Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of Bellator: Dynamite 1.
Tonight’s card comes to us from the SAP Center in San Jose and will feature both a typical MMA cage and a kickboxing ring, as Bellator and Glory co-promote the card.
The main card airs live on Spike TV and will feature Liam McGeary defending his light heavyweight title against Tito Ortiz in the main event.
McGeary is unbeaten in his career and won the title with a decision victory over Emanuel Newton earlier this year. Ortiz, of course, is a former UFC champion and was inducted into the hall of fame before deciding to return to action for Bellator.
Along with the title fight in the 205-pound division, Newton, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Phil Davis and Linton Vassell will compete in a four-fighter, one-night tournament to crown a No. 1 contender.
Glory will crown a new light heavyweight champion, when Saulo Cavalari meets Zack Mwekassa. Other kickboxing matches include Paul Daley vs. Fernando Gonzalez and the debut of Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez, the wife of former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, against Hadley Griffith.
Josh Thomson, another ex-Strikeforce champion, fights for the first time in Bellator against Mike Bronzoulis.
Now, on to the action:
Francis Carmont def. Anthony Ruiz via decision in light heavyweight tournament alternate bout
Thomas Diagne vs. Mike Malott ruled a majority draw (29-28 Diagne, 28-28, 28-28)
Jose Palacios def. T.J. Arcangel via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Serhiy Adamchuk def. Anvar Bonyazarov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Adam Piccolotti def. Salvador Becerra via submission (neck crank) at 1:47 of Round 2
Gabriel Carrasco def. Joe Neal via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Linton Vassell vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in light heavyweight tournament semifinal
We kick things off with the first semifinal, as Linton Vassell takes on former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
Round 1: These tourney semifinals will be contested over two five-minute rounds, putting the pressure on fighters to come out. Lawal doing just that, catching Vassell with a big shot that floors him inside of the first 30 seconds. But here comes Vassell right back with shots of his own and he shoots for a takedown. Lawal sprawls and avoids it, as they square back off. Another right finds the mark for King Mo. Lawal the aggressor, really pushing the pace and backing Vassell down. Another takedown attempt is denied and Lawal lands with more rights to the body. Excellent round for Lawal, as he almost finishes him in the final seconds.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lawal
Round 2: Bit more deliberate approach for Lawal to start, as he knows he won the first and has Vassell concerned with the power. Nice exchange, as Vassell uses his length and lands. He’s just not packing enough to really hurt Lawal. Vassell takes advantage of a hands-down approach by Lawal, dropping him briefly. He’s finding a home for his jab, but Lawal fires back and is dancing now in front of Vassell. After a takedown, Vassell attempts a submission, but Lawal reverses and scores with a slam-takedown of his own.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lawal
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Linton Vassell via unanimous decision
Phil Davis vs. Emanuel Newton in light heavyweight tournament semifinal
His Bellator debut is next for Phil Davis, as the former UFC fighter takes on ex-Bellator champion Emanuel Newton. The winner moves on to face Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in the finals later tonight.
Round 1: Newton quickly gains the center of the cage, but Davis shows his length and almost lands a big kick. Davis with a takedown and he’s working for a submission, but Newton shows his own skills and gets to his feet. “Mr. Wonderful” brings him right back down and in side control, searching for a kimura. He’s in a strong position to finish, moving freely and taking the back after being denied. Good rights getting through to the face of Newton. Another roll and Davis is in a modified-mount. Davis gains the kimura and gets it, forcing the tap and advancing. Davis will face Lawal in the finals for a title shot.
Phil Davis def. Emanuel Newton via submission (kimura) at 4:39 of Round 1