Bellator officials got exactly what they had been hoping for with the results of the light-heavyweight tournament semifinals to kick off the promotion’s 10th season. Both Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson emerged victorious at Bellator 110 and will now meet in the tournament final.
Lawal earned a decision victory in a rather tedious affair against Mikhail Zayats. He was able to utilize his grappling skills and mix in the occasional stiff jab and right hand combinations to secure a 30-27 margin on all three of the judges’ scorecards. There really wasn’t much to separate the two competitors during the course of the fight but “King Mo” was the busier of the two in a contest that produced very little in the way of excitement.
The uneventful nature of the bout drew the ire of the fans in attendance in Connecticut as the crowd rained down boos on multiple occasions. Zayats drew blood from Lawal’s mouth in the opening frame with a strong overhand right but was just too tentative throughout the contest. “King Mo” is now 4-2 inside the Bellator cage with both losses having come against Emanuel Newton. He picked up his 12th career victory but failed to impress. He will have to be much better against Jackson who certainly won’t be as cautious as Zayats was.
As for Rampage, he was able to register a second straight knockout with the promotion as the former UFC light heavyweight champion finished former Bellator champion Christian M’Pumbu in the opening round. Jackson was frustrated at times in the contest as M’Pumbu was more than happy to circle his opponent to avoid danger and didn’t engage much.
The end came late in the opening stanza when M’Pumbu threw a low kick and was knocked to the canvas by a Jackson left-right combination. The veteran moved in for the finish and landed a pair of perfectly-placed short right hands from top position that knocked M’Pumbu senseless. The end came at the 4:34 mark.
Anything other than King Mo vs. Rampage would’ve been a highly disappointing outcome for Bellator. The fighters have already done their best to try and hype the upcoming matchup by getting into a pro-wrestling style melee during the post-fight interview. Hopefully they can produce an entertaining affair in the cage when they square off to see who earns a future title shot.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports