Bellator 72 marks the second installment of the “Summer Series” for Bellator after enjoying a nice month off following Bellator 71.

The July 20 event delivers a five-fight main card that consists of three tournament matches, a Paul Daley sighting and a fight between two fighters who will meet for the third time.

The main event for the night will be the conclusion to the season-six welterweight tournament between Bryan Baker and Karl Amoussou. Baker was an underdog in his last fight against Ben Saunders, but was able to overcome the adversity and pull off the victory. Amoussou won by split decision in the semi-finals, but opened the tournament up with an impressive submission victory over Chris Lozano in the first round.

Continuing the tournament trend, there will also be the semi-finals for the light heavyweight tournament. Travis Wiuff, looking to take one more step to a rematch with champion Christian M’Pumbu, fights against Tim Carpenter, who is coming off a highly impressive win over Beau Tribolet.

Also in the light heavyweight tourney, Attila Vegh looks to extend his six-fight winning streak against Emanuel Newton.

Welterweight Paul Daley also returns to action after a loss to Kazuo Misaki in March cost him a spot in Strikeforce. On top of Daley’s return against Rudy Bears, Marius Zaromskis looks to put an end to his trilogy series with Waachiim Spiritwolf.

Bellator 72 comes live from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. The main card will air live on MTV 2 at 8 p.m. ET. The preliminary card airs at 7 p.m. ET and again at 10 p.m. ET, after the main card, on and

WW Finals: Karl Amoussou (15-4-2) vs. Bryan Baker (18-3)

Baker (top) drops a left hand (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Bryan Baker is coming off a big win over Ben Saunders in the semi-finals of this welterweight tournament. Baker was considered the underdog and overcame an early onslaught from Saunders to get the win.

Baker utilized takedowns very well in that fight, and his submission defense looked spectacular considering how many he had to defend. For Baker to win this fight, he is going to have to go through much of the same.

Amoussou has some good judo and striking mixed in with the ability to secure the submission. In this fight, he is the more well-rounded fighter, which definitely gives him the advantage, though I do think the fight needs to stay standing for Amoussou to win.

In his last fight against David Rickels, Amoussou had trouble in the third round when he was taken down by Rickels and held there for what seemed like the entire time. Rickels was able to work in some ground-and-pound. For this fight, that is definitely something Amoussou will need to avoid, because Baker will finish him if given that same opportunity.

This is a tough fight to pick. I think it could go either way as both guys are tough fighters and can finish it. I’m going to go with Amoussou to say “Je suis désolé, bonne nuit” to Baker and win the fight by third-round TKO. C’est la vie. Now let’s move on before I embarrass myself more with my messed up knowledge of the French language.

WW: Paul Daley (29-12-2) vs. Rudy Bears (14-10)

Bears (R) connects with a kick (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Ah, the return of Paul Daley. Last time out when he fought in Strikeforce, I picked Daley to win by knockout against Kazuo Misaki. Well, the judges had other plans and Daley lost the fight by split decision, bringing his time with Strikeforce to a screeching halt.

If you’ve watched MMA before, then you know of Daley, his antics and what his strengths are. If you haven’t, Daley is a pure striker and has nothing that resembles a ground game. That isn’t to say Daley can’t get by with his striking, because he has before and can do it again.

Bears is 2-4 under Bellator’s banner and has been victim to two knockouts and one submission due to punches. Bears has submitted seven guys while being submitted six times. I don’t think he has to worry about being submitted though. In fact, I’d be shocked if he even came close to getting submitted.

The guys who have knocked Bears out don’t have the power that Daley has, and that gives me a little insight onto how this fight will end.

My brain is telling me not to pick Daley after last time, but I’m going through with it and taking him by knockout in the first round. Hopefully, I won’t regret it.

WW: Marius Zaromskis (17-6) vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf (9-10-1)

Zaromskis (L) battles Spiritwolf (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Another welterweight battle on this card, and it will be a trilogy fight between Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf after their other fights have ended by some weird act of God.

In their first fight, Spiritwolf got poked in the eye, and the second time, the fight was stopped by the doctor in favor of Zaromskis. This third match is just begging for a resolution.

Zaromskis will look to knock out Spiritwolf with his striking, which can dazzle everybody.

Spiritwolf will, of course, look for the knockout as well, but considering the way his latest fights have gone, I can’t seem to pull the trigger on picking him. Spiritwolf is 1-5 with one no-contest in his last seven fights, so that makes me a bit leery on picking him.

I’ll take Zaromskis by knockout in the second, though my money is on the fight ending in some weird way that nobody thought would be possible to pull off.

LHW Semi-finals: Tim Carpenter (9-1) vs. Travis Wiuff (67-14)

Carpenter (L) looks for a guillotine (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Travis Wiuff is a super-experienced guy, and I think he has what it takes to win this tournament and take the title from current Bellator champ Christian M’Pumbu. He did it once before, and I think he can do it again.

First, he needs to get through Tim Carpenter, who is a tough fight for anybody. Carpenter looked great in his last fight beating Beau Tribolet in both his striking and grappling. Carpenter eventually locked in the armbar and made himself a very good underdog pick in this fight with Wiuff.

Wiuff is riding a five-fight winning streak and three straight in Bellator, though. Wiuff isn’t the most entertaining fighter, to say the least, and he won’t win you over with creativity in his finishes, but he gets results, and you can’t question results.

I see this fight going one way—Wiuff taking down Carpenter and grinding him out, or doing the same against the cage wall.

Either way, I see the fight going in Wiuff’s favor and him moving on to the finals. Wiuff by unanimous decision.

LHW Semi-finals: Emanuel Newton (18-6-1) vs. Attila Vegh (26-4-2)

Newton (R) applies a rear-naked choke (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

This is going to be a tough fight for Attila Vegh. Emanuel Newton will take him down much like Zelg Galesic did in the last fight, except unlike Galesic, he’ll keep him down and try to submit him.

Newton looked great in his last fight against Roy Boughton, and being able to submit Boughton—a Cesar Gracie fighter—proves he can submit you regardless of your level of grappling. Like I mentioned earlier, Newton will look to take Vegh down and submit him, which turns this fight into a sprawl-and-brawl for Vegh.

Vegh will need to do whatever he can to avoid the ground and keep the fight standing to win the fight. Vegh has the advantage in striking, and the fight will end there if Newton can’t get it to the ground.

I think ultimately Newton does get the fight to the ground and works for submissions on his way to a unanimous decision victory and a meeting with Wiuff in the finals.


WW: Ben Saunders (13-5-2) vs. Brian Warren (18-15-1)

Brian Warren has stepped up in competition here, going against Ben Saunders, who was eliminated recently from the welterweight tournament. I think this fight goes in favor of Saunders, who has a good ground game and will submit Warren in the second round.

HW: Chris Barnett (7-1) vs. Tommy Sauer (25-12)

Chris Barnett likes to knock people out and his only professional loss came against Eric Prindle. Tommy Sauer has the edge, though, on the ground and in the experience department, and I think that leads to his victory in this fight. I’ll take Sauer to get the submission victory in round three.

WW: Kenny Moss (5-2) vs. Raul Amaya (9-1)

Both fighters seem to be very well-rounded, and neither fighter has won a fight by decision. In fact, out of the two fighters, Amaya is the only one who has gone the full distance and that was in a loss to Ben Saunders in his last outing. I think Amaya will take this by knockout in the third.

FW: Matt McCook (8-5) vs. Shanon Slack (4-0)

Shanon Slack is a wrestler and loves to take the fight to the ground and grind out his opponent on his way to either a TKO or decision victory. Slack has been successful four times in implementing his plan and faces Matt McCook, who has never won by decision. I think this fight hits the ground and Slack works his way to another decision victory.

Catchweight (150 lbs): Jason Carapelluci (6-2) vs. Paul Barrow (4-2)

Jason Carapelluci has won six straight fights heading into this one and hasn’t fought since July of 2010. Paul Barrow originally made The Ultimate Fighter 12, but lost to Alex Caceres before gaining entry to the house. I think Barrow gets the victory here by decision.

WW: Ryan DeRocher (3-3) vs. Julien Williams (2-1)

Julien Williams is in the early stages of his career and won last November by submission. Ryan DeRocher has been on and off in his professional career, losing and then winning his next fight. DeRocher is coming off a victory, so by rules of symmetry and the way he has been on and off, Williams takes the fight by submission.

Top Photo: Paul Daley (Brian Townsend/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.