HYDEN: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 94 and Bellator 161 including the very ugly Kongo-Johnson main event

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

Bellator 161 and UFC Fight Night 94 were this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.


GOOD: Derek Campos vs. Djamil Chan: Campos battled and got the decision win here. It was nothing great, but there was some nice effort here as Campos picked up the win for his second straight.

Staff08Hyden_150BAD: Anatasia Yankova vs. Veta Arteaga: The fight itself was fine, but Yankova got the decision win even though she likely lost the first two rounds. They gave her the gift decision. That’s basically the only way to look at it. That seems to happen a lot more in Bellator than in other places. I don’t know if it’s the judges, but it does seem to happen more here.

BAD/GOOD: Joe Warren submits Sirwan Kakai: Maybe I just have lowered expectations for Bellator, but I kind of liked this fight. Everything is relative, but this wasn’t horrible. The first round sucked, but things started heating up in the second and into the third as Warren started implementing his game. He worked for, and got, the submission. It wasn’t always pretty, but it worked.

UGLY: Cheick Kongo vs. Tony Johnson: This fight was so unbelievably bad that you’d be better off watching the static when your cable goes out. This was so dull and boring. In other words, it was a typical Cheick Kongo fight. This wasn’t good at all, and serves as an active deterrent to getting any new MMA fans. I’ve already wasted more time on this fight than it deserves. Kongo won the decision, though one judge hilariously called it a 28-28 draw.


GOOD: Chas Skelly submits Maximo Blanco: It’ll take me longer to write out what happened than how long it actually took to happen. Skelly jumped all over Blanco from the start and locked in the choke for the ultra quick win. I think it took about 19 seconds. Impressive win.

BAD: Chris Wade vs. Islam Makhachev: There was some entertaining back and forth grappling between these two, but it also was pretty dull because nothing ever came of it. Makhachev won the decision.

BAD: Roan Carneiro vs. Kenny Robertson: Nothing happened in this fight, either. This was dull and never left first gear. Carneiro won the split decision, but so little happened it doesn’t mean that much.

GOOD: Evan Dunham vs. Rick Glenn: These guys battled for three rounds. Dunham was clearly getting the better of it, but Glenn showed good toughness to keep coming. Dunham got the decision, but you have to respect the heart of Glenn. Dunham kept pouring it on, but Glenn kept fighting. It was an impressive showing by Dunham, his aggression and skill was on full display. Good win for Dunham.

GOOD: Derek Brunson stops Uriah Hall: Brunson dropped Hall with a good shot and followed up on the ground for the stoppage. The stoppage was a little early, but I would rather they be too early than too late. Brunson has tremendous power, and the knockouts to prove it, so you can’t complain too much. I understand why Hall would be upset, though. However, I still favor early stoppages as opposed to letting guys fight through it. I just don’t think the risk is worth it in the long-run.
Regardless, this is a big win for Brunson and he should get a highly rated opponent in his next fight. His power gives him the chance to win a fight at any moment and it makes him very fun to watch.

GOOD: Michael Johnson stops Dustin Poirier: Both guys were looking to throw bombs early, but it was Johnson who caught Poirier and turned the lights out. Huge win for Johnson, who stops a two-fight losing streak. Poirier had won four in a row, but he got caught here. He was streaking towards a title shot, but that ends now. He can go back to the drawing board and get back in the title picture, though. He just needs to start stringing together wins again. As for Johnson, he rebounds and now he can start trying to put together a title run. He obviously will have to put some more wins together, but this is a good start. He beat a tough guy, and he beat him convincingly. He should get a top-five guy next, in my opinion. Let’s see what he can do. This was a really good way to end the card. There were a couple of bad fights in the middle, but they were sandwiched by some good fights. All in all, this was a pretty good card. That’s not always a guarantee, so I’ll take it.

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

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