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Bellator 71 Recap

Bellator 71, the first installment of the promotion’s 2012 Summer Series, emanated live from the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester West Virginia. The main card saw Former Strikeforce title challenger Brett “The Grim” Rogers make his Bellator debut as well as the opening round of the light heavyweight tournament.

Travis Wiuff, the man who defeated Bellator’s Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M’Pumbu only to win a chance at entering the season tournament, was once again victorious inside the Bellator cage. The wily veteran use his wrestling to dominate the much less experienced Chris Davis. When the rookie rolled for a knee, but failed to grab onto anything, Wiuff was able to capitalize and pound out his opponent at 4:12 of round 1.

Attila Vegh positively blew the doors off of Zelg Galesic, dropping the Croatian with a stiff left hook. “Pumukli” then hopped on the back of his opponent, sinking in a choke and forcing the tap. It took all of 60 seconds for the scene to play out, advancing the Slovakian in the Light Heavyweight tournament.

Emanuel Newton took it to Roy Broughton in their tournament bout, bullying the Cesar gracie student around the cage for the majority of the first round. In the end, it was defensive wrestling that won the bout for “The Hardcore Kid” as he shucked a takedown attempt and immediately took the back of Broughton. Once there, it was elementary, as he sunk in a rear-naked choke, forcing a tap at 49 seconds of the second frame.

A last minute replacement in the Bellator Light Heavyweight tournament, Tim Carpenter ceased the day when he met Beau Tribolet in the cage. After a strong first round, Carpenter was able to grab a beautiful armbar by pushing off of the fence and force the verbal submission at 4:51 of the second stanza.

After falling on hard times, Brett Rogers was able to get back on the winning side of things in his Bellator debut, mashing personal rival Kevin Asplund for the two rounds with strikes. After the second round, the ringside physician waved off the bout due to swelling around the face of “Concrete”. Albeit an anti-climactic finish, the former Strikeforce Heavyweight Title challenger had his hand raised for the first time since 2012.

Kevin Zalac used his superior striking to earn a unanimous decision victory against Chris Goldbaugh. With both men growing tired in the later rounds, Zalac remained the fresher man, taking home a unanimous 29-28 from the judges.

It was an unfortunate night for Dan Spohn, who was defeated in a light heavyweight rematch with his first professional opponent, Josh Stansbury. After being starched with a powerful overhand right, “The Dragon” fell to the ground and was immediately guillotined, tapping at 2:36 of round 1, and losing his NAAFS Light Heavyweight title.

Submission ace Jason Butcher needed only 63 seconds to bounce Duane Bastress from the cage in a  middleweight match-up. The Jorge Gurgel protege was taken down early on, sinking a triangle choke and forcing the tap.

In the evening’s curtain jerker, Neil Johnson came back from serious adversity to choke out Brylan Van Artsdalen after having his legs chopped at for the better part of two rounds. The Virginian was able lock in a rear-naked choke and force the tap at 4:29 of the second period of this featherweight bout.


  • Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Travis Wiuff def. Chris Davis via TKO (strikes) at 4:12 of Round 1
  • Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Attila Vegh def. Zelg Galesic via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:00 Round 1
  • Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Emanuel Newton def. Roy Boughton via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:49 of Round 2
  • Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Tim Carpenter def. Beau Tribolet via submission (armbar) at 4:51 of Round 2
  • Heavyweight Feature Fight: Brett Rogers def. Kevin Asplund via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2


  • Josh Stansbury def. Dan Spohn via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:30 of Round 1
  • Jason Butcher def. Duane Bastress via submission (triangle choke) at 1:03 of Round 1
  • Neil Johnson def. Brylan Van Artsdalen via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:29 of Round 2
  • Kevin Zalac def. Chris Goldbaugh via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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