HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 209 and UFC Fight Night 140

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

Nov 17, 2018; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago Ponzinibbio (blue gloves) defeats Neil Magny (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Parque Roca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator 209 and UFC Fight Night 140 both took place this past weekend, let’s get right to the rundown.

Bellator 209

GOOD- Adam Keresh stops Kirill Sidelnikov
Sidelnikov dropped Keresh early but then Keresh plastered him with a beautiful headkick that floored him, and when Sidelnikov got back up, Keresh sealed the deal with a big right hook. Good win for Keresh.

GOOD/BAD- Vadim Nemkov vs. Phil Davis
To be honest, I wasn’t feeling this fight at all. It was just there. I do feel like I’m being too harsh on it, that’s why I’m going GOOD/BAD instead of just BAD, but this was just dull. Nemkov got the split decision win, which is a really big win for him. I do feel bad for raining on his parade but moving on.

BAD/GOOD- Ryan Couture vs. Haim Gozali
Another fight I really didn’t like. I don’t blame Nemkov and Davis for having a not-so-great fight because that happens. You got to try to get the win, you can’t worry about entertaining over winning. So I get that. In this fight, though, Gozali didn’t seem to want to do either. He was laying on his butt and back more than anything else. I guess technically that is him trying to give himself the best chance for victory but come on now, you got to do better than that. Couture did what he could, and he got the dominant decision win, but it’s hard to engage someone who doesn’t want to engage. I don’t like being so negative but this fight was dull and uninspiring. I did have a daydream about Couture jumping off the cage and landing a “Macho Man” Randy Savage elbow to Gozali when he was on his back like that at one point but we can chalk that up to boredom. Moving on.

GOOD- Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Patrico “Pitbull” Freire
This was for Pitbull’s Bellator Featherweight Title and both guys were throwing big shots. Pitbull was getting the better of it, but Sanchez had his moments. Pitbull also landed some nice takedowns as well. Neither man was going to give an inch or back down, so we got an intense fight that saw Pitbull pick up the decision win. It’s a nice win over a good opponent. This was a good way to end the evening.

UFC Fight Night 140

GOOD- Cynthia Calvillo submits Poliana Botelho
Calvillo wanted to get the fight to the ground, and it’s not hard to see why. Botelho was able to get back to her feet after the first takedown but the second one led to Calvillo taking over and working for, and getting, a rear-naked choke for the finish. Good win for Calvillo.

GOOD- Marlon Vera submits Guido Cannetti
Cannetti fought well in the first round, hurting Vera with some powerful strikes. In the second round, however, Vera landed some huge knees and uppercuts from the clinch that just sapped the life from Cannetti and led to a takedown, rear-naked choke, and submission. Good win for Vera.

GOOD- Cezar Ferreira vs. Ian Heinisch
This was a close fight, but Heinisch really showed something here. Both guys got tired but Heinisch dug deep and somehow kept going. He delivered plenty of punishment and for the decision win. Big win for a guy making his UFC debut.

GOOD- Johnny Walker stops Khalil Rountree
Walker might well be the next big thing in the UFC light heavyweight division. I hate to jump the gun so soon, but the division is a little weak right now, and I think Walker could be the guy. He’s 6’6″ with good power and seems to be honing his craft. Sometimes when a guy has good physical gifts, he coasts on that. You can still have a lot of success relying more on your raw physical ability than technique, but if you combine those two, the sky’s the limit. Walker hurt Rountree with everything he threw before starching him with some elbows. Great win for Walker.

GOOD- Ricardo Lamas stops Darren Elkins
Lamas ripped up the leg of Elkins with kicks. It was painful to watch as he kept delivering them. Elkins showed incredible toughness by still fighting hard. He got cut up, beat up, and was wearing a crimson mask but he just would not give up. It was almost unbelievable how much fight was still in Elkins. He was pretty well getting beat down but he never gave up, continuing to throw big shots that were hurting Lamas. Elkins wasn’t hitting him with lovetaps, these were hard shots he was throwing and connecting with. Lamas used some brutal ground-and-pound to force the ref to jump in. Elkins still wasn’t ready to give up but the fight was clearly over. Good win for Lamas.


GOOD- Santiago Ponzinibbio stops Neil Magny
Ponzinibbio just completely dominated this fight. This was another fight with more painful moments to watch as Magny was nailed with so many legkicks that he’d fall to the mat after taking one. He got his eye swollen shut and just generally beat the hell up. Ponzinibbio came out and just laid it on him. He knocked Magny out cold about halfway through the fourth round and this was after clearly winning the previous three rounds. I like that killer instinct. I don’t know, Magny just didn’t have it tonight. He didn’t have a whole lot of success. He was tough to last as long as he did, but this was a one-sided fight. Not the greatest of fights but a big beatdown and a good way to end an excellent card.

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