Ruth, three-time NCAA champ for Penn State, was submitted by a rear-naked choke by Neiman Gracie about halfway through the fourth round of their quarterfinals bout as part of Bellator's Welterweight Grand Prix ... while Lawal, 2002 NCAA Div. II champ for University of Central Oklahoma, was knocked out by former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary at 53 seconds into the third round.
Bellator 213 not so easy for 'Easy Ed'
The Neiman Gracie-Ed Ruth bout at 170 pounds was a match-up of two undefeated fighters vying not only to advance further in Bellator's welterweight bracket ... but also remain undefeated.
Ed Ruth (Photo/Bellator)"Gracie used a plethora of submission attempts on the ground throughout their duel, but Ruth was able to escape each and every one of them," according to Sherdog.com. "That was, however, until the fourth when the Brazilian once again took 'Easy' down, slithered to his back and eventually sunk the rear-naked choke. Ruth couldn't escape this time and bowed out at 2:17 of the fourth."
Here's how MMAfighting.com described the action: "In the first three rounds, Ruth was able to stave off the many submissions of Gracie but at great cost as Ruth was clearly gassed heading into the championship rounds. In the fourth round, Gracie, secured a take down and then moved to back mount where he was able to secure the fight-ending submission."
Ruth suffered his first loss since launching his pro mixed martial arts career two years ago, and now drops to 6-1, while Gracie improves to 9-0.
'King Mo' TKO'd by McGeary
In its report of the McGeary-Lawal bout, Sherdog.com wrote, "Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary got off the snide by thumping Muhammed Lawal, ending his two-fight losing streak. McGeary survived a series of leg kicks and clinching from 'King Mo' before rocking the former Strikeforce 205-pound king with a sizzling right hook to the jaw. Lawal fell onto his back -- a left head kick narrowly missed him -- before the Englishman blasted him with another right hook. Referee Chris West was in the midst of ending the fight when said second punch connected, ending the tussle just 53 seconds into the third."
"Liam McGeary has finally got his groove back," MMAnews.com asserted.
"The former Bellator light heavyweight champion had gone 1-3 in his last four outings going into his bout with Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal at Bellator 213. Make it 2-3 in his last five fights as McGeary finished Lawal in emphatic fashion."
With the loss, Lawal -- who, in addition to being a D2 wrestling champ, earned NCAA Division I All-American honors at Oklahoma State -- is now 21-7-1 in his MMA career going back a decade, while McGeary rises to 13-3.