HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 165, UFC Fight Nights 99 and 100 from Chandler to Mousasi to Bader

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

Bellator 165, UFC Fight Night 99, and UFC Fight Night 100 were all this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.

Bellator 165

Staff08Hyden_150BAD – Francis Carmont vs. Linton Vassell: This was just a bad and boring fight. Vassell did fine, but Carmont was listless throughout most of the fight. Vassell just controlled and dominated the entire time. It wasn’t even really close at all. Vassell won the decision.

GOOD – Keri Melendez stops Sheila Padilla: Melendez came out and put it on Padilla, knocking her out in a less than a minute. Great debut for Melendez.

GOOD/BAD – Brandon Girtz vs. Adam Picolotti: Picolotti was able to control things, and he was able to make Girtz miss about a million punches during the fight. That’s extreme hyperbole, of course, but it certainly felt like he missed a million. Picolotti picked up a good win here and looks to make some waves at lightweight.

UGLY – Fernando Gonzalez vs. Michael Page: This fight was horrible. I don’t know what in the hell happened, but this wasn’t the Page we all know. I’m at a loss for words about how bad this was. Page won by split decision, which one judge giving Gonzalez all three rounds, which is nuts. Whatever, though, this fight was so bad I suppose no one will remember or care a week from now.

GOOD – Benson Henderson vs. Michael Chandler: These guys went back and forth for five full rounds. It was close, as you would expect, but Chandler picked up the decision win to successfully defend his Bellator Lightweight Championship. Henderson showed that he still has something left. Chandler is a really good fighter so if you’re able to hang with him you’re doing something right. Chandler fights are generally pretty tense and close, but they’re almost always exciting. This was no exception. I don’t know what’s next for either guy, but I would assume Henderson stays at lightweight as this division seems to work best for him. As for Chandler, he’s going to prepare for another war. Almost every fight he’s in is a war and he continues to show his toughness.

UFC Fight Night 99

GOOD/BAD – Artem Lobov vs. Teruto Ishihara: This was a solid fight. Not great, but it was enough. Lobov dominated things and picked up the decision win.

GOOD/BAD – Timothy Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov: Another solid fight. Volkov won the decision. Both guys fought hard, it was close. This was an okay UFC debut for Volkov.

GOOD/BAD – Ross Pearson vs. Stevie Ray: This was yet another solid fight. Nothing great, but both guys fought hard. Ray won the split decision. He was more active and had more success. It’s a nice win for him.

GOOD – Gegard Mousasi stops Uriah Hall: There was some nice striking on display here. Plenty of kicks and punches thrown. Towards the end of the first round, Mousasi got Hall on the ground and proceeded to throw repeated punches that ended things. This was a good win for Mousasi as he looks to make his case in the middleweight division. He’s obviously not the next in line for a title shot, but he’s certainly a guy you have to keep your eye on. Mousasi has the striking skills to match up with anyone in the division, and his ground game is good as well. Good win for him.

UFC Fight Night 100

GOOD/BAD – Sergio Moraes vs. Zak Ottow: Moraes won the split decision in an extremely close fight. In a continuation of what appears to be the theme this week, this was a solid fight. I hate saying that for so many fights, but it’s the truth here. These are fights that are fine, not really bad but also not really good. They’re kind of in that middle ground. No one’s going to be flipping through the channels, land here, and say “Oh man, I’m a MMA fan now.” But they’re also not going to be turned off from becoming a MMA fan, at least I wouldn’t think so. To be honest, I think they would just keep flipping channels and go elsewhere.

GOOD – Kamaru Osman vs. Warlley Alves: Osman showed good skill on the feet and on the ground. Alves had a good first round, but from there it was all Osman, as he picked up the decision win. The fight itself was good, but the real highlight for me was after the fight when Osman called himself the best grappler in the division and also called for a fight with Demian Maia. Talk about some bigtime onions, calling out a guy who is considered at least one of the best grapplers in MMA, if not the best. I like it, that’s guts. I don’t think it’ll work out too well for him, to be honest, but I like him putting himself out there like this. And who knows, maybe he can get it done? Wouldn’t that be an amazing story.

GOOD/BAD – Thales Leites vs. Krzysztof Jotko: Jotko came through bigtime here, to pick up the decision win. The fight itself was solid, and Jotko acquitted himself well. Very good win for him.

GOOD – Claudia Gadelha vs. Cortney Casey: Gadelha was all over Casey from the start and she controlled things throughout the fight. Casey did pretty well, but Gadelha is one of the best fighters in the division. There was a bad part where Gadelha kicked Casey while she was on the ground, a point definitely should have been taken there, but she was pretty dominant other than that.

GOOD – Thomas Almeida stops Albert Morales: They had a pretty wild first round, with Almeida landing some big shots. In the second round, Almeida came out and put it on Morales to get the stoppage. Nice bounceback win for Almeida. We didn’t really learn anything about Almeida in this fight, we already knew he had tremendous power, but I’m sure it was good for him to get back to his winning ways.

GOOD – Ryan Bader stops Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Bader was able to do anything and everything he wanted. He took Nogueira down and beat on him. He controlled and dominated him until he got the finish last in the third round. I don’t know if Nogueira is going to retire or not, but he’s been in some wars of his own and those take a toll. As for Bader, he’s got to be strongly considered for a title shot. This was a good win for him and he’s making his case after a previous stumble in his title hopes. If nothing else, who else is going to get it? Who is more deserving? I don’t know how well Bader will do against either UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier or Anthony Johnson (a guy he’s already lost to recently), but I think he’s deserving of a chance to show what he can do. I’m assuming he’s going to re-sign with the UFC, but the possibility exists that he goes elsewhere. Considering he’s so close to a title shot, I would imagine there’s little chance he leaves but anything is possible.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 205 from McGregor to Romero to Woodley

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

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