By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
Bellator 270 and UFC 268 were this weekend and featured some big
fights. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Ilias Bulaid vs. Georges Sasu
It was mostly striking in the first round, with Bulaid getting the
advantage there. Sasu got a takedown in the second round but Bulaid
still did more damage with his striking. Sasu got another takedown in
the third round and started unloading on Bulaid with his
ground-and-pound. Sasu got another takedown and it goes to the judges,
who give Bulaid the Split Decision victory. Good win for Bulaid.
GOOD- Daniel Weichel vs. Pedro Carvalho
Weichel scored a takedown and dropped Carvalho in the first round.
Weichel dropped him again early in the second round but Carvalho
fought back and they started throwing bombs at each other. Carvalho
connected with some nasty shots but Weichel survived. Carvalho got a
takedown early in the third round and Weichel wasn’t able to take the
round so Carvalho got the decision victory from the judges. Good win
GOOD- Patrick Mix submits James Gallagher
The first round was really close, with some good grappling and
submission work from both men. The action slowed down in the second
round as they repeated what happened in the first round, just slower.
The third round saw Mix lock in a guillotine and Gallagher tap early
in the third round. This fight got very dull at times because they’re
very close in terms of skill. Mix missed weight and that might have
factored in as he looked bigger and wore Gallagher down. Regardless,
good win for Mix.
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire stops Peter Queally
Freire worked the body with some hard strikes. Queally fought back
some but not enough to take the round. Freire took a bad eyepoke in
the second round and they took an extended break. He was able to
continue, though, and he dropped Queally with a big right hand. Freire
landed more bombs and the referee has to jump in to stop the fight.
Good win for Freire, who won the vacant Bellator Lightweight Title
with this win.
GOOD- Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje
The first round was completely crazy. Chandler landed these
unbelievably hard shots that Gaethje just took and fired back with big
shots of his own. The toughness here was nuts. The second round saw
Gaethje drop Chandler and they both landed with bombs. Gaethje did a
lot more damage but Chandler had a few moments. And how he kept coming
forward and stayed upright is stunning. The third round saw Gaethje
land the harder shots again but Chandler was like a horror movie
villain, you couldn’t stop him. He even started waving Gaethje on and
calling for more towards the end of the round. I don’t see how he was
able to finish the fight. Gaethje improves to 23-3 while Chandler
falls to 22-7. Gaethje won the decision, good win for him.
GOOD- Shane Burgos vs. Billy Quarantillo
This was another fight where they were ripping each other up with big
shots. Some really nice striking on display in the first round. They
kept it up in the second round as well, beating the hell out of each
other. They both absorbed some really hard punches that could have
ended fights. I hate to use the same analogy but these guys were like
movie monsters slugging it out. I lost track of how many strikes
landed that would have ended most fights. This was another wild fight
that went to a decision that Burgos won, good win for him. Burgos ends
a two-fight losing streak to improve to 14-3 while Quarantillo falls
GOOD- Marlon Vera stops Frankie Edgar
They traded strikes early before Edgar got a takedown. Vera landed
some hard upkicks but I think Edgar won the round with his
ground-and-pound. Edgar got another takedown in the beginning of the
second round but Vera fought back with some tough strikes after
getting back to his feet. I think Vera won the second round but it was
close. They did more striking on their feet in the third round, though
Edgar did get another takedown. Vera got back to his feet and smashed
Edgar with a front kick to the face for the knockout not quite four
minutes into the third round. Edgar has lost four of his last five
fights and falls to 24-10-1 while Vera improves to 18-7-1. Good win
GOOD/BAD- Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili
This was for the UFC Strawweight Championship, which Namajunas won
from Zhang back in April. It was mainly strikes in the first round as
the fighters felt each other out. Zhang staggered Namajunas with a
left hook in the second round then took her down. Namajunas then got a
trip takedown to close the round. The third round saw Namajunas slow
the pace down and be controlled with her strikes, though Zhang was
able to get a takedown. The fourth round was more of the same, with
Namajunas controlling things on the ground. The fifth round was more
blanket stuff and I’m tuned out. Namajunas wins the Split Decision and
retains her title but this just wasn’t very exciting. It’s effective,
which is why I’m going GOOD before the BAD but this was just dull. A
win’s a win and you have to do whatever you can to win so I respect
that but it’s not going to be very popular. Zhang drops to 21-3 with
two of those losses coming to Namajunas, who improves to 11-4. Good
win for Namajunas.
GOOD- Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington
This was for Usman’s UFC Welterweight Championship. There was some
nice striking in the first round before they clashed heads and
Covington got busted open. The champ started firing away at Covington
in the second round, though Covington fired back. Usman dropped
Covington a few times at the end of the second round. He couldn’t get
the finish, though. Usman peppered Covington with some good strikes in
the third round but Covington did get a takedown late in the round.
Usman opened up more in the fourth round and started firing. Covington
fired back, though, and landed some good shots of his own as things
heated up. Covington stunned Usman at the end of the round. Covington
tries to pour it on in the fifth round but Usman’s able to avoid
danger and he wins the decision to retain his title. I had Usman
winning the first three rounds and Covington the last two. Some of the
rounds were really close, though. Covington drops to 16-3 but two of
those losses have come to Usman, who improves to 20-1. Usman has also
defended the UFC Welterweight Championship five times now. I don’t
know where he’s going to rank all-time in the welterweight division
but he’s probably going to rank highly. We’ll see, though. Good win
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