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Bellator 125: Manhoef KOs Marshall, Earns Title Fight

Melvin-MahoefFRESNO, Calif. – Middleweight Melvin Manhoef (29-11-1) earns a shot at the Bellator Middleweight Title after a first round knockout of Doug Marshall (18-8) at Bellator 125 on Friday night. Manhoef gets his shot against the winner of the title fight at Bellator 126 between Bellator Middleweight Champ Alexander Shlemenko (50-8) and Brandon Halsey (7-0) next Friday. in

Manhoef and Marshall shared a couple of first round exchanges as the fighters went through a feeling-out process. However Manhoef was clearly landing the harder shots in the exchanges and Marshall was reeling from a couple of strikes. Manhoef began to work a leg kick that opened up the knockout shot right behind Marhall’s left ear that sent him immediately to the mat where Manhoef landed another shot before the fight was stopped.

Rafael Carvalho (10-1) made the other middleweight fight a quick one as well as he knocked out Brian Rogers (11-7) late in the first round. Carvahlo survived an early combination by Rogers that led to a takedown but managed to get the fight back up where he eventually landed a jab and a cross that led to a powerful combo that knocked Rogers back into the cage. Once there Carvalho landed a combination and then launched a series of left hand strikes from standing back control against the cage before the fight was stopped.

The heavyweight bout didn’t fare much better for fight length as Javy Ayala (8-3) submitted Raphael Butler (8-0) in the first round of their fight. Ayala charged in with a combo that backed Butler to the cage where Ayala pressed him and eventually picked him up off the fence for a takedown. Ayala then tooked Butler’s back where he worked a quick rear naked choke for the submission win to hand Butler his first loss.

In a masterful effort on the ground Goiti Yamuchi (18-2) also made for a quick fight with a first round submission of Martin Stapleton (12-4) in the featherweight fight on the card. Yamuchi took the fight to the ground after and opening salvo and kept the fight there calmly working through a variety of controls on the mat until locking in a rear naked choke that forced Stapleton’s tap to end the fight.