SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Ex-UFC champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson won the Bellator Season 10 light heavyweight tournament by outpointing Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, also earning a shot at the promotion’s champion.
But even before the scorecards were read, Jackson was asking for a rematch with Lawal, who erupted in fury after the reading of scorecards in the Viacom-owned promotion’s short-notice headliner.
The light heavyweight tournament final was the main event of today’s Bellator 120 event at Landers Center in Southaven, Miss. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on Spike TV and Spike.com.
The final scorecards were unanimously 29-28 for Jackson, who said he wanted to rematch Lawal at the FedEx Center a short drive from the event’s location in his hometown of Memphis.
“I’m not happy with my victory,” Jackson said as a partisan crowd cheered him. “I wanted to knock ‘King Mo’ out. I won’t be satisfied until he’s down on this Bellator mat sleeping.”
Lawal fired back at Jackson and Bellator in an expletive-filled post-fight interview, declaring he won the fight and telling the promotion’s CEO: “Cut me then if you don’t like me. You know I won that fight.”
The former Strikeforce champion kept Jackson off-balance throughout the fight with the wrestling skills that made him a collegiate champion on the mats. Jackson, meanwhile, attempted to stymie takedown attempts in order to land power punches, but save for a few solid shots, he was unable to rack up much offense.
The pair were slotted in Bellator 120?s headliner after lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez was forced to withdraw from a rubber match with ex-champ Michael Chandler, who suffered a split-call loss to replacement Will Brooks in an interim title fight.
Lawal dumped Jackson to the mat in less than 10 seconds and settled into Jackson’s guard, where he worked to create space and fling punches as Jackson tried to escape. It took the ex-UFC champ less than two minute to find his feet again, but Lawal reset and put him back on the canvas. And there he stayed, struggling mightily to get up.
Jackson eventually righted himself, but didn’t throw a punch until one minute remaining in the round, and his attempts at counterpunching Lawal were unsuccessful.
That wasn’t the case in the second frame, when a right hand from Jackson staggered Lawal and briefly forced him into survival mode. Jackson spent much of the frame trying to escape Lawal’s clutches while landing a fight-ending shot. Lawal, sporting a badly swelling left eye, capitalized with a left hook that staggered Jackson and nabbed another takedown.
Lawal avoided Jackson’s punches in the final frame with a takedown that put him in control once again. Jackson returned to his feet, but with two minutes to work, he had few opportunities to land power punches as Lawal smothered him against the cage. A separation from the referee gave Jackson once last chance, but Lawal eluded danger and stuck a jab in his rival’s face.
Since signing with Bellator after his exit this past year from the UFC, Jackson (34-11 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) has won three straight and is expected to challenge champ Emanuel Newton for the light heavyweight belt. Lawal (12-4 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) goes back to the drawing board after a decision in the Season 10 tourney’s semifinals, which followed a decision loss to Newton for the interim title.
Complete Bellator 120 results include:
- Quinton Jackson def Muhammed Lawal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Will Brooks def. Michael Chandler via split decision (48-46, 47-48, 48-47)
- Tito Ortiz def. Alexander Shlemenko via technical submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:27
- Alexander Volkov def. Blagoi Ivanov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:08
- Michael Page def. Ricky Rainey via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 4:29
- Cheick Kongo def. Eric Smith via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:35
- Marcin Held def. Nate Jolly via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:20
- Fabricio Guerreiro def. Shahbulat Shamhalaev via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 3:29
- Goiti Yamauchi def. Mike Richman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Austin Lyons def. Zach Underwood via unanimous technical decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
- Mike Wessel def. Justin Frazier via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:28
- Ben Brewer def. Andy Uhrich via knockout (strikes) – Round 2, 2:40
- Codie Shuffield def. Anthony Lemon via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:15
- Brian Hall def. Cortez Phelia via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:24
Matt Erickson contributed to this report on-site in Southaven.
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