HYDEN: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 162, and thoughts on Conor McGregor giving up a title

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

Bellator 162 was this past weekend. Let’s get to the rundown.


GOOD – Hisaki Kato stops A.J. Matthews: This was a pretty close fight. Matthews hurt Kato but didn’t follow up and allowed him to recove. This came back to bite him, though, as Kato landed a nice headkick and then swarmed Matthews to get the stoppage with just a few seconds left in the first round. Nice win for Kato.

GOOD – Goiti Yamauchi submits Ryan Couture: Couture took the fight to the ground, but that proved to be a problem as Yamauchi smoothly transitioned to an armbar from Couture’s back. Very nice, and that netted him the victory about a minute into the first round. Good win for Yamauchi.

GOOD – Bobby Lashley submits Josh Applett: Lashley was just too good here. There’s been debate about whether or not Lashley should be considered top 10, top 15, at heavyweight. I definitely think he should because the division in general is so wide open. As for this fight, Lashley took Applett down and beat the hell out of him. I think the fight should have been stopped in the first round, but Lashley got the submission in the second round anyway. He called for a title shot afterwards. All I got to say is why not? Nice win for Lashley.

GOOD – Alexander Shlemenko stops Kendall Grove: Shlemenko came out good in the first round, but Grove was battling too. In the second round, though, Shlemenko turned in on and started landing big shots. Shlemenko then hit Grove with a crushing body blow that basically ended things. He jumped on Grove and started throwing bombs to force the official stoppage. Nice win for Shlemenko as he tries to make another title run.

This was one of the best Bellator events I can ever remember. All four main card fights were good, and ended by finish. You can’t ask for much more. I’m sure they’ve had events that were as good or better, but this is Bellator, I’m not going to complain.


UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor faces UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 next month. This is a huge fight, and a historic fight. McGregor has a chance to become a two-division champion, something so incredibly special that it doesn’t need explaining. That won’t last long, though, as the UFC will insist that McGregor vacate one of the belts. This is assuming he wins, of course.

McGregor has previously stated that it would take an army to get the belts from him, but that’s softening now that we’re getting closer to it possibly becoming a reality. I would love to see a guy defend two belts in different weight divisions, but that’s just not feasible in the current UFC market. They’re not going to want to hold up two divisions.

The absolute best case scenario would be McGregor fighting four times a year. That’s about two defenses in each division. That’s not bad by any means, and there’s certainly been times where a title was defended less often than that, but that’s assuming everything goes perfectly. And even then that’s assuming that McGregor would maintain a Donald Cerrone-type of business. What’s more likely to happen would be that each title would be defended once a year. That’s holding things up too much. So, as great as it would be to have a guy defending two titles at once, it’s just not feasible.

So, the question becomes, which title would McGregor vacate? There are fights for him in either division, and I think they would all be equally as big. So it becomes a question of which division does McGregor prefer? I personally would rather see him stay at featherweight. Fights with Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Max Holloway, Anthony Pettis, and others would be highly anticipated. Of course, fights with Eddie Alvarez, Tony Ferguson, Rafael dos Anjos, and Khabib Nurmagomedov would also be very interesting.

I just would like to see McGregor fight at least a few more times at featherweight, then move up to lightweight and have some big fights there. Either way, this would be history making stuff and extremely exciting.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS HYDEN’S TAKE: Is there any doubt Rousey deserves immediate title rematch? Is UFC 206 strong enough without GSP? What’s next for GSP?

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

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