On Friday, November 20, Bellator MMA brought a night of fireworks to fight fans in Thackerville, OK,  as Bellator 146: Kato vs. Manhoef came live from Winstar World Casino and Resort on Spike TV, with prelims on Spike.com

In the night’s main event, middleweights Melvin Manhoef and Hisaki Kato threw down in what many viewed, on paper, as a bout with all the makings of a striking classic.

Manhoef (29-12-1) may go down as one of the sport’s most violent knockout artists ever, as evidenced by a kickboxing  career that has spanned 49 fights, but he came into his bout with Kato on the heels of a knockout loss to Joe Schilling and a no-contest against former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko.

Kato (5-1) saw his Bellator debut come against Schilling, and he made the most of it as he not only knocked Schilling out, but he also managed to utilize the ever-tricky superman punch in scoring the knockout, which many have seen as an early candidate for “knockout of the year”.


Hisaki Kato vs. Melvin Manhoef

Hisaki Kato’s bout with Melvin Manhoef promised violence, and it delivered big, though it didn’t last long. Kato stuck a body kick and a quick one-two combination, but Manhoef swung back furiously and then fired back with low kicks. Kato tagged him with a left hand, followed up with a hard right, and then stuck another left to back Manhoef off before swinging wildly once more. Kato pressed forward one last time, but it proved one time too many, as Manhoef connected with a sickening left hook to lay Kato out cold.

Melvin Manhoef def. Hisaki Kato by knockout. Round 1, 3:43

Derek Campos vs. Brandon Girtz

Derek Campos and Brandon Girtz took some time to feel each other out early on, but Campos stepped inside and ate two different right hands for his trouble. Girtz then ended the fight on his terms with one vicious right and hammerfists, thus making for the night’s quickest finish at just 37 seconds.

Brandon Girtz def. Derek Campos by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:37

Bubba Jenkins vs. Jordan Parsons

Animosity existed between Bubba Jenkins and Jordan Parsons before they squared off in the cage, but for the first two rounds, Jenkins looked to take control of the bout, and then he took it. Jenkins made it very well known that he wanted to take Parsons down at will, but while he was able to get him down twice, Parsons established himself as the striker early on.

The momentum changed for Jenkins when he scored a huge head kick in the second round. Parsons felt wobbled and looked like he was hurt, but he weathered the storm and made it to the third round. Parsons made it a point to stay outside and avoid the striking and takedowns of Jenkins, but it came to no avail, as Jenkins would go in for one more big takedown. Jenkins raised his own hands in a token of victory before the scorecards were announced, but Parsons’ efforts did not go unnoticed, and Jenkins subsequently found himself on the better end of a split decision.

Bubba Jenkins def. Jordan Parsons by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)

Chidi Njokuani vs. Ricky Rainey

Ricky Rainey’s game plan seemed evident throughout the bout, as he wanted to clinch and take Chidi Njokuani down. Early on, the game plan would work Rainey’s way, as he did manage to get what he wanted out of his takedown-heavy assault, often by fighting his way into the clinch and fighting Njokuani against the cage, but despite aiming to neutralize the striking game of of his lankier foe, he would face the problem of Njokuani’s striking in close quarters. A knee landed for Njokuani in the first frame, while jabs and elbows would help leave a glaring mark on Rainey, as his right eye looked worse for the wear once all three rounds came to a close.

Though Rainey battled to make the bout a close one, despite the damage to his eye, the efforts of “Chidi Bang Bang” would pay off, as he took home a unanimous verdict, albeit a hard-fought one, after three rounds.

Chidi Njokuani def. Ricky Rainey by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Houston Alexander vs. Guilherme Viana

Guilherme Viana kicked off the night with a tough task ahead of him in the form of Houston Alexander, but from the opening bell, Viana strove to make it look easy. Viana’s striking efforts became evident in the first round, as everything from body shots to a knee landed with intentions of hurting Alexander, while a blend of a jab and power shots served to damage Alexander. Despite these, the UFC veteran stayed in the fight for second round.

Thing looked to change in round two, as Alexander, stuck on the defensive, found himself with no other alternative but to try and take Viana down. Viana would attempt to take the back after surviving the first attempt, and while he was unsuccessful in getting Alexander’s back, he left “The Assasin” with very few ways to properly defend himself. Alexander would fight his way back to the feet and catch his breath in the dying seconds of the second round, but a ringside physician determined that Alexander had withstood too much punishment, and on the physician’s advice, referee John McCarthy called the fight in between the second and third rounds.

Guilherme Viana def. Houston Alexander by TKO (doctor stoppage). Round 2, 5:00


Kenyon Jackson vs. Bubba McDaniel
Roshaun Jones vs. Klayton Mai
Chris Jones vs. Treston Thomison
Stephen Banaszak def. George Pacurariu by submission (guillotine choke) Round 1, 3:42
Francisco France def. Ben Reiter by submission (rear naked choke). Round 2, 1:08
Julia Budd def. Roberta Paim Rovel by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Andre Santos def. Josh Neer by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Arlene Blencowe def. Gabrielle Holloway by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Alonzo Menifield def. Zach Rosol by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:38

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.