Takedowns, crushing top control and effective ground-and-pound carried the well-traveled Travis Wiuff to a unanimous decision over Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu in a non-title affair. All three cageside judges scored it for Wiuff: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. M’Pumbu’s defeat was the first ever for a Bellator champion in a non-title bout.
Wiuff (65-14, 1 NC, 1-0 BFC) set the stage for the upset from the start, as he delivered his first takedown inside the first half minute of the fight.
He moved to half guard and popped the champion with hammerfists, elbows and short right hands, opening a small cut near M’Pumbu’s left eye. The Congolese champion had a brief opening early in the second round, as he wobbled Wiuff with a knee close to the cage. However, the husky Minnesotan willed himself to a takedown and again scored with his strikes, all while avoiding a triangle choke from the bottom.
Behind on the scorecards, M’Pumbu (18-4-1, 3-1 BFC) nearly turned the tables in round three, as he began to sting the winded challenger with a stiff left jab and straight rights, one of which staggered Wiuff and forced him to retreat to his back. M’Pumbu belted his foe with punches on the ground but failed to finish, leaving himself open for another takedown. Wiuff obliged and controlled the rest of the match from top position.
“I was hurt, but it’s a fight,” Wiuff said. “You’ve got to expect to get punched a little bit. I want a shot at the belt. That’s why I’m here. There are a lot of tough guys in Bellator at 205 [pounds].”