From a dramatic standpoint, Bellator 120 did not disappoint Saturday night in South Haven, Missouri. The first pay per view in the company’s history had everything from knockouts to submissions, unanimous decisions to split decisions, and a foul knee that resulted in a technical unanimous decision. Both the co main event and the main event resulted in very controversial decisions. The co main event might have been the more dramatic of the two. Michael Chandler and Will Brooks fought out a brilliant masterpiece performance in the cage; a fight that included almost every facet of the mixed martial arts game. Many think Chandler was robbed of a decision, and some think the decision was justified for Brooks; it was all just a part of the action packed Saturday night that occurred in the Bellator cage.
Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal via Unanimous Decision The fight started off as prediction in the pre-fight predictions and picks portion of the MMA Spotlight. It took a matter of seconds within the first round for Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal to land his first take down of the main event. Where he continue to keep Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for the first three minutes of the bout, advancing positions and out-wrestling Rampage, but did not do much damage otherwise. The second frame was all about Rampage staying low and fighting off Lawal’s advances. Rampage landed crisp uppercuts and landed his patented left hook that stunned King Mo. It seemed as if Lawal was flailing around in the cage and used up most of his energy in the first round wrestling Rampage. Jackson wins the second clearly as they enter into the final round. Bellator’s main event was tied neck and neck and both started the third a little tentative. Jackson cautious of the takedown and King Mo worried about Jackson’s heavy power. After a brief exchange King Mo pressed Rampage against the cage dropping down for an ankle and sweeping Jackson to the floor, scoring a take down. Jackson stands up and they briefly separate, Jackson is now stalking King Mo looking to land some power shots to end the fight. King Mo presses Jackson against the cage again and referee John McCarthy steps in to separate the two after brief action in the clinch. Rampage charges up on King Mo and lands a huge uppercut, King Mo answers with a stiff jab. The fight finishes and the fans are not happy with the lack of action close out the Bellator main event. The decision is read for Quinton Jackson and Muhammed Lawal is stunned. The two spend their rest of the time in the cage jawing at each other and somewhat briefly exchanging verbal jabs to one another in the post fight conference. They are both calling for a rematch, fans are hopeful there is one made soon.
Will Brooks defeats Michael Chandler via Split Decision Chandler enters into the co main event as the heavy favorite and considered one of the best lightweights on the planet. Will Brooks is a new rising prospect whom accepted this match up on short notice, which weighs heavily in Chandler’s favor. Chandler opened the first two rounds dominating with take downs and controlling the ground game. Brooks change the tide in the third round, landing his own take downs and landing some body kicks in the process. He landed huge shot on the former champion and bloodied Chandler in the third. It was arguably the most dominant round for Brooks and it could have been scored a 10-8 round for Brooks. The fourth was little bit of the same from Brooks; Chandler opened the frame with two nice hooks that landed on Brook’s dome, but Brooks took him down again. Brooks had two take downs in the fourth and moved into dominate positions in both. Going into the fifth round the fight is possibly tied. In the final frame both exchange in the center of the octagon. Chandler presses the action looking for a take down but Brooks denies and throws Chandler, landing a take down. Not to be denied, Chandler reverses the position and now has Brooks on his back. Brooks escapes and now they are winging bombs, Chandler connects and has Brooks in trouble. Chandler gets Brooks to the ground and now is going for a head and arm choke and its tight, but Brooks is able to roll and escape. They both reach their feet before the final seconds and Chandler is winging bombs again and is connecting. Brooks is on the ropes but the final bell sounds, ending the highly octane fight. Even after being struck and in trouble in the final frame, the judges award the fight to Brooks and the crowd is shocked. May be another possible rematch in the making between Chandler and Brooks.
Tito Ortiz defeats Alexander Shlemenko via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) – Rd.1 The surprise of the pay per view. Not everyone counted Tito Ortiz out, but quite a few did. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy had not won a fight since 2011, and Alexander Shlemenko, the Bellator middleweight champion, had not lost a fight since 2010. It seemed as if the weight was too much for Shlemenko as Ortiz just dragged his smaller foe down to the mat. Shlemenko landed nice body shots early, but that was his only highlight of the fight. Ortiz got him to the and easily worked into the arm-triangle position, and it was completely over from there. Welcome back to the winner’s circle, Tito Ortiz.
Alexander Volkov defeats Blagoi Ivanov via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Rd.1 Blagoi Ivanov has an incredible story to tell of his life, but it looks like that story will not reach the heavyweight finals. They both exchanged heavy shots, with Volkov looking to use his reach and move around outside. Ivanov got in close and final swept the Russian to the ground, but the former Bellator heavyweight champion was ready for the ground game. Volkov slipped to the back of Ivanov and was able to sink in a deep rear naked choke, Ivanov had no choice but to tap or go to sleep.
Michael Page defeats Rickey Rainey via TKO (Punch) – Rd.1 Michael Page may be flashy and somewhat cocky inside the cage, but his fight game backs it up thoroughly. The flashy welterweight from London danced around the cage for four minutes. At time Page found himself dancing, and at times when throwing strikes, not even looking at Rainey. Rainey did nothing to disrupt Page’s meticulous striking and was practically being used for target practice. With under a minute left, Page ended the beating with an overhand right, the ref stopped the fight immediately.
The Bellator prelim results are listed below for public viewing. Cheick Kongo got back to the winning side of things after surviving early shots from Eric Smith; and finishing him off before the first round. Marcin Held showed he has one of the deadliest submission games in MMA, quickly making work of Nate Jolly.
Cheick Kongo defeats Eric Smith via TKO (Strikes) – Rd.2
Marcin Held defeats Nate Jolly via Submission (Armbar) – Rd.1
Fabricio Guerreiro defeats Shahbulat Shamhalaev via Submission (Kimura) – Rd.1
Goiti Yamauchi defeats Mike Richmond via Unanimous Decision
Austin Lyona defeats Zach Underwood via Unanimous Technical DecisionMike Wessel defeats Justin Frazier via TKO (Punches) – Rd.1em>Ben Brewer defeats Andy Uhrich via KO (strikes) – Rd.1
Codie Shuffield defeats Anthony Lemon via Submission (Rear naked Choke) – Rd.2
Brian Hall defeats Cortez Phelia via TKO (Punches) – Rd.3
Bellator will not be back in action until June 6 when Patricio Pitbull challenges Pat Curran for the Featherweight Championship. That event will be held in Thackerville, Oklahoma; tickets are now on sale. For some more Mixed Martial Arts action, the Guardian Liberty Voice will continue to cover Bellator along with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Guardian Liberty Sports Writer Leading the coverage in MMA