On Friday, September 26th Bellator MMA will host Bellator 126: Shlemenko vs. Halsey from the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.

In the main event of the evening middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko will look to make the fourth successful defense of his title against undefeated challenger, Brandon Halsey. Shlemenko will be looking to make fans forget about his last performance. Back in May the Russian moved up a weight class to face MMA legend, Tito Ortiz, and ended up falling due to submission. Shlemenko looked severely undersized in that bout and now moves back home to middleweight where he has shown very few chinks in his armor. Halsey has been in Bellator since his third professional fight and has won all five of his bouts since reaching the big time. Halsey earned this title shot by defeating former title challenger, Brett Cooper, with a first round arm bar.

In the night’s co-main event, a future lightweight title challenger will be crowned when  Patricky “Pitbull” Freire faces Marcin Held. Freire and Held are two of Bellator’s longest tenured fighter with both being signed to the promotion since 2011. Both men have also had their ups and downs. “Pitbull” had a stretch where he lost three straight, but has since won three in a row and will look to carry the momentum of his family as his brother Patricio recently became the Bellator featherweight champion. If it weren’t for Rousimar Palhares, Held would be known for having the best leg locks in MMA. The native of Poland has four wins via leg lock in his three years with Bellator. Held will finally be looking to get over that hump into a title fight. The twenty-two year old has competed in the finals of a Bellator tournament twice before only to fall to Michael Chandler and Dave Jansen.

The final two fights on the main card feature top prospect Bubba Jenkins and the return of Ed “Wild” West to the Bellator cage. The main card kicks off at 9 p.m. ET live on Spike TV with the prelims airing on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET.

Above is the full fight video highlights for Bellator 126 (video provided by Bellator MMA)

A full recap and results are below.

Main Card Summary

No touch of the gloves as the middleweight title fight is under way.  Shlemenko looked to land a quick combination but Halsey easily ducks under, secures the takedown and sinks in a very deep rear naked choke. The champion, refusing to tap, goes to sleep, forcing the referee to pull Halsey off his unconscious opponent. A visibly emotional Halsey lets loose a thunderous cry as he rushes to his corner in triumph.

“I feel like a monster baby,” declared the new champion. “I give all the thanks to God but I put in the work and feeling this gold around my waste feels great.”

Patricky Pitbull  and Marcin Held met in the center of the cage looking to trade blows early in the co-main event. Held secured the quick takedown but Pitbull reversed and escaped to his feet. Held tried desperately to secure another takedown against the cage before dropping down to the canvas in search of a leg lock. The second frame opened up with another takedown from Held against the cage as The boo birds echo from the rafters as the fans voice their disproval for the lack of action in front of them.  Held ended the round with some sharp elbows to a bloodied Pitbull. Not much changed in the third round as Held once again dragged his opponent back to the canvas. While Pitbull managed escaped to his feet, Held pulled him right back down and peppered him with shots as the round and fight come to an end. Held immediately raises his hand in triumph as he is declared the winner by unanimous decision.

Bubba Jenkins immediately looked to land the overhand left early in hopes of securing the flash knockout early against Thiago Meller. Jenkins continued to throw his right hand with vicious intent before securing a powerful takedown against the cage. Cameras zoomed in as blood dripped from Meller’s forehead.  At one point Meller looked for the triangle from the bottom before transitioning to the arm bar. But Jenkins  easily reversed the submission and ends a very exciting first round with some powerful hammer fists to the unprotected skull of his opponent. An accidental eye poke to Jenkins kicked off round 2 forcing the referee to call a quick pause to the action. Jenkins hit another takedown and Meller once again looked to secure a guillotine. Jenkins not doing much as the referee warns them them to get active or he will be forced to stand them up. Jenkins ends the round with a flying superman punch to his downed opponent. Meller lands a surprising takedown early in Round 3 and after a mad scramble grabs a hold of Jenkins neck. Jenkins escapes and ends the round and fight with more ground-and-pound, giving the him the unanimous decision victory.

A quick touch of the gloves from Mike Richman and Ed West as they kick of the televised main card on Spike TV. Richman took the center of the cage early as he stalked West against the fence. West switched stances and looked to evade his rushing opponent only to suffer accidental low blow, forcing the ref to call for a quick pause to the action. As soon as the actions picked back up Richman connects a stiff head kick and follows up with a powerful left hand, sending West crumpling to face first the canvas. Richman raises his arms in triumph as he walks away with the knockout victory.

Brandon Halsey def. Alexander Shlemenko by submission (rear naked choke). Round 1, 0:35 – for middleweight title
Marcin Held def. Patricky Freire by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Bubba Jenkins def. Thiago Meller by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Mike Richman def. Ed West by knockout (left hook). Round 1, 2:44
LaRue Burley def. Raymond Pina by submission (guillotine). Round 2, 0:22
Clifford Starks def. Kobe Ortiz by technical submission (guillotine). Round 2, 0:52
Nick Rossborough def. Ryan Martinez by TKO (injury). Round 1, 5:00
Joe Taimanglo def. Michael Parker by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Dan Charles def. Stuart Austin by knockout (overhand right & punches). Round 3, 0:18
Derek Campos def. Estevan Payan by knockout (left hook). Round 1, 0:31
Brandon Girtz def. Benny Madrid by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:57

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About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.