Ed Ruth gets his hand raised after beating Jason Jackson (Photo/Bellator)
Past Penn State wrestling champs Phil Davis and Ed Ruth came out as winners, while Oklahoma State All-American Jake Hager was involved in a bout that ended in a no-contest at Bellator 231 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Uncasville, Conn. Friday night.
"Mr. Wonderful" scores third-round TKO win
"Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis -- 2008 NCAA champ for the Nittany Lions -- earned a third-round TKO over Sweden's Karl Albrektsson at 3:06 of the third round in their co-main event light-heavyweight (205-pound) bout at Bellator 231.
"In the first two rounds, Davis outworked Albrektsson with kicks to the body at range and strategic wrestling," MMAfighting.com reported. "In the third round, though, Davis hurt Albrektsson with a pair of kicks to the body that had the Swedish fighter backing up and all, but totally defensive. Sensing weakness, Davis started attacking Albrektsson, lighting him up with punches on the fence before taking him down and pummeling the overwhelmed fighter on the floor, eventually forcing the referee to intervene."
With the win, Davis now improves to 21-5 in his 11-year pro MMA career, and 8-2 in Bellator ... while Albrektsson is now 9-3 in his third year in MMA, and 0-1 after his Bellator debut.
After the win, Davis urged Bellator to host a light-heavyweight grand prix tournament. Even if that doesn't happen, MMAfighting.com's Jed Meshew wrote, "Davis will have no shortage of options going forward."
Ed Ruth "squeaks out" a split decision win
For Ed "Easy" Ruth, it appears that his win at Bellator 231 was anything but easy.
MMAfighting.com said that the three-time NCAA champ for Penn State "squeaked out" a split decision over Jason Jackson ... yet went on to describe the welterweight (185-pound) bout as "the best fight of the evening."
BloodyElbow.com offered a similar description incorporating the word "squeaked": "Despite getting rocked in the first and dropped in the third, three-time collegiate national champion Ed Ruth squeaked by Jason Jackson with a split decision."
Jackson had a powerful first round, but, some reports indicated that he appeared to be running out of gas by the end of the second ... "but all thoughts of that went out the window when Jackson dropped Ruth at the start of the third round with a monster right hand," according to MMAfighting.com. "Ruth was able to recover and spent the next four minutes chasing Jackson around, trying to win the round back. Eventually, Ruth went to his wrestling and it may have been his saving grace, allowing Ruth to ride out the end of the fight with Jackson's back."
By the end of three rounds, one judge scored the bout for Jackson, while the other two gave the win to Ruth. Final score: 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 for the former Penn State mat great, who celebrated his 31st birthday this past week.
With the win, Ruth -- who tallied three straight national titles in 2012-14 -- is now 8-1 overall in his three-year MMA career (and the same record in Bellator) ... while Jason Jackson falls to 10-4 overall, and 1-1 in Bellator bouts.
Low blow = no contest for Jake Hager
Less than a year after signing with Bellator, Jake Hager -- former University of Oklahoma All-American wrestler, then WWE star -- had his third bout within the promotion as a heavyweight (265 pounds) at Bellator 231 in Connecticut.
The first two appearances for the former pro wrestler once known as Jack Swagger secured first-round submission wins. However, the third time did not appear to be the charm for the 37-year-old Hager.
"Jake Hager seemed to be off to a solid start in his third professional MMA match against Anthony Garrett, but a pair of knees to the groin in the first round caused the bout to be waived off," according to BloodyElbow.com. "The illegal blows were deemed unintentional, therefore the match was ruled a no contest."
The match was ended at 1:56 of Round 1.
Hager now has two wins, no losses and one NC in his inaugural year as a MMA fighter in the Bellator promotion ... while Barrett, 29, who was making his debut in Bellator, is now 4-2 (with one NC) overall in his pro career launched three-and-a-half years ago, and 0-0-NC in Bellator.