Melvin Guillard and Brandon Girtz in the Bellator 141 main event. Photo by Joey Krebs

TEMECULA, Calif. — On the eve of America’s current state of heightened political and civil unrest, Hollywood Films like Death Wish and Payback appeal to mass media audiences who are in search of an underdog hero who can fight with might and right all wrongs…

Films like Payback and Death Wish were huge successes in America, with Death Wish which garnered a loyal following including its movie franchise which lasted four sequels and four decades. It was Death Wish which starred Charles Bronson who played the antagonist Paul Kersey, a man who becomes a vigilante after his family suffers a brutal violent robbery where his daughter was raped and ultimately becomes institutionalized. A scene in Death Wish 2 shows the 60-year-old Bronson pointing a loaded gun at a criminal before stating his classic one-liner, “Do you believe in Jesus?” The desperate criminal assures Bronson that he does. Bronson then returns the favor with an act which was heard around the world, “Well, you’re about to meet Him.”

In true form, Bellator 141 which was held at the Pechanga Resort and Casino showcased fighters intent on settling the score once and for all. Presented as grudge matches, fighters came to defend their honors, causes, their names and their families with hard battles won with through vengeance. The evening air was filled with payback and retribution, as some of the world’s most talented fighters squared off in the cage, ready to bring their A-game and take back the night. Retaliation, is a hard dish to swallow…

The primary match between Girtz (12-4 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) and Guillard’s Bellator debut (34-14-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) saw Guillard take a tumble early in the first round losing takedowns, punches and assaults with the knees to the body. By the second round Guillard was unable to focus and couldn’t connect any punches to the target and by the third round the fight went to the judges for scoring. Girtz took a 29-27 from two out of three viewing the fight for a split decision. Guillard later revealed that he had shattered his hand during the fight requiring immediate surgery.

The 15 minute straightforward three round bout between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Millennia’s Saad Awad in the co-main event saw the two athletes attempt to settle their social media war, and confrontation during the public staged weigh in. Pitbull took to the cage with VENGEANCE where he inflicted punishment against the Millennia fighter in retaliation for the offense of insulting his family..

The fight began evenly matched with its struggle from both fighters who attempted to dominate the pace and speed of the fight. A determined Awad set the tempo and pace in the first round. The second went up for grabs, with attacks and counter attacks ending with Freire seeming to control it in the third, throwing enough of an assault to have Awad bleeding from the mouth. The fight was in the hands of the judges with the decision and ruling going to Freire, with a win in every round for the 30-27 sweep to take the fight…

Humanitarian Justin Wren came to the Cage with a great heroic narrative to right this age’s wrong in fighting for the forgotten Pygmys in Africa. Wren who had dedicated five year to missionary work in the Congo went up against Josh Burns. During the match Wren was unfortunately punched enough times to draw blood, and unleashed an explosion of assaults to Burns body with his knees against the fence. In the final round, Burns bleeding profusely, was cleared by ringside doctors to continue, but still lost in the third round to Wren. Unanimous decision 30-27, 30-26 x2. With his newfound victory Wren used the opportunity’s platform to discuss his mission and the release of Loretta Hunt’s book with its title, Fight for the Forgotten.

Famed Hawaii fighter Ilima-Lei Macfarlane who was famous for beating a Soccer mom (2-0) in the Outlawed Xplode League, was impressive in her Bellator MMA debut, beating Encino’s Maria Rios (2-3) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). The Hawaiian showcased her ability to fight on the feet, as well as demonstrated her ability to counter Rios’ submission attempts.

The most explosive finish of “Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz” on Friday came via Bodyshop’s A.J. Mckee, (2-0) who stopped undefeated Fighter James Barnes (4-1) via a vicious knockout at 1:42 of the opening round. AJ McKee, a second generation fighter and son to MMA veteran Antonio McKee has proven to be a great blue chip prospect for Bellator MMA. James Barnes (4-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) was nearly choked out with a nasty guillotine before being slammed to the mat. Back on their feet, McKee let his hands go releasing a barrage of punches before knocking out Barnes in the first.

AJ McKee comes to the cage with promise in winning the 2015 JC State and Individual Championship for Cerritos Junior College where his Father Antonio McKee and Emmanuel Newton both attended. Bodyshop also houses Joey Davis Jr. a highly decorated 3-time NCAA division 2 Champion who is set to win his fourth title this year then turn professional cage fighter.

In the final post-preliminary of the evening’s festivities, it was Johnny Cisneros (9-4) who defeated Gabriel Miglioli (9-8) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). With his mother and son both in attendance as well with the support of Pinnacle’s Jake Behney, Michael Guymon and Team Victory’s Rod McKiver, Johnny went to war with his game face on knocking down and taking down his opponent for the unanimous decision victory.

Full Bellator 141 results:

Main Card

  • Brandon Girtz def. Melvin Guillard via split decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
  • Patricky Freire def. Saad Awad via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Justin Wren def. Josh Burns via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Marloes Coenen def. Arlene Biencowe via armbar at 3:23 of Round 2

Preliminary Card

  • A.J. McKee def. James Barnes via KO at 1:42 of Round 1
  • Adrienna Jenkins def. Lissette Neri via TKO at 2:38 of Round 1
  • Luc Bondole def. Ray Sloan via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Johnny Cisneros def. Gabriel Miglioli via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Curtis Millender def. Steven Ciacco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ilima Macfarlane def. Maria Rios via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Brent Primus def. Derek Anderson via split decision (29-27, 29-28, 28-29)
  • A.J. Matthews def. Emiliano Sordi via TKO (corner stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1


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