BELLATOR 165 LIVE REPORT
NOVEMBER 19, 2016
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA AT SAP CENTER
LIVE ON BELLATOR.COM AND SPIKE
Michael Grocke here with you to take you through Bellator 165. Michael Chandler defends his lightweight title against former UFC champion Benson Henderson in tonight’s main event from the SAP Center in San Jose, California. The co-main event pits the flashy Michael Page against Fernando Gonzalez in a battle of welterweights. The main card rounds out with light heavyweights, Linton Vassell vs. Francis Carmont. Brandon Girtz takes on undefeated Adam Piccolotti and on the women’s side Keri Melendez makes her debut against Sheila Padilla.
As always, I’ll have live round by round coverage of tonight’s main fights, with quick results and commentary on the prelims. Make sure to follow along right here all night, and follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog
Prelims – Spike.com (6:00 pm CT)
(1) Justin Baesman (0-0) vs. James Terry (11-5) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Baesman with a low kick. Both fighters trying to establish their jab. Nothing landing. Front kick from Baesman is blocked by Terry. Both fighters miss leg kicks. Body kick from Baesman is caught by Terry who scores a takedown. Nice pass by Terry. Terry trying to push Baesman’s head down in an effort to work ground and pound. Terry moves Baesman away from the fence. Terry in side control. Terry working for a crucifix, but can’t get it. Terry maintains control, until the final seconds when Baesman finally gets to his feet.
ROUND TWO: Terry takes the center of the octagon. A big leg kick lands for Baesman that hurts Terry. Terry pushes Baesman to the fence and lands a takedown. Terry back in side control with three minutes to go in the round. Easy pass for Terry. Terry has side control. Beasman doing next to nothing from underneath. Baesman finally gets back to his feet only for Terry to take him back down. Back to side control for Terry with under a minute left. Baesman spins and gets to his feet. Terry picks Baesman up and takes him down yet again as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Baesman throws a left and a kick that both miss. Terry shoots and gets an easy takedown. And yes, you guessed it, back to side control. Clearly Beasman needs to work on his takedown defense. Three and half minutes to go and Beasman doesn’t look like he’s going to do anything of consequence. Terry working a smart fight by doing just enough to not have the ref stand them up. A minute left and Terry is in mount. Baesman scrambles and finally gets to his feet. Baesman finds himself on his back again. The fight ends with Terry in top position.
Result: Terry by UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was not entertaining. Terry fought a smart fight though. If the ref isn’t going to stand you up, then just keep doing what you’re doing for the entire round.
(2) Dwight Grant (3-1) vs. Danasabe Mohammed (2-0) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Mohammed throws a big right that misses badly. Mohammed takes up shop in the middle of the octagon. Nice right by Grant. They trade right hands. Big overhand right misses from Grant. Nice jab lands for Mohammed followed by a right. Mohammed misses a right hand and is floored with a right from Grant. Grant swarms and is in mount. He lands a few more shots, but Mohammed scrambles and is up. He’s still not fully there though. Grant rushes him into the cage and gets a takedown. Grant on top in full mount landing punches, but Mohammed survives the round.
ROUND TWO: Grant misses a big right hand. Spinning back kick just misses for Mohammed. Mohammed pushes Grant against the cage and scores a takedown. Grant works his way back up and is back on his feet. Mohammed applies pressure against the cage looking for another takedown and gets it. Grant up quickly. They separate and both fighters stand in the middle of the octagon. Nice left lands flush for Mohammed. Grant lands a combination flush. Mohammed continues to carry his hands very low and continues to pay for it. Mohammed misses with a right. Big right lands for Mohammed and Grant counters with one of own as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Grant misses a big overhand right. They circle in the middle of the cage. They trade jabs. Grant misses with a right hand again. He misses with a low kick. Mohammed throwing jabs but nothing coming close to landing. Three minutes to go and the action slows. Grant misses a low kick. Mohammed misses a right hand of his own. Two minutes to go and nothing has landed for either fighter. They trade punches that actually land. Left jab lands for Mohammed. Grant misses wildly with a right. Mohammed lands a jab, but doesn’t follow it up. Grant lands a big combination. Grant lands another one as the fight ends.
Result: Grant by UD (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Another uneventful fight. I can’t believe how many punches missed the target. Grant landed the bigger shots and deserved the win.
(3) Justin Roswell (0-0) vs. Dominic Sumner (0-0) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: They come out and Roswell goes straight for the takedown and gets it. He works for a guillotine but gives up quickly on it. Roswell in top position. Sumner tries to roll out but Roswell maintains control. Roswell goes back to a guillotine attempt but doesn’t have it. Sumner gets to his feet nad lands a big kick to the body that hurts Roswell. Roswell is really hurt and Sumner pounces. He lands a few big shots from the top and that’s it.
Result: Sumner by TKO (2:09 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Both fighters’s inexperience really showed in this one. Congratulations to Dominic Sumner for his first win.
(4) Carrington Banks (5-0) vs. Jake Roberts (7-0) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Nice low kick from Banks. A big right hand lands for Banks that stuns Roberts. Banks picks Roberts up and throws him down, scoring a takedwon. Roberts pushes Banks off and they separate. Banks lands a shot and scores another takedown. Banks tries to transition to side control and get it. Banks landing from top position. Roberts tries getting to his feet but Banks keeps him down.
ROUND TWO: Banks misses a big right hand. Low kick from Roberts. Roberts misses on a combination. A head kick is blocked by Banks. Banks misses an overhand right. They both miss with kicks. Right hand lands for Banks. Combination lands for Banks. Straight right lands and Roberts goes down, but Banks lets him back up. Straight left scores for Roberts. Low kick lands for Roberts. Right hand for Banks. They both miss with punches. Not much action in this round with under a minute to go. They circle. They trade punches as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Roberts shoots but is stuffed. Banks with a takedown thirty seconds into the last round. Roberts works his way back to his feet. They separate. Roberts is more active here in the third round, but nothing is landing. Banks with another takedown. Roberts gets back to his feet. Banks maintains control. They separate again back to the center of the cage. Banks shoots and scores another takedown. Roberts needs to work on his takedown defense. Neither fighter doing any damage. Banks holds on to Roberts leg as the fight ends.
Result: Banks by UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Another one-sided affair with Carrington Banks dominating with takedowns. Not much offense from Roberts. Not quite sure which round one of the judges had Roberts winning.
(5) Kevin Ferguson Jr. (0-0) vs. Aaron Hamilton (0-2) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Left lands for Hamilton to start the fight. Ferguson shoots and scores a takedown. Sonnen calls it the first takedown in family history. Funny. Ferguson working ground and pound. Hamilton reverses and takes control. Ferguson gets back to his feet and muscles Hamilton to the canvass. Ferguson lets Hamilton up. Front kick misses for Ferguson. Ferguson score another takedown. Hamilton trades position. Ferguson landing big shots against the cage. The fight is stopped as Ferguson lands an illegal knee. No point is taken away surprisingly. Ferguson comes out swinging as the action resumes. Ferguson scores another takedown as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Hamilton lands a kick to the body, but Ferguson follows with a nice combination. Ferguson rushes Hamilton against the fence and gets a takedown. Ferguson landing right hands in top position. Ferguson continues to land. Hamilton covering up well. Ferguson tries working in a choke, but Hamilton reverses and has is own choke in. He has it in tight and that’s it. Ferguson taps.
Result: Hamilton by submission (3:00 of Round 2- Front Guillotine Choke )
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Ferguson showed his inexperience here. He was winning the fight, but got caught in a choke and had no choice but to tap. I liked what I saw though. He’ll learn from this and come back a better fighter.
Main Card – Spike (8:00 CT)
(6) Francis Carmont (25-11) vs. Linton Vassell (16-5) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Low kick to start for Vassell. Carmont answers with one of his own. Two left hooks miss for Vassell. Vassell scores a takedown and lands in full mount. Vassell works some ground and pound up against the fence. Carmont tries to turn and gives up his back. Vassell has a body triangle locked in and lands on the side of Carmont’s head. He looks for a choke briefly. Carmont tries to roll but doesn’t make his position any better. Vassell trying to get under Carmont’s chin. The round ends with Vassell landing blows to the side of Carmont’s head.
ROUND TWO: Carmont throws a right hand kick and a kick that both miss. Carmont shoots and scores a takedown. Vassell tries to stand but gives up his back. Carmont with one hook in. Carmont has a body lock. Vassell reverses and is now in top position. Carmont tries to stand as Vassell tries to get a choke in. Vassell with a body lock trying to get under the chin of Carmont. Vassell landing punches and elbows to Carmont’s head. Vassell content to land short blows to the side of Carmont’s head as the second round ends.
ROUND THREE: Right lands for Carmont. Carmont misses a big right. Vassell lands a left. Vassell pushes Carmont up against the fence. Carmont pushes Vassell off and they reset in the middle of the octagon. Vassell has Carmont up against the fence again. Vassell with a takedown and has Carmont’s back. He has a body lock and works for a choke. Vassell landing punches and elbows. Carmont is in the same predicament for the third consecutive round. Carmont turns into Vassell and is back to his feet with twenty seconds left. Carmomt turns his back to Vassell as the round ends and the crowd boos.
Result: Vasell by UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: All Linton Vassell in this one. A very uninspired performance from Francis Carmont. I’ve never been a fan of his, and this didn’t do anything to change my opinion. Vassell picks up a nice win and continues to move up the ladder at 205. GSP is there to congratulate Linton Vassell on his win.
(7) Keri Melendez (0-0) vs. Sheila Padilla (2-0) – Flyweight 125 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Melendez opens with a nice right hand. Big straight right hand from Melendez puts Padilla’s lights out. Melendez follows with a hammer punch for good measure just before the ref steps in to call it off.
Result: Melendez by TKO (0:47 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Wow, now that’s a debut. Padilla was out before she she even hit the canvass.
(8) Brandon Girtz (14-4) vs. Adam Piccolotti (8-0) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Girtz takes center of the octagon. Piccolotti with a front kick. Right hand lands for Girtz. Front kick from Piccolotti. Girtz misses a wild left hook. Low kick lands for Piccolotti. Front kick from Piccolotti. Girtz eats a big knee. Girtz lands a nice body shot. Girtz misses son a combination. Girtz lands a body punch and follows with a nice straight right hand. Piccolotti lands two kicks. Girtz with a short left lands. Both fighters miss badly with punches. They trade punches. Piccolotti lands a knee and follows with a big front kick as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Girtz goes for a body punch and misses. Low kick for Piccolotti. Girtz blocks a kickk to the body. Girtz having trouble with distance. Girtz lands to the body. He misses a left. Straight right scores for Piccolotti. An overhand right for Piccolotti. Piccolotti shoots and scores a takedown. He has one hook in and lands punches to the head of Girtz. Girtz scrambles and is back to his feet. Back to the center of the octagon. Low kick lands for Piccolotti. A knee lands for Piccolotti. Girtz misses a big right. Piccolotti misses a head head and then fron kick. They circle as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: I’m surprised Girtz hasn’t tried to take the fight to the ground. Girtz catches a kick from Piccolotti. Girtz lands a nice straight left hand. Piccolotti shoots and Girtz counters. Both fighters back to their feet. Girtz misses with a left. Piccolotti continues to be just outside Girtz’ range. Girtz lands a big shot that stuns Piccolotti. Girtz shoots in and scores a nice takedown. Piccolotti has a leg lock, but can’t hold on to it. Girtz transitions and is top control. Piccoolotti covers as Girtz lands shots from on top as the round ends. Too little, too late for Girtz.
Result: Piccolotti by UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Fantastic job by Piccolotti. Girtz missed an ungodly amount of punches. I was surprised he didn’t try for more takedowns, because the stand up just wasn’t working for him. Piccolotti did an excellent job keeping Girtz at bay with leg kicks. He moved up in competition and passed the test with flying colors. He’s a legit contender at 155.
(9) Fernando Gonzalez (25-13) vs. Michael Page (11-0) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Gonzalez misses a kick. Page with a kick partially blocked by Gonzalez. Two minutes in and Page has yet to land anything. They both miss with kicks. Front kick lands for Page. Page throws a straight right that’s blocked. Gonzalez throws a kick then follows with a left, nothing lands. Four minutes in and nobody is landing anything and the crowd grows restless. Page throws two jabs. A spinning head kick from Page misses the mark as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Page comes out with more aggression to start the round. Front kick from Page. Low kick from Gonzalez. Page misses a jab. Gonzalez misses with a head kick. Gonzalez misses with a low kick. Both fighters miss with punches. Page lands a jab. Page lands a front kick. Page lands another jab. The crowd booing loudly now as the round ends.
10-9 Page. Awful fight so far.
ROUND THREE: Page misses a spinning head kick and Gonzalez shoots in for a takedown but can’t finish it. Gonzalez has Page up against the fence. Page pushes him off and they separate. Front kick lands for Gonzalez. Page lands a right. Gonzalez misses with a left. Page throws two punches that barley lands. Gonzalez lands a kick to the body. Page lands a jab. Gonzalez shoots in and runs Page to the fence. Page pushes Gonzalez off as they separate. They circle each other as the fight ends.
Result: Page by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: What a terrible fight. Words can’t even describe just how awful that was. I don’t even know where Bellator goes with Page after this. One judge scored it 30-27 for Gonzalez? Come on!
(10) Benson Henderson (24-6) vs. Michael Chandler (15-3) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both fighters trade right hands. Big kick from Chandler and follows with a hard right. He just misses with a big right hand. Henderson with a right. Chandler lands two big shots. Chandler with an uppercut. Chandler with a huge takedown. He goes for a choke but gives up on it quickly. Chandler landing from top position. Two rights get through. He goes for another choke but doesn’t have it. Henderson rolls and reverses position. Henderson took some serious damage in that round. All Chandler.
ROUND TWO: Henderson comes out with two low kicks. Nice right from Henderson. Henderson lands a kick to the body and follows with a big right hand that stuns Chandler. Low kick scores for Chandler. Big combination gets through for Henderson. Front kick from Chandler. Leg kick lands for Henderson. Chandler’s pace has slowed this round. Two body kicks land for Chandler. Henderson catches Chandler low with a kick. Time is called. Back to the action. Front kick for Henderson. Leg kick lands for Henderson. A combination scores for Chandler. They continue to circle. Leg kick to the body for Chandler. Henderson returns the favor with one of own. They trade shots as the round comes to an end.
ROUND THREE: Henderson comes out landing two kicks to the body. They trade punches. Henderson shoots but is stuffed. Chandler lands a kick. Nice right lands for Henderson. Kick to the body for Chandler. A combination scores for Chandler. They trade right hands. Head kick just misses for Henderson. Henderson shoots and is caught in a guillotine. He loses it but maintains top control. Chandler has his back. Henderson turns and tries working back to his feet. Chandler landing some big elbows to the side of Henderson’s head. Henderson reverses and is out. They separate as the round ends.
ROUND FOUR: Henderson misses a right hand. They trade punches. Front kick for Henderson. Chandler shoots, picks Henderson up and dumps him to the canvass. Chandler tries to take the back. He transitions to top control. He lands quick punches to Henderson’s ribs. Henderson works up to his feet. Chandler takes him back down. Henderson back to his feet. Chandler muscles him back down. Chandler relentless with pressure on top. Henderson gets back to his feet and reverses position. Henderson looking for a choke, but Chandler slips out as the round ends.
ROUND FIVE: A left lands for Henderson. He follows with a right hand that scores. Chandler dances to his left as Henderson pushes forward. Henderson showing a sense of urgency this round. Big body shot lands for Henderson. Henderson scores a takedown and has both hooks in. Henderson looking for a choke. Chandler reverses and holds onto Henderson’s legs. Chandler looks exhausted. Henderson takes top control. Henderson landing hammer punches to the side of Chandler’s head. Henderson landing more shots. Chandler survives the onslaught and the fight ends.
Result: Chandler by split decision (48-46, 46-48, 48-47)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Great fight! I had Chandler winning three rounds to two. Both fighters left it all in the cage and that’s all you can ask for. Chandler did just enough and held on in the final round as Henderson came close to getting the finish. I’m not sure where Henderson goes from here now that he’s 1-2 under the Bellator banner. He clearly still has more left in the tank, but he’s definitely not the same fighter he was while in UFC. I like Michael Chandler and enjoy his fights. He’s certainly a deserving champion.
Thanks for following along with me tonight. Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.