By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
Bellator 255 was this past week and featured a big title fight and the continuation of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. Also, Conor McGregor’s next fight is set. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Alejandra Lara vs. Kana Watanabe
They traded early before Watanabe got a takedown. She did a little damage but Lara worked her way back to her feet and later scored a takedown of her own. She continued landing punches before the round ended. The second round started with them trading again before Lara dropped Watanabe, who responded with a takedown. Watanabe worked for some submissions but wasn’t able to get anything going and the round ended. The third round saw Watanabe get a takedown and then she basically laid on Lara for the rest of the fight, as both women were too exhausted to do much of anything. That got Watanabe the split decision win, good win for her.
GOOD- Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Mike Hamel
Lots of kicks from Nurmagomedov in the first round. More kicks were landed by Nurmagomedov in the second round, he also successfully defended some takedown attempts. The third round saw Hamel continue to come forward and be aggressive, he showed a lot of resilience and heart in this fight. It wasn’t enough, though, as Nurmagomedov got the decision victory. I like the effort from both men, though. Good win for Nurmagomedov.
GOOD- Tyrell Fortune stops Jack May
Fortune landed a handful of takedowns early and then unloaded a heavy barrage of strikes on the ground until the referee finally stepped in. Not really sure what he was waiting for. The fighters exchanged words after the stoppage. Good win for Fortune.
GOOD- Jason Jackson vs. Neiman Gracie
Gracie missed with an early takedown but Jackson as content to grapple on the ground. In fact, he went for and got a couple takedowns on his own in the first round. Gracie got a takedown in the second round and did a little damage in the second round but ultimately not a whole lot happened. Gracie tried for another takedown in the third but Jackson ended up on top. He controlled Gracie for the rest of the fight and that got him the decision victory. Good win for Jackson.
GOOD- Patrico “Pitbull” Freire submits Emmanuel Sanchez
Sanchez has some success early with his striking. Pitbull gets going and drops Sanchez with a big left hook. From there, Pitbull locks in a guillotine and it’s over. Pitbull successfully defends his Bellator Featherweight Championship and advances to the finals in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix, where he’ll face A.J. McKee. Good win for Freire.
The UFC has announced that Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will fight for the third time at UFC 264 on July 10th, 2021. McGregor lost to Poirier in January of this year but has promised that he’s on a mission to destroy Poirier. That’s possible but I’d have to see it to believe it. His drawing power is definitely on the line here. If he loses to Poirier, and loses badly, that’s really going to damage his ability to get the buys he gets now. I know there’s a lot of McGregor lovers out there but at a certain point, even they’d have to say enough.
McGregor has only fought three times since 2016, with one win and two losses. In both of those losses, he got destroyed and stopped in both. To be fair, McGregor did destroy Donald Cerrone for that one win, but another big loss for McGregor hurts his drawing power. Beating Poirier puts McGregor back into the driver’s seat, though, as you know that the UFC will give McGregor just about anything he wants. Hell, they just about do that now and that’s after these big losses. Whether you like him or not, McGregor is a draw. There’s going to be a lot of eyeballs on this fight, just the way the UFC likes it. We’ll see if it stays that way after this fight.
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