Tonight at Bellator 45 Christian M’Pumbu knocked out Richard Hale to become the first Bellator light-heavyweight champion. In other action, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire edged Daniel Straus and Sam Alvey won a close decision with Karl Amoussou.
The card marked the end of Bellator’s fourth season. Bellator will return on June 25 with the start of their summer series.
Christian M’Pumbu wins Bellator Title
Christian M’Pumbu needed just three out of a possible five rounds to become the Bellator light-heayweight champion. M’Pumbu nearly finished Hale in the first with crushing strikes but Hale recovered from the strikes and D’arce choke attempt to survive the round. In the second, the action slowed as M’Pumbu sniped while Hale mostly swung at air. In the middle round, M’Pumbu went on the offensive and dropped the much larger Hale with vicious strikes before finishing him on the ground.
An emotional M’Pumbu was awarded the Bellator light-heavyweight championship belt and $100,000 for his efforts in the cage. M’Pumbu became the first African-born MMA champion of a major organization according to the broadcast.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire wins Season Four Featherweight Tournament title
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire defeated Daniel Straus in a bout that highlighted Freire’s ever-evolving skill set. Freire out struck Straus the majority of the fight and even scored a few takedowns on the former high school national champion. Straus had his moments in the fight, but his relative inexperience in MMA was apparent as he struggled to control Freire’s striking and improved wrestling.
Freire will now face Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren in a rematch of Season Two’s featherweight final. The first bout was a fight of the year candidate with Freire nearly finishing Warren with strikes and submissions before Warren recovered to gain a split decision victory over Freire.
Sam Alvey Narrowly Edges Karl Amoussou
Sam Alvey recovered after a brutal first round to win a split decision that showed the value of finishing a few rounds on top. Alvey struggled with Amoussou’s striking and judo from start to finish. The one thing Alvey was able to do was secure sweeps from the bottom to reverse Amoussou at key moments. In what was likely the deciding factor of the bout, Alvey countered an Amoussou throw and was able to posture up and throw heavy ground and pound for the last ten seconds of the third. While Alvey was out struck and out grappled most of the fight, he was awarded a narrow split decision by the judges.
With the win, Alvey gained entry into the Bellator Season Five middleweight tournament in the fall.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
Bellator light-heavyweight championship bout- Christian M’Pumbu def. Richard Hale via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:17
Bellator Season Four featherweight tournament final- Patricio Freire def. Daniel Straus via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Sam Alvey def. Karl Amoussou via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
LOCAL CARD RESULTS
Shawn Jordan def. John Hill via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:56
Luis “Sapo” Santos def. Nicolae Cury via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tim Ruberg def. Mike Fleniken via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rene Nazare def. Kelvin Hackney via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:46
Joseph Abercrombie def. Ben Parpart via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:11