamauchi (Featherweight Bout)
First round featured a lot of strikes. Notable is that Yamauchi caught Richman between the legs early and he went down in a heap, but did recover. It was a close round, leaning to Yamauchi but both men were active.
Richman was the aggressor opening round 2. Yamauchi hits a nice combination that draws blood. All in all, Yamauchi had a lot more effective offense in the second round, clearly giving the round to him.
Round 3 opens with Richman pressing an early combination. He tries a front choke and almost gets it but ends up in Yamauchi's guard. Yamauchi tries to hold closed guard and works a body triangle and works to set up a gogoplata. Richman pops out and lands strikes. Yamauchi tries for an arm bar but more strikes from Richman. The fighters end up working strikes in the end.
Yamauchi wins by unanimous decision.
A competitive but average fight. The low blow didn't help starting it out.
Prelim Fight #2 - Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Fabricio Guerreiro (Featherweight Bout)
Shamhalaev uses some kicks to open the fight up. He throws a hard left and avoids another rush with some head movement. The action slows down then Guerreriro connects with a right hand. Guerreiro pounces a bit later and lands elbows as he controls posture. Shamhalaev presses to the cage as Guerreriro sets up the kimura. He grabs the cage to control position. When Shamhalaev tries to roll it allows the hold to sink deeper, and he taps out. His arm might be broken.
Fabricio Guerreiro wins by submission.
Odd setup, but that finish was nice, and it was nasty. In the replay, it definitely looked like Shamhalaev's arm broke, ala Mir vs. Nogueira II.
We get a preview of the Ortiz-Shlemenko fight. Ortiz attributes his comeback to the stem cell injections he got in his neck after he broke it last fall.
Prelim Fight #3 - Marcin Held vs. Nate Jolly (Catchweight Bout)
Jolly lands hard strikes but nearly gets dropped by a knee to the face. He recovers and another strike exchange ensues. Held presses Jolly to the cage, then trips him and looks to take his back. Jolly tries to cover and defend with and fighting and rolls to his knees but Held holds position. Held tries to trap an arm while Jolly rolls. Held throws short strikes and mounts, then tries for an arm triangle. Jolly escapes and throws his own strikes moments later. Held catches Jolly in an armbar and Jolly is forced to tap out.
Marcin Held wins by submission.
Some very slick work by Held in this one. He got unique position for the armbar, holding it under the armpit. Nice technique.
We get hype for Rampage vs. King Mo. They try a live interview but there's audio issues and Smith can't hear King Mo. Lawal took a shot at Bjorn Rebney and the push of Rampage Jackson. He calls Rampage "just another fighter" to him.
Prelim Fight #4 - Cheick Kongo vs. Eric Smith (Heavyweight)
Smith presses and lands strikes early, but Kongo covers up and steps away. Smith continues to press and strike, and clinched at one point prior to trying a takedown that failed. Kongo fires back and they clinch up again, but Kongo uses knee strikes in the clinch. This really was Smith's round until the final minute. Kongo took over but I doubt what he did was enough to negate the beating he took for the first four minutes.
Round two opens with Kongo throwing a body kick as Smith tries walking him down. Smith lands a left, then gets taken down and takes strikes from Kongo. Kongo lands a strike to the back of the head with no warning. Smith covers up but more strikes from Kongo. He postures up and lands a knee. The striking game just gets tedious and hard to watch. Smith gets to his feet but takes more knees and punches. Eventually Smith is not covering up, but can't fight back so the referee stops it.
Cheick Kongo wins by TKO in Round 2.
Kongo was terrible for the first four minutes against a guy who hasn't won in four years. Then he couldn't put him away until after another five minutes goes by. A bad fight, and may have actually hurt Kongo despite the win.
The announcers sell the pay per view as the Spike preview ends.
Bellator 120 Main Pay Per View Card:
We get a decent opening video package. Wheelock and Smith talk about the fights, then send it to video packages to feature the opening bout.
Fight #1 - Michael Page vs. Rickey Rainey (Welterweight Bout)
Page held his hand up while the official gives instructions. Paige lands strikes and circles. Rainey tries to chase, Page misses a kick but lands a bunch of strikes as Rainey charges wildly. Page just picks his spots, hitting a jumping kick and shoving Rainey to the ground. He just toys with Rainey, landing a straight kick and a second kick before dancing. The fans boo the showboating.
Late, Page avoids Rainey's advance and shows no respect for him. He lands a couple jabs, then floors him with a right hand to end it.
Michael Page wins by TKO, first round.
This wasn't even close to competitive. Page's actions brought something to the fight though. People will either love it or hate it, but it will equal people wanting to see him get beat and will pay to see it happen.
Extended comments from Smith and Wheelock, then they get an interview with Frank Shamrock and Tito Ortiz backstage. They stall some more and talk about Alexander Volkov and Blagoi Ivanov extensively before they come to the cage. Seems like they're having pacing issues and are stalling like mad here. Video packages for the next fighters are up next.
Fight #2 - Alexander Volkov vs. Blagoi Ivanov (Heavyweight Fight)
Tentative opening from both men. Ivanov lands a hard left and clinches, looking for a takedown. Volkov holds control because of his reach then lands knees to the body. Ivanov gets his arm loose for punches then the action stalls along the cage. Knees by both to the body, then Ivanov backs off and lands a big right then back to the clinch. The two exchange strikes toward the end of the round. Ivanov won the first round in my mind.
Ivanov swings wildly early, then takes a strike that makes him bleed. Ivanov clinches and tries a takedown but Volkov counters and takes his back. He makes Ivanov tap to the rear naked choke.
Alexander Volkov wins by submission.
Ivanov made a mistake that opened him up for that submission hold. A good finish sequence for Volkov, using a solid counter that brough him into position to get the choke on.
Joe Warren is brought in for an interview. He calls concussed Eduardo Dantas a pussy. They waste more time showing the crowd and empty cage - they're really off on timing here. They show some backstage shots of Michael Chandler and Will Brooks, who won't be fighting til later. Wow they are off on the pace of this show.
We get video packages for Shlemenko and Ortiz. In Ortiz's package he says when he gets hold of Shlemenko he's going to make him "shit himself". Ortiz comes to the cage with kids in his hat lining the entrance.
Fight #3 - Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko (Light Heavyweight Bout)
Ortiz looks huge by comparison. He throws a head kick that Shlemenko blocks. He stuffs a takedown and lands body kicks and a punch, then Shlemenko lands another combination. He tries to back Shlemenko and gets shoved. More body kicks and punches. A bit later, Ortiz clinches and gets a knee to the body. Shlemenko throws a punch, then Ortiz gets him to his knees. He moves to side control and locks on an arm triangle choke. Shlemenko goes out.
Tito Ortiz wins by submission.
Shocking. Ortiz looked letharigic as hell in the start, then he was able to overpower Shlemenko and the champ gave up a spot that handed Ortiz the submission.
In the cage, Ortiz does his best Hulk Hogan. He beat a massively undersized fighter though. Shlemenko's stock fell big here too because he lost to a guy who has won one time in eight years. The only one that benefitted from this was Tito Ortiz.
Fight #4 - Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks (Interim Lightweight Championship)
Both fighters rush to center, and Chandler punches his way close to get a takedown early. Brooks tries to hold control as the announcers mention how Chandler said of Brooks that "the sport doesn't need a guy like Brooks who lays and prays and pitter patters." Brooks gets to his feet and Chandler moves in with a strike. Brooks throws a knee, backs off, then stuffs a shot and they clinch. Chandler foot stomps, drops down, picks Brooks up and drops him. Brooks gets his back to the cage but Chandler drags him down further. Brooks' defense was enough that it made Chandler's offense dull. He wasn't giving up space.
Round two opens with leg kicks. Chandler shoots in but Brooks holds it off on the cage. Brooks backs him off with a knee and stuffs a takedown. Brooks lands a body kick and a jab. Chandler shoots in and Brooks can't stuff this one. Brooks gets his back to the cage and Chandler throws punches from his knees. Later in the round Brooks gets loose and takes Chandler down. He takes Chandler's back and gets the hooks in, but Chandler turns in and gets on top in guard. Brooks goes back to defense and throws some strikes. Brooks is solid on defense in this one.
Round three opens with a trade of punches. Brooks lands a strike and drives a knee ot Chandler's midsection. He takes Chandler's back after stuffing a takedown. Brooks lands a knee and an uppercut behind it. Brooks counters a takedown and gets one of his own. Chandler gave up his back and Brooks gets the hooks in. A bit later Brooks lands some big strikes and Chandler holds on tight. Brooks tries to get loose with a forearm. He lands several in a row, then postures up with several big strikes. This was a big round for Brooks as the underdog. He busted up Chandler throughout and had several dominant positions.
Brooks rushes center to start round four and lands a couple body kicks. Chandler shoots in and Brooks sidesteps. Brooks lands a left, and Chandler moves in but Brooks times a nice takedown. Chandler give up the back and Brooks gets the hooks in. Chandler gets warned for reaching into Brooks' gloves. The hesitation allows him to turn back into Brooks. Chandler is staying just active enough. Brooks tries to escape by Chandler pulls the trunks. Official misses it and Brooks complains. A bit later Brooks throws a knee as Chandler puts his head down in a stupid move. Chandler took it and sat back and the official gives him time. Brooks gets Chandler down as the round closes. Closest round of the fight.
Round five starts with a trade of strikes. Chandler tries a takedown but Brooks holds it off on the cage. Brooks gets separation and some strikes then a slam. Chandler's face is a mess. Brooks takes Chandler's back but gets shaken off. Chandler tries another takedown but fails. He throws a flurry and Brooks gets taken down. Brooks might have gone out. Chandler tries the arm triangle but loses it while moving to the mount. Strong finishing moment.
Will Brooks wins by Split Decision
This is laughably bad and a mess for Bellator. The last three rounds were good though. Brooks didn't take the first, second or fifth rounds - no way. He did get three and four though.
Fight #5 - Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (Light Heavyweight Bout)
Rampage rushes in and Lawal takes him down. He gets booed for that. Lawal lands strikes and the fans keep booing as Lawal holds Rampage down. He passes to side control, then Rampage got free and worked to his feet. Lawal lands a knee as he hangs on to the clinch. He drops for a single leg and takes Rampage down again. Jackson gets up but gets dragged back down. Knees to the legs as Jackson gets to his knees. Lawal trips him right back down to more boos. Rampage rolls to his knees and Lawal lands more strikes. Jackson gets separation and misses a big strike. Tentative stand up nets nothing for either guy and Lawal avoids another big strike. He lands a body kick and ducks another punch. Lawal clearly won the first round here. Jackson couldn't get on track.
Round two opens with Jackson trying to close as Lawal circles. Lawal lands a body kick and Jackson returns a strike while stuffing a clinch attempt. Jacosn connects on several strikes but Lawal turns him around with a clinch. Lawal lands knees and strikes. He drops but gets shoved aside. Lawal lands a left but he's cut open from the strikes he's taking from Jackson. Jackson stuffs another takedown and Lawal jabs and shoots. Jackson stuffs it again even though Lawal was committed. Jackson punches out but Lawal takes his back and gets in some knee shots to the thigh. Jackson turns back into him and circles and Lawal avoids the strikes. Lawal ducks a strike and lands some of his own. Lawal misses a jumping knee but shoots in and scores a takedown. Lawal lands a knee to the chest and as Jackson gets to his feet he returns knees to the leg. Each man gets in a shot at the end of the round. Lawal's eye is a mess. Jackson took that round with some big shots to Lawal.
Round three starts with an awful kick from Lawal. Jackson stalks, but Lawal circles. Jackson gets some combination strikes and the pace slows significantly. Jackson throws a left then stuffs Lawal shooting in. Lawal presses into a clinch, drops down for a single leg and again gets stuffed. Lawal picks an ankle to get a take down into a half guard. The fans boo as Lawal throws strikes. Lawal was warned to work and he postured up and throws some strikes. Jackson rolls to his knees and Lawal stays on his back as he stands up. Lawal can't get him back down. Jackson lunges with a strike and both men miss punches. Jackson throws a kick, then stuffs a shot. Lawal tries to shoot in again and get a takedown at the cage. Jackson holds it off. Jackson turns him around and they jockey for position. Late in the round, Jackson misses a couple strikes and Lawal circles out. He misses another right and Lawal avoids another. Jackson lands an uppercut and takes a jab. He had very little offense in that round - got taken down a lot too. This was a bad round to end a bad fight.
Jackson and Lawal jaw before the final scoring is announced. There's some cussing and swearing going on. This is really pretty laughable at this point and this wasn't a good fight. Rampage calms down and says "it was a good fight, Mo."
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson wins by unanimous decision
King Mo isn't happy. Lawal gets a mic and gets in Bjorn Rebney's face. "You and your dick riding ass, over there smiling! You know I won that f***ing fight! Cut me then, if you don't like me!"
This was a bit of a trainwreck tonight. Not sure how to put my thoughts to this. Perhaps I'll have more to say by the time I get to sit down and do some audio. Thanks for reading along! Comments welcome @Bill_SoonerFan.