Bellator 96 provided plenty of fireworks and first round finishes at the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma. Vitaly Minakov and Ryan Martinez each earned first round technical knockouts to advance to the finals of the Summer Series heavyweight tournament. Minakov remains undefeated as needed just 32 seconds to dispatch Ron Sparks while Martinez pounded out Rich Hale.
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Jacob Noe earned their spots in the light heavyweight tournament final. Noe engaged in a hard fought bout with Renato “Babalu” Sobral before notching third round technical knockout. Following the fight the respected veteran Babalu announced his retirement from competition. Lawal provided the highlight of the night with a vicious knockout of Seth Petruzelli at 1:35 of the first round. Lawal scored a takedown then worked above Petruzelli’s guard while avoiding upkicks. Lawal threw Petruzelli legs to the right as he dove in to deliver a brutal right hand that instantly put Petruzelli to sleep.