Bellator 72 results: Amoussou taps Baker to get shot at welterweight champ Askren
Karl Amoussou might not be a psycho in the third round, but in the first, he can be crazy good.
Taking on three-time tourney vet Bryan Baker in the headliner of Bellator 72, Amoussou, nicknamed "Psycho," cinched a lightning-fast submission to win the promotion's season-six welterweight tournament and earn a future shot at champ Ben Askren.
Bellator 72 took place Friday at USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. Its main card aired live on MTV2 while preliminary-card fights streamed on Spike.com.
Amoussou was pointed in his post-fight message to Askren.
"Lay-and-prayer," the former French cop said. "It's time to face the 'Psycho' man, and it's time to sleep. I think Bellator needs a real exciting champion now, and I am that guy.
"So I'm going to face Askren, and somebody's going to get knocked out, and that somebody's going to be him."
Against Baker, though, there was hardly much in the way of striking. The two traded kicks before Amoussou complained of an eye-poke, which brought the bout to a brief halt. Upon the restart, Amossou quickly seized an opportunity when Baker extended a side kick. Grabbing the American's waist, he dove for a leg and locked in a reverse heel hook. Baker had little to do other than tap.
The official end came at the 0:56 mark of the first.
"It was such hard work," Amoussou (16-4-2 MMA, 4-1 BFC) said. "I suffered so much for my fight. This is all my life, and now, here I am. I've never been so far yet, so I'm really happy."
Amoussou's four-fight win streak has been built entirely since signing with Bellator and focusing on the welterweight class. Baker (18-4 MMA, 8-3 BFC), a WEC vet who previously appeared in the season two and five tourneys, goes back to the drawing board after two prior wins.
Daley in vintage form against Bears, wants tourney spot
No matter what Paul Daley said prior to Friday, Rudy Bears was most certainly the underdog, and showed it.
A flurry of knees from the clinch and Daley's wicked left hook crumpled Bears to the mat at the 2:45 mark of the first round.
Daley immediately thanked Bears afterward for taking the fight.
"A lot of other fighters were offered the fight, (and) they didn't take the fight," Daley said. "Rudy came in here, and he was willing to trade with me and paid the price. But anybody who trades with me is getting knocked out. Simple."
Daley led the fight with a series of kicks as Bears kept his distance and returned fire with the same. It was just a matter of time before they came close enough to strike, and almost immediately after they did, Daley grabbed a clinch and started firing knees.
Eventually, the strikes found the target, and Bears was done.
"It's great to be here," said the UFC and Strikeforce vet. "People here at Bellator have treated me really well. The fans have been great. I'm looking to get in the tournament and win the tournament."
Daley, who bounces back from a decision loss to Kazuo Misaki, is a lock to enter Bellator's season-seven welterweight tourney in September. Bears (14-11 MMA, 2-5 BFC) is 1-4 in his past five outings.
Vegh inches out Newton over three close rounds
After three rounds, two judges decided the quality of Attila Vegh's offense was better than the quantity of Emanuel Newton's.
One scored it a shutout for Newton, 30-27, in a bizarre counterbalance to the semifinal bout. A smattering of boos could be heard as Vegh afterward addressed Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith.
"It was hard for me to train for that kind of awkwardness," Vegh said through a translator. "But I was confident I won all five minutes of each round."
That awkwardness, of course, came from Newton, who wasn't nearly as accurate in the pocket as his foe. But he was incredibly accurate with a body-kick counter that landed time after time. He didn't have the same success getting Vegh to the mat, though a suplex in the third briefly put him on top.
It was what Vegh did afterward that distinguished him in the bout. When Newton was on his way out, he fired of combinations that scored repeatedly.
Vegh (27-4-2 MMA, 3-0 BFC) improves his current win streak to seven including three straight in Bellator while Newton (18-7 MMA, 1-1 BFC) sees a six-fight streak snapped.
Wiuff dominates Carpenter for spot in light-heavyweight finals
Veteran Travis Wiuff punched his ticket to the finals of Bellator's season-six light-heavyweight tournament with a three-round smothering of Tim Carpenter.
Carpenter never got a breath of air after spending the bulk of the fight under Wiuff's bull. Judges all saw it 30-27.
A fired-up Wiuff called out current champ Christian M'Pumbu, whom he beat less than a year ago in a non-title bout.
"Christian, I'm coming for you," he said. "It's only a matter of time. Tick-tock, Christian. Next time, I'm beating your ass, and I'm taking the belt home with me."
Wiuff pawed a jab out in the first then cracked Carpenter with a nice one-two and staggered him with another hook and straight right that sent him backpedaling to the cage. Foot stomps followed for Wiuff. Carpenter hinted at a guillotine when Wiuff lowered his head. He also attacked the stomach with knees before one went badly south.
After the restart, Wiuff caught a kick and took the fight down. Carpenter angled his hips for a submission, but Wiuff stayed tight and just busy enough to avoid the standup. One attempt got close enough to prompt Wiuff to posture up, but the round was his.
It took no time at all for Wiuff to take the fight down in the second, and the ground and pound didn't stop for half the round. Eventually, the referee didn't see enough and stood them up, but it took all of one exchange for them to lock up. There, Wiuff pushed Carpenter to the cage, picked him up, and walked him Matt Hughes-style across the cage before slamming him to the mat in front of his corner.
The referee gave Wiuff less time to work the next time around and stood them up, but Wiuff simply pushed them back to the cage. Carpenter attempted a standing guillotine but slid right off, and Wiuff snuck in a few shots before the bell.
The third frame saw Wiuff land a nice uppercut in close before getting a single-leg takedown and resuming his ground-and-pound attack. Carpenter angled his legs time after time, and he used the cage to get into position, but Wiuff pulled out of danger. The rest of the round was a pure beatdown.
Wiuff (68-14 MMA, 4-0 BFC) has now won six straight while Carpenter (9-2 MMA, 4-2 BFC) sees a second tournament bid go south.
Zaromskis cruises to victory in rubber match with Spiritwolf
Marius Zaromskis closed a trilogy of fights with Waachiim Spiritwolf with a conservative performance for a narrow victory.
One judge gave the Lithuanian all three rounds while another gave him two. A third judge gave Spiritwolf the nod, two rounds to won.
Spiritwolf indicated that he wanted the fight on the mat early, but Zaromskis came well prepared to defend the takedown. In reality, he was merely trying to draw Zaromskis into a mistake, and he did that by circling back and throwing a pesky leg kick. When Zaromskis charged in, he retorted with a stiff uppercut. And when Zaromskis advanced, he fired off a left hook.
Still, Zaromskis' measured attack paid dividends. The southpaw managed to set up a straight left with the jab on several occasions, which prompted a takedown attempt that Spiritwolf was unable to complete before the bell.
Spiritwolf kept to his strategy in the second and third, and he swung wide with hooks as Zaromskis inched in. But he continued to get cornered and tagged by straight punches, and on a few occasions, he came a hair away from getting his head kicked off by Zaromskis' trademark high kicks.
A final takedown attempt from Spiritwolf was stuffed. While the two waited for a decision, Zaromskis practiced his backflip. Both men appeared no worse for the wear.
Zaromskis (18-6 MMA, 2-0 BFC) improves his current win streak to four while Spiritwolf (9-11-1 MMA, 0-2 BFC) has now dropped four straight.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
- Karl Amoussou def. Bryan Baker via submission (inverted heel hook) - Round 1, 0:56 - welterweight-tournament final
- Paul Daley def. Rudy Bears via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 2:45
- Attila Vegh def. Emanuel Newton via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28) - light-heavyweight tourney semifinal
- Travis Wiuff def. Tim Carpenter via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) - light-heavyweight tourney semifinal
- Marius Zaromskis def. Waachiim Spiritwolf via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
- Paul Barrow def. Jason Carapelluci via submission (rear-naked) choke - Round 3, 0:46
- Ben Saunders def. Brian Warren via TKO (knees) - Round 1, 0:22
- Raul Amaya def. Kenny Moss via verbal submission (injury) - Round 2, 0:30
- Matt McCook def. Shannon Slack via split decision
- Julien Williams def. Ryan DeRocher via technical submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 2, 1:32
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