Mo Lawal - BellatorBellator was back tonight to build off the momentum of last week’s debut on Spike TV delivering record ratings and did so thanks to another solid lineup in place to entertain fans including a title-fight, the much-anticipated debut of Muhammed Lawal, and the opening round of the Season 8 welterweight tournament.

Bellator 86 featured 170-pound champion Ben Askren putting his belt (and unbeaten record) on the line against ferocious Frenchman Karl Amoussou in the evening’s headlining tilt. Askren was 10-0 entering the affair including a win over Douglas Lima in his latest bout, while Amoussou held an overall record of 16-4-2 with thirteen stoppages to his credit.

In the end, Amoussou had little to offer Askren, ending up on his back early and often while also dealing with the damage brought on by a relentless storm of strikes. The cuts/swelling got so bad that doctors ultimately intervened, calling the fight off in favor of Askren after the conclusion of the third round.

Meanwhile, Lawal looked as sharp as ever despite his extended layoff from in-ring action, knocking out Przemyslaw Mysiala in a light heavyweight tournament quarterfinal clash to improve his overall record to 9-1. As a result Lawal will face Emanuel Newton in his next rumble en route to a potential title-shot and six-figure payday.

Last but not least, eight welterweights squared off in hopes of advancing to the next round of their division’s respective tourney. Specifically, the bouts involved Raul Amaya-Jose Gomes, Marius Zaromskis-Brent Weedman, Koffie Adzitso-Ben Saunders, and Lima-Michael Tsarev. When the smoke cleared, Amaya, Saunders, Lima, and Weedman all advanced to the semifinals. Lima and Amaya looked particularly sharp, scoring strike-based stoppages in each of their outings.

A full list of Bellator 86 winners/losers can be found below:

Hunter Tucker vs. Javier Obregon
Damon Jackson def. Zach Church via Submission Round 2 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Cortez Coleman def. Matt Jones via Unanimous Decision
Raul Amaya def. Jose Gomes via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Brent Weedman def. Marius Zaromskis via Unanimous Decision
Jason Sampson def. Chris Pham via Submission Round 3 (Armbar)
Ben Saunders def. Koffie Adzitso via Unanimous Decision
Douglas Lima def. Michail Tsarev via TKO Round 2 (Leg Kicks)
Muhammed Lawal def. Przemyslaw Mysiala via Knockout Round 1 (Strikes)
Ben Askren def. Karl Amoussou via TKO Round 3 (Doctor’s Stoppage)