Attila Vegh needed all five rounds to strike promotional gold.

A stout right hand, a few well-timed takedowns and a heavy top game spurred Vegh to a unanimous verdict over Christian M'Pumbu, as he captured the Bellator MMA light heavyweight crown in the Bellator 91 main event on Thursday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. Vegh (29-4-2, 5-0 Bellator) swept the scorecards with 48-47, 49-46 and 50-45 marks, as he registered his ninth consecutive victory.

It was not pretty. The two light heavyweights spent much of their 25-minute encounter in a strategic stalemate, pawing at one another with harmless jabs. Vegh was the aggressor, however, and repeatedly pushed M’Pumbu backwards with right hands, one of which floored the Congolese fighter in the first round. The Slovakian struck again in round three, where he rattled M’Pumbu (18-5-1, 3-2 Bellator) with a left uppercut, bullied him to the mat and eventually moved to a mounted position, opening a cut on the side of the champion’s head with a vicious elbow.

By the fourth round, fatigue had begun to set in on both men, and M’Pumbu was reduced to desperate clinches and takedown attempts. Perhaps sensing the title slipping from his grasp, the 35-year-old made one final push in the fifth, but Vegh steered clear of danger and rode out the decision.

Awad Springs Upset, Derails Brooks


W. Fox/Sherdog.com


Awad teed off on Brooks in round one.

Millennia MMA’s Saad Awad needed less than a minute to dismiss the previously unbeaten Will Brooks with first-round punches in the Bellator Season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals. Brooks (9-1, 1-1 Bellator) met his surprising but decisive end 43 seconds into round one.

Awad (14-4, 2-1 Bellator) went right to work, staggering the Chicago-based prospect with a pair of right hands. He swarmed with more punches, shut down a desperate takedown attempt with unabated hammerfists and finished Brooks with one last volley of standing-to-ground blows. Awad has stopped his past six foes, five of them inside the first round.

“As soon as I hit him and he grabbed me, I saw he was rocked,” Awad said. “I just knew I needed to make space or he was going to wrestle me down and recover, so I couldn’t stop until the ref stopped it.”

Rickels Outduels Replacement Fischer


W. Fox/Sherdog.com


Rickels advanced to the finals with style.

Aggressive standup and an active top game carried David Rickels to a unanimous decision over Jason Fischer in the Bellator Season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals. All three cageside judges scored it for Rickels (13-1, 7-1 Bellator): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

A late replacement for the injured Alexander Sarnavskiy, Fischer (6-2, 3-2 Bellator) was effective in spurts. Ultimately, he was overrun by Rickels’ strength, size and persistence. “The Caveman” did his best work in the third round, where he weathered a nasty gash to his left eyebrow. Undeterred, Rickels bullied Fischer to the mat, moved to full mount and twice transitioned to the back, threatening first with a rear-naked choke and then a late armbar. He settled for the decision.

“My hands felt a little heavy, so I showed a little bit of my grappling,” said Rickels, who will carry a three-fight winning streak into the final. “I was really looking to finish.”

Unbeaten Holm Dispatches Merrill


Photo: W. Fox/Sherdog.com


Holm flattened her outmatched opponent.

Multiple-time world boxing champion Holly Holm dazzled in her first MMA appearance in more than a year, as she dispatched the overmatched Katie Merrill with second-round punches in a women’s bantamweight bout. Holm (3-0, 1-0 Bellator) dropped the hammer 3:02 into round two.

Merrill (1-1, 0-1 Bellator) had no answer for the firepower her opponent carried into the cage. Holm denied repeated takedown attempts in the first round and buckled the Massachusetts export with a pair of wicked kicks to the body.

Knees greeted Merrill in round two, and though she secured a quick takedown, her good fortune was short-lived. Holm returned to an upright position and resumed her attack. A right hook to the body followed by a clean left to the head sent Merrill to the canvas, with Holm in pursuit. There, a swarm of punches brought it to a close.

Avena Stuns Lovato; West Head Kick KOs Montoya


Photo: W. Fox/Sherdog.com


West left his foe flat on the canvas.

In preliminary action, World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Blas Avena (8-6, 1-0 Bellator) wiped out Lenny Lovato (8-2, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 1:40 into the opening frame of their welterweight clash; Bellator MMA Season 3 bantamweight tournament finalist Ed West (18-7, 4-3 Bellator) knocked out King of the Cage veteran Joshua Montoya (10-8, 0-1 Bellator) with a head kick 2:51 into round two; Andres Quintana (4-1, 1-0 Bellator) put away Russell Wilson (1-2, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 32 seconds into the third round of their featherweight scrap; Adrian Cruz (4-0, 1-0 Bellator) kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts export Nick Gonzalez (3-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a scarf hold armlock 3:00 into the second round of their bantamweight encounter; California-based heavyweight Josh Appelt (9-2, 2-0 Bellator) recorded his fifth consecutive victory, as he stopped Josh Lanier (3-7, 0-1 Bellator) on punches 16 seconds into round two; and Brennan Ward (6-1, 2-1 Bellator) needed just 57 seconds to submit Mexico’s Yair Moguel (3-4, 0-1 Bellator) with a rear-naked choke in a catchweight affair.
view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 170 Could Produce Needed Fireworks to Kick Off 2017

  • 13 hours ago
  • 4 views

2016 ended on a stretch of endlessly fascinating and exciting happenings. Conor McGregor became the first dual champion in UFC history, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson had an amazing fight and Ama read news >>

Video: Watch Chael Sonnen beat Tito Ortiz in 44 seconds ... in a 1998 wrestling match

  • 27 days ago
  • 2845 views

When Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz face off at Bellator 170, it won’t be their first time meeting in athletic competition.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Victory FC 55 results: Dakota Cochrane taps Jake Lindsey in opening minute

  • 26 days ago
  • 26 views

Dakota Cochrane needed nearly 14 minutes to finish Jake Lindsey via submission earlier this year. At Victory FC 55, he needed just 53 seconds to repeat the feat. The rematch of the January contest se read news >>

Chael Sonnen passes pre-fight drug test for Bellator 170 headliner vs. Tito Ortiz

  • 22 days ago
  • 13 views

Bellator light heavyweight Chael Sonnen is off to a good start with his new promoter. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 170 lineup set with Derek Anderson-Derek Campos on main card, Ruth-Schneider on prelims

  • 22 days ago
  • 3 views

The lineup for next month’s Bellator 170 is official and complete with the addition of two more fights for card in Southern California.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen Fight Card Complete with 17 Bouts | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 24 views

The stacked main card of “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen” has added even more ammo to its arsenal with the news that Derek Campos will face Derek Anderson. read news >>

Niko Price Taps Out Brandon Thatch (UFC 207 Highlights) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 6 views

Promotional newcomer Niko Price got a submission win over Brandon Thatch in his UFC debut at UFC 207 on Friday. Check out the fight highlights. read news >>

Bellator 170: Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen Media Call Audio | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 44 views

Bellator 170 main eventers Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen fielded questions from the media ahead of the Jan. 21 event at the Forum in Los Angeles. read news >>

Demi Lovato Left Luke Rockhold for a Guy from Bellator | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 902 views

Let's hope Luke Rockhold doesn't take it too hard. At least not, for his sake, on the chin. read news >>

Tito Ortiz says Chael Sonnen will '(expletive) himself' and drown 'in his own blood' at Bellator 170

  • 15 days ago
  • 13 views

Tito Ortiz is at his most intense when he’s about to head into a fight. Add in the fact Ortiz doesn’t like his opponent, and the volume gets cranked up even louder.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>