The first African born Mixed Martial Artist has been crown champion of a major MMA organization at tonight’s Bellator 45. Christian M’Pumbu from Kinshasa, Zaire defeated Richard Hale in the light heavyweight finals at Bellator 45 to become the promotions first ever 205 lbs. champion.
M’Pumbu (18-3-1) was the smaller man in the fight, but was also the quicker of the two fighters. Hale was dropped in the opening round and M’Pumbu looked to finish the fight early but Hale weathered the storm and was able to recover. Hale looked much better in round two, being more aggressive and keeping M’Pumbu off balance and backing up.
Heading into the third round the fight looked even at a round apiece. M’Pumbu seem to have lost his range in that second round and was battling to get it back early in the third. As the round moved past the halfway M’Pumbu began to find the range again and landed a big right hand that he thought ended the fight as he stood above Hale, in awe of what he had done. Once he realized the fight wasn’t over he moved in to ground and pound on Hale and after some brutal hammer fist and a right hand, the referee stepped in to stop the beating.
Overwhelmed with emotion following the victory, M’Pumbu kneeled down inside the cage to shed tears of joy and accomplishment. Along with the belt and honor of being the first African born fighter to hold a MMA title, M’Pumbu receives a check for 100k for winning the tournament.
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Bellator 45 also saw the completion of the featherweight tournament as Patricio Freire defeated Daniel Straus by unanimous decision to earn a rematch with the featherweight champion Joe Warren. Here’s are the complete results from tonight’s Bellator 45 action:
205 lbs. Tournament Championship bout: Richard Hale vs. Christian M’Pumbu - Christian M’Pumbu by 3rd rd. TKO
145 lbs. Tournament Final bout: Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus - Patricio Freire by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
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185 lbs. bout: Karl Amoussou vs. Sam Alvey – Sam Alvey by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Local Feature Fights
140 lbs. bout: Joseph Abercrombie vs. Ben Parpart - Joseph Abercrombie by 1st rd. Submission (Rear naked choke)
265 lbs. bout: Shawn Jordan vs. Johnathan Hill – Shawn Jordan by 1st rd. TKO
170 lbs. bout: Luis Santos vs. Nicolae Cury – Luis Santos by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
155 lbs. bout: Renê Nazare vs. Kelvin Hackney – Renê Nazare by 1st rd. Submission (Rear naked choke)
185 lbs. bout: Tim Ruberg vs. Michael Fleniken – Tim Ruberg by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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