Bellator 120: "Rampage vs. King Mo" is in the books, and observers were treated to some shocking results, to say the least.
Quinton Jackson defeated Muhammed Lawal in the main event to secure a place against champion Emanuel Newton, winning Bellator's season 10 light heavyweight tournament.
It was a close fight, yet Lawal did enough to win the fight with his takedowns. Robbery is a term that gets thrown around a bit too loosely in this sport, but "Mo" should have taken home the victory.
He stormed out of the gate with a takedown and controlled "Rampage" for the entire first round. It was apparent the former UFC light heavyweight champion wasn't as good as his counterpart in the grappling exchanges.
However, that began to change in the second round when Jackson stuffed a few takedowns and began to find success on the feet. Both combatants engaged in a boxing match and it looked as if "Rampage" could have taken the round by throwing more punches.
In the third round, Lawal stuck to his bread and butter, relentlessly trying to get Jackson on the mat. "Mo" landed a takedown and had his arch nemesis down on the ground for quite a bit of time before Jackson got back up, forcing himself out of bad positions against the cage, too. As they got back to the center of the cage, "Rampage" landed a good shot, but "Mo" countered with a stiff jab.
It seemed as if Lawal had done enough.
The judges didn't think so, and a disappointed "Rampage" was awarded the victory. Keeping up with trash talk before the decision was read, "Rampage" wanted to bury the hatchet and told "Mo" he thought it was a good fight. Lawal was having none of it, taking the mic from Jimmy Smith and called out Bjorn Rebney for smiling and being a "dick-riding ass" -- claiming he won the fight and told the Bellator CEO to cut him if he didn't like his attitude.
In the co-main event, Will Brooks destroyed Bellator's biggest fight ever by narrowly defeating Michael Chandler by split decision to become the interim lightweight champion.
Chandler looked like a man possessed at the beginning of the fight, scoring takedowns with ease. He smothered him on the mat for almost the entire first round, with Brooks in for a long night had the onslaught continued.
In the second round, "Ill Will" came out with more urgency, yet it was much of the same story. After Chandler let Brooks slip out from underneath him, the Illinois native took Chandler's back and surprised him with a rear-naked choke attempt.
Brooks completely dominated Chandler in the third round, cutting his foe open while keeping him grounded and looked to damage him with ground-and-pound. As the former champion made his way back up, "Ill Will" decked him with a head kick and had Chandler wobbly.
Giving up his back on several occasions, Brooks found success in the fourth round, yet those fight minutes were even. Brooks was being taken down, yet he was able to look for the rear-naked choke again. On the feet, it was quite close, but Chandler was susceptible to another submission with Brooks getting his hooks in at the end of the round.
In the last five minutes of the fight, Chandler relentlessly worked the takedown and pummeled Brooks with punches, locking him in an arm-triangle choke after a bit of ground-and-pound. Since he couldn't lock up the submission, he transitioned to mount until the final bell.
It wasn't the worst judging call ever, yet it was an unfortunate decision.
So long, Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez 3.
In what was supposed to be a squash match, Tito Ortiz defied the odds and submitted Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, forcing fans across the universe to soil themselves in disbelief.
"The People's Champ" (yes, that's what he's going to be called) somehow thought he was able to strike against Shlemenko, but the Russian was about to crush his liver had Ortiz not taken him down.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion stayed patient while he was in the clinch and dragged "Storm" down to the mat, looking for superior positioning. He slipped in an arm-triangle choke and before Shlemenko could tap, he was out like a light.
Ortiz then gave a post-fight interview for the ages, channeling Hulk Hogan and basically told Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to shove it.
Alexander Volkov scored just his second career submission win against someone who was destined to submit him and booked a rematch against Vitaly Minakov, winning the Bellator season 10 heavyweight tournament.
Blagoi Ivanov was working the takedowns heavily and getting the better of "Drago" when they traded punches. The Russian was able to avoid the mat in the first round after a grueling clinch exchange in the opening minutes of the fight.
In the second round, the Bulgarian tossed Ivanov to the mat, and when he tried to follow up with another takedown, he slipped and allowed the former title challenger to take his back and lock in the rear-naked choke.
Oh, the irony.
In the first fight on the main card, Michael Page demonstrated why he's one of the top prospects in the sport by mauling Ricky Rainey in one round and winning the bout courtesy of a vicious right hand.
"Venom" started shuffling right away, keeping his distance from Rainey while the latter chased his around hopelessly. You have to give credit to Rainey for locking him up against the cage, but he couldn't keep him there. After some serious showboating, "MVP" countered one of Rainey's attacks with a devastating right hand that dropped his opponent, while the referee intervened without the Englishman needing to continue his onslaught.
All in all, the criticism was always going to be there, but quite frankly, this event was an impressive debut for the organization (even though some judging calls sucked). The pacing was freaking atrocious, however, they really tried to market their stars that weren't fighting on the card, complete with awkward Frank Shamrock interviews from the back.
The future will really determine what Bjorn Rebney and company are made of moving forward with events that require purchasing, yet it certainly beats having to watch a superabundance of subpar UFC events.
That just about does it.
For extensive event coverage, including "Prelims" results, check out our Bellator 120: "Rampage vs. King Mo" live story stream right here.
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