HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 172 and UFC Fight Night 105 including Lewis, Browne, Koscheck

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Travis Browne vs. Derrick Lewis (photo credit Tom Szczerbowski © USA Today Sports)

Bellator 172 and UFC Fight Night 105 were both this past week. The scheduled main event for Bellator 172 was supposed to be Matt Mitrione vs. Fedor Emelianenko, but that had to be scrapped because Mitrione was sick. That’s really disappointing, but the show must go on.

Bellator 172

GOOD: Mauricio Alonso stops Josh Koscheck

This was Josh Koscheck’s Bellator debut, and it went about as well as most thought. He’s now lost six fights in a row and hasn’t won in over five years. Most people thought he was done before and this does nothing to make you think otherwise. Koscheck isn’t in that area of having suffered numerous brutal knockouts in a row, but he has been finished five times in a row. I think, at best, Bellator could give him one more chance, but I think he’d be better off retiring and moving forward with his life. As for Alonso, this is a big win for him and gives him momentum to build on. He should fight a higher-ranked guy next.

GOOD/UGLY: Veta Arteaga stops Brooke Mayo

Both fighters were all over each other from the start. They pummeled each other, grappled on the ground, and just showed tremendous tenacity. The fight had to be called in the third round, though, because of the horrible swollen condition of Mayo’s eye. She took a headbutt earlier in the fight and her eye started swelling and it just got worse and worse as time went on. The fight was halted late in the third round and the cageside doctor came in and declared Mayo unable to continue despite her protests that she could still see. I don’t know if Mayo could actually see out of that eye or not, but if she could, it must have been barely because that thing was huge. Tough loss for Mayo. I don’t know what the scorecards would have been, but it felt like Mayo was ahead. The UGLY, of course, is for the swollen eye and nothing else. It was a good fight.

GOOD: Anatoly Tokov stops Francisco France

This was a nice win for Tokov. The fight was pretty close for a while, until Tokov landed with some power and that was it. Tokov is going to look to make some waves in the Middleweight Division in Bellator.

GOOD/BAD: Cheick Kongo vs. Oli Thompson

The GOOD is for the dominant nature of Kongo’s ground game. That was about as complete and thoroughly dominant as it gets. Kongo was working his ground-and-pound over and over and it didn’t seem like Thompson ever truly was in the fight.
The BAD comes from the fact that Thompson had no answer for Kongo’s ground game at all. He was tough enough to stay in the fight, but this was a mismatch. I don’t know if Kongo gets a title shot next, but when he fights like this, he’ll be extremely tough to beat for whomever he fights next.

GOOD: Patricky “Pitbull” Freire stops Josh Thomson

Pitbull dropped Thomson in the first round, but couldn’t follow it up. In the second round, he dropped Thomson again, which Thomson got back up from, and then finished him off with a short power shot that turned out the lights. This was a big win for Freire and a tough loss for Thomson. I thought Thomson would win a close decision, but Pitbull surprised me with his smooth approach. Sometimes he doesn’t seem to fight to his full ability, but he did here. This was an impressive win and gives him momentum in the division. It sucked losing the Mitrione-Fedor fight, but this night still turned out pretty well.

UFC Fight Night 105

GOOD: Paul Felder stops Alessandro Ricci

Felder looked pretty good in this one, busting up Ricci before getting the finish late in the first round. Nice win for Felder, who looks to rebound after some tough losses.

GOOD: Sara McMann submits Gina Mazany

McMann dominated here and got the submission in just over a minute or so into the first round. She’s a couple wins away from a title shot, but she looks to be starting to make a title run. She took Mazany down straight away and worked for the submission like it was a sparring match. Good win.

BAD: Elias Theodorou vs. Cezar Ferreira

It might be a little harsh to full BAD on this, but it was just kind of there. It wasn’t all that interesting and it definitely wasn’t very exciting. Theodorou won the decision in a very forgettable fight.

GOOD: Sam Sicila vs. Gavin Tucker

Tucker was making his UFC debut here and he delivered a good performance. He was the busier fighter and wore out Sicila with repeated strikes. The crowd was fully behind Tucker and that raised the fight for me.

GOOD: Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard

This wasn’t a great fight by any means, but I enjoyed watching Hendricks looking a lot better at middleweight than he’s been looking at welterweight. He had more energy and just plain looked better. I don’t think he’s going to make a title run at middleweight, but this was a really good win for him. There are definitely guys in the division that he can beat and other guys that he can test himself against.

GOOD: Derrick Lewis stops Travis Browne

Browne was laying into Lewis in the first round with some powerful body shots, but Lewis fought through it. He showed bigtime toughness as he was clearly hurting. What I really liked was that in the second round Lewis knew he was hurt and just decided to say to hell with it and started swinging. He probably knew he wouldn’t be able to last much longer with those body shots coming at him so he turned up the heat and relied on his power. He caught Browne several times, who took it, but there was just too much damage being done for him to be able to withstand it all. This was a really good fight and a great performance by Derrick Lewis. Browne had a good gameplan and was implementing it well, but the power of Lewis changed things. Great way to end the card.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 208 including Holm vs. de Randamie, Anderson Silva vs. Brunson, Souza vs. Boetsch

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

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