Bellator kicked off its 10th season of fights in style Friday night.
Former UFC champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson faced off with former Bellator champion Christian M'Pumbu. After some taunting from both sides over the initial reluctance to engage, M'Pumbu wound up slipping on the cage during an exchange. Jackson then delivered a few short punches that knocked the champ out cold.
The co-main event, which featured a showdown between former Strikeforce champion "King" Mo Lawal and Mikhail Zayats, was a drag on the entire event. The first two rounds saw both light heavyweights struggle to mount any offense, exacerbated by the general lack of effort to do so at all. In the end, Lawal wound up getting a shady 30-27 unanimous decision on all cards.
Lawal and Jackson got in the cage at the end of the night in order to promote their upcoming bout with a silly pro wrestling-style "hold me back" scuffle.
Rampage and King Mo go all pro wrestling promo in the cage. I did like Rampage's "I'm a monster!" line. Rest of it was eh.— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) March 1, 2014
Glad to see that Rampage and King Mo are still horrible at pro wrestling.— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) March 1, 2014
In the featherweight tournament's opening round, four fighters advanced to make up the semifinal round.
Dan Weichel defeated Scott Cleve with an impressive all-around performance, landing a hard punch to set up intense ground scrambles, which led to a submission. He takes on Matt Bessette, who edged out Diego Nunes with a questionable split-decision win.
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Des Green took an eyebrow-raising (though not necessarily controversial) unanimous decision over Mike Richman. He advances to the semifinals to meet Will Martinez, who earned that spot at the expense of Goiti Yamauchi.
While the undercard featured back-to-back no-contests, the biggest highlight came from Rings veteran Egidijus Valavicius, who scored a devastating knockout in the opening minute of his fight with Atanas Djambazov. Should either of the finalists of the light heavyweight tournament go down to injury, it is very possible the 35-year-old will step in as an injury replacement.
Main Card Results
- Quinton Jackson defeats Christian M'Pumbu by knockout via punches at 4:34 of Round 1
- Mo Lawal defeats Mikhail Zayats by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matt Bessette defeats Diego Nunes by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Des Green defeats Mike Richman by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary Card Results
- Daniel Weichel defeats Scott Cleve by submission via rear-naked choke at 3:46 of Round 1
- Saul Almeida defeats Andrew Fisher by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Egidijus Valavicius defeats Atanas Djambazov by knockout via knee and punch at 0:48 of Round 1
- Ryan Quinn defeats Andrew Calandrelli by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Manny Lara vs. Josh Diekman ends in no-contest due to eye poke at 0:18 of Round 1
- Marvin Maldonado vs. Rico DiSciullo ends in no-contest due to illegal knees at 1:53 of Round 1