Winners were crowned in the upset-riddled brackets of this season's Welterweight and Light-Heavyweight Tournaments at Bellator 94 tonight. Saad Awad looked to consummate his Cinderella story against David Rickels after entering the welterweight tourney as a late replacement and pairing up 1st-round knockouts en route to the finals, while Emanuel Newton and Mikhail Zayats, both of whom reveled in the underdog role against quarterfinal round opponents Muhammed Lawal and Renato Sobral, respectively.
Individual results with accompanying gifs follow below.
Emanuel Newton defeats Mikhail Zayats by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
The 3rd round was really the only definitive round of the fight, which went Newton's way. Zayats found the mark with cleaner and harder punches in Rounds 1 and 2 but Newton's hard-nosed grappling and off-tempo kickboxing brought things closer to balance. The high kick and left-right combo depicted in the animation above sealed the 3rd for Newton, who becomes the Light-Heavyweight Tournament champion via unanimous decision.
David Rickels defeats Saad Awad by TKO (punches), Round 2
"Caveman" Rickels endured a fierce opening stanza from the head-hunting Awad, who mixed in some takedown attempts to take the 1st convincingly. Rickels countered Awad's takedown with one of his own to turn the tables in the 2nd and reeled off a flurry that dropped Awad just as the bell sounded. Though obviously down from a legal blow before the bell, Awad rolled onto his back after it sounded, breathing heavily, and didn't get back to his feet right away. Referee Troy Waugh concluded that Awad was unfit to continue in what commentator Jimmy Smith and many fans see as a controversial stoppage.
Joe Taimonglo defeats Ronnie Rogers by submission (north-south choke), Round 2
Julien Williams Kenny Moss by submission (guillotine choke), Round 1
Luis Melo cuttin' a rug.
And ... this guy was there.