Welcome to Inside Fights’ live coverage of Bellator 96 headlined by ‘King’ Mo Lawal taking on Seth Petruzelli. The event takes place from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. I’m Ryan Frederick and I am live cageside at the event and will be here to guide you through the night’s card. Stay tuned for live coverage of the main card which airs on SPIKE TV. The prelims aired on Spike.com and you can get results of those by clicking here. Enjoy the fights everyone.
War Machine vs. Blas Avena
Referee: Kerry Hatley
ROUND 1- Kerry Hatley gets the assignment as we get the main card kicked off. War Machine misses with a kick to start the fight. Avena circles around the cage trying to avoid the punches. They scramble down to the ground and Avena ends on top. Avena with a hard punch as they get back to the feet. They trade inside and War Machine lands a big punch. Avena counters with a kick. War Machine backs Avena against the cage and secures a takedown. War Machine works from the top. War Machine lands punches as they get back to the feet. Avena pushed against the cage but has an underhook. Avena lands a couple of knees to the body of War Machine. They break as both land a shot. War Machine hits a nice combo on Avena. Avena grabs a leg but War Machine shows good takedown defense as they get pushed back against the cage. War Machine with a nice trip takedown and he is on top. War Machine looks to improve position as he lands punches from the top. War Machine moves into side control and is trying for a crucifix. War Machine lands some big punches on the ground as Avena’s arms are trapped. More big punches get rained down on Avena and it is close to being stopped. A few more punches and referee Kerry Hatley stops the fight! War Machine scores the win in his return to the cage!
Official Result: War Machine def. Blas Avena by TKO (punches) at 3:55 of Round 1
Ron Sparks vs. Vitaly Minakov
Referee: John McCarthy
ROUND 1- Sparks is a big heavyweight and has a big size advantage over Minakov. Sparks lands some big punches to start the fight and misses a spinning back fist. Minakov answers back with a huge punch that sends Sparks down and Sparks rolls onto his front side and is done. John McCarthy quickly stops the fight after Sparks eats a couple of more punches. Minakov with the big knockout!
Official Result: Vitaly Minakov def. Ron Sparks by TKO (punches) at :32 of Round 1
Renato Sobral vs. Jacob Noe
Referee: Kerry Hatley
ROUND 1- Noe and Sobral touch gloves to start. Not much to start as Noe misses the only punch thrown in the first 30 seconds. Sobral backs Noe up with a left hand that grazes his head. Sobral goes for a takedown but Now has good defense. They battle in the clinch against the cage before the split up. Sobral briefly knocks Noe down with a punch but Noe gets back up. Noe hits a solid uppercut to the jaw of Sobral. Sobral with a leg kick and Noe counters with a combination. Noe lands another combo on Sobral. They exchange in close quarters and Noe backs Sobral up with punches. Sobral shoots for a takedown but Noe stuffs it and they battle against the cage. Noe lands a solid knee on the break. They split and are at a solid distance as we hit 90 seconds to go in the round. Sobral goes for another takedown but Noe stuffs it against the cage. They battle against the cage and Noe puts Sobral’s back against it. Sobral lands a knee to the groin of Noe and we have a break in action. Noe taking his time to recover. The crowd begins to get impatient but Noe still has time. They start back up. Sobral lands a front kick but Noe backs him up with some punches. Sobral lands a head kick and another body kick. Noe gets the best of the following exchange. Sobral lands a leg kick. Sobral lands another kick but Noe counters with a combination. Noe lands a body kick as the bell rings to end the round. Close round. 10-9 Noe.
ROUND 2- They come out for the second round and quickly take the center of the cage. Sobral backs Noe up with a combination. Noe then hurts Sobral with some punches against the cage. They clinch up against the cage and both land knees to the legs. Sobral hits a knee and Noe complains that it was a groin strike. It was not completely visible and Noe really wanted a split. They briefly break in the action and then come back in the center of the cage. Sobral hurts Noe with a kick but Noe responds with some body shots. Sobral lands a front kick but Noe fires back with a punch that stuns Sobral for a moment. Sobral fires with some punches and Noe has to shake him off. Sobral lands a big left hand but Noe fires back as they are throwing with some velocity. Noe is bleeding and that could play into the judges’ hands. Sobral lands a big leg kick. Sobral fires away with another. Sobral lands a left hand. Noe misses on a big right hand. Sobral against lands a big right hand and Noe is unable to counter effectively. Noe lands a right hand but misses on a big left hook. Sobral lands a punch. They are trading away and both are landing big punches. Noe has Sobral on the run and against the cage. Noe backs off and the round ends. Another close round. 10-9 Sobral, 19-19 even.
ROUND 3- The bell rings to signal the start of the final round. Sobral lands a leg kick and Noe counters with a big left hand. Sobral grabs Noe and they back up against the cage. Noe moves Sobral against the cage. Sobral grabs a body lock and goes for a takedown but Noe defends it. They split up and Sobral lands one. Noe lands a big left hook. Sobral with a left hand and he moves for a takedown. Noe stuffs it again but Sobral puts his back against the cage and is still looking to take the fight to the mat. Noe defends well and they break up. Noe lands a big left hand that stuns Sobral and Sobral is in trouble. Noe backs off for a moment but comes firing back. Sobral escapes and composes himself. Sobral lands a front kick but is rocked by a right hand from Noe. Sobral is on wobbly legs. Noe lands another left hand and is hurting Sobral with punches. They break and suddenly referee Kerry Hatley stops the fight. Sobral is very upset and even pushes Hatley away. A very questionable stoppage there but Noe had Sobral in trouble. Noe with the big win!
Official Result: Jacob Noe def. Renato Sobral by TKO (punches) at 3:32 of Round 3
Post-fight Sobral took his gloves off, got on his knees in the cage and put his gloves in front of him, signaling what may have been his retirement from the sport.
Mo Lawal vs. Seth Petruzelli
Referee: John McCarthy
ROUND 1- The main event on the evening is underway. Petruzelli backs Lawal up with a leg kick to start. Petruzelli is attacking with kicks that back Lawal up. Lawal knocks Petruzelli down and gets on top and throws punches. John McCarthy steps in but calls a timeout as Petruzelli was poked in the eye, which caused the knockdown. Petruzelli is given time to recover and checked out by the doctors. The fight gets back underway. Petruzelli lands a leg kick. Lawal goes in for the takedown and gets it and works from inside Petruzelli’s guard. Lawal stands up and lands some punches as he goes back into guard. Lawal is landing but Petruzelli is fighting back and landing from bottom as well. Lawal stands up and throws a huge right hand that catches Petruzelli flush and Petruzelli is out cold. Petruzelli has been knocked out and is still down inside the cage as Lawal celebrates a huge win and a brutal knockout.
Official Result: Mo Lawal def. Seth Petruzelli by KO (punch) at 1:35 of Round 1
Tags: Bellator, Mixed Martial Arts, Renato Sobral, Ron Sparks, Seth Petruzelli