HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 188 and UFC Fight Night 121

BY FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist

Bellator 188 and UFC Fight Night 121 were both this past weekend. Let’s get to the rundown.


Bellator 188

GOOD- Denise Kielholtz submits Jessica Middleton

Kielholtz looked really good here, as she took it to Middleton. She peppered Middleton with a few punches before taking her down and locking in the submission for the win about a little over a minute into the first round. Good win for Kielholtz.

GOOD- John Salter submits Jason Radcliffe

Salter got a takedown about a minute into the first round and went to work, locking in a rear-naked choke about two minutes into the fight. Another good win for Salter, who’s looked quite good in his fights.

GOOD- Haim Gozali submits Arsen Faitovich

Faitovich got a quick takedown, but Gozali worked from the bottom and ended up locking in a triangle choke that put Faitovich to sleep. Good win for Gozali in his home country of Israel.

GOOD- Noad Lahat vs. Jeremiah Labiano

Things started slowly but Lahat was more aggressive and that won him the fight. He won all three rounds on the judges’ scorecards but he was deducted a point in the second round for repeated illegal blows. He hit Labiano with a low blow and followed that up a little later with illegals shots to the back of Labiano’s head. This was a nice, solid fight. Nothing great, but Lahat got a good win.


UFC Fight Night 121

GOOD- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Shane Young

Volkanovski completely dominated the fight and got the decision, which Young took on short notice. He had no answer for the takedowns from Volkanovski. Nice win for Volkanovski.

BAD- Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou

This was junk. The problem with Theodorou is that he’s a fake action fighter. He throws a million jabs or little kicks but doesn’t do anything with them. He’s like the guy in the intersection who pretends he’s hustling by moving his arms wildly while he’s slowly walks through. Its smoke and mirrors and stuff that makes you say “Hey, he’s active” when he’s not actually doing anything. Bad fight, which Theodorou won by decision.

BAD- Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic

Not much action here, as both jockeyed for grappling position the whole fight. It was close, these guys seem evenly matched, and Matthews got the split decision. Moving on.

GOOD- Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad

I’m being generous here, but at least this fight didn’t make me want to change the channel every 10 seconds. Muhammad won the split decision in a forgettable fight.

GOOD- Bec Rawlings vs. Jessica Rose-Clark

Again, I’m being generous but that’s mainly for the effort. They were trying hard, but not much was going on. You got to do whatever you have to in order to get that win, but man, sometimes it leads to some rough television. Clark won the split decision, which is impressive considering she took the fight on short notice.

UGLY- Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura

Ugh, this was bad. There’s no way this fight should have gone on for five rounds. When people make arguments against every main event being five rounds, this is one of those fights they point to. This fight was so boring that I spent more time in the kitchen listening to the broadcast while cooking than actually watching it, and I didn’t miss a damn thing. The ref should have stopped the fight after the third round. To be honest, he should have stopped it after the second round because everyone watching knew exactly what was going to happen. We’ve all seen enough MMA to know that this was trudging ever so slowly towards its inevitable conclusion.

I thought Werdum would have a lot more left in the tank than this. Maybe he was just slowed by an injury or a bad camp or something, but this won’t cut it against the top guys in the division.

Man, Bellator’s event was light-years better than the UFC event. It was almost complete night and day. Yeah, neither main event was all that good, but at least Noad Lahat and Jeremiah Labiano didn’t go five rounds. And they had three strong finishes on their undercard.


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

NOW CHECK OUT HYDEN’S PREVIOUS TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 187 and UFC Fight Night 120

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