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Bellator 161 live results: Kongo vs Johnson; Warren vs Kakai

Welcome to our live coverage of Bellator 161 from the HEB Center in Cedar Park, TX. Cheick Kongo and Tony Johnson Jr square off in the main event of the four fight card on Spike TV.

In other bouts, Joe Warren takes on former UFC fighter Sirwan Kakai in a bantamweigh tilt, Derek Campos and Djamil Chan face off at 155 and in a women's flyweight fight, a pair of fighters with perfect records will do battle as Anastasi Yankova goes up against Veta Arteaga. 

With the recent signing of former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen having occured yesterday, there's a possiblity the "Bad Guy" could make his first public appearance for the company as well. 

The action kicks off at 9 pm eastern on Spike TV.

The show kicked off with a taped promo of Chael Sonnen in total heel mode. He said that he doesn't care anything about the fans, only about their money and promised to make an appearance 15 minutes into the show....I think....It was very different.


Chan is 2 years younger and 5 inches taller but Campos has a 1 inch reach advantage. Nick Wright is the referee. 

ROUND 1- Chan knocked down Campos with a punch 3:00 in but he got up fairly quickly. He was rocked pretty badly though. 

They stayed on the feet for the remainder of the round. Campos controlled the pace the whole round but Chan hit harder and got the knockdown. 10-9 Chan

ROUND 2 - Announcers are promising "lots more" Chael Sonnen tonight. Campos controlling the cage again this round and landing more punches as well.

Campos landing a lot of nice punch combos but doesn't look like he's hurting Chan at all. Campos got a takedown with 15 seconds left. 10-9 Campos, 19-19

ROUND 3 - Jimmy Smith has the same score I do through 2. Campos got a takedown earlier this round and the crowd exploded as he moved right into side control.

Chan worked him back to half guard but Campos controlling him pretty well and doing enough damage to avoid a standup. Announcers spent a good portion of the round debating whether round 1 was a 10-8, which tells you how exciting this round was. 

Chan got up with 15 seconds left and landed some shots but not enough. 10-9 Campos, 29-28 overall

RESULT - DEREK CAMPOS (17-6) by decision (29-28 x 3)

HOT TAKE - Good fight to kick off the show. Campos was completely dominant. He's probably not going to contend for a title but he's a good opening match guy for these regular shows.

Chael Sonnen was interviewed by Sean Grande and Jimmy Smith via satellite. He called Grande "simple" and said that he's in Bellator for the money....simple. He then cut a Superstar Graham promo putting over the size of his arms.

More with Chael later. It's smart that they're pacing these out to keep viewers. 


This is actually a catchweight bout at 131 lbs. Arteaga is 3 years older and one inch shorter. Reach is identical. Kerry Hatley is the ref.

ROUND 1 - Yankova looks way bigger but Arteaga all over her to start. Yankova looked out on her feet 1:00 in but the ref let it continue and she seemed to recover.

They pretty much just threw wild punches at a crazy pace for the first 3 minutes before Yankova tied her up in a cage clinch. Crazy punch exchange to close the round. 10-9 Arteaga but Yankova really came on at the end. 

ROUND 2 - Pace was much slower to start and Arteaga actually went for the cage clinch early but Yankova broke away. Yankova starting to mix in kicks after throwing almost exclusively punches through the first round and a half.

Yankova with a slight advantage on the standup and is the aggressor. They went back to the clinch 4:00 in and Yankova landed some nice elbows. Really close but 10-9 Yankova and 19-19 overall

ROUND 3 - Jimmy Smith has both rounds for Arteaga. Pace has slowed right down but Yankova is definitely controlling the cage in this round. 

Arteaga is really tired and Yankova keeps forcing her to the cage with punch combos. Yankova had the most dominant round so it comes down to how you scored the second most likely. 10-9 Yankova, 29-28 overall

RESULT - ANASTASIA YANKOVA (4-0) by split decision (29-28 x 2; 28-29)

HOT TAKE - Yankova looked really good here, very similar to UFC bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko and they probably have a similar natural weight. When Bellator has a title fight in this division, she'll almost certainly be one of the fighters.

In her post-fight promo, Jimmy Smith tried to promote a fight with Ilemi-Lei Macfarlane but she said "my head not quite work" and then asked for a rematch with Veta Arteaga to prove she was better. Crowd booed the decision and a lot of the promo. 

They teased an upcoming interview with Chael Sonnen with a clip of him calling out Tito Ortiz and claiming that Tito is running from him trying to find a doctor to say he's not medically cleared to fight. 

Chael said that he fights at "Gangster weight", saying they don't even need a scale. He said that they had better sign two opponents to face him because one guy always doesn't show up.

He put over Liam McGeary and Phil Davis and said he looked forward to facing either of them. He closed the interview off by saying "The pleasure is yours". Rumors are that Tito and Chael will fight in November and that number could very well break the viewership record set by the Gracie/Shamrock Kimbo/Dada show. 

Taped interview with Joe Warren hyping up the co-main aired next and was pretty great as usual. Most of Warren's expletives were deleted but not all. 


Warren is 13 years older and has a 4 inch reach advantage. Warren has outstruck his opponents 429-146 in Bellator. Big John is the referee.

ROUND 1 - Warren dominated an early wrestling battle, mostly against the cage. He did get a takedown but Kakai gut up fairly quickly.

Kakai got a takedown of his own at 3:30. He kept himi down slightly longer but didn't really do any damage. 

Kakai scored with a series of elbows during a corner clinch that may be enough to steal a pretty even round. 10-9 Kakai

ROUND 2 - Warren got a takedown right away and took Kakai's back. Kakai got right up and shook him fairly easily though.

Kakai was getting the better of the standup so Warren clinched up on the cage, which is what he does. Warren knocked him down with a jump knee and went right into his guard at 3:00.

Kakai caught him with an armbar from the bottom. Warren powered out and scored with punches and elbows, taking his back. 

Warren with a rear naked choke but Kakai escaped. Warren took his back again at the end of the round. 10-9 Warren, 19-19 overall

ROUND 3 - Warren hit him with a flying knee to start again and may have broken his nose. Kakai stayed on his feet though. Jimmy has both rounds for Warren.

Warren with a standing guillotine 1:00 in and gets the quick tap.

RESULT - JOE WARREN (14-5) by submission (neck crank) at 1:04 of Round 3

HOT TAKE - Warren has a win over the current bantamweight champion and may have earned a title shot with this win. At the very least, he'll go up against Joe Taimanglo in a title eliminator as Taimanglo also beat Kakai and had a win last month over Darrion Caldwell. 

Warren now has 12 wins, 2nd most in Bellator history. Warren asked for a title shot in his post-fight interview. He also put over his wife and kids for allowing him to train so much. 

Sean Grande sent thoughts and prayers to Kenny Florian, who lost his younger brother earlier this week. This led into a video package with Tony Johnson Jr talking about his brother, who committed suicide 3 weeks ago. He dedicated the fight to him. 



Cheick Kongo has the most combined wins in Bellator and UFC of any heavyweight in history. He's also 11 years older, 3 inches taller and has a 7 inch reach advantage. 

Johnson has a 27 lb weight advantage though. Big John is once again the referee.

ROUND 1 - Most of the fights involving both of these guys have been grinding wrestlefests and this one starts off as expected. Johnson looks and fights like a taller, fatter Daniel Cormier. 

They get broken up after a low blow by Kongo. The fight is boring so the announcers talk about contenders for the vacant title including Bobby Lashley, King Mo and Sergei Kharitonov. Kharitonov signed like a year and a half ago and is at least five years past his prime but has yet to fight here.

Big John warning the guys to work as Johnson is just grinding Kongo against the cage. He finally breaks it up at 3:45. Johnson nails some nice punches so Kongo goes to the cage clinch and gets a takedown at 4:30.

Kongo right into mount and unloads on Johnson with punches and elbows. The last 30 seconds stole the round for Kongo. 10-9 Kongo

ROUND 2 - Johnson gets an early takedown. Johnson takes his back at 1:00 and gets a full body lock. 

Johnson working for a rear naked choke as the announcers remind us that Johnson has never submitted anyone and Kongo has only lost once by submission (to Frank Mir) and didn't tap out.

Both are in a sitting position with Johnson controlling Kongo's back as he lands just enough punches to avoid a standup. He doesn't have the right leverage to secure a choke though.

Crowd booing heavily and almost on cue, Kongo tries to escape but ends up trapped in mount. Johnson does almost nothing with the position and rides out the round on top. 10-8 Johnson, 19-18 overall

ROUND 3 - At the end of the 2nd, McCarthywas warning Johnson to work and almost stood him up from mount. Kongo initiates a cage clinch early and gets a takedown 1:15 in. 

Neither guy doing anything on the ground but amazingly McCarthy waited until 2:30 to warn them to work. Johnson to his feet at 3:15 but still stuck in a clinch and Kongo takes him down again. 

Ref warns them to work again at 4:30 as Kongo seems content to ride out the round on top and take a decision as it's unlikely 2 refs would've given Johnson a 10-8 2nd. 10-9 Kongo, 28-28

RESULT - CHEICK KONGO by majority decision (28-28; 29-28 X 2)

HOT TAKE - After 3 really entertaining fights to start the show, Cheick Kongo did what Cheick Kongo does and dragged the show to a grinding halt with a boring main event. They keep putting him in main event, people keep watching and he keeps stinking up the joint. 

Hard to give this show a thumbs up after a main event like this but there was enough entertaining stuff early to make it not a complete waste of time.