HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from WSOF 30; thoughts on Cormier injury shaking up UFC 197

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch Contributor

WSOF 30 was this past weekend, and there’s also some big MMA news to discuss. Let’s get right to it.


GOOD: Abu Azaitar vs. Danny Davis Jr.

It might be a little strong to call this GOOD, but both guys were trying hard so you have to appreciate the effort. Azaitar got the decision, but it was really close. Davis Jr. was close to getting the win, but Azaitar did more damage.

BAD: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Heun

I don’t exactly know how, but Magalhaes won the decision. I think Heun did more in the first and third rounds and should have gotten the decision. If he had more time in the third round, I think he could have finished Magalhaes.

UGLY: Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino

This was a garbage fight, full of boring wall and stall, lay and pray, and every other dull thing you can think of. This was just so incredibly boring that it was hard to watch, especially considering that I could turn the channel and watch an informercial about a copper frying pan that was way more interesting. To sum it up, this was a Jon Fitch fight. That tells you everything you want to know right there. Fitch’s fight style is largely effective, but man, is it boring. Fitch won the vacant WSOF Welterweight Title with this win and is slated to fight Jake Shields next in a matchup that could create a tear in the space-time continuum. I will say, though, that it’ll be interesting to see how each fighter approaches this and how they try to counter the other.

UGLY: Dave Branch vs. Clifford Starks

Another dull affair here. Branch was defending his WSOF Middleweight Title and got the decision win, but this was forgotten as soon as it happened. Lifeless, listless, boring, and uninspired are just a few of the words that could be used to describe this fight. Two horrible fights back to back like this are enough to drive away fans. You could practically hear viewers changing the channel and I’d be surprised if some in attendance didn’t get up and decide to beat traffic by leaving early. Not a good event for WSOF but hopefully they can rebound with future cards.


UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier injured himself and had to pull out of his UFC 197 fight with Jon Jones later this month. Ovince St. Preux will step in, and the fight will be for the Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Anthony Johnson was considered first, but he just had mouth surgery so he couldn’t make it. OSP is a fine replacement because there’s only so much the UFC could do here. It’s telling, though, that this fight is for the interim belt. The UFC expects Jones to walk through OSP, which is an opinion I’m sure most, if not all, fight fans share. Otherwise, you wouldn’t make this for the interim belt.

This is a dangerous fight, though, because OSP has nothing to lose. He’s being given no chance against Jones so he can let it all hang out and just go for it. Either he shocks the world with a stunning upset or he loses like he’s supposed to. Jones is going to have to work for this win, as OSP isn’t just some tomato can. He may end up looking like a can here, but that speaks more to the ability of Jones than anything else.

I really wanted to see Jones-Cormier 2 so this is a huge disappointment, but I’m still highly interested in seeing what Jones looks like after his time out of the cage, and how he decides to deal with OSP. And assuming that Jones wins, I want to hear what he’s got to say after the fight. I hope Cormier can return quickly and we can get this fight done. This is/was one of the most anticipated fights of the year for me, so I’m ready to see it. Let’s stop all the talking and start the fighting.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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