The Bellator welterweight tournament kicked off on Friday with four participants moving onto the next round including a blistering performance from main event fighter Karl Amoussou.
Chris Lozano vs. Karl Amoussou
A slow start didn’t derail Karl Amoussou from a successful welterweight debut as he sunk in a rear naked choke and finished Cleveland native Chris Lozano in the main event of Bellator 63.
Amoussou landed a quick head kick that bloodied Lozano, but still his opponent caught the foot and took the fight to the ground. It didn’t last long however as Amoussou reversed positions, sinking in his hooks and started wailing away with huge shots.
Lozano rolled to try and get away from the damage being unloaded by Amoussou, but that only landed him in more trouble. Amoussou saw the opening and slipped his arm under Lozano’s chin, and a few moments later the fight was over.
Amoussou now moves onto the next round of the Bellator welterweight tournament with an impressive first round performance.
“I’m not here to play guys,” Amoussou said. “I’m here to destroy you.”
Bryan Baker vs. Carlos Pereira
Former middleweight contender Bryan Baker picked up a split decision win over Carlos Pereira in a largely forgettable fight that drew a remarkable amount of jeers from the Connecticut crowd.
Ultimately, it was the takedowns that seemed to swing the judges in favor of Baker, who apologized after the fight saying he was still learning how to cut weight the right way to get down to 170lbs.
Now training at Team Jackson’s in New Mexico, Baker promised a better showing next time out.
David Rickels vs. Jordan Smith
David Rickels made short work of Jordan Smith after clipping him with a right hand, and then a flurry of punches on the ground.
Both fighters were willing to exchange strikes, but Rickels connected with a big right hand, and once Smith was rattled he rushed in for a blitzing series of shots. Smith dropped to the mat, and before he knew what happened the fight was over.
Rickels moves onto the second round of the Bellator tournament with a whirlwind performance with his knockout of Smith.
Ben Saunders vs. Raul Amaya
American Top Team fighter and former Ultimate Fighter competitor Ben Saunders advanced to the next round of the Bellator welterweight tournament with a unanimous decision victory over Raul Amaya.
Saunders was definitely the more dominant fighter both on the feet and on the ground, but missed some golden opportunities with submissions on the ground.
Transitioning from triangle chokes to armbars to kimuras, Saunders was ultra offensive, but just couldn’t quite put Amaya away. To his credit, Amaya showed extreme toughness getting out of some very bad spots and not giving up, but couldn’t do much outside of play defense.
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