In the de facto main event of Bellator's second Spike TV card, Ben Askren once again defended his welterweight belt. This time from Frenchman Karl Amoussou.
Amoussou won the Season 6 welterweight tournament to set up this title shot by submitting Chris Lozano, out-pointing David Rickels and forcing Bryan Baker to tap. Askren, however, is one of the top wrestlers in the welterweight division, courtesy of his background with the United States Olympic Wrestling Team.
While Amoussou actually criticized Askren for this, labeling him a “lay-and-prayer”, there is no question that his distance-focused style has served him well. Askren owned a 10-0 MMA record entering the fight, and defended his welterweight belt from both Jay Hieron and Douglas Lima with his powerful wrestling.
Tonight was no different as, aside from a brief heel hook scare in the second round, Askren maintained top position and laid punches onto the Frenchman from bell to bell. A well-placed elbow opened up Amoussou in the second round and constant punishment eventually forced his eye shut. The doctor would call the fight to a close between the third and fourth rounds.
This is a rare finish for Askren, who has not scored a TKO since his professional MMA debut in 2009. Before this fight, his last non-decision victory came when he choked out Ryan Thomas with a guillotine at Bellator 14 in 2010.
This advances Askren to 11-0 in his MMA career, and 8-0 in Bellator. Askren's next opponent will be Season 7 welterweight tournament winner Andrey Koreshkov.