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Bellator 91 Rio Rancho Live Blog

Stay tuned and keep up with the Bellator 91 event going down tonight in Rio Rancho, New Mexico at the Santa Ana Star Center with SWFight.com as we live blog from inside the arena.

Middleweight : Yair Moguel (187.6) vs. Brennan Ward (184.9)

Rd 1- both fighters start swinging and applying pressure with Ward diving under for a takedown. A few transitions later and Ward gets back control. Ward flattens out Moguel for the choke and there is the tap.

Brennan Ward wins via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1 0:57

Heavyweight: Josh Appelt (245.1) vs. Josh Lanier (212.0)

Rd 1- The fight immediately hits the cage to the clinch. Appelt muscles the action and now a clean break. Appelt lands a big punch that pushes Lanier to shoot in. Lanier works a double leg on the fence, briefly gets the takedown until a scramble leads to Appelt on top. Lanier quickly snatches up a triangle until Appelt gets out and stands up. Big swing for Appelt and Lanier once again looks to clinch. Ref calls for a clean break. Lanier shoots and pulls guard immediately hunting a submission. Once again Appelt gets up. Big punch stuns Lanier and he is saved by the bell from an Appelt flurry. SWFight scores the round 10-9 Appelt.

Rd 2- Round starts with peppering strikes until Appelt lands a nasty punch that folds Lanier. Appelt follows with ground and pound until the referee stops the fight.

Josh Appelt wins via TKO – Round 2 0:16

Bantamweight: Adrian Cruz (135.5) vs. Nick Gonzalez (135.4)

Rd 1- Lots of audience noise for these two fan favorites. Both fighters bounce patient until they both throw a flurry. Cruz with a knee then a takedown. Cruz works from 1/2 guard while Gonzales holds on to the posture of Cruz. There both grinding it out from their positions. Cruz lands some short strikes and then a questionable referee stand up. Gonzales feints and Cruz pushes forward. Cruz lands an uppercut, shoots in for a double and nearly takes the back. Omoplata for Gonzales and it is deep but Cruz rolls out of danger. Cruz works from side control. Gonzales fights back to 1/2 guard. Fun round, SWFight scores it 10-9 for Cruz.

Rd 2- Flurry and Gonzales lands. Stuffs a Cruz shot and they exchange big punches. Left hook lands for Cruz. Cruz takes the back standing and drags Gonzales down. Big knee lands for Cruz and another hurts Gonzales. Now they clinch. Cruz works the single, switches to a double and gets it. Gonzales back to his feet. Judo trip from the cage scores for Cruz and Cruz snatches a submission and Gonzales taps! He lands a modified Kimura, super slick.

Adrian Cruz wins via Submission (Neck crank and Kimura) Round 2 3:03

Josh Montoya vs. Ed West

Rd 1- West comes out quick throwing kicks. Montoya answers with a 3 strike combo. West lands kicks inside. Montoya catches a kick and hits a smiling West. Montoya catches another kick and bloodies West nose. West goes high with the head kick. West lands another head kick and Montoya plays a counter striker role. West landing leg kicks at will. Josh fires back with a right. West throws three straight leg kicks that rattle Montoya. Straight right lands for Montoya. Now Montoya opens up but is stopped by West leg kicks. West misses a huge round house kick. West wins the round for offensive output 10-9

Rd 2- West opens with a leg kick and Montoya answers with a flurry. Josh sneaks In a straight right. They both trade offensive flurries. West with more leg kicks. Montoya catches a kick and lands a right. West lands a flying knee and leg kicks. Leg kicks starting to damage Montoya. West lands a nasty head kick and knocks Montoya out cold! Montoya is up after several moments being attempted too, he caught the head kick on the chin.

Ed West wins by Knock Out (Head Kick) Round 2 2:51

Andres Quintana vs. Russell Wilson

Rd 1- Russell with a leg kick and Quintana immediately answers with his big strikes. Wilson shoots and Quintana lands knees on the fence. Wilson trying to be aggressive early. Quintana uses his length to stay out of range but Wilson shoots and scores with a takedown. Wilson works from the open guard. Quintana gets to the fence as Wilson works to keep him grounded. Quintana wall walks and Wilson is deep on a single leg. Scramble nearly earns Quintana a good position but Wilson stays on the high crotch. Quintana defends nicely and gets on top of Wilson. Quintana rolls slickly into a modified reverse triangle. Wilson explodes out. Quintana gets an arm bar but Wilson slides out and escapes, that was deep! Wilson ends the round with a guillotine. SWFight scores this close, nearly even but Wilson ends stronger for the 10-9

Rd 2- Quintana starts the round aggressive but Wilson matches the pace. Quintana lands a stiff jab, then a left that sends Wilson into a takedown attempt. Quintana works a choke from head control in the sprawl. Back to the feet and Quintana lands a kick to the body. Wilson tiring and Quintana starts to land more frequent. Body shot lands for Wilson and a big knee answer by Quintana. Wilson once again gets Quintana down and they are along the fence. Wilson has a body lock and lands knees to the thigh if Quintana. Wilson hunts a double while Quintana lands short elbows along the fence. Wilson momentarily gets an ankle pick and now Wilson grinds into another slam. Quintana rolls into a knee bar but Wilson defends. SwFight scores it for Wilson 10-9.

Rd 3- Quintana is caught by a overhand but lands a knee in the clinch that bucks Wilson. Quintana works ground and pound and Wilson stops intelligently defending prompting the referee stoppage. Impressive fight and win for Quintana who may have been losing two rounds to none.

Andres Quintana wins via TKO (Punches) Round 3 0:32

Lightweight: Blas Avena (170.7) vs. Lenny Lovato (170.9)

 

Rd 1- Lenny feints level changes for a takedown. Avens circles and throws a front kick. Lovato misses a low kick. Both fighters timid early on. Avena scores with a nasty leg kick and Lovato already limps. Right hook lands for Avena and Lovato is out. The crowd boos for an early stoppage but Lovato folded and looked out.

Blas Avena wins via TKO (Punch) Round 1

Women’s Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Katie Merrill

Rd 1- The crowd nearly blows the roof off the Star Center for Holly’s introduction. Merrill rushes in and Holm circles. Holm’s movement is so fluid. Merrill clinches and Holly takes control with the clinch. They both try to muscle one another with Holly winning early. They separate and Holly changes levels feinting. Leg kick lands for Holm. Crowd roars “Holly” and she eats a body kick. Merrill catches a kick and works for a takedown and Holly defends. Holly whips a left hook and lands a kick. Merrill shoots and eats a body kick that stuns her. Holly now pushes forward and lands a nasty body kick partially blocked. Lead uppercut for Holm. Another body kick and Holm shows exceptional takedown defense but Merrill gets the takedown late. SWFight scores it 10-9 Holm

Rd 2- Holly starts stalking Merrill down. 1-2 lands for Holm. Left hook right hook now and Merrill is bleeding. Merrill just pumping a jab. Three strike combo ends with a kick for Holm and Merrill clinches. Left straight rocks Merrill and after a scramble Holly lands punches and a kick to really back up Merrill. Holm is landing at will here. Merrill catches a kick and momentarily gets Holm down. Holly wall walks but Merrill grinds. Now to the clinch standing. Body shot hurts Merrill and ensuing strikes drop Merrill. The left hook to the head and right hook to the body stops Merrill and the ground and pound after forces the stoppage. Holm is impressive, easily dismantling her opponent and what may surprise many is that it was her kickboxing not her world class boxing that did the job.

Holly Holm wins via TKO (Punches) Round 2 3:02

Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Jason Fischer (155.6) vs. David Rickels (155.7)

Rd 1- The crowd is still hot from the Holm’s fight. Fischer lands a head kick early and Rickels nearly takes the back scrambling. Rickels throws a spinning back fist but Fischer still pushes forward. Fischer lands a head kick again. Both guys have no problem eating punches. Rickels with a leg kick and hook. Fischer lands a straight and Rickels pushes forward. Rickels sneaks in a straight right. They tie up and Rickels exits with an uppercut. Fischer works a single then a body lock. Rickels applies pressure and Fischer answers with the clinch. Cage posturing and they separate. Rickels looks to be slowing then lands uppercuts coming forward. Fischer pins Rickels on the fence and slows the pace down. Rickels has his mouth wide open as Fischer pushes the pace now. It was a close round, Fischer pushes pace but Rickels lands more. SWFight scores it 10-9 Rickels.

Rd 2- Rickels pushes forward with strikes early. Now Fischer into the clinch on the cage. While Rickels seemed to slow he is still dictating the pace and gets a big double leg and works in the guard. Short strikes and Fischer rolls for an arm bar. Rickels is not in danger and slips out. Good ground and pound as Fischer is tricky from his back. Rickels passes to 1/2 guard and then moves to mount and then to a triangle attempt that leads to Fischer gaining top position. Now Fischer looks to get posture inside the guard. Fischer looks solid on top and now they scramble to the feet. Momentum swing for Fischer. Both guys have slowed and Rickels puts Fischer on the cage. Inside trip attempt by Rickels fails and Fischer gets the takedown. Fischer wins the round 10-9 sending it even to the third round.

Rd 3- The round starts with an exchange of leg kicks. Fischer lands a right hand and Rickels is bleeding. Rickels defends a takedown. Rickels on top now working ground and pound. Fischer throws up and arm bar and eats a Rickels flurry for it. Rickels cranks a Kimura from the sprawl and flattens Fischer out. Rickels cut above the left eye. Takes Fischer down. After minute of wrestling the attempts kimura. Rickels full mount Fischer does good job defending by holding Rickels in close. Rickels pulls away momentarily and implements some ground and pound. Fischer turns facedown, giving up his back to Rickels who attempts rear naked choke. Rickels roll into arm bar attempt but fails. Fischer ends up on top with just five seconds in the round. SWFight scores it 10-9 for Rickels giving him the fight on our scorecard.

David Rickels wins via Decision (Unanimous 30-27 x2, 29-28)

Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Saad Awad (155.5) vs. Will Brooks (156.0)

Rd 1- Big time prospect in Brooks and Awad looks mean. Brooks with the feints early, he ducks under Awad for a takedown and gets clipped. Awad all over him now as he has Brooks hurt badly. He swarms and Brooks can’t recover. Awad is dragged off of Brooks after a nasty onslaught where he applied the pressure through ground and pound. What an impressive win.

Saad Awad wins via TKO – Round 1 0:43

Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Christian M’Pumbu (201.6) vs. Attila Vegh (204.0)

Rd 1- This one is scheduled for five rounds but if history is any indicator this one is a “don’t blink” type of fight. Both fighters feeling the range out, the champ throws first. Crowd boos until Vegh rushes in with a left over the top. Very respectful hesitation from both guys. Vegh drops M’Pumbu but somehow gets top control as Vegh rushes in. Vegh nearly has the body triangle locked up from bottom. M’Pumbu passes and Vegh stands up into a standing guillotine that doesn’t look deep. M’Pumbu muscling Vegh along the fence. They separate and back to feeling the range. The champ with a leg kick. M’Pumba lands another leg kick and Vegh rushes him back. Vegh is keeping the champ honest with power. M’Pumbu lands a straight right. Vegh with a huge judo throw and now Vegh works through 1/2 guard along the fence. Round ends and I would give that round to Vegh for the most significant strike and pressure applied. 10-9 Vegh

Rd 2- Front kick to the body of Vegh and they both still fight tentative much to the dismay of the crowd. Vegh runs down M’Pumbu to push the action. M’Pumbu throwing a lot of feelers. Very little action here. Vegh throws a lead uppercut with a straight to end it and they clinch on the fence. M’Pumbu controls Vegh until they separate. Vegh switches stances and eats a leg kick. Vegh rushes in again and scores with a huge leg kick. Now Vegh spirals and gets top position in M’Pumbu’s guard. Vegh lands a nice hammer fist and is staying busy on top. M’Pumbu rolls and Vegh ends up in a leg lock attempt with M’Pumbu on top. M’Pumbu defends and gets mount and then the back. Vegh shakes him high on his shoulders and away from danger. Round ends and SWFight has it 10-9 for Vegh.

Rd 3- After two slow rounds the crowd is becoming restless. Vegh looks to be the fresher fighter. M’Pumbu adjusts his shorts and lands an inside leg kick. More feeling out by both fighters. Vegh gets top position in a scramble and lands several nice hammer fists. Vegh works from atop the champ and isn’t finding success passing the guard. Omoplata fails for M’Pumbu and Vegh still works from top position. In a weird transition M’Pumbu appears to have inverted guard, rolls and looks to punch Vegh from his back. Vegh passes and gets mount. Now he takes the back, back to 1/2 guard as M’Pumbu is playing defense well. Vegh pins and arm and lands a short elbow. Now several more. Vegh stands up above M’Pumbu to end the round. Easy round for Vegh 10-9 and the champ will need a finish.

Rd 4- Round starts with a M’Pumbu crane kick that hits the body. A lot of feints and feelers again, Vegh throws a punching combo with a knee and gets the top position. Vegh once again looking to get good position as he attacks with a Kimura from the sprawl position. M’Pumbu gets up to a single leg and the champ is cut on the forehead. The crowd is getting very antsy waiting for some action. Vegh lands a straight punch and a knee that rocks M’Pumbu and now he has him hurt and in desperation mode. M’Pumbu dives for a double leg to survive and they are at a stalemate on the cage. Vegh does his best to stay active throwing strikes as he defends until the ref separates them. M’Pumbu misses with an overhand. Vegh is cleaning the slate with another 10-9.

Rd 5- The champ definitely needs a finish here or we will be watching a new champion be crowned n Vegh. Crowd hates the hug to start the round. M’Pumbu not showing any desperation as he is tapping gloves with Vegh’s jabs. An exchange leads to a clinch and the crowd starts a negative chant in the way of both fighters. Vegh is cutting off the champ but isn’t throwing much out there. Counter left lands for Vegh. Vegh lands a right over the top. Both fighters very non committal in their punches. M’Pumbu opens up finally, lands very crisp strikes that puts Vegh on his heels. They both exchange with the champ landing an uppercut. M’Pumbu picking it up and now he gets caught by Vegh. One minute left and the champ needs some desperation. They are clinched on the cage with Vegh in control. There separated and the champ flurries. Vegh on his bicycle and the round was 10-9 M’Pumbu which puts it 49-46 on our scorecards.

Attila Vegh wins via Decision (Unanimous 48-47, 49-46, 50-45) and is the new Bellator World Light Heavyweight Champion.

About Jorge Hernandez

Jorge Hernandez is chief editor for SWFight.com, TV-Host of Combat Sports Weekly and Co-Host of Low Blow Radio. He can be reached on Twitter @JorgeDeBurque.