Ben Askren is evolving.
On a night that many expected Askren's smothering top position and submissions to do Karl Amoussou in, it was Askren's new ground-and-pound that put away the Frenchman in his latest Bellator welterweight title defense in the main event of Bellator 86 on Thursday night at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Prior to the bout, Askren predicted a finish and he delivered. It was his second stoppage under the Bellator banner and his first since he submitted Ryan Thomas in his promotional debut back in April 2010.
Bellator's coming out party on Spike's airwaves resumes tonight with Bellator 86, emanating from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and headlined by a welterweight world title tilt between champion Ben Askren and challenger Karl Amoussou.
The return of Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal tops the undercard which will complete the light heavyweight tournament quarterfinals and kick off the welterweight pairings as well. The main card festivities begin at 10 PM ET on Spike. You can also watch all of the preliminary bouts starting at 8 PM ET right here on MMA on Tap.
After the jump, check out five things that you should watch for during tonight's telecast.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— The UFC this afternoon announced that rising welterweight contender and seasoned veteran Brian Ebersole will replace an injured Claude Patrick against James Head in a welterweight affair at UFC 149 later this month in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ebersole enters the fight on less than three weeks notice just a couple of weeks after winning a unanimous decision over T.J. Waldburger at UFC on FX 4 on June 22. [UFC.com]
— Michael Bisping made an appearance on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight to discuss his recovery from recent knee surgery and ended up calling out a couple of potential foes along the way, including Alan Belcher. "Alan Belcher’s somebody that’s been calling me out for seems like forever now," Bisping said on the show. "To be quite frank I’m sick of it. So, Alan Belcher if your balls are big enough, call Joe Silva and let’s do it." [MMA Weekly]
CHICAGO, Ill. (April 6, 2012) — With an already stellar main event featuring Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler taking on 32-win MMA veteran Akihiro Gono, Bellator 67 from Casino Rama on May 4 will feature a welterweight semifinal showdown between Ben “Killa B” Saunders and Bryan “The Beast” Baker, as well as a host of stacked feature fights sure to get the Canadian faithful on their feet.
On the heels of his title-winning fight of the year performance against the world’s top lightweight Eddie Alvarez, Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler returns to face one of his greatest tests to date as the Las Vegas-trained fighter takes on former UFC lightweight Akihiro Gono.
After Chandler’s amazing fourth-round submission victory against then champion Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58, the undefeated champion knows that he’s now the one with the target on his back.
Bellator Fighting Championships returns to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT for Bellator 62, which features the start of the promotion's season six welterweight tournament.
Opening round matchups include "TUF" alumnus Ben Saunders against undefeated Art of Fighting product Raul Amaya, three-time Bellator participant David Rickels taking on Victory MMA's Jordan Smith, middleweight tournament standout Bryan Baker making his 170 lb debut against Shooto South America champ Carlos Alexandre Pereira, and Karl Amoussou facing Chris Lozano in the main event.
Here’s a preview of the main card and a breakdown of each fight, which can be seen in its entirety after the jump.
CHICAGO, Ill. — Bellator Fighting Championships confirmed today that Chris “The Maverick” Cisneros will replace an injured Rick Hawn in Bellator’s upcoming Season 5 Welterweight Tournament. Hawn suffered a knee injury during a training session, and will be unable to compete in the September 10th Welterweight Quarterfinals airing live on MTV2. Cisneros will replace Hawn, and face UFC veteran Ben Saunders in opening round action.
Cisneros joins Bellator with an impressive 11-3 record, including a current five fight win streak. A former kickboxer and skilled striker, “The Maverick” has had a tremendous amount of success within the Hawaiian MMA circuit and is looking forward to showing off his skills under the Bellator banner.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me, and I’m looking to make some noise in this tournament,” Cisneros said. “It’s always a tough thing to see another fighter go down because of injury, but it happened, and now I have a chance to fight for an unbelievable promotion like Bellator.”
Ben Saunders. Photo courtesy by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.
CHICAGO, ILL. — Bellator Fighting Championships today announced the singing of seven-time UFC veteran Ben “Killa B” Saunders to its already stacked welterweight roster.
Although Saunders will not participate in the upcoming Welterweight Tournament, “Killa B” will make his Bellator debut during Season 4. Bellator Season 4 airs live on MTV2 beginning Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 9 pm.
“Ben Saunders is an exciting, powerful welterweight with explosive knockout power. Ben’s dangerous and always shows up to fight. I’m excited to see his first fight under the Bellator banner on MTV2 in April.” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Rich Franklin def. Wanderlei Silva - Unanimous Decision
Cain Velasquez def. Cheick Kongo - Unanimous Decision
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Mustapha Al-Turk - TKO Round 1 3:08
Mike Swick def. Ben Saunders - TKO Round 2 2:47
Spencer Fisher def. Caol Uno - Unanimous Decision
Dan Hardy def. Marcus Davis - Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Terry Etim def. Justin Buchholz - Submission (D’Arce Choke) Round 2
Dennis Siver def. Dale Hartt - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1
Paul Taylor def. Peter Sobotta - Unanimous Decision
Paul Kelly def. Roli Delgado - Unanimous Decision
Stefan Struve def. Denis Stojnic - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2
John Hathaway def. Rick Story - Unanimous Decision
Mike Swick. Photo by Justin Grant. Courtesy of MikeSwick.com.
Here are your news and notes for the morning of March 12, 2009.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship yesterday announced four additional bouts for its inaugural trek to Germany for UFC 99 on June 13. A pair of welterweights matchups will now grace the televised portion of the card: Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders and Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy. Also revealed was a lightweight fight between Dennis Siver and Dale Hartt and a heavyweight clash involving Stefan Struve and Denis Stojnic. [UFC.com]
A 155 lb matchup between rising British lightweight prospect Paul Kelly and “Ultimate Fighter 8” alumnus Roli Delgado will reportedly also be added to UFC 99 in the coming days. The fight will be the first at lightweight for Kelly, who spent his previous nine career fights competing at welterweight, where he last defeated Troy Mandaloniz via unanimous decision in February. [MMA Weekly]
Canadian veteran Jonathan Goulet will reportedly return to action at UFC 100 in July against Dong-Hyun Kim. Goulet has not fought since suffering a quick TKO loss to Mike Swick at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” event last December because of a lingering knee injury. Kim suffered his first professional loss at UFC 94 in January, dropping a split decision to Karo Parisyan. [MFight News]
In a fight in which the loser may find himself on his way out of the UFC, former standout amateur wrestler Matt Grice will apparently take on Shannon Gugerty at UFC 100 in July as well. Both fighters are coming off recent losses. Grice fell to Matt Veach at February’s UFC Fight Night 17 in his first fight in over a year while Gugerty was last submitted by Spencer Fisher at UFC 90 last October. [MMA Weekly]
Jose Aldo. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Fresh off of his first-round stoppage of Rolando Perez at WEC 38 on January 25, fast-rising featherweight contender will reportedly take on WEC newcomer Chris Mickle in a bout that will likely be added to WEC 39, which takes place on March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
According to MMA Junkie, the fight will partially take the place of the canceled WEC welterweight title fight between Carlos Condit and Brock Larson, who are both now headed to the UFC due to the rumored demise of the WEC’s 170 lb. division.
Aldo has won his first three fights in the WEC and another win under his belt could vault him to the top half of the featherweight division. Mickle, who has spent the majority of his career fighting in small shows in the midwest, will come into the bout with a two-fight winning streak.