The culmination of Bellator’s 11th season takes place Saturday, November 15th at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.

Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar headline one of the promotion’s most stacked cards of the year that also features a bout between lightweight interim champion Will Brooks and former lightweight champion Michael Chandler for the vacant belt in that division.

Here’s what to watch for in what is shaping up to be an exciting night of fights for Bellator:

Melvin Manhoef vs. Joe Schilling

Melvin Manhoef is as violent as they come in mixed martial arts. His knockout power is world class and when you mix that with his superior kickboxing technique, you have the formula for a fighter with 27 of his 29 wins coming via knockout. Joe Schilling is only 1-3 in professional MMA bouts. He hasn’t fought in MMA since 2008, but you’d be wrong to consider him out of this fight. He’s a seasoned kickboxing veteran with powerful elbows and will be dangerous on his feet, which is where this fight will most likely stay. Expect fireworks and a finish in this bout.

Will Brooks vs. Michael Chandler

I’m not sure whether to say that Will Brooks is defending his lightweight championship belt or that he is fighting for one. Last May, Will Brooks filled in for an injured-Eddie Alvarez against Michael Chandler for Bellator’s interim lightweight championship and scored a split-decision victory to secure the strap. Michael Chandler wanted the rematch and he got it, and he’s trying to stop his two-fight losing streak. Their last fight was incredibly tough to score and was exciting to say the least. Don’t be surprised one bit if this ends up being the most thrilling fights of the night.

Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar

It’s been over two years since Stephan Bonnar last fought and his return fight will not be an easy task. Whether it’s to generate buzz or if it’s an actual distaste for one another, the pre-fight buildup to this bout with Tito Ortiz has been interesting. Despite the bizarre in-cage scuffle, this fight has the names to draw a substantial amount of interest. It’s two huge personalities in the promotion that are both vying for a crack at Emanuel Newton, who hasn’t lost since 2012 and has successfully defended his light heavyweight championship twice. A win for either fighter would vault their name near the top of the list in Bellator’s light heavyweight division.


About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.