Bellator MMA is back with a Vengeance (pun fully intended) Friday night from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. Two titles are on the line, a former lightweight champion is in action, and a couple of heavyweight behemoths collide at Bellator 145: Vengeance — and that’s just on the main card alone!

In the main event, featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (24–2) meets former champ Daniel Straus (24–6) for the third time. Pitbull is up two wins to none in the series, and this fight will likely be the last time the two meet if Straus can’t pull off a win and reclaim the title. The question is, with so little time between their last fight and Vengeance, what has Straus done to give him the edge over the current champ?

In the co-main event, “Ill” Will Brooks (16-1) defends his lightweight title against Marcin Held (21–3), the scary submission specialist who won Bellator’s season 10 lightweight tournament. Held is currently riding a six fight win streak, while Brooks has a seven fight streak of his own including back-to-back victories over former champ Michael Chandler (who also appears on the Bellator 145 card). A win here will do a lot for Brooks, who hasn’t generally been given the respect he’s due after upsetting Chandler twice for the belt, while Held, at just twenty-three years old, is looking to be one of the youngest champs in a major MMA promotion.

Also on the card, Bobby Lashley (13–2), the former WWE and current TNA star, takes on James “The Colossus” Thompson (20–14 (1)) in a rematch of their SFL fight from 2012. Thompson was the last man (and one of only two fighters) to defeat Lashley, and the wrestling star will be looking for revenge, with the winner of this bout possibly getting Kimbo Slice sometime early next year.

Be sure to check back come fight time (prelims start at 6:45PM EST on Spike.com, main card at 9PM on Spike TV) for full results and a main card breakdown.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

Patrício Freire (c) vs. Daniel Straus

Round 1 — Expecting fireworks in this one. Straus and Pitbull exchange leg kick attempts. Lot of feeling out in the first two minutes. Straus shoots but can’t finish. They clinch against the fence. Good exchange follows that. Straus pins Pitbull against the fence now. Knee by Pitbull. They move back to the middle, where Straus may be able to use his reach advantage. He’s leading with the jab. Pitbull with a couple of jabs of his own. Straus throws then shoots wildly. Jumping knee by Straus in the next exchange that gets the crowd roaring but doesn’t connect flush. Great start to this one.

Round 2 — More sharp exchanges to start the second. Straus with several kicks. They clinch, Straus still can’t get Pitbull down. Short elbow by Straus while his back is against the fence. Huge left hand by Straus drops Pitbull! Straus swarms with ground and pound! Pitbull latches on to an armbar, Straus picks him up and drops him! Straus with more gorund n’ pound, there’s still over two to go in the round. Pitbull is dazed, but looking for a kimura. He lets it go, Straus is looking for a guillotine. Pitbull makes it back to his feet and lands some solid short elbows. Big head kick by Straus just misses. The bell sounds.

Round 3 — Straus with a good left early. Pitbull catches another leg kick. Straus showing great head movement. Pitbull with a kick to the body. Straus looking much crisper at this point; Pitbull still doesn’t seem to be fully recovered. Pitbull lands a lead right. Straus with a pair of leg kicks. He changes levels, Pitbull stuffs him. An eye poke stops the action; Pitbull is the victim in this case. Short stoppage and they go back to it. Hard body shot by Straus. Good left by Pitbull. Pitbull lands a couple towards the end of the round.

Round 4 — Straus shoots but taking Pitbull down seems near impossible, even with Straus dominating just about all other areas. Accidental headbutt briefly stops the action. They’re starting to exchange a little more wildly now. Two minutes to go in the round. Pitbull keeps moving forward, misses an uppercut. Pitbull corners Straus and lands a combo as Straus covers up. Straus favoring his left hand; he may have hurt it. Pitbull tries a guillotine attempt, then stalks Straus down against the fence again. Straus is almost smacking Pitbull with the left rather than punching. Pitbull landing combos against the cage. Pitbull looks for the takedown at the end of the round but the bell sounds. We go to a final frame.

Round 5 — Pitbull may need a finish here. Looks for the takedown, Straus counters and looks for a guillotine. No good. More exchanges. Pitbull manages to take Straus’ back! Looking for the rear naked choke. Straus is covering up. He makes it to the cage and powers up. Pitbull gets a hook back in. Straus escapes but eats a knee on the way up. Spinning backfist by Pitbull misses but he catches Straus with a short left. Unloading combos and knees against the fence as the round ends! Great fight!

Daniel Straus def. Patrício Freire by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)

Will Brooks (c) vs. Marcin Held

Round 1 — The first of two title fights is up with lightweight champ Ill Will Brooks defending his belt against Bellator season 10 lightweight tournament winner Marcin Held. Held pressing forward, and Brooks clinches. Held pressing him against the fence, Brooks with the wizard but Held is able to hook the leg and bring him down. Held not able to make much progress but is maintaining top position. Short punches by Held aren’t doing much damage, but he continues to adjust position, looking for a kneebar. Brooks stands back up and scores a takedown of his own on Held. Held immediately uses the cage to re-position and look for an armbar. Locks in a toehold, then a kneebar. That looks painful, but Brooks escapes. The round ends.

Round 2 — Brooks with the takedown along the fence early in round two. Looks for an arm triangle. Held very active from the bottom, looking for an arm bar, then after some transitioning a kneebar. Brooks winds up on top again with Held flattened out. Brooks passes guard, Held traps him back in half-guard and Brooks looks for the arm triangle. He loses it but gains full mount. He finishes up in control and looks much more comfortable in the second.

Round 3 — Held shoots and fails. Brooks with top control out in the middle of the cage. Held active as always from the bottom moving from one sub attempt to the next. It’s like Metamoris with some ground n’ pound at this point. Held with a butterfly guard. Brooks now in single, looking to set up the arm triangle choke again. Credit to Brooks for being willing to fight in Held’s comfort zone. Brooks more active with the ground n’ pound towards the end of the round, and Held is opened up. We go to round four.

Round 4 — Held comes out swinging then grabs a leg of Brooks and goes to the mat. Held with the inverted heel hook, Brooks stays safe for the time being. At this point, it’s a carbon copy of the last round; Held active off his back, Brooks escaping, and doing far more damage from the top. Held is still dangerous, but he’s definitely slowing with a single frame left.

Round 5 — Brooks goes right back into the danger zone, and the crowd is really showing their displeasure. Which is a shame because watching these sub attempts and transitions is impressive, but at the same time, Brooks has proven he can hang on the ground and could play to his strengths. Big John urges the pair to work. Half a round remains. Big John stands them up. Brooks ties Held up against the fence. It’s not long before they’re back down. Brooks is really too slick for Held to latch onto at this point. The round comes to an end, and Brooks will retain.

Will Brooks (c) def. Marcin Held by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)

Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels

Round 1 — Chandler storms out and takes it to Rickels. They tie up and Chandler is on top following a throw. Chandler with a big elbow from the top. Rickels with a closed guard. Another elbow from Chandler. Rickels is unable to get back up and Chandler is staying active from the top. With two minutes left in the round Rickels finally escapes. Rickels connects with a jab. Follows up with an outside leg kick. Within half a minute Chandler scores another takedown. He finishes the round in control.

Round 2 — Chandler with a hard leg kick, and another. He presses Rickels up against the fence. Scores another takedown. This time Rickels has the fence to work with and works back up quickly. Catches Chandler with a couple of shots then eats a big shot of his own. Chandler tries to lock in a guillotine. Rickels is gushing blood, Chandler swarming him. Chandler tries for the guillotine again. More ground and pound, the ref warns Rickels to do something, he tries for an upkick, but Chandler re-positions and rains down the blows. Rickels covers up, and it’s over as the ref waives it off.

Michael Chandler def. David Rickels by TKO, Round 2, 3:05

Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson

Round 1 — Third time is the charm for these two in Bellator. The bell sounds and we’re off. Lashley and Thompson open swinging and Lashley shoots, almost too low but scores the takedown. Kurt Angle is cageside on commentary for the bout. Lashley works the ground and pound from the back. And that’s it! A little anti-climatic but Thompson was not intelligently defending himself. Looks like Thompson may have injured his knee during the takedown.

Bobby Lashley def. James Thompson by TKO, Round 1, 0:54

Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Justin Lawrence

Round 1 — The bell sounds and we’re off. Lawrence with a high side kick. Lawrence looking loose, Sanchez stalking him down. High kick by Sanchez is blocked.  Lawrence is the busier of the two fighters after the first two minutes. Sanchez having trouble mounting offense as Lawrence slips and rips. Sanchez finally pins Lawrence up against the cage with under a minute left, but can’t make any progress. Lawrence takes the first frame.

Round 2 — Sanchez comes out with a side kick but eats a few body shorts shortly thereafter. Lawrence continues to have superior movement through the opening minute of the first. Exchanges between the two continue to be short flurries with Lawrence connecting more often than not. Sanchez now pins Lawrence up against the cage, shades of the end of the first. Lawrence appears to have tired a little, and hangs on for a restart by the ref. Sanchez looks to capitalize, but has been broken up. With seconds left he lands a huge side kick that drops Lawrence, but the round ends. Looks like we’re going to a third.

Round 3 — A much more determined Sanchez opens up the third and takes Lawrence to the fence again. Lawrences hands on and is looking at the clock with over three minutes left in the frame. Sanchez drags him down and tries to take the back but Lawrence is able to gain top control. He’s able to do just enough to maintain top position for a while, eating up time which is not on Sanchez’s side. Sanchez throwing elbows from the bottom but can’t escape to the feet. With thirty seconds left Sanchez finally manages to break free and they stand. Sanchez looking for the big finish, but it’s nowhere to be found.

Emmanuel Sanchez def. Justin Lawrence by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

FULL RESULTS

Main Card

Daniel Straus def. Patrício Freire by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) for the Bellator featherweight title
Will Brooks (c) def. Marcin Held by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) for the Bellator lightweight title
Michael Chandler def. David Rickels by TKO, Round 2, 3:05
Bobby Lashley def. James Thompson by TKO, Round 1, 0:54
Emmanuel Sanchez def. Justin Lawrence by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Preliminary Card

Augusto Sakai def. Alex Huddleston by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Chel Erwin-Davis def. Adam Cella by TKO, Round 3, 0:35
Garrett Gross def. Luke Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kyle Kurtz def. Steve Mann by submission (triangle choke), Round 1, 2:59
Kain Royer def.  Clay Mitchell by submission (kneebar), Round 1, 3:41
Adam Meredith def. Jordan Dowdy by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 1:54
Fazlo Mulabitinovic def. Scott Ettling by submission (armbar), Round 1, 1:52
Brandon Lowe vs. Rashard Lovelace

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.