Saunders-Baker, Amoussou-Rickels Welterweight Semis Slated for Bellator 67 in Ontario


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Bellator’s welterweight tournament semifinals now have a destination, as promotion officials announced Friday night that Bellator 67 will host matchups pitting Ben Saunders against Bryan Baker and Karl Amoussou against David Rickels.

Taking place May 4 at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, and airing on MTV2 and Epix, Bellator 67 is also expected to feature a non-title confrontation between reigning Bellator lightweight king Michael Chandler and former Pride Fighting Championships talent Akihiro Gono.

A seven-time UFC veteran, Saunders punched his ticket to Bellator’s Season 6 semifinals by earning a hard-fought unanimous decision over a game Raul Amaya. “Killa B” previously fought his way to the finals of the Chicago-based promotion’s Season 5 draw, only to be knocked out by current No. 1 contender Douglas Lima.

Baker was less convincing in his quarterfinal matchup, squeaking by hyped Brazilian striker Carlos Alexandre Pereira via split decision. A former two-time middleweight tournament participant, “The Beast” has won four of his last five bouts and holds notable wins over Joe Riggs, Jeremy Horn, Matt Horwich and Rory Singer.

Like Baker, Amoussou made his welterweight debut at Bellator 63, blasting Chris Lozano with a head kick before relinquishing a takedown. From there, the Frenchman quickly executed a beautiful sweep from his guard, landing in mount and smoothly taking Lozano’s back en route to a rear-naked choke submission at 2:05 of the opening period.

Rickels wasted even less time than Amoussou in finishing his opponent, delivering a flurry of hard punches that put away Jordan Smith in just 22 seconds. Undefeated as a pro, “The Caveman” has finished more than 80 percent of his career victims by either knockout or submission.

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