HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 280 and UFC 274

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

Bellator 280 and UFC 274 were this weekend and featured some exciting
fights and some that…weren’t, including one of the worst fights of
all-time. Let’s get to the rundown.

Bellator 280
Gregory Babene stops Michael Shipman
They go to the ground early but nothing much comes of it. Babene drops
Shipman with a big right hand and follows that up with more shots and
that’s it, the referee has to stop the fight a little over two minutes
into the first round. Babene improves to 22-11 and has won 7 straight
fights while Shipman falls to 14-4. Good win for Babene.

GOOD- Lorenz Larkin stops Kyle Stewart
Larkin starts with a right hand and some kicks but Stewart returns
fire with kicks of his own. Larkin is getting the better of things and
drops Stewart with a huge right hand. Stewart survives and gets up but
Larkin drops him again and the referee jumps in to stop the fight with
about fifteen seconds left in the first round. Larkin improves to 24-7
and has won 6 straight fights while Stewart falls to 15-6. Good win
for Larkin.

GOOD- Davy Gallon stops Benjamin Brander
Gallon drops Brander and is doing damage in the first round. He uses
his ground-and-pound but Brander fights through the first round. They
trade kicks in the second round until Gallon throws Brander to the
ground with a judo toss and goes to work. He cuts up Brander with
elbows and finally the referee jumps in to stop the fight not quite
three and a half minutes into the second round. Gallon improves to
21-7-2 and has won 5 straight fights while Brander drops to 13-9. Good
win for Gallon.

GOOD- Yoel Romero stops Alex Polizzi
They trade strikes during the first round until Romero slams Polizzi
to the mat toward the end of the round. Romero found a lot of success
with the left hand, rocking him numerous times and dropping him a few
times as well. Romero could have possibly ended the fight at the end
of the second round after dropping Polizzi but chose not to for some
reason. Romero dropped Polizzi a few more times in the third round and
finished with one second left in the fight. Very cautious fight for
Romero, who improves to 14-6 and snapped his 4 fight losing streak
with this win while Polizzi drops to 10-2 and has his 3 fight winning
streak snapped. Good win for Romero.

BAD/GOOD- Ryan Bader vs. Cheick Kongo
Bader got a couple of takedowns in the first round. More grappling in
the second round. Bader gets takedowns but Kongo prevents him from
doing much with them. Wash, rinse, repeat in the third, fourth, and
fifth rounds. This was worse than watching Jeff Fisher sit on the ball
on the 3-yard line and elect to kick (and miss) a short field goal
with a kicker who couldn’t hit the ocean. Terrible fight to watch.
Good strategy from Bader, who successfully defended his Bellator
Heavyweight Championship with this win but this sucked to watch. Bader
improves to 30-7 with 1 No Contest while Kongo drops to 31-12-2 with 1
No Contest.

UFC 274
GOOD- Randy Brown vs. Kalinn “Khaos” Williams
They traded a lot of strikes in the first round. Nothing too damaging
outside of a Khaos flurry. They trade more strikes in the second round
as Brown seems to do a bit better. The third round is also really
close, I thought Khaos won it and the fight but Brown won by Split
Decision. Brown improves to 15-4 and has won 3 fights in a row while
Williams falls to 13-3. Good win for Brown.

BAD/GOOD- Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
They trade kicks in the first round and mix in some punches as well.
OSP attacks the body. They trade more kicks in the second round but
Shogun comes alive and starts landing some good counters. He goes back
to not doing as much in the third round, though, so OSP lands more
strikes and takes the round and wins by Split Decision. OSP improves
to 26-16 while Shogun falls to 27-13-1. This was boring but a win’s a
win, I guess. Good win for OSP.

GOOD- Michael Chandler stops Tony Ferguson
Chandler got dropped early as both guys were throwing heat. They both
showed tremendous toughness. Chandler got a big takedown about halfway
through the first round. Chandler cuts Ferguson with some hellacious
ground-and-pound. The second round opens with Chandler crushing
Ferguson with a front kick. There’s a picture of Ferguson’s face right
as Chandler’s kick connects that’s unbelievable. Holy hell that was
vicious. What a knockout. That’s the stuff that scares fight fans.
Chandler improves to 23-7 while Ferguson drops to 25-7 and has lost 4
fights in a row. Good win for Chandler.

UGLY- Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza
This fight sucked. It’s one of the worst fights in UFC history and
they’ve been around a long time so that’s saying something. And this
was a title fight, too, for Rose’s UFC Strawweight Championship. Maybe
this is recency bias but this was worse than Anderson Silva vs. Demian
Maia. I don’t know, I generally try to block out bad stuff so I might
be wrong there but this fight was terrible. At least with Bader-Kong 2
they were trying to win. Bader was using a smart strategy. It was
boring but smart and effective. This was just garbage. These are good
fighters, I don’t know what happened. Five rounds of this is enough to
make you want to never watch either of them fight again. Esparza won
and is the new champion and improves to 19-6 and has won 6 fights in a
row while Namajunas falls to 11-5.

GOOD- Charles Oliveira submits Justin Gaethje
Oliveira missed weight and was stripped of the UFC Lightweight
Championship so was unable to win the title here. He becomes the new
#1 Contender, though and will fight for the vacant title later this
year. As for the fight, they started strong as Oliveira got dropped by
a big uppercut. Gaethje waved him up and knocked him down again. Then
they started trading some big strikes until Oliveira dropped Gaethje
with a right cross and jumped on his back and they scrambled until
Oliveira locked in a rear-naked choke to force the tap. Oliveira is a
submission master and proved it again. Hell of a fight. Oliveira
improves to 33-8 with 1 No Contest and has won 11 fights in a row
while Gaethje falls to 23-4.
The situation surrounding Oliveira’s weight is confusing and sucks.
The fight was awesome but the controversy surrounding the weigh-in is
just a bummer. Oliveira claims that the hotel scale was off and showed
him already at the proper weight when he was actually still over. It’s
just a bad situation. It’s not a huge deal but does suck.

My fantasy book is now out. It’s called Kingdom of Zarias: Undeath and
the Dewester Set
. It’s a fantasy epic that begins with the Summers
siblings but spreads out to encompass a large number of characters
across multiple stories as the world faces a threat from a vile
necromancer. There’s lots of action, magic, and monsters in the
Kingdom of Zarias. It’s like a tabletop game in novel form. It’s on
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other places. If you’re interested, I
would greatly appreciate it if you would check it out and support me.
Here’s the link to my book- My Book Thank you very much,
have a good day.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at
hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.
Thanks for reading and have a good day.

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