Bellator 63 continued the Bellator Fighting Championship's sixth season last night (March 30, 2012) from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Fans in attendance and viewers watching on MTV2 were once again treated to a solid show that featured some great fights and very exciting finishes.
The main event was a terrific capper on the evening, closing the night with some spectacular violence and technical skill on the canvas. Headlining fighters, Karl Amoussou and Chris Lozano had been jawing at each other all week and it all boiled over once Amoussou caught up to "The Cleveland Assassin."
Lozano stayed on his bicycle early, but after finally engaging, he was on the receiving end of a powerful head kick (pictured above). The new Greg Jackson-trained fighter responded wisely with a takedown, but Amoussou beautifully swept him into full mount and after a flurry of powerful punches, Lozano surrendered his back.
In the frenzy, Amoussou was able to take Lozano's back and sink in a rear naked choke, which forced the tap at just 2:05 of the first round.
The rest of the Bellator season six welterweight quarterfinals also featured some interesting action, too:
Former Bellator middleweight tournament finalist Bryan Baker made the cut down to 170 pounds for the first time and had his hands full with Brazilian veteran Carlos Alexandre Pereira. Baker, widely known for his aggressive fighting style almost to a fault, was considerably more reserved against the dangerous and powerful Nova Uniao striker.
Neither man took the initiative, however and even though Baker spent the majority of the fight working from the outside, he was able to score more takedowns as well as mix in a relatively even amount of strikes, primarily his kicks to match Pereira and eek out a split decision in the least entertaining bout of the evening.
A fight which definitely had the viewers' jaws dropping was the welterweight quarterfinal between prospects Jordan Smith and David Rickels. After landing a few leg kicks, Rickels swarmed Smith and blasted him with a flurry of punches which broke through his defenses and sent the former middleweight reeling to the canvas. When he was unable to defend himself, the referee stepped in and put a halt to the action just 22 seconds into the first round.
Opening up the main card was an entertaining scrap between Bellator season five welterweight finalist Ben Saunders and undefeated and untested scrapper Raul Amaya. Amaya gave Saunders everything he had for two rounds, working for takedowns and adding some pressure in the stand-up, but he was unable to seriously threaten "KIlla B" albeit a brief instance where he was landing some aggressive punches from top position in the second round.
Saunders remained composed whether he was fending off takedowns, on his back or pressed against the fence and constantly was on the attack with knees, punches, submission attempts and sweeps. Eventually, he overwhelmed Amaya in the third round and dominated from top position, threatening with a series of submissions but perhaps became too excited to score the finish and left openings for Amaya to escape danger.
In the end, however, Saunders was easily awarded a unanimous decision, winning all three rounds on all three judges' scorecards.
While his bout wasn't an official part of the tournament, Russian prospect and teammate of Alexander Shlemenko, Andrey Koreshkov showcased his tremendous potential by absolutely demolishing Taiwon Howard with a first round knockout which featured a spectacular combination of precision strikes.
After initially stunning Howard, the Russian landed a beautiful uppercut and then put Howard away with follow-up strikes and some aggressive ground and pound. He cemented himself as a serious contender in a future welterweight tournament with his performance.
For complete Bellator 63 results and detailed round-by-round commentary of all the televised fights click here.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
After last night, who's your favorite to win the whole thing? Did Karl Amoussou become the man to beat or was it the 23 year old Rickels and his 22 second knockout? Are you still on team "Killa B?"