Bellator MMA is back in action Friday night when the organization heads to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., for Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho. Featuring the return of rising sensation Michael Page, an appearance by the notable Brennan Ward, and a title showdown between Brandon Halsey and Rafael Carvalho for the vacant Bellator MMA middleweight title, Bellator 144 may turn out to be a sleeper of a card, overshadowed perhaps by the next big Bellator tentpole event, but not to be missed.

In the main event, Halsey, undefeated thus far in his pro MMA career at 9-0, will look to reclaim the title he was stripped of last time out after missing weight against Kendall Grove. Carvalho (11-1), meanwhile, is coming off a win over Joe Schilling, and looks to play spoiler. Halsey will be a step up for Carvalho, and the question for this fight will be whether he’s ready for the challenge.

The popular Page (8-0), meanwhile, who remains undefeated, takes on Legacy standout Charlie Ontiveros (6-3) in what will be Ontiveros’ Bellator debut.

Join us below for full results and a main card recap come fight time!


Brandon Halsey vs. Rafael Carvalho (for vacant middleweight championship)

Round 1 — Halsey goes right for the takedown and traps Carvalho up against the fence.  They work to the middle and Halsey looks for the arm triangle choke. Carvalho escapes, and latches on with an inverted triangle that Halsey quickly breaks free of.  The story of the first round: Halsey’s wrestling, and Carvalho’s inability to answer it.

Round 2 — Halsey starts round two looking for a single leg. It will be a small victory if Carvalho fights it off, but he needs to find some offence. HUGE kick by Carvalho ends the fight! Liver kick out of nowhere! We have a new champ.

Rafael Carvalho def. Brandon Halsey by TKO (liver kick), Round 2, 1:42

Brennan Ward vs. Dennis Olson

Round 1 — Olson looks for the takedown and is forced to pull guard, escaping a guillotine. Brennan Ward maintains control on top. Two minutes in, they’re stood back up. Ward clips Olson and pounces, landing in side control, then pushing Olson up against the fence. Ward mounts and unleashes the ground and pound. Olson survives but back on the feet he catches him with a right and that’s all she wrote!

Brennan Ward def. Dennis Olson by TKO, Round 1, 4:37

Goiti Yamauchi vs. Isao Kobayashi

Round 1 — Yamauchi cutting off the cage, but Kobayashi takes him to the mat. Yamauchi very active off his back, and they move back to the feet. Yamauchi pulls guard. Takes the back, both hooks in. Half the round remains, and he has lots of time to work with. Locks on a body triangle and looks for the rear naked choke. He comes close a few times but Kobayahi survives and gets back to the feet with just seconds remaining. He looks to score some damage quickly, but can’t get much done as the round ends.

Round 2 — The action stays on the feet for the first minute until Kobayashi attempts a trip and Yamauchi pulls guard. Kobayashi lands on top. Yamauchi looks for a kimura, but Kobayashi manages to roll out of it. Yamauchi moves into half guard. An elbow has opened his opponent up. The round ends in that position and we go to a third.

Round 3 — Body kick by Yamauchi. Kobayashi needs a stoppage. Knee by Yamauchi, who still looks very fresh. He lands a big left and drops Kobayashi! Follows him to the ground and looks for the kimura. Transitions to the back. Attempts a choke but Kobayashi survives. Credit to him for toughing it out, but his chances aren’t looking good. Goiti Yamauchi is putting on a clinic. Sinks in a rear naked again, and this time gets the tap!

Goiti Yamauchi def. Isao Kobayashi by submission (rear naked choke), Round 3, 3:50

Michael Page vs. Charlie Ontiveros

Round 1 — Will this be another quick outing for the MVP show? Page raises his hand in up (in victory?) before the fight even begins, in the staredown. Ontiveros declines to touch gloves. Page with his usual hands down, flashy style. Opens with an oblique kick.  Spinning back-kick misses. Page comes in and just glances a blow across his opponent’s chin. He’s controlling the cage, but not a lot of action so far. Fans aren’t having any of it. Good right by Page as Ontiveros comes inside. Page pushes him up against the fence. Now he scores a takedown, and lands on top. Quickly passes to half guard. Takes the back. Back on top, he unloads with elbows and gets the stoppage!

Michael Page def. Charlie Ontiveros by TKO (elbows), Round 1, 3:27


Main Card

Rafael Carvalho def. Brandon Halsey by TKO (liver kick), Round 2, 1:42 (for vacant middleweight championship)
Brennan Ward def. Dennis Olson by TKO, Round 1, 4:37
Goiti Yamauchi def. Isao Kobayashi by submission (rear naked choke), Round 3, 3:50
Michael Page def. Charlie Ontiveros by TKO (elbows), Round 1, 3:27

Preliminary Card

Matt Bessette def. Kevin Roddy by submission (verbal) (heel hook), Round 1, 3:47
Matt Secor def. Jeremie Holloway by submission (heel hook), Round 2, 4:54
Marius Enache def. Pete Rogers Jr by submission (Americana), Round 2, 2:37
Kin Moy def. Walter Smith-Cotito by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 3:53
Billy Giovanella def. Brandon Polcare by submission (triange choke), Round 1, 2:19
Keenan Raymond vs. Damien Trites
Sam Watford def. TJ Hepburn by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 20-27, 30-27)
Ilya Kotau vs. Kemran Lachinov
Kevin Haley def. Mike Zichelle by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

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.