Tonight, live on Spike TV, Bellator 86 takes place from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. In the main event of the evening, Bellator Welterweight champion Ben Askren takes on Karl Amoussou. Also, “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal makes his organizational debut against Przemyslaw Mysiala.
Come back and join us at 10 PM ET for our 10 Thoughts on Bellator 86.
Latest updates in italics
10. Bellator sure are banking an awful lot on King Mo’s ability to remain healthy. Remember, this is the guy that coming off a one-year layoff and a drug suspension. If that’s not a character issue, I don’t know what is. Secondly, Lawal has only fought twice in the last two years. Could we see him get upset? Your guess is as good as mine.
9. Ben Saunders has insane flexibility. His rubber guard and triangle/armbar attempts in round one were amazing. Koffi Adzitso is a beastly looking fellow. For what he lacks in height, he has in athleticism.
8. Right as I type that, Ben Saunders LEVELS Adzitso with some knees and pounds away from full guard. This referee shouldn’t work in MMA again. He’s clearly stood up both the fighters when there has been activity of substance. Just an idiot.
Thankfully, he’s consistently idiotic and stands the fighters up regardless of who is in top position.
7. Saunders steps up the number of strikes in Adzitso’s guard. If the ref stands them up, I will bug out. Saunders is scoring and working from top position. The 3rd stanza is clearly going to Saunders and that missed belly to back suplex only illustrates what a frustrating round this became for Adzitso. Being mounted with a minute left, Adzitso almost gives up an armbar as time expires. 30-27 for Saunders.
6. Michail Tsarev vs. Douglas Lima. Someone is getting their heart broken tonight. Maybe a face as well, but they’ll probably be very upset. I think it’s going to be Tsarev. The first round was all Lima. Bad kick to the knee by Lima takes Tsarev down. The second round is just a series of kicks to that left lead leg (go alliteration!!) and Lima takes the win via TKO (leg kicks). Next time we see Douglas Lima, he’ll be facing Ben Saunders in semifinals.
5. King Mo walks to the cage with a ton of confidence. Prymyslaw Mysiala has a chance here to really “Strikeforce Grand Prix” this whole thing.
Yeah, not so much. Muhammed Lawal was patient and accurate. His jab looked really sharp and he showed few, if any, signs of ring rust. After battering and bloodying the face of Mysiala, Mo put him down for good right a short right hook. Emanuel Newton is next for the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champ.
4. Since it IS the main event, I figured that I would save the most points for the Bellator Welterweight title bout. Four in total? That’s got to be some kind of record.* I’ll look it up later
3. In the event that you have never seen Ben Askren fight: we might be here a while. He’s only got 4 finishes in his 10 career victories. Karl Amoussou better be ready for a long fight. Early in the first, Askren responded to some solid striking from Amoussou with a takedown that led to a great deal of ground and pound. The second round starts with a sprawled takedown by Amoussou, who tries for a heel hook. He was convinced that Askren was going to tap and let up the pressure, allowing just enough room for the champ to roll through to Karl’s guard, where he opens the challenger up more. Askren lights up the challenger who has no answer for the ground and pound. Somehow, the ref is convinced that was intelligent defense and we head to the third round. The cardio of Amoussou is being tested already as he doesn’t make it into the third round often. Here he is against a superior grappler and he is just being worn down. Lots of blood. Blood, blood, blood as the cut is just draining into Amoussou’s eye.
2. Well, Ben Askren got his 5th MMA stoppage!* (okay, it was a TKO/doctor stoppage). Everything is right with the world again as the “p*$$y” (Amoussou’s words, def. not mine) gets the 11th victory of his career.
1. So how do you sum up a night like this? What letter grade does it get? B-. I won’t get into too many specifics and nitpick, but there were things that stuck out:
a. King Mo was clearly thrown a “can” to help him into the later stages of the Light Heavyweight tournament. Mysiala wasn’t anywhere near his caliber. That wasn’t even fair.
b. The last time I saw Ben Saunders in person, he was getting torn up by Jon Fitch at UFC 111. He looked more comfortable in the cage tonight which is cool. I dig the guy.
c. Douglas Lima has some NASTY leg kicks. He basically blew out Michail Tsarev’s knee with kicks that ended their fight. Nice to seem him rack up his second straight win after his loss to Ben Askren.
d. Ben Askren is no joke. We said that on MMA 24/7 this past week. You just can’t look past him at 170 lbs. and if you do, you’re a fool. He will drop you to the mat and wail on you until you break. Great fighter, great performance.