Bellator 189, The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, and UFC 218 were all this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.
GOOD – David Rickels vs. Adam Piccolotti: This fight was fine. It was solid, I guess. Nothing great, but Rickels wanted the win and he controlled things pretty well on his way to the decision victory.
GOOD- Chidi Njokuani vs. Hiaski Kato: This was a bit better. Njokuani was able to batter Kato around as he won the decision.
GOOD/BAD – Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Chris Honeywell: I’m probably being harsh here but I’m just tired of these decision fights. They’re fine and all, but there’s only so many times you can watch guys stalemate and slog through to get the win before you want to change the channel. Lovato won the decision and remains undefeated.
UGLY – Julia Budd vs. Arlene Blencowe: This fight was so dull and boring. It shouldn’t have gone five rounds, that was cruel and sadly too usual punishment. Nothing really happened. This was such a forgettable fight. Budd won the split decision and defended her Bellator Women’s Featherweight Title , but she can’t be feeling too great about it. She very easily could have lost the decision. She’s got to do better and she’s got to be more aggressive in the future. I suppose this was a fitting way to end a disappointing evening.
The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale
GOOD – Brett Johns submits Joe Soto: Soto shot in for a takedown and Johns grabbed him, locked in the submission, and got the tap. Good win for Johns.
BAD – DeAnna Bennett vs. Melinda Fabian: Fabian almost ended the fight at the end of the first round with a headkick, but time ran out. She took the first round. She also took the second round, but had a point deducted for grabbing the fence. Bennett rallied to take the third round so we ended up with a majority draw. Moving on…
GOOD – Gerald Meerschaert stops Eric Spicely: Meerschaert absolutely crushed Spicely with a bodykick. It was over after that as Spicely just couldn’t continue. Big win for Meerschaert.
GOOD – Lauren Murphy vs. Barb Honchak: Honchak was doing pretty well on the feet, but Murphy did land a few takedowns. When they were on the ground, though, Honchak had some close calls with submission attempts. The split decision went to Murphy. Obviously, it was a close fight and one Honchak will find herself second guessing. Good win for Murphy.
GOOD – Sean O’Malley vs. Terrion Ware: The fight was tied heading into the third round when O’Malley dug deep and found a way to get it done on his way to getting the decision win. Nice win for him to stay undefeated.
GOOD – Nicco Montano vs. Roxanne Modafferi: This fight was to crown the inaugural UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. They both came to fight and left it all in the cage. The pace was really quick. I wasn’t surprised by their cardio, but I was impressed. They were throwing a lot, but kept it up pretty much the entire time. Big win for Montano.
GOOD – Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson: This was a hard-fought fight. Torres was having some good success on the feet so Waterson took the fight to the ground. She wasn’t able to do a whole lot with it because Torres was defending well. Waterson showed good toughness, but Torres was all over her. Torres got the decision and the big win as she nears a title shot.
GREAT – Eddie Alvarez stops Justin Gaethje: This fight was unbelievable. I had high hopes for this and it delivered bigtime. This is just one of those fights you have to see for yourself because words can’t truly convey the brutality on display here. This was your Rock’ Em Sock’ Em Robots, your Knife-Edge Death Fight, your dream hockey fight, whatever you want to call it. These guys were throwing everything they had into their shots, and the other one took them. It was crazy. I might be caught up in the moment, but this was one of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen. The toughness of these guys was amazing. These guys looked like they had been in a car accident. Alvarez was bloody and swollen and he won. A powerful knee to Gaethje ended things towards the end of the third. Overall, this was a fantastic fight. The toughness shown was so unreal that it seemed like a movie. There were so many jaw-dropping moments in this fight that words almost lose their meaning in trying to describe it. Amazing.
BAD – Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis: Cejudo completely controlled and dominated Pettis. However, he didn’t really do much of anything with his top position on his way to the decision win.
GOOD/GREAT – Francis Ngannou stops Alistair Overeem: Nothing really happened for the first ninety seconds of so but then Ngannou destroyed Overeem with a powerful uppercut that almost sent Overeem flying out of the cage. That’s one of those finishes you’ll never forget. When you’re talking with your friends about great finishes, this is one you’ll bring up because the visual of a humongous dude like Overeem bring crushed like that is amazing. This is the kind of win that should get Ngannou a title shot against UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. That should be a great fight.
GOOD – Max Holloway stops Jose Aldo: Holloway kept a relentless pace and was all over Aldo who was having some success to start but then faded. That’s bad news against a guy with cardio like Holloway. He’s a guy who just keeps coming at you and doesn’t give you an inch to breathe. Plus, it seemed like he was getting more aggressive in the third round. That’s crazy to think because he was going at a quick pace to start and getting even quicker. Holloway is going to be so incredibly hard to beat. He’s got the striking, the wrestling, the cardio, the toughness, etc. He’s a handful for anyone. I assume the UFC will re-book Holloway versus Frankie Edgar, but I think I would still go with Holloway in that fight. I just can’t see him losing anytime soon and he’s getting better with each fight. On any other card, this fight would be the highlight of the night. Holloway with a huge win over the greatest, or one of the greatest, featherweights of all-time is huge news. Compared to the Alvarez win over Gaethje and the Ngannou knockout of Overeem, it’s third place though. That’s good company to be in. This was a great card.
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NOW CHECK OUT HYDEN’S PREVIOUS TAKE: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 122, Plus The Bellator Heavyweight Brackets Are Set