Bellator 110 @ Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville CT
By Frank Poulin
What better way to say goodbye to a coooold February than to ring in the 10th season of the Bellator Championship Tournament cage-side at the Mohegan Sun Arena!
The place was absolutely packed with pumped-up MMA fans ready for the Light Heavyweight semifinal headliner fights and the Featherweight quarterfinals.
After two quick No Contest rulings back-to-back, the undercard picked up with a great knockout by Egidijus Valavicius against Atanas Djambazov in the first minute of round 1, a read-naked choke submission by Daniel Weichel over Scott Cleve and Saul Almeida edging out a unanimous decision against Andrew Fisher.
The first three fights of the main card went to the judges, including local favorite Matt Bessette winning over Diego Nunes in a very entertaining fight — and the Mohegan Sun fans roared their approval when the results were announced despite the somewhat odd 30-27, 28-29, 29-28 split decision ruling. Des Green defeated Mike Richman for a spot in the Featherweight semis, and a lackluster co-main-event contest between Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Mikhail Zayats prompted more jeers than cheers.
The main event pitted former UFC champion “Rampage” Jackson against former Bellator champion Christian M’Pumbu. Towards the end of an uneventful first round where neither fighter showed a willingness to commit to an attack, M’Pumbu tripped and fell defending a strike and Jackson was quick to capitalize by dropping on top and delivering a handful of devastating short punches to knock out M’Pumbu — a chilling reminder of the raw power in Rampage’s hands.
This impressive finish by Jackson was somewhat marred by the pro-wrestling-like behavior that followed, with him standing over M’Pumbu and yelling at him and the subsequent scuffle when King Mo came in to square off for the announcement of the final matchup. Not really the kind of display Bellator needs as an organization — or MMA as a sport, for that matter. But or course, if you don’t like theatrics, you shouldn’t be watching Rampage Jackson fights…
Also of note that night was Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney’s announcement of the Alvarez vs Chandler III fight to headline Bellator’s first ever pay-per-view event on May 17th. If the first two fights in that trilogy are any indication, this is not one you want to miss!
Official Fight Results
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson def. Christian M’Pumbu (knockout via punches), 4:34 of Round 1
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Mikhail Zayats (unanimous decision: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matt Bessette def. Diego Nunes (split decision: 30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Des Green def. Mike Richman (unanimous decision: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Daniel Weichel def. Scott Cleve (submission by rear-naked choke), 3:46 of Round 1
- Will Martinez def. Goiti Yamauchi (unanimous decision: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Saul Almeida def. Andrew Fisher (unanimous decision: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Egidijus Valavicius def. Atanas Djambazov (knockout), 0:48 of Round 1
- Ryan Quinn def. Andrew Calandrelli (unanimous decision: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Manny Lara vs. Josh Diekman ends in No Contest (eye poke), 0:18 of Round 1
- Marvin Maldonado vs. Rico DiSciullo ends in No Contest (illegal knee), 1:53 of Round 1