Welcome to our live coverage of Bellator 146 : Manhoef vs Kato. Action gets underway with the Spike.com prelims, which can be viewed here. The prelims feature familiar names such as former UFC fighters Josh Neer and Bubba McDaniel as well as former Strikeforce and Invicta fighter Julia Budd and top Women's featherweight prospects Gabrielle Holloway and Arlene Blencowe facing off in an important bout. We'll have results posted as the fights happen.
The main card kicks off on Spike TV at 9 pm eastern and features 5 bouts. Knockouts artists Manhoef and Kato square off in the main event. UFC vet Houston Alexander returns to the Bellator cage. Prospects Bubba Jenkins and Chidi Njokuani hope to make an impression and Brandon Girttz, fresh off the biggest win of his career over Melvin Guillard, returns to face Bellator vet Derek Campos in the co-main. We'll have ongoing play by play all night.
Alonzo Menifield (1-0) TKO (punches) over Zach Rosol in 38 seconds
Arlene Blencowe (7-5) SD over Gabrielle Holloway
Luis Santos (38-10) UD over Josh Neer
Julia Budd (8-2) UD over Roberta Paim
Francisco France (13-3-1) submission (rear naked choke) over Ben Reiter at 1:08 of Rd 2
Stephen Banaszak (5-5) submission (guillotine choke) over George Pacurariu at 3:42
We're live with fights!
Light Heavyweights Houston Alexander (16-12-1) vs Guilherme Viana (6-2)
Big John McCarthy gets the reffing duties for this one. Alexander getting the better of the striking early. Viana staggers Alexander witha hard left 2 minutes in and Alexander can barely stand. He eats a couple more hard shots but still standing. Viana being very patient and it seems like a matter of time. Both guys swinging away at 3:00. Alexander is recovering a bit. Alexander eats a couple hard straight punches and Alexander's bleeding from the nose. Alexander hits a couple hard punches to the head in a row. Alexander eats a couple more hard head strakes. Alexander's face is a bloody mess 10-9 Viana
Viana rocks Alexander with a huge left. Alexander with a flash takedown but Viana sweeps and stands up. Viana picking him off again. Alexander is wobbling all over the place. Alexander down and Viana all over him but not punching, just smothering him. at 1:15. Viana outpunched Alexander 29-17 in round 1. Alexander to his feet at 1:30 but Viana still holding him and landing knees to the body. Viana with a takedown at 2:00. Viana takes his back and working for a choke. Viana landing light punches to the head from behind but Alexander is basically getting a chance to recover. Alexander to his feet at 3:30. Alexander swinging for the fences but missing badly. Alexander starting to control the pace in the last minute and Viana is tiring. 10-9 Viana
The doctor stopped the fight due to a cut on Alexander's eye between rounds.
WINNER - GUILHERME VIANA (7-2) by TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2
Viana got some interview time but didn't have much to say and what he did say you couldn't really understand. Something about American Top Team and drinking beers with his friends. And training with Glover Teixeira
Welterweights Ricky Rainey (11-3) vs Chidi Njokuani (13-4)
This is Njokuani's Bellator debut but he's a vet of the AXS TV shows and I've seen him many times. Very exciting striker. Big John is the ref again. Chidi is the younger brother of former UFC fighter Anthony. Njokuani initiates a cage clinch 1:00 in, which has been a theme tonight if you watched the prelims. Rainey gets control at 1:45. Both guys trading knees. Rainey gets separation and rocks Njokuani with a punch to the head but he clinches up again. Rainey gets control again at 2:30. Njokuani landing light punches to the body while Rainey with hard knees to the legs and body. Sean Grande channels JBL, getting in a Dick Van Dyke reference when talking about "Chidi". McCarthy breaks it up at 4:30 but they go right back to a clinch and end the round there. 10-9 Rainey
Rainey knocks down Njokuani 15 seconds in and follows hiim to the ground but Chidi uses a triangle attempt to get to his feet and they're back in a cage clinch. Rainey outstruck Njokuani 27-16 in Round 1. Rainey wtih a takedown at 1:30 but lets Njokuani right back up. Rainey chases him into the cage and they're back in a cage clinch at 2:00. Neither guy doing much and McCarthy warns them to work. He breaks it up at 3:30. Rainey with a nice punch combo at 3:45 and Njokuani initiates another cage clinch. Rainey landing knees from the clinch. Separation at 4:15. Njokuani landed a shot in that clinch that cut Rainey over his right eye and it's in bad shape. 10-9 Rainey
Njokuani goes to the cage clinch again 30 seconds in. Rainey gets control at 1:30. Rainey's eye is almost closed from the cut. Njokuani landing elbows to the back from teh clinch. Rainey with a takedown at 2:00 but Njokuani quickly up. Still in a clinch. Ref breaks it up at 3:00. Njokuani controlling the cage and landing head strikes from distance. Njokuani with a head kick at 3:45. Njokuani is not fighting with enough urgency as he has to need a finish to win and he's taking his time with 1:00 left. Rainey wtih a late takedown. 10-9 Njokuani but Rainey takes the fight
WINNER - CHIDI NJOKUANI (14-4) by unanimous decision on scores of 29-28 x 3. That decision was a joke.
Featherweights Jordan Parsons (12-1) vs Bubba Jenkins (9-2)
Jenkins is one of the young stars Scott Coker has been hoping to build around. He had a setback against former WSOF champion Georgi Karakhanyan earlier this year though. No glove touch from these guys as they had a bit of a dustup at the weigh-ins. Jenkins with an early takedown but Parsons right up. Jenkins with a suplex takedown but Parson up again. Jenkins takes his back standing 45 seconds in. Parson shakes him off. Jenkins with another takedown at 2:00. Parsons to his feet but Jenkins on his back. Parson shakes him off again. Parson with a couple of kicks landing to the body. Nice punch exchange at 3:30. Jenkins with a nice head kick at 3:45. Jenkins controlling the cage. Jenkins stuffs a takedown attempt at 4:00 and trying for a guillotine. Parsons lands some knees to the body, Jenkins answers with a kick to the head. 10-9 Jenkins but close as he gets a takedown right before the buzzer.
Parsons defends an early takedown attempt. Parsons controlling the cage again. Neither guy doing much on the feet, just keeping their distance and circling. Jenkins drops Parson with a punch and follows him to the ground and 2:30. Jenkins almost out but ref Jason Herzog letting him continue. Jenkins just holding him, allowing him to recover. Parson actually working for a Kimura. Jenkins lands hard hammer fits from the top and Parson to his feet at 3:30. Jenkins lands a head kick and then a takedown at 3:45. Parsons working for a Kimura from the bottom again. Jenkins landing punches the the body and head. Jenkins out of the Kimura and still holding him down as the round ends. 10-8 Jenkins
Jimmy Smith has it even and that's the problem with this scoring system because whether it was 10-8 or 10-9 last round, Jenkins is clearly winning the fight and almost finished Parson in Round 2. Parson with cage control early. Jenkins looks fresh. Jenkins stuffs a takedown attempt at 1:30. Jenkins with a weak guillotine attempt but gives it up. Parsons landing knees to the body and Jenkins is on his knees with his back to the cage but works to his feet. Parsons in control of a cage clinch at 2:30. Jenkins with a takedown at 3:00. Parsons with a guillotine attempt from teh bottom. Jenkins doing nothing on top. Jenkins with some elbows to the head and body at 4:30. Jenkins trying to take his back but Parson landing elbows to the head. Parsons to his feet right as the round ends. Another very close round. 10-9 Parsons
WINNER - BUBBA JENKINS (10-2) by split decision on scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27. Nothing wrong with the 30-27 score since 1 and 3 were very close.
Jenkins got some mic time but had nothing at all to say. He thanked Jesus. Jimmy Smith interviewed Josh Thomson via Skype about his fight in two weeks. He's been the up and comer and now he's the vet that everyone's coming for. He's even got the champion calling him out. He's glad the fight is happening in his hometown. They also announced to the public the Josh Koscheck fight that was signed earlier this week for January. Paul Daley is fighting on the undercard of that show so the the hope is they both win and get their grudge match.
Lightweights Brandon Girtz (13-4) vs Derek Campos (15-5)
This is the 2nd fight between the two. Campos won the first one 2 1/2 years ago. Girtz dropped him with a punch and followed him to the ground but Campos was already out.
WINNER - BRANDON GIRTZ (14-4) by KO (punches) at 37 seconds
Girtz had another waste of time interview after the fight. These guys should try to have at least something worthwhile to say when they've got a national TV audience.
Middleweights Melvin Manhoef (29-12-1) vs Hisaki Kato (5-1)
Manhoef had some unique entrance music. Classical at the start transitioning into rap. Seemed to work for him. Kato out to a remixed version of the Imperial Death March from Star Wars. Kato with early cage control. Manhoef lands a grazing blow, the first of the fight, 45 seconds in. Kato still advancing but both guys keeping their distance. Both guys throwing bombs at 1:30. Manhoef was staggered a bit but kept throwing punches and eventually Kato backed off. Kato with a punch and follows up with a body kick that staggers Manhoef. Kato with a flurry of punches but Manhoef barely escapes. Manhoef puts everything he has into a left hook and drops Kato with one punch and walks off. Stunning knockout, one of the best you'll ever see.
WINNER - MELVIN MANHOEF (30-12-1) by KO (punch)
Manhoef said after the fight that he's there to give his all and either knock someone out or get knocked out. And that was it. Thanks for joining me tonight and Bellator will be back in two weeks with Josh Thomson, Georgi Karakhanyan and Patricky Pitbull all returning to the Bellator cage.