The Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Tournament came to a close Friday night as Maiquel Falcao earned a unanimous decision victory over Andreas Spang and secured his shot at the Bellator middleweight world championship, while Karl Amoussou moved one-step closer to an opportunity at the Bellator welterweight world championship with a hard fought win against a game David Rickels. Also, Jessica Aguilar and Mark Holata picked up impressive wins at Bellator 69 from L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La.
“Two of the most highly anticipated tournament fights of the season were scheduled on the same night from L’Auberge Casino Resort and they did not disappoint,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Maiquel Falcao and Andreas Spang definitely lived up to the billing; and Karl Amoussou vs. David Rickels was a back-and-forth battle that could’ve went either way. It was a great night for Jessica Aguilar as well, as she proved she is the best in the world beating the world’s greatest pound-for-pound female fighter Megumi Fujii.”
One of the most heated rivalries in all of MMA came to a close in the Bellator cage Friday night as noted striker Maiquel Falcao and knockout artist Andreas Spang fought for the Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Tournament Championship, $100,000 and the right to fight Alexander Shlemenko for the Bellator middleweight world title.
The first round saw a flurry of punches by Spang (8-2) that had his Brazilian foe stunned. Falcao (31-4), visibly hurt from the blows, was able to clinch with Spang and recover. Later in the round, Falcao landed an illegal knee to the head of Spang while Spang was grounded. After Falcao suffered a one-point deduction, the fight continued. For the final two rounds, Falcao was able to utilize his extensive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to control Spang and avoid multiple guillotine attempts. When cage announcer Michael C. Williams read the judges’ scorecards, all three scored the fight 29-27 in favor of Maiquel Falcao.
“I brought the best team in the world,” said a satisfied Falcao. “I have the best grappling coach in the world. There’s no way I won’t improve my grappling game.”
Karl Amoussou and David Rickels had some strong words for each other at the Bellator 69 weigh-ins on Thursday that certainly added fuel to the fire of their Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal bout. The Lake Charles faithful were fully in support for the duration of the action-packed contest as both fighters exchanged powerful blows standing and on the ground.
In the first round, Amoussou (15-4) was able to land crushing strikes and displayed his impressive Judo. Rickels (10-1) remained unfazed with his opponent’s fast start as he battled back in a closer second round. The third was all Rickels. “The Caveman” controlled the majority of the round with vicious ground-and-pound from the top position that resulted in a mouse under the left eye of “Psycho.” After three hard fought rounds, the fight went to a decision. Two of the three judges scored the fight 29-28 to give Karl Amoussou the split-decision win.
“I think the fight was really close,” said Amoussou. “(Rickels) really earned my respect tonight.”
Two of the top female fighters in the world squared off inside the Bellator cage Friday night as Jessica Aguilar met Megumi Fujii. Through three razor-thin rounds, Fujii (25-2) looked to finish with her relentless submission attack, while Aguilar (14-4) worked her boxing and appeared content to counterstrike with her Japanese opponent. When the decision was announced, all three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Jessica Aguilar.
“This is a legend,” said Aguilar regarding Fujii. “It’s an honor for me to have competed against her and to have earned my victory against her.”
In the first fight of the evening, heavyweights Mark Holata and Abe Wagner looked to earn a spot in the Bellator Season 7 Heavyweight Tournament. Holata (12-3) immediately took Wagner (10-6) to the ground with a single-leg and went to work in his opponent’s guard. After landing multiple hammerfists, Holata dropped back and grabbed Wagner’s leg where he was able to secure a fight-ending leg lock as Wagner verbally submitted at 2:24 of the first round.
“I’m honored because this is the place to be,” said Holata “It’s where I want to compete. It’s the best of the best.”