Bellator 91 goes off tonight with their usual 8:00 p.m. ET start time for the prelims, which will stream live here on Bloody Elbow as well as on Spike.com, followed by the 4-fight main card on Spike TV at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The main event is light-heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu, who hasn't fought since a 2011 non-title-fight loss to Travis Wiuff, defending against Slovakian slugger Attila Vegh, who crushed Wiuff by 1st-round KO to win the 205-pound tournament. Lightweight Tournament finalists will be determined as semifinal bouts pitting Will Brooks vs. Saad Awad and Jason Fischer vs. David Rickels lead into the main event, while Ed West meets Joshua Montoya in a bantamweight feature fight.
Live play by play will commence with the Spike broadcast but chipper and animated fight discussion will transpire throughout the prelims. Here's the full lineup:
Bellator 91 Main Card (Spike TV at 10:00 p.m. ET)
Light Heavyweight championshp: Christian M'Pumbu vs. Attila Vegh
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal: Saad Awad vs. Will Brooks
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Josh Montoya vs. Ed West
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Jason Fischer vs. David Rickels
Bellator 91 Preliminary Card (streaming on Bloody Elbow and Spike.com at 8:00 p.m. ET)
Women's Feature Fight: Holly Holm vs. Katie Merrill
Welterweight Feature Fight: Blas Avena vs. Lenny Lovato
Catchweight Feature Fight (187 lbs.): Yair Moguel vs. Brennan Ward
Featherweight Feature Fight: Andres Quintana vs. Russell Wilson
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Josh Appelt vs. Josh Lanier
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Adrian Cruz vs. Nick Gonzalez
Greetings and salutations. (I watched "Heathers" the other day.) Dallas here, playing the role of your humble co-pilot for Bellator 91. We're live on Spike TV; check the main card results below.
Christian M'Pumbu vs. Attila Vegh (Bellator Light-Heavyweight Championship)
R1: Both southpaws start off tentative. M'Pumbu flicks out a left low kick. The crowd boos 50 seconds in. Vegh uncorks his moster left hand and it backs the champ up. M'Pumbu switches to orthodox and Vegh plugs him with a clipping right hand. Vegh pounces but M'Pumbu manages to turn it into a takedown. Vegh reels off a series of sharp elbows to M'Pumbu's head from his back.
Vegh stays active with his guard and is eventually able to create enough space to stand back up, but it's right into a M'Pumbu guillotine attempt. Vegh hand-fights to loosen the grip and they're back in open space. Vegh charges with a wild 1-2 and leaping knee that M'Pumbu side-steps. M'Pumbu is noticeably light on offense. Vegh bolts forward with another combo and hits a counter hip throw on M'Pumbu's sprawl. 10-9 Vegh for the knockdown, better strikes and using an active, threatening guard.
R2: Rear-leg front kick from M'Pumbu, then an outside low kick. Vegh times M'Pumbu's jab with a series of aggressive combinations while chasing him around the cage. M'Pumbu is unwilling to stay in the pocket and counter when Vegh lets loose. M'Pumbu initiates a clinch 2 minutes in that Vegh patiently shakes out of. M'Pumbu tries to time a duck-under double leg on Vegh's next flurry; he can't get it and interestingly pulls guard.
Spider guard from M'Pumbu with strong wrist control. Vegh backs out and catches M'Pumbu's up-kick and rolls into a kneebar attempt. M'Pumbu calmly defends and ends up on top with 30 seconds left. He gets Vegh's back when he tries to spin out and ends the round fishing for a loose armbar. 10-10 for an even round; neither significantly surpassed the other.
R3: Anticipating M'Pumbu's counter takedown attempt, Vegh throws a leaping uppercut that tags M'Pumbu and puts him on his back. M'Pumbu gets strong wrist control again and swivels for an armbar. Vegh steps over and slips his arm out. Inverted guard now from M'Pumbu, who briefly seeks an inverted triangle but lets it go, regaining full guard in the process.
M'Pumbu telegraphs a triangle attempt that allows Vegh to pass to side control, then mount. He posts a leg in half guard and lands some sharp elbows that slice M'Pumbu open. Vegh slams a right hand to the champ's head and finishes the round strong. 10-9 Vegh for the damaging elbows.
R4: M'Pumbu loosens a couple of short right hands to start the championship rounds. They lock horns and I can't tell if Vegh hits a counter takedown or M'Pumbu pulls guard again. Either way, the champ is eating elbows to the melon but manages to take a knee and stand up. M'Pumbu is on a single leg but Vegh gets a wide stance to defend with the kimura grip.
Vegh counters M'Pumbu's right with his own and then swarms with short cleaving punches that have the champ retreating. M'Pumbu goes for a defensive takedown to slow the pace and they stalemate on the cage. M'Pumbu wings a right hand that misses after referee Jason Herzog restarts them. M'Pumbu again ties Vegh up on the fence and stalls. 10-9 Vegh.
R5: They hug it out to kick off the last round. And the crowd boos it. Big overhand right from M'Pumbu, who needs to kick it in the ass here. He throws an uppercut that Vegh counters with a short right and they clinch up. Vegh throws a right on the break. Vegh scores with a 3-piece combo. Right body kick from M'Pumbu is blocked. Now M'Pumbu comes forward with a nice combo and scores with a right.
Vegh countering M'Pumbu's right with an over-the-top right. M'Pumbu flails badly on a combo and Vegh jumps on the off-balanced fighter with a few chopping rights and a knee from the Thai plum. Vegh holds M'Pumbu on the fence until they're separated again. Vegh circles away until the bell sounds. 10-9 Vegh. I have it 50-46 his way.
- The judges score the bout 48-47, 49-46, and 50-45 for Attila Vegh, who defeats Christian M'Pumbu for the Bellator Light-Heavyweight championship.
Ed West vs. Josh Montoya
R1: West flings out a nice left high kick. Busy output from West to start with his hands and more kicks. Crisp inside low kicks from West. Montoya's jab gets through, then he catches the next kick from West but can't do anything with it. Now West goes inside right with his low kick. And another. Montoya answers with one. West mixes it up again and cracks Montoya with a pair of outside right low kicks then tags him with a short right. More low kicks from West and his relentless pace.
High kick from West is blocked. Charging 1-2 closed with a right high kick from West, who throws 2 more kicks instead of resetting. Nice overhand right slips through for Montoya, then 2 low kicks. West answers back with 2 of his own, a sweeping roundhouse kick and a front kick. West is feeling silly about life right now and literally tries to replicate Anthony Pettis' Showtime Kick off the cage, to no avail. Spinning wheel kick from West, who's stayed on the trigger nonstop. Strong 10-9 for West.
R2: Chopping right low kick from West to start the frame. 1-2, low kick and high kick combo from the hopped up West. Another 1-2-3 closed off by a high kick from West, who's easily dodging Montoya's counters. West doubles up on low kicks. Nice double jump knee from West lands. Montoya circles away from his next attempt of the same. Straight right downstairs from West, who's mixing everything up and looking like a machine. West taps him with a left low kick and then goes immediately upstairs with the left high kick, which puts Montoya out cold. Highlight-reel performance from Ed West.
- Ed West defeats Josh Montoya by KO (head kick), Round 2.
"Ill" Will Brooks vs. Saad Awad (Lightweight Tournament semifinals)
R1: Brooks opens with a low kick that Awad responds right back with. Brooks shoots and Awad stuffs underhooks to defend, then grabs the single collar tie and unloads a salvo of short and cleaving right hands to Brooks' chin. Brooks is wobbled and Awad doesn't let him off the hook, pouncing with a relentless massacre of rights and lefts to elicit his 2nd consecutive TKO in the 1st round.
- Saad Awad defeats Will Brooks by TKO (punches), Round 1.
Jason Fischer vs. David Rickels (Lightweight Tournament semifinals)
R1: Rickels comes out stalking with punches and clinch attacks, which Fischer manages to evade. Fischer grabs the clinch, quickly lets go and plugs in a short left uppercut. Fischer with more punches and a knee. Rickels returns fire with a right-hand-heavy combo. Fischer comes back with a nice stiff right that gets through.
Rickels throws a pair of charging 1-2-3's; Fischer clinches to stop the first but eats much of the second. Fischer lets his hands go and follows up with a clinch that Rickels shoves off. We have a fast pace: Rickels is throwing less but heavier and Fischer is counter-punching with a higher volume. Clean jab from Fischer. Rickels tacks on a 1-2 after another charging 3-piece that drive Fischer back. They clinch momentarily. Rickels wades in with more heavy leather -- he might be looking a tad slower on the release of his punches and he loses his balance on a combo, potentially indicating some fatigue. He nullifies a Fischer takedown attempt from the clinch. 10-10 for a dead-even round: Fischer landed a higher volume but Rickels' shots were clearly more effective.
R2: They clinch on the fence early and trade spots by circling each other off. They break and Rickels head-hunts with his right hand again; Fischer counters with a body kick. Rickels catches Fischer off guard and hits a double leg into Fischer's closed guard. Good head and posture control from Fischer, who swivels for an armbar. Rickels bases down hard and hand-fights to break the hold, then pins the knee to pass to half guard.
Rickels goes for the guillotine pass to mount but Fischer explodes at the right moment and sweeps him. Rickels tries to isolate an arm from closed guard but settles for an escape when Fischer defends. Fischer stays on him and presses him on the fence while seeking a double leg. 10-10 for an even round where neither out-performed the other.
R3: They trade early and Rickels surprisingly shows a pretty nasty cut over his left eye. Fischer pursues another double and, though slightly assisted by a quick fence grab, Rickels reverses the position and rains down big punches from the top. Rickels steps over with the kimura grip and starts to wrench the hold but Fischer stays patient and defends well. Rickels bases down on top and traps Fischer's arm in arm-triangle position, using it to mount.
He bails on the choke but postures up and hammers down punishment from the full mount. Fischer gives up his back for respite and wills his way out of a deep rear-naked choke. He spins back into guard and Rickels beautifully transitions to an armbar. Again, Fischer shows great composure and technique to get out of it and the horn sounds. Counter to outdated custom, I'll give Rickels a 10-8 for dominating more than the last half of the round. He landed meaningful ground-and-pound and threatened with 4 consecutive submission attempts. I have it 30-28 for Rickels.
- All 3 judges see it 30-27 for David Rickels, who defeats Jason Fischer by unanimous decision.