Bellator 97‘s main card kicked off with a trio of fights to set up the twin title shots. In the Summer Series light heavyweight final, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal would dominate Jacob Noe en route to TKO victory. In other action, Vitaly Minakov and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire picked up important victories to start off the main card.
“King Mo” Demolishes Noe
Tonight’s Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament final was only close when the referee issued the final instructions. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal was simply too much for the bigger Jacob Noe from post-to-post. Lawal utilized dominant wrestling and ground-and-pound to seize control of the bout, turning Noe into a bloody mess before the referee mercifully stepped in. The win nets Lawal $100,000 and a shot at the Bellator light heavyweight title currently held by Attila Vegh.
Minakov Pounds out Martinez
Multi-time World SAMBO champion Vitaly Minakov notched an important victory tonight by defeating Ryan Martinez in the Summer Series Heavyweight Tournament Final. Minakov controlled range and stayed aggressive over the three round fight before landing a crucial takedown in the third. From that point, the fight was all but over as Minakov took his opponents back and teed off with big punches from the back and in mount before the referee called the fight. The win earns Minakov $100,000 and a shot at Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov later this year.
“Pitbull” Chomps Downing
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire continued his dominance outside of the Bellator title fights by putting a beating on Jared Downing. To Downing’s credit, it took a lot for the fight to be called but Freire was in total control of the fight. The victory allows Freire to stay perfect outside of Bellator title fights as he prepares to take on countryman Diego Nunes in the opening round of the Season 9 tournament.
- Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Jacob Noe via verbal submission (strikes) at 2:51 of Round 3
- Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final: Vitaly Minakov def. Ryan Martinez via TKO (strikes) at 4:02 of Round 3
- Patricio “Pitbull” Freire def. Jared Downing via TKO (strikes) at 0:54 of Round 2