HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 221 and UFC 237

by frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

May 11, 2019; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rose Namajunas (red gloves) fights Jessica Andrade (blue gloves) during UFC 237 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator 221 and UFC 237 were this past weekend, let’s get right to the rundown.

Bellator 221
GOOD- Tywan Claxton stops James Bennett
Claxton beat the hell out of Bennett for about two and a half rounds. Bennett showed good toughness and grit but he was outmatched here. Claxton landed a bunch of bigtime shots and opened a big gash on Bennett’s forehead. It was a thorough domination. Good win for Claxton.

GOOD- Jake Hager submits T.J. Jones
Hager took Jones down, tried for a few submissions but couldn’t get them, then started landing some big shots, took the back and locked in a choke for the submission win about two minutes into the first round. Good win for Hager.

GOOD/BAD- A.J. McKee vs. Pat Curran
This was a solid fight, nothing to get too excited about but McKee was effective. I’m probably being too harsh on this fight but I wasn’t feeling it. McKee got the decision victory, which is a good win for him.

GOOD- Douglas Lima stops Michael Page
This was a semifinal fight in the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. Page fought pretty well in the first round but in the second round, Lima took his legs out with a big kick and as Page tried to recover and get back up, he ate a huge uppercut from Lima that turned the lights out. I don’t know if that does justice to it, it was a hell of a finish. Lima advances and is looking strong. Good win for Lima.

GOOD- Patricio Pitbull stops Michael Chandler
Pitbull is the Bellator Featherweight Champion and Chandler was the Bellator Lightweight Champion, so now Pitbull is a two-division champ. Pitbull smashed Chandler with a big punch, followed up with some hammer fists, and the ref jumped in to stop the fight. Chandler protested but it was a good stoppage, in my eyes. He was out and getting wailed on, it was over. The only thing the ref did was save Chandler from eating more (unnecessary) shots.
I don’t know how Pitbull will handle things but I’m certainly excited to see it. Another good card for Bellator and a new double-champ. I’m glad Bellator is doing well.

UFC 237
GOOD- Irene Aldana submits Bethe Correia
This was a close fight. In the third round, Correia tried for a takedown but Aldana took her back and locked in an armbar for the submission win. Good win for Aldana.

GOOD- Thiago Alves vs. Laureano Staropoli
This was another close fight, but Staropoli seemed to get the better of most of the exchanges. It was tight, and an argument could be made for Alves, but I think the judges had it right when they gave Staropoli the decision.

GOOD/BAD- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jose Aldo
There was some good high-level stuff in this fight but also some boring clinch work. Volkanovski did more and was more successful on the feet and that’s what got him the decision victory here. It appears Aldo is slipping a bit but it might just be that Volkanovski is that good. It might be a little of both. Good win for Volkanovski.

GOOD- Jared Cannonier stops Anderson Silva
Cannonier punished Silva with leg kicks that seemed to take the life out of Silva. The end came when Cannonier connected with a leg kick that crumpled Silva and the fight was stopped. Silva had a leg injury prior to the fight but Cannonier looked really good here. Good win for Cannonier.

GOOD- Jessica Andrade stops Rose Namajunas
Namajunas took it to Andrade in the first round, landing a takedown and some big shots, even dropping her at one point. The second round started largely the same, with Namajunas landing several good shots. However, Andrade picked Namajunas up and slammed her to the mat, which knocked her out. Holy crap, that looked bad. Andrade is the new UFC Strawweight Champion.

That was a crazy finish there, hard to watch if you’ve had neck problems as it just looked so bad. Luckily, Namajunas is okay. Hard to tell what happens after this, Namajunas had sounded like she might retire after this loss, but decisions like that aren’t made in the heat of the moment. She might sound very different in a few weeks. As for Andrade, this is a huge win for her and she showed her dangerous power. She can end a fight in an instant so you have to be ready for anything. Another good show and another good weekend for MMA.


Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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