Complete "Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho" Recap & Photos
RAFAEL CARVALHO WINS VACANT MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE AFTER LIVER KICK TO BRANDON HALSEY
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (Oct. 23, 2015) – Rafael Carvalho (12-1) won the title that was vacated by Brandon Halsey (9-1) after missing weight in his last appearance, finishing the former undefeated fighter during an enthralling middleweight encounter in the main event of ”Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho.”
Carvalho had the belt wrapped around his waist by Bellator MMA President Scott Coker after sending Halsey to the mat in a heap, with a perfectly placed liver kick in front of a packed house at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
“I want to thank my team for everything,” Carvalho said after the win. “I have believed in myself from the beginning and I knew this time would come.”
The 29-year-old Brazilian fighter was an exorbitant underdog heading into the matchup, but as the saying goes, that’s why they fight. The next time Carvalho enters an arena, his banner will now hang from the rafters.
Ward Stops Olson to the Delight of Partisan Crowd
Much like the last time Brennan Ward (12-3) competed in his homestate of Connecticut, “Irish” caught Dennis Olson (14-10) with a right hand that sent“The Menace” to the mat, where Ward quickly pounced and forced the hand of referee John McCarthy. The finish came at 4:37 of the opening round.
Olson proved to be tough enough to withstand multiple flurries from Ward, even landing an upkick that seemed to hurt Ward when he tried to score a finish early. But Ward refused to let up, making sure he sent his friends and family home with a smile on their faces.
“I’m a hometown guy. Dennis and I talked a lot of stuff before the fight, but it was a battle in there. I have nothing but respect for him. He’s tough as hell. He almost knocked me out off his back with an elbow.
“I love this arena and my hometown fans, I was just trying to be patient, but he’s tough on the ground. My coach and dad told me that if I’m patient and land the right hand then the rest would be history.” Ward said. “[Andrey] Koreshkov is a tough dude, if I’m next in line then hopefully we can bang out.”
There are plenty of matchups that make sense for a striker the caliber of Ward, Bellator MMA fans will need to keep close tabs as 2016 quickly approaches.
Yamauchi Equals Featherweight Submission Record
The Bellator MMA debut of Isao Kobayashi (17-3) didn’t go as planned at “Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho,” as Goiti Yamauchi (19-2) finished the Japanese fighter with a rear-naked choke submission at 3:50 of the final frame.
With the win, Yamauchi tied former Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion Pat Curran, Daniel Straus, Alexandre Bezerra and Marlon Sandro for most submissions (15) in 145-pound history.
After the contest, the 22-year-old had some pointed words for current featherweight champion Patricio Freire.
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