(Sorry Ben, I don’t think we can count those as “significant strikes.” GIF via ZombieProphet/BloodyElbow)
For the first time since his controversial technical submission of Ryan Thomas during his Bellator debut three years ago, Ben Askren has finished an opponent. Sure, it was one of those sort-of-assisted finishes where the doctor steps in between rounds to wave the fight off, but let’s not take anything anything away from Funky Ben, here: The undefeated Bellator welterweight champion smashed the living dog-poop out of Karl Amoussou for three full rounds last night, and might have permanently injured him had the fight gone on any longer.
It was a prototypical performance from Askren, who spent most of the fight on top of Amoussou, throwing down punches and elbows. Still, there seemed to be a greater sense of urgency from the champ in this fight, a little more intention with his strikes. He slashed open a cut above Amoussou’s eye with an elbow in the first round, and by the end of round three, Amoussou’s left eye was swollen shut and his face was a wet canvas of blood. The fight was mercifully stopped before the fourth round could begin, giving Askren a well-deserved TKO victory.
“I told you guys that it was just a matter of time before my hands got some power in them,” Askren said after the fight. “I dominate positionally, and my hands [have] power too. Welterweights anywhere in the world better watch out, I’m coming.” Askren’s next challenge will likely be the winner of this season’s welterweight tournament, which produced four semifinalists last night…
Douglas Lima used a series of savage leg kicks to chop down Michail “The Lonely Wolf” Tsarev, forcing a stoppage in the second round. Though Lima looks like a favorite to win the welterweight bracket — again — he’s already suffered a loss to Ben Askren, during their title fight last year. Also on the main card, Ben Saunders out-grappled, out-struck, and out-classed Bellator newcomer Koffi Adzitso, winning all three rounds on the judges scorecards.
Two other welterweight tournament bouts were relegated to the prelims: Raul Amaya scored a first-round TKO against Jose Gomes, while Marius Zaromskis continues to under-perform in the U.S., losing a unanimous decision to Brett Weedman. Zaromskis was docked a point in round three for a pair of blatantly illegal knees (not cool, bro). On the bright side, he added a couple more completely absurd somersault moves to his highlight reel:
Finally, the Mo’-ment we’d all been waiting for — DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE? DO YOU SEE IT?? — Muhammad Lawal‘s light-heavyweight quarterfinal bout against Przemyslaw “Don’t Bother Learning How to Pronounce This Name” Mysiala was even more lopsided than we thought it would be. Lawal’s training at the Mayweather gym was fully evident, as he lit up Mysiala with jabs thrown from Money May’s loved/loathed “Philly shell” stance. I can’t recall if Mysiala landed a single punch. It honestly looked like Mo was having a sparring session with an inanimate object.
After bloodying up the hapless Pole’s face with his precision striking, Lawal ended the match with a short counter-right that turned Mysiala’s brain off. After the fight, Lawal explained that his gameplan was to knock Mysiala out, and his strategy in the tournament is to knock everybody out. Alright…no need to complicate things, I guess. He’ll now face Emanuel Newton in the light-heavyweight tournament semi-finals.
Complete Bellator 86 Results
- Ben Askren def. Karl Amoussou via TKO (doctor stoppage), 5:00 of round 3
- Muhammed Lawal def. Przemyslaw Mysiala via KO, 3:52 of round 1
- Douglas Lima def. Michail Tsarev via TKO (leg kicks), 1:44 of round 2
- Ben Saunders def. Koffi Adzitso via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Hunter Tucker def. Javier Obregon via submission (guillotine choke), 3:17 of round 2
- Jason Sampson def. Chris Pham via submission (armbar), 4:55 of round 3
- Brent Weedman def. Marius Zaromskis via unanimous decision (29-27 x 3)
- Raul Amaya def. Jose Gomes via TKO, 3:12 of round 1
- Damon Jackson def. Zach Church via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:43 of round 2
- Cortez Coleman def. Matt Jones via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
A bout between Mike Maldonado and Jospeh Salas was cancelled due to time constraints