Week two of Bellator's season 8 on Spike TV was a successful, entertaining show all around. Clearly the big selling point of this show was the Bellator debut of King Mo, and from the perspective, the show was a definite success. Mo turned in an impressive performance, culminating in an excellent KO. He's now not only the Light Heavyweight tournament favorite, he's also the easy favorite against whoever wins the M'Pumbu vs. Vegh title fight. In the main event, champion Ben Askren also put on a great showing - arguably the best of his career. He ended the night with a beatdown of Karl Amoussou and a rare Askren stoppage win.
Next up for Bellator will be the Lightweight quarterfinal round next week.
Another good week here from Bellator. Here are the full results, plus a recap of all the action, with gifs from ZP.
Ben Askren defeats Karl Amoussou by TKO (doctor stoppage) Round 3 5:00
This was Ben Askren doing what Ben Askren does, but with an extra degree of aggression thrown in. Askren used his wrestling to control Amoussou, but added more ground and pound than we normally see from the champion. He cut Amoussou with an elbow, then kept attacking throughout the fight, disfiguring Amoussou's face to earn his first stoppage victory after six straight decisions. Amoussou had a shot with a heel hook in round 2, but that was pretty much the only moment of success for the challenger in the fight. This was a great showing from Askren that showed he belongs in the upper levels of the overall Welterweight rankings. Next for Askren is Andrey Koreshkov.
King Mo defeats Przemyslaw Mysiala by KO (right hook) Round 1 3:52
King Mo walked in with a lot of hype and quickly showed that it was well deserved. Mo dominated this fight without ever needing to use his wrestling. Mo has spent time training striking with Mike's Gym in Amsterdam, and that work showed here. Mo's hands were much improved, as he used a boxing-centric approach. He repeatedly tagged Mysiala with the jab, bloodying him up, before ending it with a one punch KO from the right hook. Along the way, Mo also showed off just a bit of the Floyd Mayweather style of defense, keeping his lead hand low while using head and shoulder movement to slip punches. It wasn't perfect, and it leaves holes that a talented striker can exploit, but it got the job done here. Mysiala may not have provided much opposition for him, but this was still a strong debut that showed off a different side of Mo. He will now face Emanuel Newton in the Light Heavyweight tournament semifinals.
This ended up being mostly a striker vs. grappler battle. Tsarev tried his best to get this to the mat where he could implement his submission game, using a clinch and single leg in the first round. But Lima had good defense and didn't let Tsarev gain the superior position. On the feet, Lima had a definite advantage and began implementing his game at the end of round 1, landing some heavy leg kicks. In round 2, it was quickly apparent that Tsarev was done, as Lima brutalized the leg with perfect kicks. Tsarev could barely walk, and honestly, this should have been stopped earlier. Very good showing from Lima - when he's on, he is vicious, and he was on here.
The show opened with Welterweight tournament quarterfinal action. Saunders was the favorite against the debuting Adzitso, and while Saunders did control the fight, Adzitso gave it a go. Saunders controlled the action largely in the clinch and on the mat, yet was never able to get Adzitso in really serious trouble. He did connect with some good knees (naturally), and had some nice ground work, though any submission attempts from either man were thwarted by some quick referee stand-ups. Saunders now moves on to the semifinals. He will face Douglas Lima on one side of the bracket, while Brent Weedman and Raul Amaya square off on the other side.
Brent Weedman defeats Marius Zaromskis by unanimous decision (29-27 x 3)
Raul Amaya defeats Jose Gomes by TKO (punches), Round 1 3:12
Damon Jackson defeats Zac Church by submission (rear naked choke), Round 2 2:43