Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez
By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
Bellator 271 and UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez were this
weekend and they featured some great moments. Let’s get to the
GOOD- Arlene Blencowe vs. Pam Sorenson
Blencowe landed some big shots early in the first round until Sorenson
slowed things down with some clinch work. Sorenson fired back with
some strikes of her own to end the round. The second round saw
Blencowe begin landing more heavy strikes and putting a beating on
Sorenson, who showed good toughness to keep right on coming. Blencowe
continued landing strikes in the third round and Sorenson couldn’t
stop. Blencowe got the decision victory to move to 15-8 while Sorenson
drops to 9-4. Good win for Blencowe.
GOOD- Aaron Pico vs. Justin Gonzales
Pico got three takedowns in the first round and also landed some
strong punches. Gonzales had some nice strikes of his own but Pico is
clearly the better fighter. Pico got an early takedown in the second
round and worked for a submission but he couldn’t get it. Gonzales got
up but Pico got another takedown and worked his way to mount but the
round ended. The third round saw Pico land some stuff strikes before
another takedown. They got back to their feet then Pico went strong to
the body and got a final takedown to seal the deal and get the
decision victory to move to 9-3. Gonzales suffers his first loss and
drops to 12-1. Good win for Pico.
GOOD- Tyrell Fortune vs. Linton Vassell
Vassell got a takedown in the first round after some work. He worked
his ground-and-pound and did some damage. The second round opened with
a big overhand right from Fortune before he gets a takedown of his
own. Vassell with a low blow on Fortune. They resume and trade strikes
before Fortune gets another takedown. However, Vassell reverses things
and does some more ground-and-pound work to end the round. Fortune
with a low blow on Vassell and when they resume the fireworks begin.
Some big shots are thrown and landed before Fortune gets another
takedown. Vassell reverses and nearly gets the submission victory but
has to settle for the Split Decision victory. Vassell has won three in
a row and improves to 21-8 with 1 No Contest while Fortune drops to
11-2 with 1 No Contest. Good win for Vassell in a very close fight.
GOOD- Cris Cyborg stops Sinead Kavanagh
Cyborg blitzed Kavanagh and landed several huge punches and finished
her off a little over a minute and a half into the first round. It was
vintage Cyborg, who defends her Bellator Featherweight Championship
for the third time and improves to 25-2 with 1 No Contest. Kavanagh
drops to 7-5. Good win for Cyborg.
UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez
GOOD- Song Yadong stops Julio Arce
There was a little bit of action in the first round but they mainly
seemed to be trying to feel each other out. The second round saw Song
land a big headkick that stunned Arce and then battered him with
strikes against the fence to get the stoppage win. Song improves to
18-5-1 with 1 No Contest while Arce drops to 17-5. Good win for Song.
GOOD- Kalinn “Khaos” Williams stops Miguel Baeza
It takes a while for them to start but they both landed some nice
shots and did some solid work on the ground to end the first round.
The second round saw some more striking between the two but nothing
too damaging. The third round, though, saw Khaos finish Baeza with a
powerful right hand that turned out the lights. Williams improves to
13-2 as he wins his second in a row while Baeza drops his second in a
row to fall to 10-2. Good win for Williams.
GOOD- Felicia Spencer stops Leah Letson
Spencer landed a lot of strikes during this fight. Most weren’t very
strong but she did land some strong knees to the body in the first
round. A lot of grinding that didn’t allow Letson to do much of
anything that she wanted to. Letson did get a takedown early in the
third round but she couldn’t do anything with it and Spencer worked
her ground-and-pound until she started blasting Letson from mount and
the referee jumped in to stop the fight. Spencer improves to 9-3 as
Letson falls to 5-3. Good win for Spencer.
GOOD- Marcos Rogerio de Lima stops Ben Rothwell
Rogerio de Lima stunned Rothwell immediately and kept blasting away
until the referee jumped in to stop the fight thirty-two seconds into
the first round. Rogerio de Lima improves to 19-7-1 as Rothwell drops
to 39-14. Good win for Rogerio de Lima.
GOOD- Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez
Both guys started off throwing big bombs in the first round. They both
absorbed some huge strikes there. They both worked the body as well
and the toughness shown in these early rounds is crazy. They put a
beating on each other early and often. Holloway did take it to another
level in the third round, though, as he started beating the hell out
of Rodriguez. However, it wasn’t like Rodriguez was shying away or
anything. He kept coming and doing damage of his own. Holloway
continued pulling away in the fourth round but Rodriguez wouldn’t
stop. He kept firing with big strikes. This was a striking war.
Rodriguez came back to win the fifth round on two of the judges’
scorecards but it wasn’t enough and Holloway won the decision and
improves to 23-6. Rodriguez falls to 13-3 with 1 No Contest. This was
a great fight with so much heart and toughness shown by both men. It’s
a possible contender for Fight of the Year. I don’t want to get caught
in the heat of the moment but I thought this fight was fantastic. What
a way to close an exciting card. We just had Justin Gaethje vs.
Michael Chandler in another Fight of the Year candidate last week,
though, so I don’t want to be rash.
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