Ben Askren and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal shined brightest, winning their Bellator 86 outings at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. on Thursday night.
Askren put Karl Amoussou on his back for the greater part of their fight before doctors stopped the bout after the third round, while Lawal returned to competition by knocking out Przemyslaw Mysiala in their opening round.
Askren Grounds, Pounds and Busts Up Amoussou
Askren was relentlessly active in Amoussou’s guard, cutting him open in the first round of the welterweight title fight. Ammoussou attempted to land strikes from his back, but Askren’s top game proved to be superior in the opening five minutes.
Amoussou found himself in top position early in the second round and transitioned for a heel hook, but didn’t finish before Askren reversed position to get on top. From there, Askren, much like he did in the first round, actively worked in the guard to land strikes and cause more damage to Amoussou’s face.
After getting checked out by the cageside doctor for a cut over his left eye, Amoussou came out for the third round bloodied and battered. Askren again brought the fight to the ground and landed numerous strikes from half guard. The champ eventually worked his way to full mount and landed punches and hammer fists until the end of the round.
The physician stepped in to put a stop to the fight before the fourth round, giving Askren the technical knockout.
“I told you guys it was just a matter of time before my hands got some power in them,” Askren said following the win. “If you’re a welterweight anywhere in the world, you better watch out. I’m coming.”
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, impressed by Askren’s performance, congratulated the defending champ and praised him for what he just witnessed.
“That’s as dominant a performance as I have ever seen,” Rebney said, handing the welterweight belt to Askren.
With the win, Askren maintains his undefeated record at 11-0 and awaits the winner of the 170-pound tournament.
King Mo Returns with a First-Round Knockout
Lawal peppered Mysiala with jabs throughout the fight, making the Polish fighter’s nose bleed halfway through the contest. Mysiala moved well early on in the bout, but Lawal kept finding his mark as time passed.
In an effort to make up some ground, Mysiala attempted a kick-to-punch combination, but Lawal countered with looping left and right hands that put an end to the fight at the 3:52 mark of the first round.
“I [didn’t have a] strategy,” King Mo said following the win. “My goal was to come in and knock him out.”
When asked what he thinks of the rest of the 205-pound fighters in the tournament, Lawal said his plan for them is no different than the one he had for Mysiala.
“I’m going to knock them out,” Lawal replied. “That’s all I’m going to do.”
King Mo will now face Emanuel Newton in the semifinals of the light heavyweight tournament.
Lima Stops Tsarev
Douglas Lima stopped Michail Tsarev by technical knockout in the second round of their fight, and moved on in the company’s welterweight tournament bracket.
Lima controlled a majority of the first round by applying stiff takedown defense, but it was a leg kick at the end of the frame that was the beginning of the end. Tsarev, in obvious pain couldn’t apply any weight on his lead leg, and Lima continued landing low kicks until the referee put a stop the fight at 1:44 of the second period.
Ben Saunders Decisions Koffi Adzitso
Ben Saunders defeated Koffi Adzitso by unanimous decision in first fight of the main card to advance in the 170-pound tournament.
The former UFC welterweight proved to be more successful in the standup department, and all three judges saw the fight in his favor with 30-27 scores across the board.
- Mike Maldonado vs. Jospeh Salas canceled due to time constraint
- Hunter Tucker def. Javier Obregon via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:17, Round 2
- Jason Sampson def. Chris Pham via submission (armbar) at 4:55, Round 3
- Brent Weedman def. Marius Zaromskis via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Raul Amaya def. Jose Gomes via TKO (punches) at 3:12, Round 1
- Damon Jackson def. Zach Church via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:43, Round 2
- Cortez Coleman def. Matt Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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