Bellator 91 takes place this evening at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M., and features a Bellator light heavyweight championship between title-holder Christian M’Pumbu and 205-pound tournament winner Attila Vegh. In addition, both Season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals bouts will take place.
The first preliminary card bout kicks off Thursday evening streaming live on Spike.com at 7:45 p.m. ET / 4:45 p.m. PT, then moving to the main card on Spike TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Be sure to check out ProMMANow’s Guide to Bellator 91 for a complete preview and staff writer Richard Mann’s fight predictions.
Bellator 91 quick results:
MAIN CARD (Spike TV)
- Light Heavyweight Title: Attila Vegh def. Christian M’Pumbu by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45)
- Lightweight Semifinals: Saad Awad def. Will Brooks by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (:43)
- Lightweight Semifinals: David Rickels def. Jason Fischer by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
- Women’s Bantamweight: Holly Holm def. Katie Merrill by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (3:02)
- Welterweight: Blas Avena def. Lenny Lovato by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (1:40)
- Featherweight: Andres Qnintana def. Russell Wilson by TKO (strikes) Rd 3 (:32)
- Bantamweight: Ed West def. Josh Montoya by knockout (head kick) Rd 2 (2:51)
- Bantamweight: Adrian Cruz def. Nick Gonzalez by submission (scarf hold) Rd 2 (3:00)
- Heavyweight: Josh Appelt def. Josh Lanier by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (:16)
- Middleweight: Brennan Ward def Yair Moguel by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (:57)
Bellator 91 play-by-play:
Women’s Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Katie Merrill
Round 1 – A lot of hype and eyes on women’s boxing champ Holly Holm making her third appearance in the MMA cage. She’s 2-0 thus far. Merrill is 1-0. Merrill with a leg kick, body kick. Holm circling the outside. Leg kick from Merrill., clinch, knee. Holm turns her to the cage, knee to thigh. Knee to body from Merrill. Another knee from Merrill, she drops levels, knee from Holm. More knees to thigh, she disengages. Leg kick from Merrill. Leg kick from Holm. Leg kick Merrill. Side kick attempt from Holm. Chants of “Holly” from the hometown crowd. Overhand left from Holm. Leg kick from Merrill. Leg kick from Holm caught, Merrill pushes her to the cage, knee from Holm. Holm backs out. Holm trains with Jon Jones and the Jackson’s crew. Nice left from Holm. Holm stuffs a shot and gives her a big body kick, clinch and knees from Holm. Dirty boxing from Holm. Light leg kick from Merrill. Nice one two, body kick from Holm. Merrill looking more tentative now. Jab from Holm, another body kick and Merrill catches it and shoots, she gets the takedown but the round is over. PMN has it 10-9 Holm.
Round 2 – Mr. Winklejohn and Julie Kedzie are in Holly’s corner, giving her advice between rounds. Nice right from Holm. Nice one two. Body kick from Merrill. Side kick from Holm. Merrill shoots, stuffed. Holm backs out. Nice punch combo from Holm forces the shot from Merrill. She escapes the takedown and unloads a nice punch/kick combo. Body kick from Holm, Merrill catches it and puts her down. Holly gets up but she gets a legit takedown again. Holm gets back up, clinched against the cage. Holm backs out with 2 minutes to go. Big left hook then a right to the body drops Merrill. She gives her a kick to the body on the ground and the ref steps in.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Holly Holm def. Katie Merrill by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (3:02)
Holm does a backflip in celebration.
Lightweight Semifinals: David Rickels vs. Jason Fischer
Round 1 – Leg kick Rickels, jab from Fischer. Couple leg kicks from Rickels. Both guys block high kicks. Left hand from Rickels. Leg kick. Head kicks scores for Fischer. Nice right counter from Rickels. Nice low leg kick. Nice one two from Fischer snaps Rickels’ head back. Clinch, knee from Fisher. Leg kick Rickels. Clinch, knee to body from Fischer. Question mark kick and a one two from Fischer to follow. Nice right from Fischer. Left jab from Rickels. Big leg kick from Fischer, right hand. Clinch, knee from Rickels, head kick from Fischer. Clinch against the cage, Rickels tries to drop levels. Nice right from Fischer. Nice right and an uppercut from Rickels. Uppercut from Rickels. Fisher drives him to the cage, Rickels turns him around. Fischer disengages. Drops levels for the single, stuffed. PMN has it 10-9 Rickels.
Round 2 – Touch gloves. Front kick Rickels. Right from Fischer. Rickels pushes him to the cage with underhooks. Fischer turns him around. Rickels turns him around. Knee from Rickels, right from Fischer on the break. Knee to body from Rickels. Again. Rickels ducks under a punch and gets the takedown. Inside Fischer’s guard. Fischer throws up for an armbar, Rickels gets out of it. Still inside full guard, body shots. Passes to half guard. Goes for the mount and Fischer sweeps him, now on top in half butterfly, now full guard. Fischer postures up, couple body shots. Rickels gets to his feet. Left hand from Fischer. Body kick from Rickels. Left hand from Rickels. He drops levels, Fischer defends and he lets it go. Fischer looks for the takedown. PMN has it 10-9 Rickels.
Round 3 – Touch gloves, trade leg kicks. Leg kick Rickels. Left hand Fischer. Leg kick Rickels, clinched, Fischer backs out, shoots in. Rickels has a cut over his left eye and it’s bleeding pretty good. Nice punches from Rickels fighting off the takedown, he pushes Fischer to his back and takes top control inside guard. Postures up with a big right hand. Fischer gets to his knees looking for a leg. The Caveman gives him some punches, uses a kimura to put him back on his back, steps over the head and still looking for it, but Fischer escapes with 2:30 to go. Big hammerfists from Rickels inside full guard. Rickels gets full mount, looking for an arm triangle. Lets go the choke, still in mount. Rickels postures up with a couple nice punches. Fischer gives up his back. Rickels gets hooks in, goes for the choke. Fischer rolls to his back, then gives up his back again after eating punches. Rickels boxes his ears, goes for the armbar now with 20 seconds left. Fischer rolls and steps over, ending up on top of Rickels before the bell. PMN sees it 10-9 and 30-27 for Rickels.
OFFICIAL RESULT: David Rickels def. Jason Fischer by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight Semifinals: Will Brooks vs. Saad Awad
Round 1 – Leg kick Brooks. Shoots, stuffed, eats several shots from Awad in the clinch, Brooks is rocked, he shoots in again but eats several punches, Awad is all over him landing bombs and Brooks goes out. Woah! Saad Awad is my pick to win this whole thing. Rickels is going to have his hands full. Saad Awad is dangerous!!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Saad Awad def. Will Brooks by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (:43)
Light Heavyweight Title: Christian M’Pumbu vs. Attila Vegh
Round 1 – Touch gloves. Leg kick M’Pumbu. Leg kick again. Vegh flashing a feeling jab. Boos from the crowd for the slow start. Overhand right from Vegh backs him up, M’Pumbu with an inside leg kick. Chin straight up in the air. Overhand right drops M’Pumbu, Vegh goes to attack and M’Pumbu sweeps him, ends up inside his full guard. M’Pumbu passes to side control. Lands a right before Vegh stands up, head caught in a standing guillotine position. Knee to thigh from M’Pumbu, again. He backs out. Leg kick inside from M’Pumbu. Leg kick from M’Pumbu. He dodges an attack from Vegh with under a minute to go. Leg kick from M’Pumbu. Vegh comes in swinging, clinch from M’Pumbu and Vegh gives him a hip toss to the ground. Vegh on top with a couple punches before the bell. PMN has it 10-9 for Vegh.
Round 2 – Touch gloves. Front kick M’Pumbu. Leg kick inside. Jab. Big leg kick from Vegh and he chases M’Pumbu down. Leg kick from M’Pumbu. Boos from the crowd. Step in right hand from M’Pumbu. Pawing with a jab. Front kick. Uppercut and a step in right from Vegh, clinches up against the cage and M’Pumbu turns him around. Vegh gets out and they square up. Couple leg kicks from M’Pumbu. Front kick. Chin still straight up in the air. One two, leg kick from Vegh. M’Pumbu shoots, stuffed. Overhand right from Vegh forces the shot from M’Pumbu, stuffed, Vegh pushes him back on his back, inside his guard. M’Pumbu with wrist control. Vegh stands over M’Pumbu, he rolls for a kneebar as M’Pumbu stands, left hand from M’Pumbu, And he gets free and gets full mount on Vegh. Vegh gives up his back and M’Pumbu goes for his arm, trying to lock up an armbar. PMN sees it 10-9 for Vegh.
Round 3 -Leg kick M’Pumbu, again. Flashing a jab. Boos from the crowd. Uppercut from Vegh catches him coming in. M’Pumbu goes down and Vegh takes top control in half guard. M’Pumbu tries to sweep. Now holds Vegh on top with wrist control. M’Pumbu tries to lock up a leg, eats a right as Vegh stacks him. M’Pumbu with hammerfists from his back. Vegh postures up with a hammerfist. Vegh passes to side control and mount. M’Pumbu immediately gets half guard. Ref wants action. Nice hard elbows from Vegh cut M’Pumbu open on the side of his head, hammerfist from Vegh as he stands up over M’Pumbu, dives in with a right. PMN has it 10-9 Vegh.
Round 4 – Touch gloves. Jump front kick from M’Pumbu. Flashes a jab. Chin still straight up in the air. Vegh easily sort of just runs into him and knocks him on his back. That was strange. M’Pumbu sits up, goes for a single as Vegh lands a couple elbows, then stands. M’Pumbu clinched up against the cage, goes for a double as he drops levels. He lets it go and Vegh backs out. They square up. Right from Vegh, then an uppercut backs M’Pumbu up. Lands a left, M’Pumbu covers up, Vegh lands a knee as M’Pumbu shoots for a single. Vegh grabs a single as well. Ref wants action with one minute to go. Big body shots from Vegh. Ref separates them. M’Pumbu breathing hard. He wings an overhand right, shoots, clinch, knee to body from M’Pumbu. Pushes Vegh to the cage. Big boos from the crowd. PMN has it 10-9.
Round 5 – They hug. Crowd boos it. Front kick from M’Pumbu, leg kick. Right hand from M’Pumbu. Clinch, Vegh throws some knees that miss. M’Pumbu backs out from the clinch. Body kick from M’Pumbu. Nice right left from Vegh. Leg kick from M’Pumbu. This fight is putting me to sleep, literally. My eyes are closing. Uppercut from M’Pumbu. They trade uppercuts with the best exchange of the fight. Under 2 minutes to go. Right hand from M’Pumbu. Vegh fires back, lands a right. M’Pumbu takes a knee to the face. He fires back and misses and Vegh clinches up with knees, pushes him to the cage. Under a minute to go. Ref separates them. 25 seconds to go. NO URGENCY. Vegh dances away as M’Pumbu for the last 10 seconds, obviously knowing he’s in the lead. PMN has it 10-9 and 40-45 for Vegh.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Attila Vegh def. Christian M’Pumbu by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45)