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Amoussou, Baker, Rickels, Saunders Advance in Bellator Welterweight Tournament

Four welterweights advanced in Bellator's Season 6 tournament on Friday night.


Karl Amoussou, Bryan Baker, David Rickels and Ben Saunders won their quarterfinal fights to advance in Bellator's season six welterweight tournament on Friday night at Bellator 63.

In the main event, Amoussou exploded on Chris Lozano early in the first round and was relentless, first battering Lozano with ground and pound and then taking his back, sinking in a rear-naked choke and forcing him to tap. Amoussou is inconsistent, but when he's on his game he's a brutal finisher, and he was at his best on Friday night, needing just 2 minutes, 5 seconds to win the fight.

"I'm not here to play," Amoussou said afterward. "I'm not here to beat the guys, I'm here to destroy them."

Bryan Baker beat Carlos Alexandre Pereira, 29-28 on two scorecards for Baker and 29-28 on one scorecard for Pereira. Both fighters looked tentative in their striking, and the crowd loudly booed them. Baker apologized to the fans and said he'll get better once he gets more comfortable making weight at 170 pounds, after moving down from middleweight.

Rickels needed just 22 seconds to knock out Jordan Smith, battering him against the cage with hard punches. "That was amazing," Rickels said afterward. Smith claimed the stoppage was too fast, but he was wrong -- Smith went limp for a moment, and referee Dan Miragliotta rightly stepped in to stop the fight.

In the first fight of the MTV2 televised card, Saunders, a UFC veteran, cruised to an easy unanimous decision victory over Raul Amaya. The fight was scored 30-26 by one judge and 30-27 by the others. Saunders was relentless with submission attempts, and while Amaya showed impressive heart in refusing to tap, Saunders was easily the better fighter in the cage. He may just be the best fighter in this tournament.

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