Bellator 184 and UFC 216 were both this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.
BAD- Leandro Higo vs. Joe Taimanglo
This was just a bad fight. There just wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of action until the very end of the third round. Higo almost finished Taimanglo, but did get the decision win.
GOOD- John Teixiera vs. Pat Curran
This fight had some nice moments. Curran’s wrestling was just too much for Teixiera. Curran won the decision, and rightly so, he was just the better fighter. He landed some big punches and his wrestling was solid as always. This was a really good win for Curran.
GOOD- Emmanuel Sanchez submits Daniel Straus
Straus came out strong and won the first round I thought, but then Sanchez came alive in the second round. The fight went to the ground and Sanchez started landing some huge shots. The ref very easily could have stopped the fight there but it was allowed to continue. In the third round, Sanchez picked up where he left off and locked in a triangle choke and forced the tap. A fantastic showing by Sanchez and a really tough loss for Straus.
GOOD- Darrion Caldwell vs. Eduardo Dantas
Caldwell came out and fought his type of fight. He controlled Dantas and won at least three of the five rounds. You could argue that he won a fourth round, but nonetheless, Caldwell won the decision and becomes the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion. This was a tough loss for Dantas, though I’m sure he’ll fight his way back. Big time win for Caldwell.
GOOD- Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
This was an absolutely crazy fight. Dariush was destroying Dunham in the first round. He could have very easily gotten the stoppage. Dunham showed tremendous toughness, though, and battled through. The second and third rounds were all Dunham. Dariush was gassed and Dunham kept coming forward and took the second and third rounds. Because of the 10-8 first round for Dariush and Dunham taking the next two rounds, we got a majority draw here. I agree with that. This was a hell of a fun fight.
GOOD- Mara Romero Borella submits Kalindra Faria
Borella took Faria down immediately and started working her grappling. She eventually locked in a rear-naked choke and got the submission in the first round. Very good win for Borella.
GOOD- Fabricio Werdum submits Walt Harris
Harris was a fight-day replacement for Werdum’s original opponent, Derrick Lewis. That’s disappointing, but I applaud both of these guys for taking this fight. This went basically the way you would expect, Werdum took Harris down and got the submission in just over a minute. Nice win for Werdum.
GOOD/GREAT- Demetrious Johnson submits Ray Borg
The GOOD is for Johnson winning this fight, defending his UFC Flyweight Title and showing yet again he’s in a class by himself.
The GREAT comes from two things. One, he set the record for most consecutive title defenses with eleven. That’s amazing and one of those records that will be so incredibly hard to match or break. Two, the submission that Johnson got on Borg has to be seen to be believed. It was amazing. I’ll describe it as best I can, though.
Keep in mind this was in the fifth round in a fight that Johnson had taken the previous four rounds. So he was clearly up and poised for victory. He could have just coasted to victory and gotten the record for consecutive title defenses. He didn’t though, and that’s impressive by itself.
Back to the submission, Johnson had Borg up for a slam, and as they went to the ground Johnson kept a hold on Borg’s arm and turned it into an armbar. It was jaw-dropping. I doubt I’ve painted the picture properly, but that was an incredible move. And that’s the move that clinches the consecutive title defenses record? That’s all the better. Borg showed some really good toughness, but Johnson is in a league of his own. An amazing record by an amazing fighter with an amazing submission.
GOOD- Tony Ferguson submits Kevin Lee
This was a close fight. Lee probably took the first round and Ferguson probably took the second. They were battling, but Ferguson started looking better and better. Lee looked a little tired and Ferguson took advantage. Lee was able to get takedowns but Ferguson showed good bottom defense and ended the fight when he locked in a triangle in the third round. This was awesome and finally Ferguson is a champion in the UFC.
He’s won ten fights in a row and he’s just now gotten a title shot? That’s ridiculous. What else do you want a guy to do? This was a great finish for Ferguson, who called out UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor after the win. I would love to see a unification fight between the champ McGregor and the interim champ Ferguson. That would be fantastic. I don’t know what the odds are on that, but I don’t think they’re all that great, to be honest. I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a lot of money to be made on McGregor’s next fight and the UFC might choose to go with Nate Diaz as McGregor’s opponent. Or McGregor might venture into boxing again. To be determined, as they say. Regardless, this was a great event. Plenty of awesome fights and great finishes, and history was made.
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NOW CHECK OUT HYDEN’S PREVIOUS TAKE: Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum’s comments