Bellator Fighting Championships rolled into the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. for their second installment of fights on their new home of Spike TV.

The promotions welterweight championship was on the line in the main event, along with the first round of the promotions welterweight tournament and the fourth quarterfinal fight in the season eight light heavyweight tournament fight.

In the main event, Ben Askren successfully defended his title in a dominating performance against Karl Amoussou, while Muhammed Lawal lived up to the hype that was built around him with his first round knockout of Przemyslaw Mysiala.

Additionally on the televised portion of the card, Douglas Lima earned a TKO victory over Michail Tsarev while Ben Saunders took a unanimous decision victory over Koffi Adzitso.

Askren makes a big statement in dominant title defense

It was business as usual for Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren as he successfully defended his title for the third time at Bellator 86.  The champion put his title on the line against season six tournament winner Karl Amoussou, and handled him with relative ease.

The two fighters came out in the first round exchanging quick strikes back and fourth.  It wasn’t until the champion caught a kick from the French fighter, which transitioned the fight to the ground.  Askren comfortably sat in the guard of Amoussou and worked his ground and pound.  The challenger was working off of his back fairly effectively until “Funky” landed a huge elbow over the right eye of his opponent, slicing him up and turning his face into a bloody mess.  The strong strikes from the top by the champion continued for the rest of the first round.

At the start of the second round, it appeared as though “Psycho” was going to end the fight with a heel hook, however Askren was able to survive the submission attempt and gain top position as a result.  The ground and pound continued from there, as the champion was in complete control.  The fight ended up moving up against the cage where even heavier strikes were landed by “Funky” at a higher volume, putting a big stamp on the round as it closed out.

The doctor stepped in the cage before round three could start, examining the cut and overall damage that the challenger was wearing on his face.  Not being enough to stop the fight, the two battled on.  Askren landed an early takedown straight into half guard, and continued the destruction of the face of his opponent.  Amoussou looked completely gassed, however he managed to defend himself intelligently enough to keep the fight from being stopped as the champion transitioned into side control and eventually a postured up full mount where the beating continued all the way to the end of the round.

As with the previous round, the doctor took a look at “Psycho” before the start of the fourth round, and was forced to call an end of the fight as a result of the cuts and his right eye being swollen shut.  “Funky” was therefore awarded a TKO victory by doctor stoppage after three rounds, it what was only the second stoppage of his eight fight Bellator career.

“King Mo” lives up to the hype with big KO victory

There were high expectations resting on the shoulders of Muhammed Lawal as he made his return to fighting for the first time since his suspension after positive steroid test and his release from Strikeforce.  With that being said, “King Mo” lived up to the expectations and the hype as he defeated Przemyslaw Mysiala by first round knockout in his Bellator debut.

The fight started off fairly slowly, with both fighters trying to find their respective ranges.  Mysiala was the aggressor early, but Lawal was able to find the range and effectively work the counter striking.  From there, “King Mo” found his jab and bloodied the face of his opponent with it.

Once Lawal was able to put together the counter punching along with the jab, it spelled the beginning of the end.  A head kick attempt by “Misiek” left him open for the fight finishing right hook by the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.  The knockout came at 3:52 of round one, and moves Lawal on to the semifinal round of the Bellator season eight light heavyweight tournament where he will take on Emanuel Newton.

Tsarev’s leg can’t hold up in TKO defeat to Lima

After spending a bit of time finding their range, Douglas Lima and Michail Tsarev found themselves in a chess match against the cage early in round one.  The Russian shot for a takedown in the middle of the cage, but after a sprawl by Lima, Tsarev held a single leg attempt against the cage for an extended period of time.  While keeping his balance to defend the takedown, the Brazilian worked a couple of hammerfists to the head and body strikes on his opponent.  A combination of the strikes along with a stall warning from the referee caused Tsarev to try an alternate angle for the takedown, which ultimately lead to Lima landing in top position.  From there, the fight slowed due to “The Phenom” respecting the submission game of his opponent, and the two were returned to the feet by the referee.

While rounding out the first round, the two fighters stood at range with neither really pressing the action.  It wasn’t until the last possible second in the round until Lima landed a devastating leg kick on his opponent, which immediately sent him to the ground.  In between rounds, it was clear that the Russian was in a lot of pain and could barely put any weight on it.  Smelling the end of the fight, “The Phenom” went right for that knee to start the second round, immediately planting Tsarev on his backside as a result of a kick in the same spot.  After repeated blows to the leg, the Russian could not stand, which forced the referee to end the fight at 1:44 of round two.  The Russian showed the heart of a warrior, refusing to give up on his own, but ultimately he was not able to continue.

With the victory, Lima will take on Brent Weedman in the next round of the season eight welterweight tournament.

Saunders cruises past Adzitso

The opening fight on Spike TV marked the third overall Bellator tournament for welterweight Ben Saunders and the first promotional fight for his opponent, Koffi Adzitso.  From the opening bell, “Killa B” showed his dominance in all aspects of the sport.

A bulk of the first round saw Adzitso gain top position after a scramble on the ground, however Saunders controlled the position with his jiu-jitsu off of his back.  After the referee stood the fighters up, Saunders successfully shot for a takedown and worked some ground and pound from the position.  Once again, the referee stood the fighters up, and “Killa B” landed a strong knee to the chin of his opponent right before the bell rang.

The second and third rounds were similar to that of the first round, where the Bellator tournament veteran controlled the action no matter where the fight took place.  When “The Lion King” would gain top position, Saunders would control the position from the bottom, tying up his opponent with his limbs.  If the fight saw the roles reversed, “Killa B” would be effectively working the ground and pound to control the position and the fight.

Just before the bell rang to end the fight, Saunders sank in an armbar attempt and likely would have had the submission if he had five more seconds, however the submission was unsuccessful as the fight ran out of time.  After the scorecards were tallied, it was revealed that Saunders once again would find himself in a tournament semifinal fight, this time by way of unanimous decision.

Raul Amaya will take on “Killa B” in the semifinals of the season eight welterweight tournament.

FULL RESULTS

Ben Askren def. Karl Amoussou by TKO (doctor stoppage). Round 3, 5:00 – Welterweight championship fight
Muhammed Lawal def. Przemyslaw Mysiala by knockout (punch). Round 1, 3:52 – Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinal
Douglas Lima def. Michail Tsarev by TKO (leg strikes). Round 2, 1:44 – Welterweight tournament quarterfinal
Ben Saunders def. Koffi Adzitso by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Welterweight tournament quarterfinal
Brent Weedman def. Marius Zaromskis via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) – Welterweight tournament quarterfinal
Raul Amaya def. Jose Gomes by TKO (punches). Round 1, 3:12 – Welterweight tournament quarterfinal
Hunter Tucker def. Javier Obregon by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 3:17
Jason Sampson def. Chris Pham by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 4:55
Damon Jackson def. Zach Church by submission (rear-naked choke).  Round 2, 2:43
Cortez Coleman def. Matt Jones by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo: Ben Askren (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.