Bellator 150 and UFC Fight Night 84 were this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.
BAD/GOOD: Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Rebecca Ruth
This was a solid fight, but it was pretty uneventful. Ruth won the decision. It’s probably harsh to go BAD on this fight, but I just wasn’t into this at all. There was some nice effort here at times, though I added a GOOD to it.
BAD/GOOD: Gaston Reyno vs. Chuka Willis
This was identical to the previous fight, with Willis getting the decision win in a fairly dull fight. Again, though, there was some nice effort shown at times so I added a GOOD to it.
GOOD/BAD: Kendall Grove stops Francisco France
The first round sucked. It was boring and almost nothing happened. In the second round, though, Grove dropped France with a right hand and then finished him on the ground. The finish was brutal and explosive. The first round was BAD but the finish was GOOD. Nice win for Grove.
GOOD: David Rickels stops Bobby Cooper
Cooper was actually getting the advantage in the striking game in terms of volume. However, Rickels is incredibly tough and took out Cooper to pick up the win. It was a nice win, but it also makes you wonder how many more times Rickels can absorb more punishment than his opponent and still get the win? Eventually, these types of wins are going to turn into losses for Rickels. Still, though, I’m sure he’s celebrating this week.
UGLY: Cheick Kongo vs. Vinicius Quieroz
This fight sucked. It was almost as bad as Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000, except without any internet fame. This was garbage and the fighters involved should be embarrassed. Neither guy did anything worth a damn in this whole fight. There was literally only one good thing about this whole fight, and that’s the fact that this fight was only three rounds instead of five rounds. I’ve become so used to main events being five rounds that I was afraid we were going to be subjected to more of this horrible fight and I was thankful when they said they were going to announce the decision. That decision was a horrible one, though, as Kongo was given the victory despite doing practically nothing the whole fight. It’s not as though Quieroz did much more, though, so you won’t hear anyone really complain. If you get robbed of something that no one cares about, you’re unlikely to hear an uproar.
This was just a crap fight that ends a bad night overall.
UFC Fight Night 84
BAD: Brad Pickett vs. Francisco Rivera
The last half of round one was exciting, but everything else was dull and listless. I just didn’t care much for this one. Pickett won the decision.
BAD: Tom Breese vs. Keita Nakamura
This was another dull fight that wasn’t all that exciting. Breese won the decision but this fight was so forgettable that the win doesn’t mean all that much.
BAD: Gegard Mousasi vs. Thales Leites
The action was slow-paced and methodical. Mousasi was the better fighter in every area. He did damage to Leites, but the fight was just so dull that it almost took you by surprise to actually see it. Mousasi won the decision but this wasn’t a very impressive win. He should have gotten the finish. I know guys are tough and finishes can’t always be expected, but Mousasi was just the much better fighter. You can’t help but feel that Mousasi could have gotten the finish if he had tried for it.
GOOD: Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva
Silva was at his frustrating best here. There were moments where he looked about as good as we’ve seen from him in a very long time, but there were also moments where he hesitated and decided to clown around like a jester rather than fight. The dichotomy on display was stunning. At times, it seemed as though Silva was showcasing all the ability that made him one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time, and then he would transition right into doing nothing and looking disinterested. It was very weird.
As for Bisping, he was his usual self, showing nice technique and form. He even dropped Silva a few times. There was controversy in the third round as Silva dropped Bisping with a flying knee at the end of the round and celebrated like it was over. However, the ref insisted that the fight wasn’t over. I thought it was over myself. I figured it was done. Silva even jumped onto the cage to celebrate, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, the fight went all five rounds and Bisping picked up the decision.
Initially, I thought Silva had won the decision, but maybe if I re-watch the fight I would see things differently. I don’t know, it was a very close fight. In a way, it seems fitting for Silva to lose the decision as he clowned around entirely too much. I don’t think this makes him change his ways, as he’s done this throughout his career, but maybe it makes him tone it down a bit.
This was an exciting fight. The atmosphere in the arena made it so, as the European fans were strongly behind Bisping. I loved the energy from the crowd, but even without it this still would have been a very entertaining fight. This is a big win for Bisping, but he’s still got work to do to try to get a title shot. As for Silva, I think the best way for the UFC to use him now is to use him as a special attraction, to try to draw attention towards some lesser-known fighters. Any of Silva’s future fights should be on cable or Fox, preferably paired with guys who need some attention. Put Silva in there against Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, even guys like Rashad Evans or guys in a similar spot. Silva’s not going to make a title run. The odds of that happening are very slim, so the best way to use Silva is to capitalize on his name value by putting him in co-main events underneath an unpopular or unknown champion.
Basically, it’s everything that Bellator should be doing with their old guys. I know Silva is a much more viable fighter than their guys, but he’s not going to beat the top guys in his division, so you might as well get whatever you can out of him. He may not be a big pay-per-view draw anymore, but he still commands attention, and the UFC should use that as best they can.
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