HYDEN: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC on FOX 21 and Bellator 160

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Carlos Condit (photo credit Ann-Marie Sorvin © USA Today Sports)

Bellator 160 and UFC On FOX 21 took place this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.

Bellator 160

GOOD: A.J. McKee submits Cody Walker

Walker showed some good toughness, but McKee was all over him from the start. He kept punishing him and eventually got Walker in a tight submission and forced the tap.

GOOD: Georgi Karakhanyan stops Bubba Jenkins

Karakhanyan caught a Jenkins kick, then drilled him with a big right hand and it was over. Good win for Karakhanyan.

GOOD: Saad Awad vs. Derek Anderson

These guys went back and forth for three full rounds. Anderson got the decision, but Awad had a good showing as well. It was a close fight, but Anderson did more to earn the victory.

UGLY: Benson Henderson stops Patricio Freire

Freire had to quit during the second round because he broke his leg on a checked kick. That by itself is generally enough to drop a fight a few notches, because you hate to see a fight end like that. In this case, though, it was actually a good thing because this fight was complete garbage. The first round in particular was horrible, with barely anything going on. Henderson’s Bellator career has been a bust and it’s insane that he’s actually going to fight Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler next. It’s MMA, so of course Henderson could easily win, but it’s hard to find anything good from Henderson’s two Bellator fights so far. Freire was ahead on the scorecards, but this fight was so bad up until the injury that this doesn’t mean all that much. What a bad way to end a good main card.

UFC on FOX 21

GOOD/BAD: Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller

The fight itself was fairly good. It didn’t live up to their previous fight, but it would be ridiculous to expect that it would. That’s the GOOD. It was solid, it wasn’t great by any means, but both guys were canceling each other out. That happens a lot with closely matched fighters. The BAD comes from the judges, who gave Miller the split decision. I thought Lauzon won rounds two and three, with Miller taking the first round.

However, two of the judges gave Miller two rounds. Okay, it was a close fight. I still clearly thought Lauzon won two of the rounds, but whatever. The striking was very close, but the grappling was where Lauzon clearly had the advantage. He was much more active and spent more time on top. Back to the judges who scored it for Miller, though. One judge gave Miller rounds one and two, and the other judge gave Miller rounds one and three. That’s what I don’t get, and leaves a little bit of a bad taste in your mouth.

GREAT: Paige VanZant stops Bec Rawlings

VanZant came out and was her usual self, throwing a lot of dynamic strikes. The fight was progressing and both women were aggressive and then VanZant lands a beautiful switch kick flush to the jaw of Rawlings that ended things. Technically, the ref didn’t step in right away, but you could tell from the way that Rawlings fell and how out of it she was that it was over. That was a fantastic finish from VanZant. Great stuff.

GOOD: Anthony Pettis submits Charles Oliveira

There were times during this fight where Pettis looked the Showtime we remember. Then there were other times where that wasn’t the case. There was a few times where I thought for sure that Oliveira was going to submit Pettis. He had some great position on his back and things were just about over. Pettis rallied back and ended up getting the win with a tight guillotine. Huge win for Pettis to restore some confidence and try to get his game back on track. I don’t know how long he’ll stay at featherweight, but he’s got the potential to be a danger to anyone at anytime.

GOOD: Demian Maia submits Carlos Condit

Maia got Condit down, worked for the submission, and it was over. Maia makes it looks so ridiculously easy, which is a testament to his skill. He might be the most talented grappler who’s ever competed in the UFC, and that’s not something to say lightly. It’s amazing to watch him work. Condit is good in his own right, but he looked outmatched here. That hurts to say, because I’ve been a big Condit fan since his reign in WEC, but that tells you about the mastery that Maia has.

After the win, Maia said that he would wait to fight the winner of Stephen Thompson vs. UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. There’s no denying that Maia deserves a title shot, he’s won six fights in a row with three of them coming by finish. There’s also little doubt that if Maia gets you on the ground that things don’t look good for you at all. I don’t know how long he’ll have to wait, but I think it’s okay if he does wait. He’s taking a chance by waiting, largely because what if Georges St. Pierre wants to fight the Thompson-Woodley winner? How do you deny that? The UFC might want Maia to fight again, but I guess only time will tell if this comes to pass.

As for Condit, I selfishly hope he chooses to keep fighting. I’m a big fan and his fights are almost always very entertaining. However, if he doesn’t have the fire and desire to keep going, then he should most definitely retire. He’s been in the fight game for a long time and maybe he wants to try something else? The drive that pushes you to try to be the best sometimes pushes you to try different things. Maybe he’d like something else, or maybe he’d decide to return to fighting? Whatever he decides, I’m sure he won’t make his decision for a little while.

CHECK OUT THIS UFC on FOX ARTICLE NEXT… King’s Top Five Takeaways from UFC on Fox 21 – Don’t watch just PPVs or you miss a lot, time for a Maia title shot

KING: Top Five Takeaways from UFC on Fox 21 – Don’t watch just PPVs or you miss a lot, time for a Maia title shot

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