UFC Fight Night 131 was this past weekend. It was a little light on big names but it had some big moments. Let’s get to the rundown.
UFC Fight Night 131
GOOD- Gian Villante vs. Sam Alvey
There were some exciting moments in this fight, and a few quieter moments as well. It was largely a good fight, though. Alvey dropped Villante in the first round but couldn’t get the finish. Later in the third round, Villante popped Alvey good, but the fight did go to the judges, who gave Alvey the split decision. Nice win for Alvey.
GOOD- Julio Arce submits Daniel Teymur
Arce looked good with his striking game, but he was also consistently going for submissions. About halfway through the third round he finally locked in a tight choke that forced the tap. Good win for Arce.
GOOD- Ben Saunders stops Jake Ellenberger
Both men were landing shots but then Saunders crumpled Ellenberger with a knee to the body, pounced on him, and forced the stoppage about two minutes into the first round. Good win for Saunders and a tough loss for Ellenberger.
GOOD/BAD- Walt Harris stops Daniel Spitz
I’m in a good mood so I’ll go GOOD/BAD but this fight sucked. It was boring and dull and not much happened. The finish, though, is where the GOOD comes from. Harris dropped Spitz with a big left hand and followed up with repeated shots until the ref had to step in with literally one second to go in the second round. You could just watch the final seconds of the fight and be better off for it, though the finish was nice.
GOOD- Gregor Gillespie submits Vinc Pichel
Gillespie was all over Pichel from the start, getting takedowns and doing whatever he wanted. He was trying submissions and just generally dominating Pichel. Gillespie seems to be the real deal and needs to move up the rankings quickly. I want to see him fight some high-ranked guys at lightweight. I think he’s got the skills to do quite well. I don’t know how well he’ll do against the good strikers in the division, but his wrestling and grappling are good enough to make waves. In the second round Gillespie got Pichel down again and ended up locking in the arm triangle to get the win. Really good win for Gillespie.
GOOD- Marlon Moraes stops Jimmie Rivera
Moraes caught Rivera with a headkick straight away and then jumped on him with punches to force the ref to step in after just thirty seconds into the first round. Bigtime win for Moraes. Is a title shot in his future? Maybe, you never know with the UFC. He’s certainly good enough to have earned one. He’s 16-1 in his last 17 fights and has won three in a row since his split decision loss to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212 last June.
Again, though, you never know which way the UFC will go with who gets the next title shot at bantamweight. A win like this will get you talked about, though, especially since Rivera had won 20 fights in a row himself before this loss. This was a great way to end the card.
Looking back at Bisping
Michael Bisping retired this past week. Without question, he’s an absolute legend and deserves the praise he’s received. No matter if you loved him or hated him, you had to respect him.
Bisping always came to fight and give maximum effort. I think my best memory of Bisping is when he knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 on June 4, 2016. He took the fight on a couple weeks’ notice and had previously been submitted by Rockhold a year and a half prior.
However, on this night, Bisping reigned supreme as he stopped Rockhold by strikes and claimed the UFC Middleweight Title. He finally achieved the glory he had fought for so long to get.
It was a tremendous moment and reminds you of why you’re a sports fan.
Controversy followed Bisping throughout his career, but you could never question his heart and toughness. He’s a surefire UFC Hall of Famer and one of the best trash-talkers in MMA history. I hope he enjoys retirement and has good health.
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