HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 169 and UFC on FOX 22

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt (photo credit Kyle Terada © USA Today Sports)

Bellator 169

GOOD – Daniel Weichel submits Brian Moore

Moore fought pretty well, but Weichel used his experience and savvy to jump on the opening  and get the takedown. From there he just started working his submissions until he locked one in and got the win. Nice win.

BAD/GOOD – Sinead Kavanagh vs. Elina Kallionidou

Maybe it’s the holidays, but I sort of liked this fight. It was sloppy and got pretty bad as the fight wore on, but it started hot. It wasn’t the greatest, but it was kind of fun. Kavanagh won the decision.

GOOD – James Gallagher submits Anthony Taylor 

Taylor started strong, but Gallagher weathered the storm and took over in the second round and got the finish in the third round. Good patience shown by the 20 year old Gallagher and nice win for him.

BAD/GOOD – King Mo vs. Satoshi Ishii

Well, there goes my holiday spirit. This was a frustrating fight to watch, as King Mo should have finished things. This is one of the times I’m glad Bellator does three-round main events for non-title fights, as I really wasn’t interested in seeing anymore of this than I had to. Don’t get me wrong, King Mo had some nice takedowns, but I don’t like seeing such tentative fighting when you’re clearly the better fighter. Mo got the decision, but this win won’t set the world on fire.

UFC on FOX 22

GOOD – Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry

Perry’s a hard-hitter, but Jouban was able to neutralize him and pelt him with shots of his own. Jouban had a very smart gameplan and was able to frustrate Perry and pick him apart. Nice win for Jouban.

GOOD – Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett

Faber dropped Pickett in the first but wasn’t able to finish him. Pickett is so tough that it would have taken a lot for Faber to get the finish here. He sure beat the hell out of him, though. Pickett was a bloody mess at the end of the fight. This was Faber’s retirement fight, and he walks away a winner. He looked really good in this fight. This is a very fitting end for him, as he begins his transition to life after fighting in a cage.

It was a great career for Faber, and all fighters own him a debt of gratitude for the things he’s done. This is especially true for all fighter in the featherweight division and lower. It’s hard to say what those divisions would look like if it wasn’t for Faber, or if they would even exist at all. I’m sure they likely would have eventually, but in what form is the question? Faber had a long career with a lot of success. I suspect he’ll enjoy continued success outside of actively fighting in whatever he chooses to do.

GOOD – Mickey Gall submits Sage Northcutt

Both of these guys are young up-and-comers with tremendous upside. Gall showed that he’s going to be a tough out for anyone in the welterweight division. His striking is fairly good, it’s not great, but he does have good power. And I’m sure he’s working on his technique. Then, if he gets you on the ground, he’s tenacious in going for these submissions. He’s very smooth and at ease. Northcutt had some success standing but once Gall got the fight to the ground it was basically over.

After the win, Gall called out Dan Hardy, which was really weird. You would think that he would be calling out guys in the top ten or fifteen, or at least someone who’s fought in the last few years. Hardy hasn’t fought since September 2012, so it’s been over four years since he fought last. Even if he’s been training, you would think that Gall would rather be fighting someone who’s going to help him climb the ranks. Hardy has already declined and Gall mentioned dropping down to lightweight, but I think he should get a top 15 guy at minimum no matter what division he fights in next. This young guy seems to be going places in a hurry. This was a good win for Gall.

GOOD – Michelle Waterson submits Paige VanZant

There was a lot of hype around VanZant, and she’s delivered so far. She’s had some exciting moments in the cage and is breaking out as a star. This fight didn’t quite go so well for her. Waterson is just too good, too experienced, and just too well-rounded. She got PVZ down with a great takedown and started working for the submission. She eventually got the rear-naked choke locked in so tight that VanZant went out for a second, focring the ref to step in to stop the fight. Bigtime win for Waterson. Both fighters are very charming and different, they’re not your typical fake trash-talkers who say anything to hype a fight, and I like that. I hope this win propels Waterson to great popularity, I hope both fighters continue to get more popular. VanZant is only 22 and will continue to improve while Waterson is already good and exciting and will hopefully get the due she deserves.
Overall, this was a pretty good event and a pretty good weekend of fights. The main thing I’ll take away from this was Urijah Faber going out strong in his last fight and Michelle Waterson’s coming out party.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS HYDEN’S TAKE: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 168, UFC Fight Night 102, and UFC 206

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

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