Rafael Carvalho defeats Brandon Halsey, wins vacant MW title at Bellator 144

Rafael CarvalhoMost people thought it was a foregone conclusion that Brandon Halsey would regain the Bellator middleweight title at Bellator 144. Rafael Carvalho however had other ideas as he earned the vacant belt with a second-round KO of the former champion.  Bellator 144 took place October 23rd at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT with an undercard webstreamed at Spike.com, a main card broadcast on Spike TV.

Round one of the main event saw Halsey dictate the fight.  Halsey quickly took Carvalho down and seemed close to finishing with an arm-triangle choke Carvalho escaped only to see the round end with Halsey mounted for strikes.  Round 2 started more of the same until Carvalho fired off a kick to the liver that had Halsey doubled over instantly, a few follow-up punches sealing the victory.  Carvalho emerges the new champion while his record improves to 12-1, Halsey takes his first loss to stand 9-1.

Brennan WardIn the co-main event Brennan Ward overwhelmed Dennis Olson.  Olson started out the aggressor as he quickly shot in for a takedown only to see Ward slap on a guillotine choke.  From there the fight was all Ward as he twice backed away forcing Olson to stand before a punch to the temple floored Olson, the follow-up punches on the ground causing the KO with under half a minute remaining in the round.  Ward now stands 12-3, 3-0 at welterweight.  Olson exits 14-9, 0-3 in Bellator.

Goiti YamauchiAlso on the main card Goiti Yamauchi took three rounds to submit Isao Kobayashi while Michael Page made defeating Charlie Ontiveros seem easy with a first-round TKO.

Next up for Bellator is a return to St. Louis for a show with two title fights.  Michael PageAt featherweight Patricio Freire faces Daniel Straus for a third time while in the co-main event Will Brooks takes on Marcin Held for the lightweight title.

Bellator 144 results

  • Sam Watford def. T.J. Hepburn by unanimous decision
  • Marius Enache def. Pete Rogers Jr. 2:37 R2 by scarf hold armlock
  • Matt Secor def. Jeremie Holloway 4:54 R2 by Achilles lock
  • Kevin Haley def. Mike Zichelle by unanimous decision
  • Matt Bessette def. Kevin Roddy 3:47 R1 by heel hook
  • Billy Giovanella def. Brandon Polcare 2:19 R1 by triangle choke
  • Kin Moy def. Walter Smith-Cotito 3:53 R3 by rear-naked choke
  • Michael Page def. Charlie Ontiveros 3:20 R1 by TKO
  • Goiti Yamauchi def. Isao Kobayashi 3:50 R3 by rear-naked choke
  • Brennan Ward def. Dennis Olson 4:37 R1 by KO
  • MW title: Rafael Carvalho def. Brandon Halsey 1:42 R2 by KO
  • Damien Trites def. Keenan Raymond 1:17 R2 by armbar
  • Kemran Lachinov def. Ilya Kotau 2:57 R2 by heel hook