HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 179 including Kongo, Rory MacDonald, Paul Daley, McGeary

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Bellator 179 was this past weekend, and it featured the Bellator debut of Rory MacDonald. Let’s get right to the rundown.

Bellator 179

GOOD – Kevin Ferguson Jr. stops D.J. Griffin: Ferguson is, of course, the son of Kimbo Slice and he fought like his dad. He showed good power on the feet, blasting Griffin and dropping him, then finishing him with strikes on the ground. Good first win for Ferguson. I don’t know if he’ll reach the heights of popularity that his dad did, but there’s always fans for entertaining brawlers. Ferguson says he wants to be more than that, and he’s got the time to improve his game, so I would expect Bellator to bring him along slowly.

GOOD – Alex Lohore stops Dan Edwards: They stayed largely on the mat in the first round, but in the second, Lohore pressed his striking advantage and took Edwards apart. He dropped him, let him up, and dropped him again to get the finish. Yeah, this was a fight Lohore should have won, but there’s danger with any opponent. Even if you’re heavily favored, you still have to go in there and do it. That’s what Lohore did and he’s got another impressive finish to show for it.

UGLY – Cheick Kongo vs. Augusto Sakai: This was a crap fight, it was garbage. This was so mind-numbingly dull that it would literally drive fans away. I would imagine that they lost a fair number of viewers during this fight, it was that bad. So, in other words, it was a typical Kongo fight. I would rather do almost anything else than watch another of his fights. As if it matters, but Kongo won the split decision. I neither know nor care if that’s the right decision; I wish both men could be given losses here.

GOOD – Linton Vassell submits Liam McGeary: After that last trainwreck of a fight, this seemed like a shot of adrenaline. McGeary had success early, but Vassell took over and eventually got the submission win. Nice win for Vassell, who wants to fight the winner of Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader at Bellator 180 next month. If Vassell gets that fight, he’d have a much harder time controlling the fight with his wrestling because both of those guys have way better wrestling than McGeary. It’d certainly be interesting watching how Vassell would approach that fight, though, and what strategy he would use. Good win for Vassell.

GOOD – Rory MacDonald submits Paul Daley: MacDonald wisely took Daley down and did most of his fighting on the ground. He did have some success on the feet, but if you’re fighting Paul Daley, it wouldn’t be your best course of action to stand and trade with him. MacDonald worked Daley over on the ground before getting the submission in the second round. MacDonald’s Bellator debut is a rousing success and he’s certainly in line for a title shot next. Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima defends his belt against former UFC fighter Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 180 next month; MacDonald will surely face the winner.

I don’t want to make predictions too early or discount anyone, but when MacDonald fights like this, I don’t think there are many people in the world who can beat him. MacDonald is one of the better fighters in the welterweight division and he’s a tough challenge for anyone. You need to hope he has an off night or comes into the fight unmotivated. Otherwise, it’s going to take a colossal effort to beat him. Of all the ex-UFC signings that Bellator has, MacDonald is the best.

All in all, this was a good card. There was complete garbage in the middle, but it was sandwiched on both sides by some good fights with good finishes. These are the events that Bellator needs in order to build momentum as they head towards Bellator 180 and try the pay-per-view market again.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 211 from Jedrzejczyk-Andrade to Miocic-JDS

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

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