In front of a sold-out crowd, Bellator Fighting Championships returned to the Lucky Star Casino just outside of Oklahoma City for Bellator 42, which aired LIVE on MTV2, as Christian M’Pumbu and Richard Hale were victorious, punching their tickets to the inaugural Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship.
In the first light heavyweight semifinal fight of the night, Christian M’Pumbu secured his spot in the finals with a dramatic first-round TKO over Tim Carpenter. The two sparred for the first few minutes until M’Pumbu dropped Carpenter with devastating right hands for the victory. The referee quickly stepped in, stopping the fight and sending the Democratic Republic of Congo native to the light heavyweight finals.
Vying for the chance to face M’Pumbu in the light heavyweight finals, DJ “The Protége” Linderman and Richard “Rare Breed” Hale took to the cage for the night’s second light heavyweight semifinal fight. In Round 1 action, the pair stood and banged with Linderman appearing to be the aggressor.
The ref stopped the fight for a moment in Round 2 citing an accidental illegal groin hit by Hale. After the pause, a pumped Linderman landed a series of straight lefts but found himself on the wrong side of superman punch by Hale.
In Round 3, Linderman persistenly attempted to take the bigger Hale down. Hale, however, managed to counter, taking the full mount. Hale tried to end the fight throughout Round 3 with rear-naked choke attempts but was unable to seal the deal. The third round resurgence by Hale impressed the judges who awarded him the victory via split decision.
“Bellator 42 was a great night of fights with spectacular performances by M’Pumbu and Hale to advance to our first-ever Bellator Light Heavyweight Finals,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “The season continues to produce amazing MMA for fans and the MTV2 audience.”
In a non-title featherweight feature fight, Ronnie “Kid Ninja” Mann faced Oklahoma native Josh Arocho. Throughout the fight, Arocho initiated takedowns but Mann’s defense takedown was too much. Mann dominated much of the fight from the top position issuing relentless ground and pound and taking full advantage of elbows, which were allowed under the uniform rules of MMA.
The fight went the distance, but it was evident that Mann ran the show. The judges all agreed, awarding Ronni Mann the victory via unanimous decision.
Jared Hess, who tore his LCL in the Bellator Welterweight World Championships against Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 20 made a triumphant return in a non-title local feature fight against Chris Bell. For MMA fans, the wait was worth it as Hess locked in a tight triangle choke ending the fight at 1:40 in Round 1.
They also saw Brazilian Luta-Livre fighter Luiz “Betao” Nogueira meeting Oklahoma native Jerod Spoon in a bantamweight feature fight. Nogueira controlled the tempo of the fight with tight, efficient boxing and several takedowns. Going the distance, the judges awarded Nogueira the victory via unaminous decision.
Official Main Card Results:
Light Heavyweight Semifinal Fight: Richard Hale def. D.J. Linderman by Split Decision [29-28, 29-28, 29-28]
Light Heavyweight Semifinal Fight: Christian M’Pumbu def. Tim Carpenter by TKO (2:08 Round 1)
Ronnie Mann def. Josh Arocho def. by Unanimous Decision [30-25, 30-27, 30-27]
Luiz “Betao” Nogueira def. Jerod Spoon def. by Unanimous Decision [30-27, 29-28, 29-28]