Brazilian scrapper Marcos Galvao finally gets another shot at esteemed Greco Roman wrestler and newly minted bantamweight kingpin Joe Warren atop Friday's Bellator 135: Warren vs. Galvao card. The pair first met as featherweights at Bellator 41 in 2011 and the unanimous nod for Warren stirred up quite a bit of controversy from fans and media.
Hideo Tokoro, a battle-hardened fan-favorite from the regrettably moribund Japanese MMA scene, makes his promotional debut opposite resurgent bantamweight L.C. Davis in the co-main event. Another new acquisition makes his Bellator debut on the four-fight main card as Francis Carmont, a former UFC middleweight, takes on prospect Guilherme Viana in a light-heavyweight bout. Opening up the Spike TV broadcast is a lightweight tilt pitting Ryan Couture vs. Dakota Cochrane.
The entire preliminary card will stream live and free at approximately 6:30 p.m. ET while live results and play-by-play will commence with the Spike TV broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. Feel free to peruse this week's MMA Vivisection for detailed analysis and predictions for all the main-card skirmishes.
Bellator 135 (Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET)
R1: Warren works his way into the clinch and hits a takedown from the body lock but Galvao gets back to his feet and returns the favor. Warren tries to use butterfly guard to create space but Galvao stays attached. Warren repeats and gets back to his feet this time. Galvao with a knee downstairs in the clinch. They separate at the three-minute mark. Warren gets a little careless on his entry, allowing a glancing check hook from Galvao, but Warren trudges through it to secure the body lock. Warren breaks the clinch with a horizontal elbow.
Warren hurls a heavy right hand on his way in and initiates another clinch, looking for an inside trip. Galvao stays upright and chucks a few short right and left uppercuts. No dice on Warren's throw and he separates to restart in open space. Warren dodges Galvao's flying knee. No set up on Warren's shot but he still locks horns with Galvao and stays connected. 10-9 Warren but not by much.
R2: Warren looks to attach himself early and spins behind Galvao in the rear waist cinch. Galvao cleverly counters Warren's body lock by rolling for a kneebar ala Oleg Taktarov. Warren defends initially but can't clear his leg fast enough and Galvao wrenches it with all of his might. Warren doesn't tap but screams out in pain and referee John McCarthy intervenes and waves it off. And we have a new bantamweight champion.
- Marcos "Loro" Galvao defeats Joe Warren by verbal submission (kneebar) R2 0:45
R1: Tokoro explodes out of his corner with a flying kick to start things off. Davis keeps him at bay with a long jab and then follows with a left cross, though Tokoro shucks off the takedown attempt that follows. Tokoro's right high kick is blocked. Davis lands a glancing right. Tokoro slips a cross and fires a one-two, then hits a smooth duck-under double leg. Davis pops right back up and they restart in open space. Clubbing left cross glances for Davis and they clinch up. Tokoro lands a short right forearm amidst the entanglement.
Tokoro courageously falls back for a leg lock that Davis defends and they restart standing. Davis counters Tokoro's low kick with a crisp one-two. Another left cross down the pipe for Davis, then a heavy jab. Davis lands a little short with the next one-two. Tokoro doubles up on right hands and the first stuns Davis, the next drops him briefly. And that closing flurry is enough to steer the round back to even for me. 10-10.
R2: Davis steps in with a low kick, then glances with a wide left. It's all long jabs and straight one-twos from Davis, and his third attempt lands decently. Tokoro returns fire with a short right. Low kick for Davis but he's backed off by double jabs from Tokoro. Tokoro throws a jumping right hand and Davis clips him with a quick counter right -- Tokoro goes down but immediately adheres to Davis with a leg lock attempt.
Davis scrambles free but it gets Tokoro out of danger. Davis keeps him on the cage for a moment and then breaks free to hurl a right/left flurry that lands clean and hard. Tokoro counters with an elbow but Davis unbolts another flurry before re-establishing his clinch position. Tokoro circles off the fence and half-hits a hip throw with the body lock, then nearly takes Davis' back from the rear waist lock. Tokoro rolls into a heel hook attempt that Davis manages to slip out of. 10-9 Davis.
R3: Tokoro drops Davis to a knee with a beefy step-in right and then swarms him, landing in the closed half guard of Davis. Tokoro postures up and throws an elbow, then transitions into a step-over armbar. Davis slips his way out of it but is greeted with a nasty up-kick to the face, and the fight is paused as Davis might've been down. The replay shows the up-kick landed a fraction of a second before Davis' knee touched, making it legal.
Davis begrudgingly agrees to continue. Tokoro closes range and plants a heavy right kick to the body of Davis. Davis counter-clinches and puts Tokoro on the cage. Davs changes levels for a single leg and Tokoro tries to counter with the kimura but can't keep it. Tokoro explodes back to his feet as soon as he lets go of the kimura, and nearly takes Davis' back in the scramble. Tokoro again transitions to the armbar from back mount and Davis is still wise to it. The frenetic scrambling continues as both fighters counter one another with high-level grappling. Davis shoots and Tokoro snatches up a kimura counter once again, but this time it's much closer. Davis works his way out and closes the round falling back for a deep guillotine. Amazing round, amazing fight. 10-10 round. I have it 30-29 Davis.
- L.C. Davis defeats Hideo Tokoro by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x 2)
R1: Viana probes with jabs from outside. Carmont catches an outside low kick but can't capitalize. Carmont flicks out a left high kick that Viana barely gets a glove in front of. Left body kick and jab graze for Carmont but he can't make headway on the double leg attempt. Carmont lands a right and then a glancing one-one-two. Outside low kick to the thigh from Carmont. Viana appears to tag Carmont with a short left as he's coming in.
Lead right hook to the liver from Viana but there's not much on it. Viana dings Carmont with a retreating left hand and the blow forces Carmont down to a knee briefly. Snapping jab from Carmont, who seems to have recovered. Stiff right cross from Viana is deflected. Viana stuffs another takedown and puts Carmont on the fence with a body lock. Carmont tries a whizzer throw but Viana defends and lands on top as the horn sounds. 10-9 Viana for landing the harder and more effective strikes, albeit the lesser volume.
R2: Carmont digs in with a sharp inside low kick. Carmont glances with two clubbing rights, then ducks under a punch to shoot a double leg. Viana goes down momentarily but pops right back up and circles Carmont onto the fence. They stalemate in the 50/50 clinch along the fence for some time. They're separated with 90 seconds left and Carmont bobs under a left and plasters Viana with a scorching right cross.
Viana is on roller-skates and Carmont pounces with a few punches but then curiously bowls his wobbly opponent over with a takedown. Viana gladly ties up to regain his wits until he eats a volley of nasty elbows in the closing seconds. 10-8 Carmont.
R3: Viana peels off a short-range combo but Carmont changes levels and hits a double leg. Viana closes his guard and leans over for the kimura, and actually uses it to sweep once he gets the two-on-one grip. Carmont gives up his back in the ensuing scramble and Viana sinks both hooks in, seeking the choke. Carmont buries his chin and opts to throw punches rather than hand-fight the choke attempt.
Viana switches his choking arm after distracting Carmont with a few punches. Carmont finally hand-fights the choke and spins into Viana, who can't transition to the armbar. Closed guard for Viana with good posture control in the final 30 seconds. Carmont slips his head free and growls while throwing a punch but Viana defends well. 10-9 Viana. I have it a 29-29 draw.
- Francis Carmont defeats Guilherme Viana by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
R1: Cochrane flings a few kicks from range and Couture counters with an outside low kick before initiating a clinch. Couture puts Cochrane on the fence with the over-under and works short knees to the bod. Cochrane responds in kind and adds in the occasional uppercut. Cochrane craftily hits a single-leg counter and tries to pinch Couture's knees together and drag his upper body off the cage.
Couture stands and Cochrane flurries, then changes levels again. No dice on the takedown and, after sprawling nicely, Couture slithers from the front headlock to back mount. Couture sinks both hooks in and softens up Cochrane with a few body punches, then snakes his arm underneath the chin to force the tapout via mata leao.
- Ryan Couture defeats Dakota Cochrane by submission (rear-naked choke) R1 3:23
Preliminary Card Results
Rashad Coulter defeats Jeremiah O'neal by TKO (punches/knees) R1 1:44
Sean Holden defeats Tim Roman by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Neal Ewing defeats Logan Nail by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
Klayton Mai defeats Xavier Siller by submission (neck crank) R1 3:55
George Pacurariu defeats J.P. Cole by submission (armbar) R1 2:59