Bellator 154 and UFC 198 were this past weekend. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD: Andre Fialho stops Rick Reger
Good win for Fialho, about two minutes into the first round. He showed some good power.
GOOD: Adam Piccolotti submits Ray Wood
Another first round finish, this time by rear-naked choke about three minutes in. Good win for Piccolotti.
GOOD: Josh San Diego vs. Jeremiah Labiano
I’ll admit, I flipped back and forth between this and the UFC 198 prelims so I might have missed some bad parts, but this seemed like a fairly good fight. San Diego won by decision.
GOOD: Saad Awad stops Evangelista Santos
Awad crushed Santos with some powerful shots after successfully defending repeated leg lock attempts from Santos. Good win as Awad showed some good defense then some good power.
BAD: Phil Davis vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
Davis earned the decision, but I thought that King Mo did more damage during the fight. It wasn’t all that exciting of a fight but I still thought King Mo deserved the decision win. I certainly don’t agree with the judges who gave Davis all three rounds. I don’t get that, but whatever. Now Davis will face Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary next. It’ll be interesting to see how McGeary deals with the wrestling of Davis.
BAD: Warlley Alves vs. Bryan Barberena
Not much action, and what action there was was really sloppy. Bad fight.
UGLY: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Corey Anderson
This fight sucked. Not a lot of action, and it’s a shame to see Shogun barely able to beat someone that years ago he would have crushed. It would be great to see the old Shogun one more time instead an old Shogun. This is one of those paper wins because no one who watched it is going to call this a win for either man.
GOOD: Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos stops Leslie Smith
Yeah, we all knew what was going to happen here, and Cyborg delivered the thrashing we expected. It’s nothing against Smith, who’s extremely tough, but this was just a test to see if Cyborg could make 140lbs. She did and looked great in this win. It’s nice to see Cyborg in the UFC.
GOOD: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza stops Vitor Belfort
Jacare made Belfort fight his fight. He got him down and just mauled him. I’ve heard some accusing Belfort of quitting because he stopped fighting back. I think a lot of that is just how sick people are of Belfort’s lies and actions out of the cage. I’m the same way, I don’t like the guy one bit, but when a guy like Jacare is all over you raining down elbows and punches, you’re going to give up. He was getting his ass kicked. Big win for Jacare, and he should get the next UFC Middleweight Title shot. Nice viciousness from Jacare here, as he stayed patient and waited for his chance.
GOOD: Stipe Miocic stops Fabricio Werdum
Werdum seemed to be a different person in the cage Saturday night. He wasn’t having any success against Miocic with his leg kicks so he started chasing Miocic around the cage. Miocic was backpedaling and throwing a few shots but nothing major. Werdum was also connecting with a few shots and he did catch him a few times, but then he threw caution to the wind and started running at Miocic. And he came at him in a straight line. It was really weird to see him doing that, and then Miocic threw out a right hand that landed flush and the fight was over. Werdum went facefirst onto the mat and it was over.
I couldn’t believe that Werdum was coming at Miocic like that. For one, Miocic has power. He can shut the lights out even when you’re squared up and engaging and ready for it. And he’s still dangerous even if he’s backpedaling. And then if you come charging at him like a bull…it was just so bizarre. Miocic saw an opportunity and he took full advantage. This is a huge win for him.
I don’t know if the UFC goes with Alistair Overeem or Werdum getting the next shot, but we’ve got some interesting matchups coming down the road. Overeem getting the title shot is the most likely, given the nature of this win, as well as the fact that Werdum wasn’t a long-reigning champion. However, this is the heavyweight division where seemingly anything and everything can, and does, happen. It’s the most unpredictable division in MMA.
The other interesting matchups start with Junior dos Santos. Miocic is only about a year and a half removed from a loss to dos Santos, and considering how good dos Santos looked against Ben Rothwell earlier this month, that would be a good fight to see. Of course, JDS will have to win at least one more fight before he can get a title shot, as he’s been alternating wins and losses for the past few years. Again, though, this is the heavyweight division, where anything is possible. If Cain Velasquez can ever stay healthy enough to fight, he’s definitely a title contender. Just like JDS, though, he’ll have to win a couple of fights to get back into the mix. It’s certainly possible, though. Anything is possible.
UGLY: No ref stoppage in Francisco Trinaldo vs. Yancy Medeiros
This was a prelim fight but I thought it important enough to bring up here. Medeiros got his ass kicked in such a brutal fashion that the fight should have, and could have, been stopped numerous times. Medeiros took an inhuman beating. Yeah, he was tough enough to keep coming but his corner really should have thrown the towel in during the third round. He got on top towards the end of the round, but that doesn’t mean the fight shouldn’t have been stopped. There comes a time when you have to think about the future. Fighters and all athletes should think of that, but they often don’t. That’s where the cornermen come in, as well as the referee. Do your job. Protect your guy.
Bellator Lightweight Champion Will Brooks has been released by the organization. Brooks had made it clear he didn’t want to stay with Bellator so they just severed ties now instead of having him fight for them again. That’s probably best for both sides. The question to me isn’t whether the UFC should sign him or not, but how they want to handle him coming into the division. I don’t think there’s any chance of them giving him an immediate title shot, but they should give him a high-ranking opponent in his first fight. Let’s see where he stands. I think he would make a good addition to the lightweight division and is capable of challenging for the title.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank
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