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Bellator 145 – Chandler & Lashley to feature on the card

Jim Edwards

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Bellator MMA’s Featherweight Championship will be defended in a trilogy contest between incumbent titlist Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (24-2) and former champion Daniel Straus (23-6, 1 NC) when the two square off in the main event of “Bellator 145: Vengeance” at Scottrade Center in Saint Louis on November 6. 

In a fight also worthy of main event billing, Will “Ill Will” Brooks (16-1) will look to defend his 155-pound belt when he meets submission specialist Marcin Held (21-3). Fans who tune-in to “Bellator 145: Vengeance” on Spike will also be treated to lightweight Michael Chandler (13-3) and heavyweight Bobby “The Dominator” Lashley (13-2) competing inside the Bellator MMA cage. Opponents for both fighters will be announced in the coming weeks.

 The contests will take up four spots during the main card of “Bellator 145: ‘Vengeance,” which airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream on Spike.com at 6 p.m. CT.

 Tickets for “Bellator 145: ‘Vengeance,” which start at just $30, go on sale next Friday, August 21 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.com and at the Ford Box Office at Scottrade Center, with a special Bellator Nation presale available on the 19th and 20th for fans using the code: FIGHT. Doors for the event open at 5:00 p.m. CT local time, and the first contest takes place one hour after.

 “Following the success of ‘Unfinished Business’ in June, it was a no-brainer for us to make our return to the Scottrade Center and St. Louis before the year’s end. Once again, I look forward to working alongside Jesse Finney and his standout promotion Shamrock FC on putting together another must-see event,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said. “In addition to not one, but two world-class title fights, Michael Chandler and Bobby Lashley also being featured at ‘Vengeance’ brings a sense of hometown pride back to the outstanding fans of Missouri.”

 Freire is a multi-time Bellator Featherweight Tournament winner who has only tasted defeat twice in his illustrious 26-fight career. Best known as “Pitbull,” the tenacious striker has finished 18 of his 24 wins and was most recently on the positive end of a devastating knockout of Daniel Weichel at “Bellator 138: Unfinished Business.” A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, “Pitbull” owns victories over his “Bellator 145: Vengeance” opponent in their prior two battles.

 After recovering from a devastating knee injury following his last meeting with Freire, Daniel Straus bounced back with a spectacular submission stoppage of Henry Corrales at “Bellator 138: Unfinished Business.” A member of American Top Team in Florida, the 31-year-old wants to reclaim the belt that he still considers to be his, which was made clear during his post-fight interview with Bellator MMA color commentator Jimmy Smith where he said: “Whoever holds the featherweight belt, I am coming to beat you up.”

 A training partner of Straus at ATT, Brooks has been yearning to return to action since his unanimous decision victory over Dave Jansen at “Bellator 136: Brooks vs. Jansen.” The 28-year-old will be making his 10th appearance inside the Bellator MMA cage and competing in a bout where the lightweight title is on the line for the fourth consecutive time. The Chicago native currently sits at No. 6 on Sherdog.com’s official lightweight rankings.

 At only 23-years-old, Held will officially cash-in the title shot earned from his Bellator Season 10 Lightweight Tournament Final victory at “Bellator 126: Shlemenko vs. Halsey.” A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Held has earned titles at prominent grappling tournaments the likes of: ADCC, FILA and IBJJF. In his most recent Bellator MMA appearance, the Polish fighter finished Alexander Sarnavskiy via kneebar, pushing his career total of wins by way of submission to 12.

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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