Bellator returned to action after a month on hiatus with Bellator 72 from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. The event featured the finals of the welterweight tournament from season six. Karl Amoussou provided an exclamation point on the action by submitting Bryan Baker in the main event.

Also on the card were two more fights in the light heavyweight tournament that saw Travis Wiuff and Attila Vegh get the nod and advance to the finals where they will meet at Bellator 73 in August.

On top of all the tournament hysteria, Paul Daley returned to action and made his Bellator debut. The Brit looked to earn himself a slot in the next welterweight tournament with an impressive knockout of Rudy Bears.

Finally, Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf finally put an ending to their fight trilogy with a split decision in favor of Zaromskis in a close fight between the two.

Amoussou submits Baker with heel hook to earn title shot

Karl Amoussou marched on to his title shot with current Bellator welterweight champion, Ben Askren, with a slick submission just a minute into the fight.

Amoussou caught Bryan Baker’s kick and swept out his leg that caused Baker to fall. While falling Amoussou controlled the leg of Baker and eventually transitioned into a heel hook that ended Baker’s night way earlier then he expected. Amoussou brought an exciting finish to the fight and to the card, showcasing how good his grappling is.

Amoussou said afterwards that he was looking forward to facing Askren and that Bellator “needs an exciting champion.”

Daley knocks out Bears in Bellator debut

Paul Daley came into this fight needing an exciting win and got just that to possibly earn himself a spot in the next welterweight tournament.

Rudy bears came out strong feeling comfortable standing and trading with Daley. Eventually Bears’ strategy cost him the fight and he was knocked out after a quick left dropped him and a few more caused the referee to jump in and push Daley off.

Not much left to say except that Daley has put Bellator’s 170-pound division on notice.

Vegh takes controversial split decision to beat Newton and advance

Attila Vegh defeated Emanuel Newton in a close split decision victory. Many in attendance, as well as one judge, scored the fight in favor of Newton 30-27.

Newton was the clear winner in the first round of the fight. Surprisingly, Newton was able to outstrike Vegh in the first round landing and throwing more strikes than Vegh.

The second round saw Newton again open up with the striking, building up himself in the round and establishing that he could stand and trade with Vegh. To Vegh’s credit, he did come out strong and aggressive, but towards the later end of the round ended up fading away. Especially after a Newton spinning back kick.

Then in the third, Newton again continued his attack throwing creative yet accurate strikes, landing more and outworking Vegh.

After the decision was announced Newton was visibly upset, walking away in disappointment thinking he had won the fight.

Wiuff beats Carpenter to earn final spot

Travis Wiuff again stuck to the grind style he uses so effectively to claim his 68th victory. Tim Carpenter didn’t have an answer for Wiuff’s size and strength advantage and couldn’t stop the takedowns.

From round one to round three Wiuff overpowered Carpenter both standing and on the ground. Early on in the fight in the first round, Carpenter delivered a couple of shots to Wiuff’s groin that earned him two warnings from the referee and eventually stopped the fight for a tiny bit.

The story of the night though was just Wiuff’s great display of top control that stopped Carpenter from getting any angles and setting up any submissions from the guard. It was an impressive display from Wiuff albeit a lackluster fight. Wiuff put current light heavyweight champion, Christian M’Pumbu on notice though with the win and in his post-fight interview called out M’Pumbu declaring that he was “coming for him.”

Zaromskis defeats Spiritwolf to end trilogy

In what was a fitting ending to a odd trilogy of fights that seemed to end in the worst way possible, Zaromskis and Spiritwolf fought a close battle to the end that eventually went to the judges’ scorecard.

The first round saw both fighters equally exchange with one another after the two started off slowly. At the end of the first round Spiritwolf was locking up a takedown but finally followed through and finished after the bell had rung.

In the second, Zaromskis began to open a little more using a more methodical approach to his striking, not giving Spiritwolf the chance to finish the fight. Zaromskis threw crisp shots that landed and was able to avoid a takedown from Spiritwolf.

The third round showed Zaromskis being more aggressive, stalking Spiritwolf wherever he went in the cage and landing shots with more accurate strikes and a tightened stance. Spiritwolf tried hard to end the fight a couple of times in the round, trying to land a huge left hook that threw him off-balance. Luckily for Spiritwolf, Zaromskis didn’t approach or try to take him out deciding to stay back. Spiritwolf tried again for a takedown, but couldn’t follow through and eventually dropped a split decision in the third and possibly final fight of the trilogy.

Karl Amoussou def. Bryan Baker by submission (heel hook), Round 1, 0:56
Paul Daley def. Rudy Bears by TKO (punches), Round 1, 2:45
Attila Vegh def. Emanuel Newton by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Travis Wiuff def. Tim Carpenter by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Marius Zaromskis def. Waachiim Spiritwolf by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Paul Barrow def. Jason Carapelluci by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 0:46
Ben Saunders def. Brian Warren by TKO (knees), Round 1, 0:22
Raul Amaya def. Kenny Moss by verbal submission (shoulder injury), Round 2, 0:30
Matt McCook def. Shanon Slack by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Julien Williams def. Ryan DeRocher by submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 2, 1:32

Photo: Karl Amoussou (L) forces Bryan Baker to tap (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.