When we last saw Maiquel Falcao and Andreas Spang in the cage with each other, the two nearly started brawling during a post-fight interview at Bellator 66. Anticipation for their main event clash at last night’s Bellator 69 from Lake Charles, Louisiana was high, even though Falcao initially missed weight for their bout. The dust has settled, and the event produced this season’s middleweight tournament champion, a close (borderline controversial) decision and much more.
The evening’s main event saw UFC veteran Maiquel Falcao dominate Swedish prospect Andreas Spang. Save for an early right cross that appeared to have Falcao in trouble, as well as an illegal knee from “Big Rig” that cost him a one point deduction on the scorecards, Maiquel Falcao controlled this entire fight. Already known for his Muay Thai prowess, Falcao utilized an ever-improving wrestling game on his way to the unanimous decision victory.
Immediately after winning this season’s middleweight tournament, Bjorn Rebney came to the cage to announce that Maiquel Falcao will be fighting Alexander Shlemenko, who was initially set for a rematch against Hector Lombard before he signed with the UFC, for the vacant middleweight title. Falcao vs. Shlemenko should be an interesting fight, especially if Falcao is healthy for it. At the post-event press conference, Maiquel Falcao revealed that he had been battling a flu leading up to his fight against Spang.
The evenings co-main event, a welterweight tournament bout between David Rickels and Karl Amoussou, was a much closer fight. With the crowd expecting fireworks, the bout was paused after a low kick from Rickels caused Amoussou’s jock strap to tear. After attempting to find Amoussou a backup jock, officials decided to just tape the cup to “Psycho” and proceed with the fight. Seriously.
The first round was all Amoussou, who outstruck “Caveman” and displayed his impressive judo. Round two started off the same way, but Rickels managed to turn things around mid-round, and managed to nearly finish the fight with an armbar. Amoussou slammed his way out of the armbar attempt as the round came to a close. Round three saw Rickels thoroughly outclass Amoussou, taking him down and unloading some serious ground and pound for the remainder of the fight, including some two-handed “Caveman smash” by the end of the fight.
In the end, the judges saw the bout in favor of Karl Amoussou, who had to miss the post-event press conference due to a possibly broken orbital bone. Needless to say, David Rickels was not impressed with the decision (neither were the fans in attendance, for that matter). At the press conference, Rickels speculated that Pepe Le Pew must have been one of the judges, and paraphrased Chael Sonnen by asking in what parallel universe can a fighter break a guy’s orbital bone and have his opponent declared the winner. The loss marks the first in his career.
The top two women’s 115-pound fighters, Megumi Fujii and Jessica Aguilar, were also booked for the evening. Throughout the fight, Aguilar used her superior striking to keep Fujii at bay. While Fujii did not attempt a single takedown in the second round, she managed to take Aguilar down in the final round, although it was too little too late. Jessica Aguilar improves to 14-4, and emerges as the top 115 pound fighter with the victory.
Also of note, Abe Wagner and Mark Holata led off the card with a heavyweight tournament qualifier bout. The short bout ended in confusion, as Abe Wagner was caught in a seemingly ineffective foot lock. Abe Wagner attempted one of his own before saying “Tap”, ending the fight. After the bout, Wagner called his loss “fucking embarrassing” and vowed to come back with a better performance next time.
Maiquel Falcao def. Andreas Spang via unanimous decision
Karl Amoussou def. David Rickels via split decision
Jessica Aguilar def. Megumi Fujii via unanimous decision
Mark Holata def. Abe Wagner via verbal submission (ankle lock), 2:24 of Round One
Josh Quayhagen def. Cliff Wright, Jr via unanimous decision
Shanon Slack def. Booker Arthur via unanimous decision
Andrey Koreshkov def. Derrick Krantz via TKO (strikes), 0:51 of Round Three
Richard Hale def. Josh Burns via TKO (strikes), 0:38 of Round One
E.J. Brooks def. Kalvin Hackney via unanimous decision