Jul 20, 2012 - Prior to Bellator's season six
welterweight tournament, Karl Amoussou promised that with his new fulltime training
schedule, he'd sweep through his bracket and fight for the belt.
In Friday night's tourney final, he was at his best, needing only 56 seconds
to dispatch Bryan Baker via inverted heel hook submission at Bellator 72.
The finish came just moments after a restart following an illegal eye-poke by
Baker that caused a timeout. Amoussou quickly dropped low and locked in the
dangerous hold, and Baker immediately tapped. It was the first tapout loss in
Afterward, Amoussou quickly turned his attention to current welterweight
champion Ben Askren, who he will face in a future title match.
"Lay-and-prayer, it's time to face the Pyscho-man," he said. "And it's time
Amoussou, who is now 16-4-2, previously went through David Rickels and Chris Lozano on his way to the finals. He had tears in his
eyes after beating Baker.
"I feel great," he said. "It was such hard work. I still have so much more.
This is all my life. Now here I am. I'm really happy."
Baker fell to 18-4.
The only other fighter to finish on the main card was fellow welterweight Paul Daley, who announced himself in the promotion by
knocking out Rudy Bears in his Bellator debut.
Daley dropped Bears with a left hook, then finished him off with ground
strikes just 2:45 into the first round. Daley got off to a slow start but first
hurt Bears with a knee from the Thai plum position, then crushed Bears with a
left hook moments later. From there it was over within seconds.
Daley later warned the rest of the welterweight division that he was coming,
saying he wanted in on the next 170-pound tournament.
"Anybody who trades with me is getting knocked out, simple," he said.
With the win, Daley earned his 30th pro victory against 12 defeats and 2
draws. It was his first knockout in six fights. Bears is now 14-11.
While Daley's arrival in the welterweight division sets up the promotion for
future tourneys, in the more immediate present, Travis Wiuff and Attila Vegh advanced to the Bellator light-heavyweight
Wiuff (68-14, 1 no contest) dominated Tim Carpenter with his wrestling and ground work throughout
the course of their three-round fight, winning by a sweep of 30-27 scores.
Afterward, he told current light-heavyweight champ Christian M'Pumbu that he was coming for him.
First though, he'll have to get through Vegh.
The Hungarian squeaked past Emanuel Newton in a split-decision, taking it on scores of
29-28, 29-28, 27-30 to extend his win streak to seven in a row.
The fight was mostly contested in the striking realm, with Newton utilizing a
heavy dose of kicks, while Vegh (27-4-2) spent most of his time firing off power
right hands. Vegh though, chose to counter while letting Newton take the lead in
most exchanges, so the result of the fight was unclear until it was officially
Newton reacted angrily to the decision, thinking he won. Afterward, Vegh
admitted he was a bit thrown off by Newton's striking attack, but felt he did
enough to earn the win and face Wiuff for the right to fight M'Pumbu.
"Attila's a tough guy, he comes from a great school, and I'm going to have to
be prepared," Wiuff said.
In the final fight of a bizarre trilogy, Marius Zaromskis earned a split-decision win over Waachiim Spiritwolf.
The bout was a departure from their last offering, which was a two-round war
that ended controversially due to a cut stoppage that gave Zaromskis the win
even after Spiritwolf seemed to control most of the 10 minutes that came before.
The first fight lasted just six seconds due to an eye poke that caused a no
The final bout was far more conclusive than the previous two, even if one
judge saw it for Spiritwolf. Zaromskis seemed to land the cleaner strikes, and
avoided allowing Spiritwolf to turn the fight into a war.
With the win, Zaromskis improved to 18-6 with 1 no contest while Spiritwolf
is now 9-11 with 1 no contest.