Bellator 197 and UFC on FOX 29 were this past weekend. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Kevin Ferguson Jr. submits Devon Brock
Ferguson knocked Brock down, followed up with some more shots and took his back and locked in the choke for the win. Good win for Baby Slice.
BAD- Logan Storley vs. Joaquin Buckley
This fight sucked. Storley would take Buckley down and then lay on him, doing nothing but little punches. Storley won the decision, but lost fans with this performance.
GOOD- A.J. McKee vs. Justin Lawrence
This fight was nice and solid, but it was like a rock concert compared to the last fight. McKee was just too good and fought too smartly. Lawrence tried to bait him into a slugfest, but McKee fought the way he wanted and got the decision. Nice win.
GOOD- Michael Chandler submits Brandon Girtz
An eye poke and low blow halted the action temporarily but eventually Chandler was able to slam Girtz to the mat and lock in an arm triangle choke that put Girtz out completely. Big win for Chandler as he makes a statement by stopping Girtz in the first round. Good win.
UFC on FOX 29
GOOD- Michelle Waterson vs. Cortney Casey
This was an ultra-close fight. It ended up being a split decision win for Waterson, that’s how close it was. I thought Waterson definitely won two of the rounds, with Casey probably taking the first round and Waterson the last two. Waterson won the fight with her wrestling, as she got some good takedowns in. Casey had some good submissions attempts, though. A very close fight and a good win for Waterson.
GOOD- Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vetorri
This fight also went to a split decision, with Adesanya picking up the win. I don’t agree with that scoring as I think Adesanya clearly won the first two rounds in my eyes and I think you could even argue that he won the third round. Adesanya did show the hole in his game as he wasn’t effective at all when it comes to fighting on the mat. He did get up a few times from a takedown, but he didn’t look nearly as good down there as he does on the mat.
This was an ideal outcome for Adesanya, especially from his coaches vantagepoint. He got the win so the hype train moves on, but he showed enough weakness that he’ll be motivated to improve that aspect of his game to prevent that from happening again. I think this will be a learning experience and he gets even better the next time he fights.
GOOD- Charles Oliveira submits Carlos Condit
Condit looked fairly good in the first round and it seemed as though he was in control. In the second round, though Oliveira cut him open and took advantage of the opportunity before him, hitting Condit with an upkick that caused a scramble that ended with Oliveira grabbing Condit in a guillotine that forced the tap. Huge win for Oliviera on network television.
I don’t know if Condit will keep fighting or not, he looked good, it’s just that sometimes you lose. Sometimes things don’t go your way. I’m a big fan of Condit, been a fan for years, so I hope he does what is best for him. If he wants to keep fighting, by all means, do so. If he wants to retire and maybe coach, or step away from the sport entirely, do that.
Back to Oliveira, this win definitely puts him in a good spot moving forward. He’s not getting a title shot in his next fight, but he’s in a position where a win in his next fight could get him into a number one contenders fight. A lot of it depends on how the division plays out over the next handful of months. Oliviera’s in a good spot, though.
GOOD- Dustin Poirier stops Justin Gaethje
Gaethje was laying into Poirier’s right thigh with big kicks. He landed them early and often. It was impressive that Poirier was able to fight through that, as you know that had to be hurting like crazy. Poirier was landing a lot more shots, and some lot bigger shots, but Gaethje kept coming. You expect that, and you also expected Poirier to start fading. He did a little bit, just as a natural result of fighting for three rounds and throwing a lot of punches, but ultimately, he didn’t fade. He kept coming and he overwhelmed Gaethje about thirty seconds into the fourth round. We know Gaethje is super tough. We know Poirier is tough, but this was a different level. He rocked Gaethje, swarmed him, and finished him.
This was a highly impressive win. Afterwards, Poirier called out the new UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Honestly, I don’t think there’s much chance of that fight happening, but it should absolutely be under consideration. I know there’s all kinds of questions about guys who could be ahead of Poirier in the line for a title shot, but he’s got to considered.
Nurmagomedov could fight Conor McGregor next, he could fight Tony Ferguson next (though scheduling that for the fifth time would be absurd, you can’t have Ferguson’s next fight not be for the title), or maybe he fights Georges St. Pierre, or maybe he fights “The Diamond” Dustin Poirier? I don’t know, but he has to be considered among the possibilities. A performance likes this warrants it. This was a huge win on network television in an exciting fight. Guys have gotten title shots for a lot less than that.
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