On Friday, April 10, Bellator MMA touched down in Irvine, Califorina to bring fight fans Bellator 136 live from the Bren Events Center.

The entire card main card aired on Spike TV and was headlined by  lightweight title fight between reigning champion Will Brooks and the heavy handed Dave Jansen.

Brooks (15-1), an American Top Team product, entered this bout looking to make his first defense of his Bellator MMA Lightweight title, which he earned in November with a thrilling fourth-round TKO over former champion and face of the company Michael Chandler in at Bellator 131. Prior to the win, Brooks earned the Interim Lightweight title, which he also earned with a victory over Chandler in their initial meeting at Bellator 120.

Jansen (20-2) enter this bout looking to add onto his seven-fight winning streak. An eight-year veteran of the sport, Jansen earned his shot at the belt with a 2012 tournament victory after registering wins over Marcin Held, Ricardo Tirloni and Magomed Saadulaev. He was scheduled to fight for the title in 2013, but an injury forced him to withdraw from the contest. He made his return with a unanimous decision over Rick Hawn at Bellator 120.

Also appearing on the card was a middleweight contest between standout kickboxer Joe Schilling in the heavy handed Rafael Carvalho.

Prior to this contnest Carvalho (10-1) walked away with first-round TKO win over nine-time Bellator MMA veteran Brian Rogers. This win not only extended his win streak to 10 by also marked his ninth career knockout victory.

The 31-year-old Schilling (2-3) entered this bout coming off a “Knockout of the Year” performance in his Bellator debut with violent KO of fellow kickboxer Melvin Manhoef at Bellaotr 131.

The entire recap from the card along with the results from the prelims can be found below.

Main Card Summary

(c) Will Brooks vs. Dave Jansen – For Bellator MMA lightweight title

The main event of the evening sees lightweight champ Ill Will Brooks take on Dave Jansen for five rounds or less. Things got pretty heated at the weight in, and this is looking to be a great fight!

Round 1 — Jansen ignores the chance to touch gloves and moves right into a front kick that Brooks may not have been expecting. Jansen continues throwing kicks and swinging wild. Not landing much til he kicks the legs out from under Brooks. Brooks looking much more comfortable, Jansen almost seems to have some nervous energy. They clinch. Jansen with a big knee to Brooks that drops him. They pop back up, great Muay Thai. Jansen looks more settled now. High kick by Brooks blocked by Jansen. Jansen is definitely pushing the pace. Can he keep this up five rounds? He ties Brooks up against the cage and throws close knees. They reverse, trading more knees, clinching. Brooks lands a short uppercut. Brooks with a knee, uppercut, another knee. Jansen swinging for the fences again. Body shot, sloppy hook. Back to the clinch with under thirty seconds to go. Jansen misses another front kick, lands a right and we’re at the bell.

Round 2 — A low blow early on breaks up the action. Action resumes, Jansen still pressuring. Jansen has been extremely creative so far in this bout. Has Brooks tied up along the fence. More knees, no answer from Brooks. Now there is one, counter knees and an uppercut from Brooks. Brooks catches him with some rights and a high kick to the head. Jansen applying hammer fists to the knees of Brooks. Knee by Brooks. Jansen is paying the price for some of his sloppier tactics. Kick by Jansen, answered with a punch. Jansen pushing forward. Great back and forth battle. Brooks takes this to the ground but they’re quickly up, mouth piece popped out during the sequence and Big John briefly stops the action as they come back up to return it. Jansen’s kicks are a little slower, Brooks looks to be the fresher of the two.

Round 3 — Brooks looking much lighter on his feet. Lands a high kick. Spinning back kick landed by Jansen. They tie up, body lock by Brooks, he works for some knees. Jansen looking for a choke but the standing guillotine is nowhere to be found. Brooks showing more aggressiveness now.  Jansen gets taken down, Brooks on top. Can’t make much of it. Two minutes to go, the two fighters still exchanging. Jansen shoots, latches onto a leg but cannot finish the takedown. Brooks checks a leg kick. Jansen has a mouse opened up. Big John stops the action due to an eye poke, unintentional. A short break and we’re back on. Brooks with a big right towards the end of the round! Looks like Brooks is up by a round.

Round 4 — Dave Jansen has never been past three rounds before. How will he fare in the championship rounds? Jansen looking for a takedown and he practically slips down Brooks’ legs. Far too slippery, far too tired. Brooks also has a great base. Big John restarts the action. Brooks with a knee. Jansen shoots again, Brooks defends and connects with several strikes. Another short uppercut and knees from Brooks, Jansen with a knee back. Brooks is starting to hurt Jansen.  Connects with a right, follows up with a knee. He could work to a finish. Jansen opened up in at least two spots on the face, a mouse under the eye and over the eyebrow. Brooks with more strikes with twenty seconds left. And we go to the final round!

Round 5 — Solid main event so far. Bad cut above the eyebrow on Jansen, it will open up again no matter what the cut man does between rounds. Brooks looks energized as he comes out for the round. Jansen opens with a kick. Eats a right. No quit in Jansen, but Brooks has maintained a steady pace and has probably won every round save the first. Big John resets them again after too much tying up along the fence. Brooks catches Jansen with some right hands, can’t land a head kick, ties him up again. Jansen bloodied again from that cut. Two minutes to go. Jansen needs a finish but may be too tired to secure one. Superman punch from Jansen; Brooks scores a takedown with about twenty seconds to go. That puts the exclamation point on things. Brooks will retain in a hard fought title defence.

Will Brooks defeated Dave Jansen by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Rafael Carvalho vs. Joe Schilling

Joe Schilling makes his return to Bellator after an exciting debut win over Melvin Manhoeff in the evening’s co-main event.

Round 1 — The two fighters feel one another out for the first thirty seconds. Schilling with a leg kick. Looking to find his range. Schilling blocks a kick. Looks for a trip. Time called after a low blow by Schilling. Carvalho looks to be in a fair amount of discomfort. After a short stoppage we resume. Schilling looking for a head kick, Carvalho catches it and drives him back to the fence. Looking for a takedown, nothing doing, Ref Beltran admonishing them to work. They break on their own and come together in the centre exchanging, and there’s the takedown, but Schilling sweeps, showing more ground game than expected! Schilling on top looking to pass guard, he backs off and regroups. More exchanges. Great fight so far in the first, very balanced.

Round 2 — Schilling goading Carvalho, keeping his hands low. Carvalho swings wildly.  Pushes Schilling up against the fence, Schilling reverses. Carvalho lands a well-earned takedown. He’s in side control. Schilling again looking decent on the ground. The cage wall may come into play here. Schilling still very active on bottom but Carvalho winds up in side control again.  Schilling gets back to his feet, Carvalho working for another takedown. We go to a third; Carvalho took that one.

Round 3 — Who wants it more? They immediately begin trading, Carvalho with a flashy spinning back kick, Schilling lands a short left, that caught him. Carvalho may but stunned! Schilling presses him up against the fence, lands some foot stomps. This may be allowing Carvalho to recover. Carvalho drags him down, looking to pass guard. Schilling grabs the foot but doesn’t seem to be in proper position. They get back up only to have Carvalho drag things down again. Schilling again with an active game on bottom but his inexperience with the ground game is showing. He gives up his back. Rear naked choke isn’t to be had. Schilling looking for an upkick. Carvalho is in top control again with a minute remaining. Schilling looking exhausted taking deep breaths. With thirty seconds, it looks like this will go to a decision.

Rafael Carvalho defeated Joe Schilling by Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Marcin Held vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy

Submission specialist Marcin Held returns in the night’s second bout. Held is coming off a September 2014 victory over Patricky Pitbull in the lightweight tournament final for Bellator Season 10. He has a ridiculous 20-3 record as a pro considering he’s just 23.

Round 1 — Held creating space with the jab while Sarnavskiy looks for a slick spinning kick. Held shoots for a takedown and winds up pushing his opponent against the fence. Held quickly transitions, looks for a heel hook, can’t secure it enough and opts to take position on top landing a few hammer fists and looking for an arm. Held passes guard into side control; Sarnavskiy manages to sweep. Held looking for an omoplata. As Sarnavskiy escapes Held lands an upkick then looks for the heel hook again. Sarnavskiy is opened up. The round comes to a close with Held ahead on the scorecards.

Round 2 — Round two opens with Sarnavskiy on the attack, throwing hands and a kick before finding himself tied up against the fence in a mirror image of round one. Held drags Sarnavskiy down and takes top position. Sarnavskiy opened again as Held connects with shots to the liver then passes guard. Sarnavskiy very active on bottom getting back to half guard. Held still in control. Sarnavskiy finally finds himself on top looking to strike but is still in danger of Held’s submission game. Sarnavskiy literally gets up and backs away. Held moves right back in and takes him down.

Round 3 — It’s deja vu all over again as held has Sarnavskiy up against the fence. Sarnavskiy tries to retreat again. Might have been the right choice — he manages to land a left. Still they’re back to the ground and Held has the knee bar. And the submission! A verbal submission (scream) ends the fight!

Marcin Held defeated Alexander Sarnavskiy by submission (knee bar), Round 3, 1:11

Tony Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov

After a three fight prelim card on Spike.com capped by an exciting bout between Joey Beltran and Brian Rogers, Bellator 136 opens with a heavyweight tilt with former champion Alexander Volkov taking on Tony Johnson. And we’re underway!

Round 1 — Johnson opens the round looking for a takedown on the much taller Volkov then tries to push the Russian up against the fence. Two minutes in Johnson begins throwing hands up against the fence. Forcing Volkov to expend energy defending the takedown threat. Brief stoppage for an eye poke, then a sick kick by Volkov as action resumes. Johnson lands a takedown with two minutes to go. Johnson looks for a sub but can’t make much headway and the Russian works his way back up. Johnson continues to press however. They break off the cage with ten seconds to go, Volkov lands a couple of kicks but it’s too little, too late for that round.

Round 2 — Volkov needs to fight with a little more urgency in round two, but instead finds himself on his back just seconds in. The Russian tries to hold onto a guillotine from his back in a futile effort. Johnson works free and finds himself in Volkov’s closed guard. Volkov is being blanketed, and Johnson lands a few short elbows and as the ref implores him to work. Johnson struggling to pass guard, but he has opened up Volkov. Volkov manages to lock in a Kimura but loses it and gives up his back in the process. Johnson with a hard knee to the body as they get back to the feet with a minute to go. It’s two rounds to none for Johnson.

Round 3 — Up against the fence once more. Like so many taller fighters, Volkov is not using his range as effectively as he should. He needs a stoppage, instead he finds himself unable to answer Johnson’s wrestling pressure. With two minutes to go in the round ref Mike Beltran breaks up the action and and Volkov works on making range with his jab. It’s over too soon, however, as Johnson quickly has him tied up against the fence again. The round ends out in much the same fashion, and we go to decision. There’ll be no surprises here.

Tony Johnson defeated Alexander Volkov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

We lied, there was a surprise as one judge saw it for Volkov.


Main Card

(c) Will Brooks defeated Dave Jansen by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) – For Bellator MMA lightweight title
Rafael Carvalho defeated Joe Schilling by Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Marcin Held defeated Alexander Sarnavskiy by submission (knee bar), Round 3, 1:11
Tony Johnson defeated Alexander Volkov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Prelim Card

Joey Beltran defeated Brian Rogers by Majority Decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Saad Awad defeated Rob Sinclair by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
John Teixeira defeated Fabricio Guerreiro by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jay Bogan vs. Justin Governale

Dark Prelim Card – Untelevised 

Marcos Bonilla vs. A.J. McKee
Jonathan Santa Maria vs. Steve Ramirez
Luc Bondole vs. Chris Herrera
Chad George vs. Mark Vorgeas
Cleber Luciano vs. Aaron Miller

(c) – Champion