Bellator 120 took place May 17, 2014 at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi. Season nine lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks (14-1) stunned the mixed martial arts world by upsetting former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (12-2) to claim the Bellator interim lightweight title in the night's co-main event, which aired live on pay-per-view. Catch the video highlights above.
For more on Bellator 120's co-main event, follow the play-by-play from MMAFighting.com's own Chuck Mindenhall.
Round 1: This is for the 155-pound interim title. The 28-year old Chandler against Will Brooks, the Season 9 winner, who is taking the fight on short notice. Referee is Kevin MacDonald. Brooks takes a knee in his corner as they ring the bell. Chandler with a quick overhand right. He's pushing early, and he shoots in for a takedown and gets it. Closed guard for Brooks. Chandler trying to advance, and Brooks into butterfly guard. He's keeping the former champ close. Chandler boxing his ears, and finally Brooks bounces back up to his feet. Good high kick from Brooks lands. They both throw big rights simultaneously and come up broke. Now Brooks comes in for a takedown attempt, can't get it, and Chandler posts him on fence. A couple of footstomps from Chandler. Chandler wears him down, though, and gets a takedown on fence. Brooks has his back on the cage, but Chandler moves him off, in Brooks' guard. Chandler posturing up, trying to open up some space to land some strikes, but Brooks clings well. Elbows from Chandler now, and they are getting through, though they are short and obscured by Brook's forearms. Still on fence, and now the elbows are coming more fast and furious from Chandler. Brooks trying to pivot out, but can't. Couple of big elbows at the end of the round, and Brooks ends up fending those as the bell rings to end the round. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Chandler, 10-9.
Round 2: Brooks quickly to the center. Body kick from Brooks, but Chandler is pressuring again, setting up a takedown attempt with a combination up top. He changes levels and right back to the fence, where Chandler is on his knees trying to dump Chandler. Can't get it, and they separate. Nice kick there from Brooks stopped Chandler momentarily from moving forward. But now Chandler comes flying back at him, and pushes him to fence before dumping him on his butt via a double-leg. Brooks looked frustrated there. Brooks in butterfly guard. Now a closed guard, as Chandler sets in for the toil. Chandler throwing short rights from in the guard, and now trying to advance to half-guard, but he's tied up. Chandler's wrestling is too much for Brooks right now. Brooks back into butterfly, trying to leverage himself so he can push off. Finally he does get up, and Brooks with the big takedown! And he has Chandler's back, and he's trying to sink a rear naked choke! It is close...and then Chandler reverses and he's right back on top. Wow! What a swift change in fortune. Chandler burrows his head into Brooks' jaw, and leans his full weight into the prone Brooks. He's trying to create some room to land some punches, and he gets in a few short ones as the round ends. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Chandler, 10-9 (20-18 overall)
Round 3: They stand and trade in the middle. Brooks moving forward, while Chandler circles. Big left hand from Chandler. Oblique kick from Brooks, and Chandler shoots in on him - this time he sprawls. Now Brooks is after the takedown himself on fence, but can't get it either. As they separate, Brooks pursues and lands a night right uppercut. They tumble to the middle, and Brooks currently on top. Chandler rolls, and Brooks with hooks in has Chandler's back. Again, the rear naked choke is threatened from Brooks. THis time he gets a tight body triangle to prevent Chandler from rolling out as easily. Brooks with Chandler's back, and now he transitioned to mount! Big shots from Brooks, and there's blood streaming down Chandler's face. Brooks coming on, wailing on the former champ! It's all Brooks. Chandler clings to his arms, and pulls him in close. But Brooks busts loose and begins dropping bombs again. Elbows, punches. Finally Chandler, slick from blood and sweat, squirms out, and stands! Brooks chases him back to fence, and once again, they drop to knees and Brooks has Chandler's back. Short elbow from Chandler, and then a kick to jaw and it looks like Chandler is hurt. Another big kick! He is taking it to Chandler. Back to the ground, and Brooks gets body triangle on Chandler's back, and he's punishing him. Round will end there, but what a round for Brooks, who turned the tide and dominated. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Brooks, 10-9 (29-28 to Chandler overall)
Round 4:That last round could have possibly been seen as a 10-8...it was one-sided, but here's thinking Chandler did enough to avoid that. Championship rounds. Chandler standing on outside now, throwing from range. Brooks moves forward, and he is working that left jab. Chandler still looks like he's trying to refind his bearings, but he comes over with a nice right hand which lands. Just as he does, Brooks shoots in for a big takedown, and gets it. Once again, Chandler gives up his back, and Brooks gets the body lock. Brooks was trying for wrists, and this time Chandler is able to roll over and end up in Brooks' guard. Now Chandler goes to work with his fists, while Brooks hugs him in. Right hands flying in from Chandler, but nothing doing in terms of damage. MacDonald, hovering right over the action, prompts them to fight. Chandler postures up, but can't get any separation. Chandler staying right on him. MacDonald has seen enough, even as the action rolls, stands them up. Right hand from Brooks as they stand, and Chandler goes for a single-leg. Can't get it. Brooks with underhooks, moves Chandler to the fence, and uh-oh, looks like an illegal knee from Brooks. Chandler, standing, had his hand on the ground, and Brooks landed a big knee. Referee makes Brooks go to his corner. Chandler trying to recover. He has some time to do that. Just when he needed it, too. He says he's okay. We got back at it, they touch them up. Inside of a minute, and Brooks with a body kick. Now Chandler returns with one of his own, as Brooks whips off a head kick. Quick takedown from Brooks and right to the back, and right away to the rear naked choke. Can't get it. but he has the body triangle, and Chandler hears the round end in that familiar trouble. MMA Fighting scores R4 for Brooks, 10-9 (38-38 overall).
Round 5: Brooks, still looking hungry, attacks right off with a kick-punch combo. Chandler lunges in with a left, but Brooks counters with right. Again as Chandler changes levels with a combo he gets clipped with the counter. Chandler right into a single leg, and to the fence they roll. Brooks with a sprawl, but Chandler won't be denied. They scramble as Brooks is nearly taken down, but he won't go, and they separate. Chandler down on his knees for a moment eating short forearms from Brooks on fence, and they get back up. Big takedown via a body throw from Brooks, and he snatches Chandler's back, but this time slips off and goes over his shoulder. It's Chandler on his knees, and Brooks with his back to the fence, sitting on his butt. Chandler will has Brooks' legs wrapped up. Brooks edges back to his feet, but Chandler holds onto his legs as he does, looking for a low single leg. Brooks pushing down on Chandler's head, and escapes. Now they swing, and Brooks takes a huge shot as Chandler pressures forward winging bombs, and now Brooks' in trouble. A series of big punches to Brooks, who is trying to survive but close to going out. Now Chandler going for a submission, head and arm choke, and it's tight! Brooks trying to hold on! And it slips off, but Chandler keeps the pressure on. He is punching away as the round ends. Wow. Chandler brought heat in the final round, and took the round later. MMA Fighting scores R5 for Chandler, 10-9 (48-47 overall for Chandler)
Bellator 120 results: Will Brooks def. Michael Chandler via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)