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Bellator 96, Hector Lombard, Nick Diaz: The Morning News Roundup – 6.20.13

Thursday is here, and with it comes another edition of the roundup. In today’s headlines, we’ve got a recap of last night’s Bellator event, a new weight class for Hector Lombard, and the latest on Nick Diaz’s burgeoning efforts as a promoter. We’ll also take a look at Spike TV’s new reality-themed show Fight Master, which debuted last night after the fights. Here are your stories:

• Last night’s Bellator was a knockout, with all main card fights ending via KO or TKO. Headliner Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal defeated Seth Petruzelli with a vicious right hand on the ground, and Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral announced his retirement from MMA after losing to Jacob Noe via referee stoppage. Bellator still looks like more of a regional show than a national competitor to the UFC, but they’re making strides.

• Lombard is reportedly planning a drop to 170 pounds and wants a fight with former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt. Lombard entered the UFC as a middleweight after going an incredible 25 fights in a row without a loss, but has marked an unimpressive 1-2 record since.

• Diaz’s new WAR MMA promotion is apparently looking to implement Pride rules. While he won’t be able to get the full flavor (due to restrictions imposed by the state athletic commission), Diaz plans to hold his events in a ring instead of a cage and will ban elbows on the ground. I have always viewed Pride’s rules and production values as superior to the UFC’s, so I’m glad to see Diaz bringing it back to life.

• MMAFrenzy has a recap of Fight Master, Episode 1, so check it out if you missed the show and want to get caught up.