<
>

Falcao decisions Spang, wins tourney

5/18/2012

After waiting a month to settle their score, Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Tournament finalists Andreas Spang and Maiquel Falcao stepped into the cage Friday night in Lake Charles, La.

The fighters were able to eliminate their harsh feelings with three rounds of competition at L'Auberge Casino. But it was Falcao who dominated throughout the fight en route to a unanimous decision.

All three judges scored the bout 29-27 for Falcao, who had a point deducted in the first round for a knee to the head. ESPN.com also scored it 29-27 for Falcao.

But hard-hitting Spang gave Falcao a scare seconds into the fight. He hurt Falcao with a left-right combination, followed by a knee to the chin.

Falcao survived the onslaught, eventually taking Spang to the ground. After absorbing Spang's punching power, Falcao relied on his grappling skills to control the fight.

He consistently took Spang to the ground, delivering hard punches and several knees to the ribs.

Spang couldn't figure out a way to neutralize Falcao's grappling.

"I have the best grappling coach in the world," Falcao said after improving to 31-4. "There is no way I won't prove my grappling in the cage."

Falcao and Spang nearly came to blows in the cage April 21 during Spang's semifinal postfight interview at Bellator 66. Spang threw a punch but missed, while Falcao -- who fought in another semifinal bout -- prevented himself from retaliating. The two had exchanged words since the incident but were respectful after their bout Friday night.

The victory earns Falcao a shot against Season 5 185-pound tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko. No date has been set for that bout.

Spang falls to 8-2.

Amoussou edges Rickels

There was no love lost between welterweights David Rickels and Karl Amoussou as they entered their Season 6 tournament semifinal bout.

Each man expressed dislike for the other. Amoussou vowed to make Rickels spill blood. Rickels agreed blood would be spilled -- just not his own.

After three rounds of action, very little blood spilled. But Amoussou held on to earn a split decision.

Two judges scored the bout 29-28 for Amoussou; the third had Rickels winning 29-28. ESPN.com scored the fight 29-28 for Rickels.

"The fight was really close," said Amoussou, who improved to 15-4-2. "I respect David Rickels.

"I know he won the third, I won the first, but the second round was really close."

Rickels falls to 10-1.