HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 288 and UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba, and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson Dies

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

Bellator 288 and UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba were both
this weekend and featured some interesting fights. The Bellator card
featured two title fights while the UFC card was hurt by injury. Who
won and who lost? Let’s get to the rundown.

Bellator 288
GOOD- Roman Faraldo vs. Levan Chokheli
Chokheli gets an early takedown but Faraldo is able to stand, only to
get hurt by some Chokheli punches. Faraldo reverses a Chokheli
takedown attempt and they spend the rest of the first round on the
mat. The second round begins with both men swinging. They go to the
mat but neither fighter can gain a real advantage. Back to the feet
and Faraldo drops Chokheli with a right hand but can’t finish him.
Faraldo remains active and is landing a lot of strikes but gets
deducted a point for grabbing the fence and the second round ends. The
third round opens with them trading a few strikes. Chokheli gets a
takedown and glues himself to Faraldo and that’s how the last few
minutes of the fight go. Chokheli wins the decision from the judges
and improves to 11-2 with 1 No Contest while Faraldo drops to 8-1 and
tastes defeat after winning his first 8 fights. Good win for Chokheli.

Daniel James stops Tyrell FortuneGOOD- Daniel Weichel vs. Timur Khizriev
They exchange strikes throughout the first round. Things heat up a bit
in the second round, as Weichel is barely missing with his big strikes
while Khizriev is able to connect but without a ton of power and we
move to the third round. Weichel is cut under his left eye but the
third round is pretty similar to the previous ones, neither man is
connecting with anything dangerous so we go to the scorecards and
Khizriev wins the decision. Khizriev remains undefeated at 12-0 while
Weichel drops to 42-14. Good win for Khizriev.

GOOD/BAD- Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Usman Nurmagomedov
Freire was defending his Bellator Lightweight Championship here but
didn’t seem interested in doing anything in the first round. I’ve
never understood fighters who do this. I know they’re trying to
conserve energy for the later rounds but putting yourself in a hole
early isn’t a very good strategy. Anyway, the first round ends without
much happening. The second round opens with Nurmagomedov getting a
takedown and he starts beating the hell out of Pitbull. Elbows,
hammerfists, and punches to the body batter the champion. Right at the
end of the round Nurmagomedov turned it on and nearly ended the fight
but Pitbull survived. If he had started that sooner things would have
been over. The third round is another boring round where nothing
happens. The fourth round sees a few fleeting moments of excitement
but is overall another boring round. The fifth round finally sees a
little more action as Nurmagomedov gets a takedown and works some
ground-and-pound. Pitbull can’t get up and that’s how the fight ends.
Usman Nurmagomedov is your new Bellator Lightweight Champion and
improves to a perfect 16-0 while Freire drops to 24-11. Good win for

GOOD- Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson
This was the Finals of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix
and Nemkov was defending his Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship.
Nemkov works his jab early and often, with Anderson returning fire.
Nemkov drops Anderson with a spinning wheel kick but can’t finish him
before the first round ends. The second round starts with more
striking exchanges but neither fighter can get a real advantage. The
third round opens with Nemkov continuing to stuff Anderson’s takedown
attempts. They’re exchanging more strikes, with Nemkov seemingly
coming out ahead but it’s very close. The fourth round is more of the
same. Anderson just cannot get a takedown and Nemkov is battering him
with strikes as he tries. The fifth round continues that, as Nemkov
lands a lot of kicks. We go to the scorecards and Nemkov wins the
decision, retaining his Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship and
improving to 16-2 with 1 No Contest while Anderson drops to 16-6 with
1 No Contest. Good win for Nemkov.

UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba
GOOD- Charles Johnson vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
They exchange strikes early, with Zhumagulov working the body. Johnson
gets a takedown and they exchange more strikes. The second round
starts with leg kicks from Zhumagulov, who’s the more active fighter
right now. Zhumagulov with the takedown but the round ends. The third
round sees Zhumagulov land a ton of low kicks while Johnson goes
upstairs more. It’s really close but Johnson wins the Split Decision
and improves to 12-3 while Zhumagulov drops to 14-8 and has lost 3
straight fights. Good win for Johnson.

GOOD- Jack Della Maddalena stops Danny Roberts
Della Maddalena beats up Roberts and drops him early. However, Roberts
gets up only to eat more strikes from Della Maddalena. He pours it on
until the referee is forced to jump in to stop the fight not quite
three and a half minutes into the first round. Della Maddalena
improves to 13-2 and has won 13 straight fights while Roberts drops to
18-7. Good win for Della Maddalena.

GOOD- Muslim Salikhov stops Andre Fialho
They trade kicks early before mixing in some punches. Salikhov gets a
takedown but Fialho quickly gets up. Fialho works the body and lands a
nice uppercut before the first round ends. The second round sees
Salikhov open up with a spinning back kick and jabs to the body. Then
he lands a spinning back fist and works the body some more before
landing a good hook. Salikhov is moving much more smoothly here. He
staggers Fialho with a Superman punch and follows him to the ground
but doesn’t do much before the round ends. The third round sees a
spinning wheel kick and some punches from Salikhov force the referee
to stop the fight just over a minute into the third round. Salikhov
improves to 19-3 while Fialho drops to 16-6 with 1 No Contest. Good
win for Salikhov.

GOOD- Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs. Chase Sherman
They trade kicks early before mixing in punches. Cortes-Acosta lands
some punishing strikes but Sherman is fighting back as the first round
ends. The second round opens with more of the same. Cortes-Acosta is
landing some big strikes but Sherman’s fighting him off. Sherman’s
hurt but he manages to fight back and survive the round. The third
round sees Sherman continuing to fight. He’s not backing down, despite
the punishment from Cortes-Acosta he’s absorbed. Things have slowed
down but they’re still fighting hard. It goes to decision and
Cortes-Acosta wins to remain undefeated at 9-0 while Sherman drops to
16-11. Good win for Cortes-Acosta.

GOOD- Kennedy Nzechukwu stops Ion Cutelaba
Cutelaba comes out firing and hurts Nzechukwu. He gets a quick
takedown but Nzechukwu gets up. Cutelaba lands a throw but Nzechukwu
fights him off and the first round ends. The second round starts with
them trading strikes. Cutelaba shoots into a knee but survives.
Nzechukwu then knees Cutelaba again and finishes him off with punches
to force the referee to jump in to stop the fight one minute into the
second round. Nzechukwu improves to 11-3 while Cutelaba drops to
16-9-1 with 1 No Contest and has lost 3 straight fights. Good win for


Anthony “Rumble” Johnson died last Sunday at the incredibly young age
of 38 years old. He fought in a lot of different weight classes but
one constant was his amazing knockout power. His MMA record was 23-6,
with 17 of those wins coming by Knockout. He fought in a lot of
different promotions and knocked out a lot of guys, 12 of them in the
first round. It’s hard to pick just one highlight from his career but
knocking out Glover Teixiera in 13 seconds or Alexander Gustafsson in
Sweden in 2:15 immediately springs to mind. He was an exciting fighter
that I used to love to watch fight. I would count him among my
favorite fighters. May he rest in peace.

My new fantasy book is now out. It’s called Kingdom of Zarias: A Fight For
. It’s the third book in my epic fantasy Kingdom of Zarias
series and follows the adventures of the Summers siblings as they
fight to defend the world from an evil villain named Galren. This book
also introduces lots of other characters as the scope of the world
grows. 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. Also,
here’s the link to my new Compendium book about the Kingdom of Zarias
series- KoZ Compendium
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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