Ok, so now that I've got my head together and some free time, random thoughts on the fight card as a whole...
1) Saunders/Amaya -- Great fight. Both these fighters stayed active and smart (for the most part, Ben had a WTF moment later in the fight with that full mount pass) Saunders was looking for and/or threatening submissions for most of the fight. Amaya, though, impressed me with his heart and his absolute refusal to get cornered into a sub. There were a lot of moments watching where I thought "man, this is so close to over" and Amaya found a way to weasel out of kimura, armbar, or whatever.
I do not know how "technical" the ground game was from a pure JJ standpoint because I am not frankly extremely "literate" with that art, so I can't always tell when a guy should be doing something to finish but is missing it. However I know good work when I see it on the whole and I very much appreciated the activity on the ground instead of pinning and praying, or just sitting there. Good efforts by both guys when it went to the mat.
Amaya seemed to be definitely the lesser fighter, but he gave it everything he had.
I still do not know WTF Saunders was thinking the moment he gained full mount.....and then tried to go for a submission instead of the easy and obvious answer of GnP.
2) Rickels/Smith -- Well obviously I'm biased and invested in Dave, and I always believed he'd win, but this was a great chance to see his improvement. He exploded a lot faster than I believed he would to be honest. I thought there would be a slightly slower start from him (although certainly NOT sluggishly by any means), as sometimes he sort of "eases" into maximum gear, but he hit full speed as soon as the bell rang, just as I had wanted him to (not to mention everybody else who trains with him). He did a great job with accuracy, landing every single blow after the stunner.
Of course, one could rightly say that it's easy to be "accurate" when the guy you're fighting is stunned and stumbling, and I'd agree fully. However, I've watched a lot of bouts where a fighter will just throw as many bombs as possible once he feels his opponent get hurt/stunned, and I liked the fact that Rickels stayed "targeted", for lack of a better word.
Favorite moment was actually his post fight interview. "Bellator: so easy a caveman can do it." Seriously man?? I almost choked on my beer. Everyone in the room died of laughter.
3) Amoussou/Lozano -- Good fight, good night. Looked like Lozano really let his emotions get the better of him. I'm not sure if he was already "on tilt" from his feelings towards Amoussou, or if Amoussou put him there with some of the gamesmanship he displayed leading up to the fight. At any rate not a lot to say on this one, Lozano let himself get swept without much effort and then turned his back. And then let his hands down away from his neck. Good finish by psycho boy.
4) Baker/Pereira -- Weird. That's all. Pereira easily the more experienced fighter, not to mention pretty good at knocking people out, and able to space himself away from the jerky style of Baker pretty effectively. On the other hand, he didn't do enough, and seemed to be almost gun shy at points.
Overall enjoyed the card. My only really substantive complaint is that my big beef with American fight audiences is in full swing here again. Much booing with minimal downtime in the fight. I hate it. I think they started booing like 45 seconds into the Amoussou fight.
Again, hoping we can get some people chiming in who watched....I know you're out there somewhere....