Tonight sees the return of Bellator Fighting Championships as the new season kicks off on Spike TV. The main card action will get going at 8 p.m. ET and will lead into the series premier of Fight Master.
The evening's action is highlighted by a pair of light heavyweight tournament semifinal bouts as two of the "busts" from the last 205 tourney look to turn things around.
After a stunning spinning backfist knockout at the hands of Emanuel Newton, Muhammad Lawal looks to get back in the win column as he takes on Seth Petruzelli, a man most famous for his TKO of Kimbo Slice as a last minute replacement. A win that effectively killed EliteXC.
The other man seeking redemption is Renato Sobral. Babalu was framed as a "MMA legend" by Bellator heading into the last tournament, only to be knocked out by Mikhail Zayats. Babalu will be taking on Jacob Noe. Noe beat Petruzelli last tournament before losing to Zayats.
Rounding out the card tonight is a pair of heavyweight tournament semifinals as Ron Sparks faces Vitaly Minakov and Ryan Martinez takes on Richard Hale. War Machine will also be in action against Blas Avena, though it's impossible to know if it'll make the main card broadcast or not as Bellator's listings for what fights would be on their telecast were off on almost every single show last season.
Make sure to come back and join us as the action goes down tonight.
War Machine vs. Blas Avena - Round 1 - War Machine is stalking early and he throws a flurry but Avena catches him and takes him down. War Machine is able to get up and land a few shots before getting a takedown of his own. Avena gets up and they're engaged against the cage with Avena landing to the body with a series of knees. Machine looks to be tiring but he does get the takedown and he's got a mounted crucifix. Avena can't do anything about the punches he's eating and that's it. War Machine wins by TKO (punches from mounted crucifix), round 1.
Ron Sparks vs. Vitaly Minakov - Round 1 - Minakov with a hard right hand early, and again. And again! And Sparks is down and Minakov follows him to the ground and pounds him out. Vitaly Minakov wins by TKO (punches), round 1.
Ryan Martinez vs. Rich Hale - Round 1 - Hale throwing some strikes while Martinez just kind of plods forward. Martinez suddenly lands a left hand while Hale is on his back and he's hurt badly! Martinez follows up with some more shots and this one is over. Ryan Martinez wins by TKO (punches), round 1.
Babalu Sobral vs. Jacob Noe - Round 1 - A lot of feeling out for the first minute. They clinch up and both work some knees before they separate. Noe with a short hook that gets in. Babalu lands a nice punch, but Noe counters well. Babalu shoots for a takedown but can't get it. Jab lands for Babalu. Noe lands a good shot after a break for having been hit with a low blow. Noe counters the kick with a punch again. 10-9 Noe for me.
Round 2 - Babalu working the jab early this round. Noe with a big left hook. Noe is cut a bit but he cracks Babalu a few times. Babalu lands a counter right hand. Babalu is having luck landing hard leg kicks now and Noe is feeling it. Noe with a few hard shots and Babalu taunts him, but he gets hit in the head again and his legs are getting rubbery. 10-9 Noe.
Round 3 - Noe cracks him again. Babalu looks for the takedown, really wanting to get the fight to the ground and try t grind out a round. Babalu was deep but wasn't able to finish it off and Noe lands a straight shot to the face. Big left by Noe and Babalu is badly hurt. Noe following up and Bablu is bleeding and badly rocked but Noe isn't pressing very hard. Another right for Noe. Noe is really hammering him and Babalu turns his back and is unsteady so the ref ends it. Jacob Noe wins by TKO (referee stoppage), round 3.
King Mo vs. Seth Petruzelli - Round 1 - Petruzellin landing a few punches and then Mo shoots and Petruzelli sprawls but getsheadbutted accidentally and they're restarted on the feet. Metruzelli throws a head kick that is blocked. Mo shoots and gets the takedown. Petruzelli landing some punches off his back. Huge right hand by Mo and Petruzelli is KO'ed with one shot. King Mo wins by KO (punch), round 1.