On Friday August 25 live from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif., Bellator MMA makes its late-Summer return to action with Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz. Featuring a couple of former UFC fighters placed prominently on the card (Guillard, Justin Wren), with one of Bellator’s home-grown stars, Patricky Pitbull, sandwiched between in a featured lightweight bout, the night should be strong on action, but the real question is, how will the newest additions to the promotion fare?

At lightweight, the headlining bout sees Brandon Girtz (11-4 MMA 4-2 Bellator) welcoming Guillard (32-14-4 MMA 0-0 Bellator) to the Bellator cage. Guillard has a lot of mileage despite being just 32 years old, and the Young Assassin will be looking to right the ship after a tumultuous run in the World Series of Fighting, where he most recently lost to WSOF champion  Justin Gaethje. Girtz, meanwhile, can break through to the next level with a win over a well-known commodity like Guillard.

Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (13-6 MMA 6-5 Bellator), meanwhile, meets former Bellator lightweight tournament finalist and Gladiator Challenge lightweight champion Saad Awad (18-6-1 MMA 6-2 Bellator) in the featured lightweight bout that serves for the co-main event of the evening, while Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Justin Wren (10-2 MMA, 0-0 Bellator), having taken several years off to pursue charity work in the Congo, returns to take on heavyweight journeyman Josh Burns (8-8 MMA, 0-5 Bellator).

On the preliminary card, a number of featherweight and flyweight WMMA fights will go down, including Marloes Coenen making her second trip to the Bellator cage. The prelim portion of the card kicks off at 7:45PM EST via the web, with the main card following at 9PM live on Spike TV.

How did the combatants of Bellator 141 fare?


Melvin Guillard vs. Brandon Girtz

Round 1 — Guillard is introduced as something unintelligible, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “The Young Assassin” frankly. Guillard looks loose but Girtz storms in quick, lands a big shot and takes Guillard down. Guillard manages to recover quickly but is taken down with a huge double-leg again. Girtz controls on top, moves to side control. Big John takes a look but opts not to stand it up. Guillard can’t do a lot from the bottom and Girtz is doing just enough to maintain top control. Crowd is getting restless. Knees from Girtz. Guillard is hoping for the bell or for the pair to be stood up. Turns out it’s the bell.

Round 2 — Can Guillard recover from that rough first round? Girtz still looking crisp, Guillard has a swollen eye from the damage he took in round one. Guillard cutting off the cage, Girtz comes through with a big shot that misses. Guillard finally unleashes his own hands. Girtz slips, changes levels, and lands a huge takedown again. Guillard works back up and is dragged back down. Girtz goes for the arm-bar but the position is questionable. Guillard is out and throws hands as they break. Guillard cutting off the cage again; Girtz tries for a takedown but can’t secure it. Guillard seems reluctant to engage and may be compensating for the takedown threat as well as the eye. Guillard lands an overhand right. Girtz times things well and lands another takedown, against the fence this time and Guillard is up quick. Guillard looks to end the round swinging, but it’s Girtz who lands a solid right before the bell. The fight will go to the third, and Guillard needs a finish.

Round 3 — Girtz throws an overhand left, changes levels, scores the single leg and is quickly in guard. Guillard seems a little more active from the bottom now, and Girtz tries to climb over in side control. Half-guard now. Big John admonishes the fighters to work. Guillard with some elbows from the bottom.  With just over ninety seconds left Big John stands them up, and Guillard immediately lands a big knee while Girtz is distracted. Guillard stalks him down another big knee! Girtz on the defensive. He may be wobbled. Time is a big factor here. Guillard with punches and another knee. Girtz catches a kick and the two go down in a heap. This allows Girtz to land on top and ride out the round, though with two seconds left Guillard gets up and tries for one last flying knee, but fails to connect as the bell sounds.

Melvin Guillard def. Brandon Girtz by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-27)

Patricky Freire vs. Saad Awad

Round 1 — They circle and trade some kicks. Seems to be a bit of an extended feeling out process for the first few minutes. Spinning backfist attempt by Pitbull. High kick by Awad, who then slips. Pitbull ties him up against the fence. Another kick by Awad. Both fighters still looking to find their groove as the round carries on. Under a minute to go. Pitbull with a short left, then a flying knee attempt moments later. Awad ties him up against the fence, perhaps looking to wind down the clock. The bell rings, and we’ll go to a second.

Round 2 — Awad opens the round with a high kick. Awad’s corner has apparently told him he won a close first round. Pitbull finding his range and lands a combo. They break, Pitbull goes right back to Awad. Pitbull marches forward and finds room to land up high on Awad. Pitbull looking for a takedown, grabs a leg and Awad very actively hops around him for a moment before the takedown is complete and Patricky lands on top. Awad locks in his guard and looks to control Pitbull from the bottom, which may be hard given the two are fairly slick with sweat at this point. Awad warned for an upkick that came close to Pitbull’s head. Awad makes it back to the feet and grabs Pitbull’s leg for a takedown attempt of his own; nothing doing. They break and square off. Awad looks to have a little bit of blood around his nose. Awad lands an uppercut and follows with a combo. Hard right hand by Pitbull. Pitbull tries for a leg. Awad lands a combo then retreats as the round ends.

Round 3 — Pitbull with a left hook. Pitbull choosing his spots and may want to consider a higher output. Now tries a combo followed by a flying knee that misses by a country mile. Both fighters still looking crisp however. Pitbull attacks, Awad counters. Pitbull with a strong body punch. Awad continues to spit blood between exchanges; the bleeding that started in the second may be bothering him. Pitbull fakes high and lands to the body again. Now Awad lands upstairs. Pitbull controlling the cage well, but eats a counter rushing in. Eats another counter. Thirty seconds left in the round. Award goes to the body. Pitbull shoots but can’t finish as Awad sprawls and lands a few elbows. We go to the scorecards.

Patricky Freire def Saad Awad by unanimous decision (30-37, 30-27, 30-27)

Justin Wren vs. Josh Burns

Justin Wren’s story — leaving MMA for five years, doing charity work in the Congo — has been a huge story this week, and an inspiring one. Up next, he takes on Josh Burns in Wren’s Bellator MMA debut. How will Wren fare after five years away?

Round 1 — They touch gloves, and Wren pushes the action. Burns lands a counter, Wren pushes him up against the fence then secures a front headlock. Wren ties him up against the fence again and lands a few knees. The ref takes a look as Burns just clings to him. He opts to allow them to work. Wren in control, lands a few short punches. The ref finally breaks them up and restarts them. They circle, Wren lands a body shot. Burns keeping his distance. Wren lands a few rights, Burns looking a little shaky. Burns complaining about a low blow the ref didn’t see; Wren lands a big knee while Burns continues to jaw at the ref. Wren landing punches to the body against the fence. Another knee and a punch by Wren. Not a ton of action, but Wren has controlled the round so far. Burns is opened up near the eye. Wren shoots but is stuffed. Lands a punch on the break. Wren eats a couple shots towards the end of the round, and it will go to a second.

Round 2 — Wren leads with a jab and pushes the action up against the fence. Burns manages to reverse. Both men looking tired. Knee by Wren. Burns with some body shots, more knees by Wren. Wren tries a takedown but can’t get position, backs off and regroups. Burns looks like he might have found a second his motivation, but Wren lands a good right. Big knee after a level change by Wren. More big knees! And more! Wren is unloading with knees! Burns survives, but is bloodied. Wren actually points to Burns’ foot for some reason, Burns pays no mind. Wren lands another punch, and switches stances to southpaw. Wren has him on the fence again for more knees. Burns lands a punch or two on the break but this round was Wren’s again.

Round 3 — ringside doctor checks Burns cut between rounds and allows the fight to continue. Wren looks a little lighter on the feet, tries a knee in the open cage. Wren tries for a takedown, winds up against the fence himself. Works the overhooks. The ref breaks them up. Wren’s jab seems more effective, Burns may have some vision problems. Wren lands a kick. Wren clenches and knes. Pushes Burns up against the fence. Burns looks to be trying for a takedown, ties up Wren and lands a punch before Wren recovers. Ninety seconds to go in the fight. Wren reverses and holds Burns against the fence. Both men are exhausted at this point, but Wren is doing more, lands an elbow and kicks, then several shots to the head. Burns connects with twenty seconds left but can’t follow up. Burns catches Wren with a left hook with seconds to go but they end the round swinging! The ring rust showed, but Wren easily did enough to win the fight.

Justin Wren def. Josh Burns by Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Marloes Coenen vs. Arlene Blencowe

Round 1 — Blencowe comes out looking to brawl which may have surprised Coenen, who quickly recovers and scores the takedown with just under 4:30 left in the round. Quickly moves to side control and looks to take the back. Now looking to flatten her out as Blencowe seems content defending ground strikes and subs, isn’t able/willing to stand back up. Now Coenen has a body triangle and is looking for a rear naked choke. Blencowe reverses position but Coenen quickly takes her back again. Coenen with big knees to the body while on the ground to end the frame. Easy 10-9 for Coenen.

Round 2 — strong exchange to start, hard right by Coenen. She changes levels and looks to shoot, nothing doing and she bails on that early. Slips a punch and positions to takes the back of Blencowe, easily taking her opponent down from the back. Blencowe manages to stand back up this time and slams Coenen, who remains on the ground inviting Blencowe into her guard. Blencowe wisely chooses to decline. Back on the feet, Coenen quickly tries a judo throw but can’t get her opponent over, winding up on the bottom. Blencowe (then the ref) brings the action back to the feet. Hard rights by Blencowe on Coenen, who responds by changing levels and scoring an easy takedown as Blencowe pushes forward right into it. Coenen with an arm bar attempt; Blencowe tries to roll out of it, but manages to stave off the submission for mere moments before Coenen bends it back.

Marloes Coenen def. Arlene Blencowe by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 3:23

Lorenzo Hood vs. Raphael Butler

Prior to Bellator 141 the promotion announced that due to an injury to Lorenzo Hood, this bout would be pulled from the card. The nature of the injury was not disclosed. As a result, Coenen vs. Blencowe was bumped up to the main card.

Update as of 9PM EST: Hood has posted on Instagram that the injury was a knee injury suffered while warming up.



Melvin Guillard def. Brandon Girtz by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-27)
Patricky Freire def Saad Awad by unanimous decision (30-37, 30-27, 30-27)
Justin Wren def. Josh Burns by Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Marloes Coenen def. Arlene Blencowe by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 3:23
Raphael Butler vs. Lorenzo Hood ** * bout cancelled due to injury


Ilima Macfarlane def. Maria Rios by Split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
A.J. McKee def. James Barnes by KO (punches), Round 1, 1:42
Adrienna Jenkins def. Lissette Neri by TKO (strikes), Round 1, 2:38
Luc Bondole def. Ray Sloan by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Johnny Cisneros def. Gabriel Miglioli by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Curtis Millender def. Steven Ciacco by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brent Primus def. Derek Anderson by Unanimous decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)
AJ Matthews def. Emiliano Sordi by TKO (injury), Round 1, 5:00