On Friday night Bellator MMA touched down in Fresno to bring fight fans everywhere Bellator 133: Manhoef vs. Schlemenko live from the Save Mart Center.

In the main event heavy-handed Melvin Manhoef squared off against former champion Alexander Schlemenko in a middleweight matchup that had violence written all over it.

Manhoef (29-12-1), a former Strikeforce, K-1 and Dream fan favorite, was last seen on the receiving end of incredibly violent second round knockout at the hands of kickboxing standout Joe Schilling at Bellator 131 in November, snapping his two-fight win streak in the process. Prior to this loss, the man known as ‘No Mercy’ scored a first round knockout win in his Bellator debut against Doug Marshal at Bellator 125 in September.

Schlemenko (51-9) entered this bout looking to get back into the win column after dropping back-to-back first round submission losses to UFC Hall of Famer turned Bellator light heavyweight Tito Ortiz and current Bellator 185-pound Brandon Halsey. Prior to these stoppage losses, the 30-year-old Russian put together a 13-fight win streak, including three Bellator title defenses.

Also appearing on the card was a featherweight bout between former champion Pat Curran and former M-1 Global champion Daniel Weichel.

For a complete recap see below.


Melvin Manhoef vs. Alexander Shlemenko

The main event of the evening is certainly poised to bring fireworks. Big John at the helm of this one as well. Don’t blink.

Shlemenko opens with a back kick then shoots for a takedown. Moments later tries for a second. Seems to wisely be respecting Manhoef’s power. Another spin kick attempt by Shlemenko. Spinning back fist; Shlemenko ties him up by the cage. Manhoef with a push kick. Third spinning kick attempt by Shlemenko. The Russian with underhooks up against the cage. Guillotine attempt by Shlemenko fails. Knees to the thigh of Manhoef, followed by a hard body punch. They break. Spinning back kick nearly lands this time. Side kick by Shlemenko next. The Russian shoots, but Manhoef reverses, and lands a crushing right. Shlemenko recovers, tries for a knee.

Round 2, Shlemenko slips, Manhoef holds off. Two spinning back kicks by the Russian fighter followed by a takedown attempt on a level change. Shlemenko with a spinning backfist – and it connects! Manhoef goes down! Storm follows up with a single ground punch, barely necessary. Manhoef is out.

Alexander Shlemenko defeated Melvin Manhoef by KO, Round 2, 1:25

Pat Curran vs. Daniel Weichel

Round one of the co-main event of the evening sees former champ Pat Curran return. The two fighters meet in the middle; Weichel seems to be the more active of the two at first. Weichel with a leg kick. Solid right by Weichel. Eye poke, and ref Big John calls time. Once the action is restarted Curran unloads some kicks of his own. Weichel manages to upend Curran but can’t take advantage of it. Big flying knee attempt by Weichel but it doesn’t land solid. In a close round, Weichel may have taken it.

Round two — Curran, historically a slow starter, needs to get into the fight. One minute in, the fighters are trading shots and combos. Weichel with some more kicks. Jab/cross then a leg kick. Curran starting to show some damage on the face. Nice counter by Weichel. Curran, however, scores a takedown with just over a minute to go, the first real explosion he has shown in the fight. As the round ends, the question now becomes, did that takedown steal the round for Curran on the judge’s scorecard?

Round three has Weichel winning the striking battle and Curran looking to secure a takedown on a while shoot in but failing. Weichel comes back and pins him up against the cage. Weichel continues to win the stand-up war. Flying knee attempt by Curran fails badly. He tries to shoot in, and Weichel latches onto his neck and pushes him back. Curran breaks free. With a minute to go, Curran may be slightly behind. Weichel unloads a combo. Curran continues to counter. Looking for another flying knee, but can’t execute.

Daniel Weichel defeated Pat Curran by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Julia Budd vs. Gabrielle Holloway

Round 1, Budd opens with a leg kick then takes Holloway to the cage. They go down but are back up quickly. Budd lands a takedown via trip and takes the back, locking in hooks. She works to flatten her opponent out, maybe looking to grab an arm. Holloway powers back up. Some clinch work against the cage, and soon enough Budd takes her down again. Budd clearly has the better ground game, however Holloway finally manages to get on top and land some ground and pound. Budd has a very active guard and looks to take an arm. Holloway escapes, Budd is back up. Budd dumps her opponent alongside the cage. She has the back once again. Nice side kick by Budd as they get back up. Push kicks in the middle then Budd lands a nice right. Budd takes the first round.

Round 2 and Budd again takes Holloway up against the cage and pins her. Takes her down and goes to work. Lands some knees as Holloway works her way back up. Holloway has been on defence for almost the entire fight save the brief bit of ground and pound she got in during the first. Budd has her pinned down, landing shots. Knees to the thigh. While throwing these knees Budd works for a rear-naked choke; Holloway manages to squeeze out of it but remains pinned down and eating knees to the body. As the second round ends, it’s once against nearly all Budd, and Holloway will need to look for a finish in the third.

Round 3 three, and Budd finds herself on the bottom working for an arm-bar or triangle before getting back up. Holloway drops her knee to the matt to avoid a possible knee to the head, and again is quickly on the defensive. Good right by Budd. Then a toss and Budd takes the back yet again. Crowd is a little restless, but this is a dominant performance by Budd. Budd takes all three rounds.

Julia Budd defeated Gabrielle Holloway by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-24)

Chris Honeycutt vs. Clayton MacFarlane

Round one, Honeycutt looks to impose wrestling, while Macfarlane seeks to secure a kimura from the bottom. The fighters come back to their feet and circle. Honeycutt lands a solid right; Macfarlane ties him up against the fence. Soon enough Honeycutt is back in control. Ground and pound on Macfarelane. Honeycutt takes the back towards the end of the round. Honeycutt finishes the round in control, and easily takes the round.

Honeycutt will look to continue what he started in round one. The two fighters meet in the middle. Macfarlane lands a solid punch, but Honeycutt is soon shooting for the takedown. Macfarlane’s wrestling defence just doesn’t seem to be enough. Back to the feet; Honeycutt is showing minor damage to the eye, Macfarlane has a lot of redness across his body from ground and pound/body shots. Honeycutt is cutting off the angles. Macfarlane lands a jab, Honeycutt shoots and takes him down. With two minutes to go in the round, Honeycutt has top control and it’s looking much like the first. Honeycutt lands some shots to the ribs. Big knee by Honeycutt, and he begins to unload punches; Macfarlane scrambles and Honeycutt looks to secure the back. Clayton Macfarlane is in 100% survival mode as he escapes the round by a hair with the ref taking a close look.

Round 3, and Macfarlane needs to finish, but can he after the damage he took in the second? Honeycutt appears to have him beat in all areas, and Macfarlane unloads a wild haymaker the misses by a country mile then finds himself taken down for his troubles. That’s the danger of fighting desperate. Honeycutt has him nearly flattened out with just over a minute left in the round, utilizing ground and pound. Macfarlane moves briefly but does little to intelligently defend. Honeycutt lands more blows and the ref is urging him to do something. He doesn’t, and that’s all she wrote!

Chris Honeycutt defeated Clayton Macfarlane by TKO, Round 3, 4:16


Alexander Shlemenko defeated Melvin Manhoef by KO, Round 2, 1:25
Daniel Weichel defeated Pat Curran by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Julia Budd defeated Gabrielle Holloway by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-24)
Chris Honeycutt defeated Clayton MacFarlane by TKO, Round 3, 4:16

Emilio Chavez defeated Art Arciniega by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Blake Watkin defeated George Zuniga by TKO, Round 1, 0:55
Paul Ruiz defeated Nick Sperling by submission (guillotine), Round 1, 0:43

Nick Bustamante defeated Luis Jauregui by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 0:35
Cody Sons defeated John Paul Elias by TKO, Round 1
Mason Fowler defeated Marko Damiani by TKO, Round 1, 1:02
Jonathan Contrestano defeated Ryan Tobar by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 2, 2:40
Adam Piccolloti defeated Andrew Ramm by Unanimous Decision

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.