Muhammed Lawal teed off on Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 96. | File Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com


Muhammed Lawal returned to his winning ways Wednesday night with a vicious knockout of Seth Petruzelli in the main event of Bellator 96 at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.

The 95-second victory came as a result of an early takedown from Lawal, who worked his way inside of Petruzelli’s punches and kicks to put “The Silverback” on his posterior. Though Petruzelli initially did well to fire off short punches from the open guard, Lawal eventually stood up and threw his opponent’s legs to the side before raining down a wrecking ball of a right hand that instantly turned out Petruzelli’s lights. Apparently realizing the blow had accomplished its intended task, the former Strikeforce champion declined to follow up, instead walking away from his unconscious foe.

The performance grants “King Mo” passage to the Summer Series light heavyweight tournament finals, slated to take place July 31 at Bellator 97.

Noe Retires ‘Babalu’


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Noe's left hand battered ‘Babalu.’

Jacob Noe earned his spot in the light heavyweight tournament finals by sending Strikeforce champion Renato Sobral into retirement, though the victory was not without controversy.

Noe and Sobral exchanged relatively evenly throughout the bout’s first 10 minutes, with Noe consistently finding a home for his right straight while “Babalu” attacked with low kicks. The Brazilian attempted two takedowns but found the efforts fruitless, as the American stuffed each try. Noe then took control of the fight in round three, walking through Sobral’s long jab to land heavy right hands, staggering Sobral against the cage.

After eating an especially crisp flurry, a fatigued “Babalu” circled off the fence on wobbly legs, a sight referee Kerry Hatley interpreted as cause to halt the bout and save the light heavyweight from further punishment. Sobral immediately protested the stoppage. After Noe was announced the winner, Sobral informed the Bellator commentary team that he has decided to retire from active competition. The Brazilian leaves the cage with a career mark of 37-11.

Sparks Sparked in Half a Minute


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Minakov decimated Sparks in 32 seconds.

Unbeaten Russian Vitaly Minakov wasted no time in disposing of Ron Sparks to advance to the finals of the Summer Series heavyweight tournament, knocking out “The Monster” in just 32 seconds.

The sambo expert measured his foe carefully during their brief encounter before lunging forward with a sharp right hand that put Sparks on the mat. Minakov quickly pursued, connecting with a series of ground strikes that caused Sparks to turn belly-down and signaled referee John McCarthy to intervene.


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com

Controversial welterweight War Machine emerged victorious in his Bellator debut Wednesday night, returning from an 18-month layoff to stop World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Blas Avena. The man formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver appeared a step slow in the bout’s opening minutes, as he pursued Avena with punching combinations, but soon found himself caught in a Thai plum that resulted in several hard knees to the ribs.

The UFC alum found his way back on track when he hit a high-impact double-leg takedown and transitioned to side control, where he trapped Avena’s near-side arm in the crucifix position. The finish came soon after, as Avena could do nothing to stifle the onslaught of punches that followed, forcing referee Kerry Hatley to halt the bout 3:55 into round one.

“I’m happy. I’ve never won by decision. I always try to finish my fights,” said the polarizing welterweight. “I was a little nervous tonight. It was my first fight in over a year. He caught me with a couple of good body shots -- with knees -- but I came back and stayed calm. I want that belt. I’m going to hurt some people.”

No Notice, No Problem


Photo: K. Mills/Sherdog.com


Late notice was no problem for Martinez.

Late replacement Ryan Martinez became the first heavyweight tournament participant to punch his ticket to the finals during the evening’s undercard, when the heavy-handed southpaw stopped Rich Hale with first-round strikes.

Following an extended feeling-out process, Martinez, who replaced an injured Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz in the heavyweight draw, closed the distance with a wild swing before grabbing a body lock and taking Hale to the floor. Though Hale did his best to fend off his stocky opponent with up-kicks, Martinez eventually found his mark, stunning Hale with a crisp left hook before relieving him of his consciousness with a series of clubbing hammerfists that forced referee John McCarthy to wave off the contest 2:19 into the opening frame.

Other Bouts


Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com


McNally used an old Bellator favorite,
the inverted triangle choke.

The evening’s undercard also saw Brandon Halsey extend his career unbeaten streak to four fights, as the light heavyweight recovered from a second-round low-blow to score a split decision win over Joe Yager; heavyweight talent Raphael Butler also remained undefeated, picking up a first-round technical knockout over Jeremiah O’Neal; Derek Campos edged Brandon Girtz in a unanimous decision; Damon Jackson made quick work of Keith Miner, picking up a TKO finish in just 2:00; In the evening’s opening contest, 22-year-old Justin McNally earned the second win of his pro career by submitting Steven Artoff with an inverted triangle-armbar at 2:44 of the opening round of their bantamweight affair.
view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC 201 Results: Karolina Kowalkiewicz Wins, Puts Herself at the Top of the Title Shot List

  • 28 days ago
  • 9 views

Karolina Kowalkiewicz may have set herself up for a shot at the title, after she defeated Rose Namajunas at UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley on Saturday night. read news >>

‘Baby Slice’ Faces Jonathan Tomasian in Pro Debut at Bellator 160

  • 26 days ago
  • 15 views

“Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr.'s Bellator arrival was trending on social media for two-straight days. On Monday, Bellator confirmed his first challenge. read news >>

Bellator 160 Adds Female Flyweight Bout to Main Card

  • 25 days ago
  • 10 views

A flyweight matchup pitting Lena Ovchynnikova against Jaimelene Nievera has been added to the main card of Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull. read news >>

VIDEO: Luke Rockhold Believes an Anderson Silva Beatdown Puts Him Back at the Top

  • 25 days ago
  • 127 views

Luke Rockhold wants to get the UFC middleweight belt back, and he believes that a beatdown of Anderson Silva would put him right back in the thick of things. read news >>

Melvin Guillard Fined and Suspended by Kansas Commission for Banned Non-PED

  • 22 days ago
  • 38 views

Bellator fighter Melvin Guillard was suspended by the Kansas Athletic Commission on Friday for a positive drug test result for a non-performance-enhancing substance. read news >>

Chinzo Machida Makes Promotional Debut at Bellator 160

  • 19 days ago
  • 225 views

Chinzo Machida, brother of former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, will make his promotional debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” read news >>

Former Champ Joe Warren Faces Sirwan Kakai in Bellator 161 Co-Main Event

  • 17 days ago
  • 3 views

A bantamweight showdown pitting Joe Warren against Sirwan Kakai has been added to the main card of Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson. read news >>

Adrian Pang Looking to Extend Winning Streak at ONE: Heroes of the World

  • 17 days ago
  • 12 views

Adrian Pang will seek out his fourth win in a row when he takes on fellow veteran Eduard Folayang in a 155-pound main card bout at ONE: Heroes of the World. read news >>

Tanner Saraceno Looks to Start a Winning Streak in Valor Fights Debut

  • 17 days ago
  • 5 views

After suffering a loss in his pro debut, Tanner Saraceno will look to pick up his second straight win when he makes his Valor Fights debut on Saturday. read news >>

Bellator 161 Main Card Complete with Addition of Derek Campos vs. Djamil Chan

  • 16 days ago
  • 8 views

A lightweight bout pitting Derek Campos against knockout specialist Djamil Chan has been added to the SPIKE-televised portion of “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson." read news >>