Twelve-year veteran Travis Wiuff outclassed Chris Davis en route to a ruthless first-round TKO victory at the main event of Bellator 71, held at the Mountaineer Casino Resort in Chester, West Virginia on Friday night.
Exploiting a significant size advantage, Wiuff pinned Davis against the fence and showered his opponent with high-pressure punches, eventually dropping the Southerner. The 34-year-old Wiuff hastily dove onto Davis' back and unloaded a salvo of shots to the temple, pounding out the forty-fifth finish of his lengthy career and punching his ticket to the light heavyweight Summer Series semi-finals.
Afterward, Wiuff, who already owns a victory over Bellator 205-pound champion Christian M'Pumbu, took the mic to make his intentions known.
"I'm ready to go. I want that belt," he proclaimed. "I want to be up on that banner. Christian, I'm coming for that belt. These guys can't handle my pressure. These guys can't stop a nosebleed. Now they're going to stop my takedown? Not going to happen."
Rogers, fighting for the first time since February, suplexed his opponent to the mat early, before opening a wide gash across Asplund's forehead with an uppercut in the waning moments of round one. Asplund managed to secured a pair of takedowns to start the second frame, however Rogers reversed to top position and rode out the clock, unloading strong shots and ballooning the left side of his Asplund's head.
Between rounds ringside officials determined Asplund could not safely continue and stepped in to stop the fight.
"I just plan on getting better, and better, and better," Rogers said afterward. "This was kind of short notice for me. ... It was only three weeks, so I plan on getting out there and getting the time in, and getting in to really knock them out."
The remaining tournament action saw highly-touted Slovakian bruiser Attila Vegh need just 60 seconds to steamroll Zelg Galesic and advance to the light heavyweight semi-finals. Following a furious exchange, Vegh dropped the Englishman with massive counter left uppercut before mercifully latching onto his back and finishing the fight via rear-naked choke.
The 26-year-old Vegh has now finished 20 of his 28 opponents.
Emanuel Newton put on a clinic in his Bellator debut, slamming Roy Broughton to the mat numerous times before snaking in a slick rear-naked choke 49 seconds into the second-round of his quarterfinal match. By winning, the "Hardcore Kid" extended his current streak to six straight. Four of Newton's last eight victories have come via of rear-naked choke.
Late replacement Tim Carpenter stunned Beau Tribolet by coaxing a verbal tapout from an armbar in the closing moments of round two to advance to the Summer Series semi-finals. Carpenter was initially slated to fight John Hawk on the night's preliminary card, however tourney darkhorse Rich Hale fell ill prior to Thursday's weigh-ins, leading to his removal from the bracket.