On Friday, March 21, Bellator MMA hosted its 113th event from the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kan.

In the night’s main event, Bellator light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh battled interim champion Emanuel Newton for 205-pound bragging rights. Vegh previously bested Newton via split decision at Bellator 72 in the promotion’s Summer Series tournament. Vegh would go on to win the tournament and the title after defeating Christian M’Pumbu. However, the Slovakian-born Hungarian had been out of action for a year battling injuries. Newton would go on to capture the season eight tournament and captured the interim belt with a second win over former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in November.

Also on the card, the promotion kicked off its eight-man season 10 lightweight tournament. Season four runner-up Patricky “Pitbull” Freire squared off with recent title challenger David Rickels, tournament veteran Marcin Held faced Rodrigo Cavalheiro, Derek Campos battled Tim Welch, and Derek Anderson met Brandon Girtz.

The night’s preliminary card kicked off at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com. The main card aired live on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

In the night’s main event Emmanuel Newton earned a split decision over Attila Vegh to unify Bellator’s light heavyweight championship.  This fight took place in the area where many of Newton’s recent bouts have; in the stand-up game. Newton stayed very active throwing his unorthodox, spinning strikes throughout the fight. Newton didn’t really land anything to hurt Vegh early and his best strikes were leg kicks. Vegh landed decent combinations from the outside to keep the fight very close. Vegh seemed less and less willing to engage as the fight went on. Newton kept moving forward, and while he wasn’t landing many strikes, Vegh wasn’t really throwing much to counter. Newton tried to mix it up by going for some takedowns, but Vegh was able to defend. Vegh looked to be behind on all of the scorecards heading into the fifth to everyone except his own corner, who told him that he was clearly up. Vegh turned it on a bit late in the final round, but Newton’s aggressiveness had already won him the fight and the championship on two of the judges’ scorecards.

Patricky “Pitbull” Freire spoiled the homecoming for David Rickels with a second-round knockout. Rickels is one of Bellator’s most popular fighters, especially in his home state of Kansas, but he did not get the result he was looking for this time out. Rickels looked to be aggressive and test the cardio of Freire in the first round with the two fighters exchanging left hands less than a minute into the fight. Both fighters had their fair share of success in that round with Rickels earning shots in the clinch game. Early in the second round Freire caught Rickels with a left hand. Rickels was clearly stunned and Pitbull went in for the kill. Freire got that finish with another punch less than a minute into the second round. The win punched Freire’s ticket to the tournament semifinals.

Marcin Held used one of his signature leg locks to defeat Rodrigo Cavalheiro and advance to the semifinals of the lightweight tournament. It didn’t take Held long to get the bout to the ground, but Cavalheiro was doing a great job at controlling the posture. Held was able to get loose just a bit and when he did he dropped back for a leg lock. Held couldn’t secure a knee bar or ankle lock, but when he switched to a toe-hold that was it for the Brazilian. Held will now face Derek Anderson later this season for a spot in the tournament finals.

Derek Campos and Tim Welch opened up the Spike TV portion of the card, with Campos advancing into the second round of the lightweight tournament with a unanimous decision victory. The first round was spent entirely on the feet. Campos was the fighter with the control of the distance and center of the cage. Welch stayed trying to wing big power shots from the outside, but Campos was the the more accurate and active fighter. Early in round two Campos had Welch hurt in a big way from a punch. Campos looked to go into finishing mode, but he decided to take Welch down instead. Campos was able to advance to full mount where he looked for an arm triangle choke. The submission looked close, but Welch was able to get back to half guard and escape the trouble. Campos took the fight back to the ground early in the third with an outside trip and started working towards the arm triangle once again. Welch was able to get back to his feet, but it was brief and Campos brought it right back down to the mat. Campos stayed on top for the rest of the round and never gave Welch a chance to turn the fight back in his favor.

FULL RESULTS
Emanuel Newton def. Attila Vegh by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46) – light heavyweight title unification bout
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire def. David Rickels knockout (punch). Round 2, 0:54 – lightweight tournament quarterfinal
Marcin Held def. Rodrigo Cavalheiro by submission (toe hold). Round 1, 1:56 – lightweight tournament quarterfinal
Derek Campos def. Tim Welch by unanimous decision (30-27 x3) – lightweight tournament quarterfinal
Derek Anderson def. Brandon Girtz by knockout (knee). Round 2, 0:23 – lightweight tournament quarterfinal
Bobby Cooper def. Marcio Navarro  by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Eric Wisely def. Donnie Bell by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Daniel Gallemore def. Fredrick Brown by TKO (punches). Round 1, 3:34
Israel Giron def. Cody Carrillo by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
L.C. Davis def. Taurean Bogguess by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 4:59

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.