GOOD- Gaston Bolanos stops Nathan Stolen
Bolanos came out firing and plastered Stolen with a huge left hook to end the fight not quite halfway through the first round. Good win for Bolanos.
BAD/GOOD- Phil Davis stops Liam McGeary
The first two rounds of this fight…I’ll just say I didn’t like them. I found them boring and I would rather have watched late round action of the NFL Draft. In the third round, however, business picked up and Davis started working over McGeary. He took him down and laid into him, then hit him with a front kick as they got up, then took him down again and got right into mount and rained shots down until he got the stoppage win. Good win for Davis after a very slow start.
BAD/GOOD- Benson Henderson vs. Adam Piccolotti
Call me a filthy casual if you want, but I wasn’t feeling this fight at all. I take nothing away from the talent required to do the things Henderson can do, but I don’t want to watch it. It’s just like tennis or golf or baseball or whatever, I know it takes talent to be good at those sports, but I don’t want to watch. Show me the highlights. I don’t want to watch fifteen minutes of this stuff (or twenty-five if I’m unlucky), show me twenty seconds of highlights and I’m good.
I’ve seen enough Benson Henderson fights to know that they’re all largely the same. They’re all super close and involve close-quarters grappling and Henderson is extremely flexible. That’s what this fight was. Henderson won by split decision in a very close fight. Yeah, these fights are better than the boring lay-and-pray or wall-and-stall fights we get too much of, but it’s still not something I’m interested in. I don’t know, maybe I’m just in a bad mood as I write this. I will say that this was a nice win for Henderson.
GOOD/BAD- Ilima Lei Macfarlane stops Veta Arteaga
To be honest, I found this fight to be much better than the previous one. Maybe some of it is just confirmation bias against Benson Henderson or that this fight had two women in it, I don’t know, but it didn’t seem as tedious. Don’t get me wrong, I still wasn’t in love with this fight, but it was better. Macfarlane used her wrestling to beat up on Arteaga and in the third round, blasted with a shot on the ground that sliced Arteaga open. The cageside doctor quickly stepped in and called a stop to the fight, as Macfarlane retained her Bellator Flyweight Championship. Good win for Macfarlane.
BAD/GOOD- Jon Fitch vs. Rory MacDonald
I knew going in that this could be a tough fight to watch, and it was. There was some good stuff in this fight but it was few and far between. I’ll give Fitch this, though, he’s pretty tough to be able to take these shots from MacDonald and keep coming. He has to be tough to enact his strategy of staying on top of his opponents. This was also a first-round matchup in the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix as well as a Bellator Welterweight Championship fight.
They fought to a majority draw, which means MacDonald advances because he’s the champion. He’ll face Neiman Gracie in the next round. I think the draw took some wind out of my sails with this fight, though I wasn’t liking this fight before that either. I guess it’s fitting, though, that on a night where most of the fights weren’t very good that we get a draw to top it all off at the end.
UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Hermansson
GOOD- Roosevelt Roberts vs. Thomas Gifford
They each took the other down a few times but Roberts had some more success on the feet. Roberts won the decision in a solid fight. Good win for Roberts.
GOOD- John Lineker vs. Cory Sandhagen
Linker was throwing bombs during this fight every chance he got. If he had connected with some more of those shots, it would have been over for sure. Sandhagen was a bit more methodical and calculated. Sandhagen won by split decision. I kind of thought Lineker won but it was so close that I can see Sandhagen getting the nod.
GOOD- Glover Teixeira submits Ion Cutelaba
Cutelaba hurt Teixeira early but he was able to recover. Cutelaba continued to nail Teixeira with shots but he couldn’t finish him. In the second round, the tables turned and Teixeira hurt Cutelaba with several shots before getting him to the ground, where he locked in a rear-naked choke and got the tap. Good win for Teixeira.
GOOD- Alex Oliveira vs. Mike Perry
These guys were going at each other for most of the fight. Oliveira got hurt a few times and Perry tired in the third round, but this was a pretty good fight. Perry won the decision, but it was really close. Good win for Perry.
GOOD- Greg Hardy vs. Dmitri Smoliakov
Hardy stuffed some early takedown attempts than blasted Smoliakov with an uppercut that floored him. Hardy started throwing hammerfists and the ref jumped in to stop the fight. Good win for Hardy.
GOOD- Jack Hermansson vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Hermansson outstruck Jacare and nearly finished him in the first round. He hit him with a combo and slapped on a choke but Jacare was able to escape. The second round was just eh, but Jacare came back in the third round and hurt Hermansson with some punches. Hermansson fought well in the fourth round but Jacare was able to land some shots of his own. They traded shots in the fifth round but Hermansson seemed to land a bit more. He also got a late takedown that might have swayed the judges. Hermansson took the decision and Jacare is in a tough spot in the division. It doesn’t seem like he’ll be a title contender but I think he’s better than the second-tier guys. He has the ability to beat about anyone but he can also lose to a lot of different guys.
As for Hermansson, he’s now won four fights in a row and is trying to force his way into the title picture. He’ll probably need another big win or so before anything serious happens on that front, but he’s definitely someone to keep your eye on in the division. In about a month, he’s submitted David Branch and outstruck Jacare Souza. If he beats another top guy in his next fight, it’ll be hard to not give him a title shot.
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