HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 226 and UFC 242

Frank Hyden MMATorch Columnist

Sep 7, 2019; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) greets Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 242 at The Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator 226 and UFC 242 were this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 226 and UFC 242

Bellator 226

GOOD- Daniel Carey submits Gaston Bolanos

After some nice striking early, Carey locked in a choke and went to the ground, where he got the submission win not quite four and a half minutes into the first round. Good win for Carey.

GOOD- Emmanuel Sanchez submits Tywan Claxton

Sanchez controlled this fight wherever it went. When Claxton landed a takedown, Sanchez threw a bunch of shots from his back. When Sanchez got a takedown, he postured up and landed a bunch of hammerfists. Claxton had some good striking but Sanchez landed the more damaging shots. Sanchez locked in a tight choke towards the end of the second round and Claxton had to tap. Good win for Sanchez as he advances in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

GOOD- Pedro Carvalho submits Sam Sicilia

The first round was close, though Sicilia seemed to land the more damaging strikes. The second round was different, though, as Carvalho started landing a bunch of kicks and then locked in the submission and got the tap. Good win for Carvalho as he also advances in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

GOOD- Adam Borics stops Pat Curran

Borics landed a bunch of legkicks in the first round. He hit a few more of them before a flying knee dropped Curran. Borics exploded on Curran and threw a tremendous flurry on the ground that forced the ref to jump in and end the fight with one second left in the second round. Good win for Borics as he advances to meet Emmanuel Sanchez in the next round of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

GOOD- Daniel Straus vs. Derek Campos

This was a one-sided fight, which made it less interesting to me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this was a bad fight or anything, but it lacked drama. Campos so thoroughly dominated Straus that it basically seemed a foregone conclusion who was going to win. Good win for Campos, who advances to meet Pedro Carvalho in the next round of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

UGLY- Ryan Bader vs. Cheick Kongo

Bader was seeking to defend his Bellator Heavyweight Title but he eyepoked Kongo in the first round and he couldn’t continue so this ended in a No Contest. This sucks. Any fight ending in a No Contest sucks, but for a title fight and main event to end in one? That’s even worse. What a crap way to end a good night of fights.

UFC 242

GOOD- Mairbek Taisumov vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

Ferreira landed some really good shots throughout the course of this fight. He was on his game and kept coming forward, and that got him the decision victory. Good win for Ferreira.

GOOD- Curtis Blaydes stops Shamil Abdurakhimov

Blaydes landed several takedowns and blasted Abdurakhimov with huge shots that busted him wide open. The stoppage came about halfway through the second round as Blaydes unloaded with more big strikes. Good win for Blaydes.

BAD/GOOD- Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos

This was a bad spot for this fight. Coming after a bloody stoppage like the previous fight ups the ante for what people want to see, and this wasn’t it. It wasn’t a horrible fight necessarily, but it wasn’t all that exciting. Makhachev won the decision in a fight he controlled throughout.

GOOD/BAD- Paul Felder vs. Edson Barboza

I rate this fight BAD as well, but for a different reason. I thought Barboza won at least the first two rounds and thus, the decision. However, the judges saw things differently and Felder got the split decision victory. I thought Barboza was more effective but Felder fought well. Good win for Felder.

GOOD- Khabib Nurmagomedov submits Dustin Poirier

Nurmagomedov completely dominated on the ground, as was expected. He did look kind of like ass on the feet, though, which was a little unexpected. He’s looked better previously and I thought he would continue to improve. It doesn’t matter as much when he’s so good on the ground, though, but if someone can stuff some of his takedowns, that’s something you can exploit. Poirier has some good striking but Nurmagomedov sapped him of strength with his ground game and then finished him with the choke in the third round.

It’s hard to imagine anyone beating Nurmagomedov but I think if anyone is going to do it, Tony Ferguson is the man with the best chance. That fight has been made and cancelled so many times it seems cursed but it has to happen eventually. Surely the fight gods wouldn’t be so cruel? I guess we’ll find out as Nurmagomedov has said that it’s Ferguson or nothing for him. Let’s hope that’s the next fight for Nurmagomedov’s UFC Lightweight Title.

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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