Yes, the headline is 100% accurate. Perhaps the third time really is a charm, as Marius Zaromskis and Wachiim Spiritwolf finally had a fight last night that didn’t end with an eye poke just seconds into the fight or a highly questionable stoppage. We know, we’re just as excited as you are.
But first, let’s go over the tournament bouts. In the evening’s main event, judo black belt Karl Amoussou made quick work of Jackson MMA’s Bryan “The Beast” Baker. After an early accidental eye poke from Baker, the two traded blows throughout the opening frame. Then, after a failed Super KickTM from Baker, Amoussou locked in a nasty heel hook that earned the submission just fifty six seconds into the bout. Seriously, that’s how this one ended. Take a look:
Amoussou will now face Ben Askren for the welterweight title. Given his judo background, he may be able to keep “Funky” Ben from lying on top of him for five rounds. Just don’t count on it – we’ve probably said this before about one of Askren’s foes.
In the co-main event, Rudy “Bad News” Bears certainly lived up to his nickname, providing Bellator newcomer Paul “Semtex” Daley with a durable punching bag for two minutes and forty five seconds. The former UFC/Strikeforce contender was never really in danger while outstriking Bears, ending the fight with vicious knees before delivering a nasty left hook. Daley will be in the Season Seven Welterweight Tournament starting in September, while Rudy Bears drops to 14-11, going 1-4 in his last five outings.
In light-heavyweight tournament action, Attila Vegh managed to outstrike Emanuel Newton en route to a split decision victory. Newton managed to find success with body kicks and a suplex in the third round, but Vegh managed to stay on his feet and land combinations throughout the bout. The victory makes it seven in a row for Vegh. Also, Travis Wiuff managed to take Tim Carpenter down early and often en route to a unanimous decision victory. Wiuff sometimes can fight like the Jon Fitch of the Indie Leagues, but damn is he ever effective. If Wiuff can get past Attila Vegh, he’ll have earned his well deserved rematch against Bellator LHW “champion” Christian M’Pumbu.
As for Zaromskis vs. Spiritwolf, it ended without controversy, which is about all we can ask for at this point. It was just an added bonus that it wasn’t a bad fight. Spiritwolf shot in for takedowns throughout the bout – sometimes just to try to get Zaromskis to drop his hands, sometimes looking to put him on his back – but Zaromskis defended himself well. In the end, Marius Zaromskis landed strikes far more often than Spiritwolf, earning a split decision victory. Perhaps the new rule changes (specifically the new definition of “aggressive striking”) explain the third judge’s scorecard, as even though Zaromskis landed far more strikes, Spiritwolf’s strikes seemed to do more damage when they landed.
Karl Amoussou def. Bryan Baker via submission (heel hook), 0:56 Round One
Paul Daley def. Rudy Bears via TKO (strikes), 2:45 Round One
Attila Vegh def. Emanuel Newton via split decision
Travis Wiuff def. Tim Carpenter via unanimous decision
Marius Zaromskis def. Waachiim Spiritwolf via split decision
Paul Barrow def. Jason Carapelluci via submission (rear-naked choke), 0:46 Round Three
Ben Saunders def. Brian Warren via TKO (knees), 0:22 Round One
Raul Amaya def. Kenny Moss via verbal submission (injury), 0:30 Round Two
Matt McCook def. Shannon Slack via split decision
Julien Williams def. Ryan DeRocher via technical submission (arm-triangle choke), 1:32 Round Two