By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
Bellator 301 and UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig were this past
weekend and featured some exciting fights. Who won and who lost? Let’s
get to the rundown.
GOOD- Alexandr Shabliy vs. Patricky Pitbull
This was the other semi-final match in the Bellator Lightweight World
Grand Prix. They start off slowly, drawing boos from the crowd. As if
we need even more bad stuff, Pitbull gets poked in the eye. After they
resume, Shabliy starts connecting with some nice kicks. Pitbull fires
back with some kicks of his own as Shabliy also mixes in some punches
and the first round ends. The second round begins with Shabliy landing
some good punches as Pitbull throws more kicks. Shabliy continues
cracking Pitbull with powerful punches and kicks and even drops
Pitbull at the end of the second round. The third round starts with
Shabliy firing away. He attacks the body a few times. Pitbull fires up
and they exchange strikes for the rest of the third round. The fourth
round opens with Pitbull staggering Shabliy with a big left hand.
Shabliy fights back and staggers Pitbull with a right hand of his own.
Pitbull’s bleeding badly but he won’t give up and is throwing some big
strikes as the fourth round ends. The fifth round begins with a
striking exchange that sees Pitbull wobble Shabliy with a big left
hook. Shabliy attacks with leg kicks to try to keep Pitbull off of
him. Pitbull won’t stop, he keeps moving forward like a horror movie
villain. The right ends with these warriors swinging away and beating
the hell out of each other. We go to the judges to render their
verdict. Shabliy wins the decision to improve to 24-3 and has won 9
straight fights while Pitbull drops to 25-12. Shabliy advances to the
Finals, where he’ll face a To Be Determined opponent. It was
originally set to be Bellator Lightweight Champion Usman Nurmagomedov
but after his win over Brent Primus at Bellator 300 to advance to the
Finals himself he tested positive for a banned substance and was
suspended for 6 months. It’s unclear as I write this whether
Nuromagomedov will remain in the tournament. Good win for Shabliy.
GOOD- A.J. McKee vs. Sidney Outlaw
McKee throws a kick early, which Outlaw catches and uses it to slam
McKee to the mat. They spend the rest of the first round jockeying for
position while occasionally doing some damage. The second round begins
with Outlaw again getting McKee to the mat and staying on top of him.
McKee does bust Outlaw open with an elbow from the bottom. McKee keeps
fighting and trying to get up but Outlaw is bleeding all over him and
the second round ends. This looks like another horror movie. The third
round starts with McKee getting a takedown and working some
ground-and-pound of his own. However, Outlaw reverses and gets McKee
down and goes back to work. Again, Outlaw is bleeding all over him but
McKee does land a good upkick that staggers Outlaw before the fight
ends. We go to the judges to render their verdict. McKee wins the
decision and improves to 21-1 and has won 3 straight fights while
Outlaw drops to 17-6. Good win for McKee.
GOOD- Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello
Sabatello lands some kicks then a takedown early. They’re back up
quickly, though, and Stots lands some good punches. Sabatello gets
another takedown and they scramble around for a while before getting
back to their feet again and Stots lands some knees to the body before
the first round ends. The second round begins with Sabatello getting a
takedown. Stots is able to reverse and does some damage on top before
they stand. Sabatello gets another takedown but Stots reverses that
one as well and lands some top elbows before the second round ends.
The third round starts with Stots getting a knockdown. Sabatello is
quickly back up and trying for a takedown. He eventually gets it and
Stots reverses again and does some damage before they stand. They’re
up and down again before the fight ends. We go to the judges to render
their verdict. Stots wins the decision to improve to 20-2 while
Sabatello drops to 14-4. Good win for Stots.
GOOD- Patchy Mix submits Sergio Pettis
Interim Bellator Bantamweight Champion Mix unified the title by
submitting Bellator Bantamweight Champion Pettis here. We started off
with both men landing some nice strikes before Mix got a takedown.
They spend the rest of the uneventful first round jockeying for
position. The second round begins with Mix getting an early takedown.
Mix works for and gets a rear-naked choke locked in and Pettis has to
tap not quite two minutes into the second round. Mix improves to 19-1
and has won 6 straight fights while Pettis drops to 23-6 and has his 6
fight winning streak snapped. Good win for Mix.
GOOD- Jason Jackson stops Yaroslav Amosov
Amosov was seeking to defend his Bellator Welterweight Championship
for the second time and maintain his undefeated record here. They’re
exchanging strikes early. Amosov tries for some takedowns but can’t
get them and the first round ends. The second round begins with Amosov
trying again for a takedown but he can’t get it. Jackson with a big
left uppercut prompts another stuffed shot from Amosov. Jackson lands
a few more good strikes before Amosov gets him to his knees. Jackson
pops back up, though, and the second round ends. The third round
starts with Jackson trying for a takedown of his own that he can’t get
before smashing Amosov with a huge uppercut. Jackson drops Amosov with
a combination and pounces on him to finish him off and force the
referee to jump in to stop the fight a little over two minutes into
the third round. Jackson is your new Bellator Welterweight Champion
and improves to 17-4 and has won 7 straight fights while Amosov drops
to 27-1 after being handed his first loss. Good win for Jackson.
This was the last card of the year for Bellator and possibly ever.
There’s rumors that they’ve been bought by the PFL and will continue
under the name for another year or so but I don’t know. We’ll just
have to wait to see.
Cris Cyborg (27-2, 1 No Contest, 7 straight wins) did post on social
media that Bellator will continue and that she’ll fight Leah McCourt
(8-3) in Belfast Ireland in 2024. Will that happen? Again, we’ll have
to wait to see. I’m leaning towards believing that the Bellator name
will continue for a while (assuming they’ve truly been bought by the
PFL) but you never know what a company might do.
UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig
GOOD- Myktybek Orolbai submits Uros Medic
Medic starts off with a few kicks until Orolbai shoots in for a
takedown and gets lit up for it. However, Orolbai works through it and
gets the takedown. Medic is back up quickly but gets taken right back
down. Medic gets up but then is taken down again. And again. And
again. Orolbai is finally able to keep him down as the first round
ends. The second round begins with Orolbai throwing out some leg kicks
before he gets another takedown. Medic works his way up but gets taken
back down again. Orolbai cinches in a neck crank and forces the tap a
bit over four minutes into the second round. Orolbai improves to
12-1-1 and has won 7 straight fights while Medic drops to 9-2. Good
win for Orolbai.
GOOD- Amanda Ribas stops Luana Pinheiro
Pinheiro comes out firing, landing a good amount of punches before
switching to kicks. Ribas responds with kicks of her own. Both women
continue to throw a mixture of good punches and kicks until the first
round ends. The second round begins with more kicks from both
fighters. Ribas has turned it on and been the more active fighter so
far. Pinheiro is fighting well, though, and they’re both showing the
effects of the damage they’ve absorbed as the second round ends. The
third round starts with more kicks from each fighter before they begin
mixing in punches as well. Pinheiro hits a throw and starts trying for
a submission. She can’t get anything, though, and Ribas is back to her
feet. Ribas cracks Pinheiro with a big punch followed by a beautiful
wheel kick that Pinheiro somehow just took and wasn’t immediately
dropped and knocked out. More punches drop her and Ribas continues
punching until the referee jumps in to stop the fight almost four
minutes into the third round. Ribas improves to 13-4 while Pinheiro
drops to 11-2 and has her 9 fight winning streak snapped. Good win for
GOOD- Payton Talbott submits Nick Aguirre
Aguirre gets an immediate takedown and glues to Talbott, who
eventually stands but gets taken back down. Not much going on as the
first round ends. The second round begins with Talbott landing some
good strikes as he sprawls on Aguirre’s repeated takedown attempts.
Talbott is able to do some damage before Aguirre finally succeeds on
another takedown attempt. Talbott gets up but Aguirre persists,
absorbing some heavy blows before the second round ends. The third
round starts with Talbott cracking Aguirre with some good strikes that
force him to shoot in. Talbott smashes him with a knee and moves
straight to mount, where he eventually locks in a rear-naked choke
that forces the tap not quite a minute into the third round. Talbott
improves to an undefeated 7-0 while Aguirre drops to 7-2. Good win for
GOOD- Chase Hooper submits Jordan Leavitt
Hooper opens with a flurry that prompts Leavitt to shoot in for a
takedown. However, Hooper reverses and lands on top. They scramble
around and reverse the reversals several times as each fighter is
trying for several different submissions. The action is fast and
furious before Leavitt swoops in with a huge bomb that Hooper absorbs
before grabbing Leavitt’s back and locking in a rear-naked choke that
forces the tap not quite three minutes into the first round. Nice work
from both, that was wild. Hooper improves to 13-3-1 while Leavitt
drops to 11-3. Good win for Hooper.
GOOD- Michael Morales vs. Jake Matthews
They begin with some good striking exchanges, starting with punches
before mixing in kicks as well. Morales is knocked off his feet and he
responds by kicking Matthew’s legs out from under him when he steps
in. They continue exchanging until the first round ends. The second
round begins with more of the same, Morales attacking the lead leg of
Matthews and both men landing some good strikes. Matthews is throwing
some good combinations and the second round ends. The third round
starts with more striking exchanges. Morales is landing more but
they’re both nailing each other with good strikes. That continues
throughout the round until the fight ends. We go to the judges to
render their verdict. Morales wins the decision and improves to an
undefeated 16-0 while Matthews drops to 19-7 and has alternated wins
and losses in his last 6 fights. Good win for Morales.
GOOD- Brendan Allen submits Paul Craig
They start off firing kicks at each other before Allen gets a
takedown. Allen works some ground-and-pound for a while before both
men start trying for submissions. They stand momentarily before going
back to the ground and an Allen punch splits Craig open as the first
round ends. The second round begins with Allen hurting Craig with a
big right hand, prompting Craig to pull guard. Allen is trying to
advance but Craig is fighting him off. Allen cracks Craig with some
sharp elbows but can’t lock in the submission before the second round
ends. The third round starts with Allen firing some heavy strikes
before Criag shoots in. Allen lands on top and is able to lock in a
rear-naked choke for the submission victory not quite forty seconds
into the third round. Allen improves to 23-5 and has won 6 straight
fights while Craig drops to 17-7-1. Good win for Allen.
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Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at
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Thanks for reading and have a good day.