Weekend MMA show feedback
Best Fight: Rich Hale vs Thiago Santos
Worst Fight: None
1) Ryan Ford d. Kyle Baker by UD: Round 1 looked like a live murder as
Ford was destroying Baker. I gave Ford a 10-8 round for how he
dominated the entire five minutes of the round. Baker came back
surprisingly in the second around and I even gave him the round by just
a hair. Ford looked impressive, but he blew his gas tank in Round 1,
but regained his some air and was able to use his promising skills to
win Round 3. Baker was tough as nails and I loved his 1890's bare
knuckle fighter look. He might never be a contender and 1-3 in his
last four fights, but he probably would be good to keep around for
always putting on a tough fight. Ford has a lot of potential in
Bellator's Welterweight division.
2) Douglas Lima d. Kobe Ortiz via TKO in RD3: When the bell rang a
first time fighter could see Ortiz was just not in Lima's league. Lima
is one of the top young welterweights in the world and this was clever
booking by Bellator matchmaker Sam Caplan to book Lima against a Ortiz
for a nice easy defeat going into the next Welterweight tournament
beginning next year on Spike. Ortiz had no clue as he left his hands
by his waste the entire fight and Lima would tag him with hard shots at
will. Lima really seemed focus on picking his opponent apart in this
fight instead of going to for the quick kill. At no point did you
ever feel Ortiz had a chance. I was going to be disappointed if this
was going to go to a 30-27 decision win for Lima, but at the last ten
seconds he connected with a nice head kick and punches to get the TKO
3) Shahbulat Shamhalaev d. Mike Richman via KO in RD1: After a feeling
out process to open Round 1, it was then BAM! KO by Richman. Shamalaev
is now in the finals of the Bellator Featherweight Tournament. Russian
fighters have really been impressive this season.
4) Rich Hale d. Thiago Santos via TKO in RD1: What a wild fight.
Santos made Hale see stars early connecting some very hard punches.
During that exchange Hale knocked Santos's tooth out. This really
bothered him and threw him off his game. Hale recovered and hit a
solid jab on Santos's mouth and Santos turtled up. Hale was all over
Santos with punches and it was stopped. Hale is now a finalist in the
Bellator Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final. Hale has
superstar potential with his charisma and promo ability. He really
comes off like a cocky heel in his promos, but I can see him becoming a
babyface if he finishes his fights. Bellator has a star on their hands
with him, but this is not a work so his job is to keep winning. With
his charisma and promo skills, I am rooting for him to win the
Overal Analysis: Bellator continues to put on good solid shows. I am
really pumped for their debut on Spike TV and rooting for them to be a
success. Season 7 has been stellar and they should wrap up on MTV2
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Anthony Johnson vs DJ Linderman (simply for the awesome KO)
Worst Fight: Tyrone Spong vs. Travis Bartlett
1) Tyrone Spong d. Travis Barlett via KO in RD1: I gave this worst
fight because once I saw Bartlett, I knew this would be a slaughter. I
knew right away that Spong will be too quick with his strikes.
Bartlett looked like they found a guy off the street and threw him in
there. This guy hasn't fought since 2010 and it looked like he just
got off the coach. Spong was impressive, but we should know more about
his MMA skills when he faces some really good wrestlers. Speed of his
strikes was very impressive.
2) Marlon Moraes d. Miguel Torres via SD: I loved the opening round
action. Moraes is impressive with his strikes and I was also impressed
with his scrambles to get out of trouble on the ground. Torres was
looking like his old self in Round 1, but Moraes did more damage with
his strikes. Round 2 I gave it to Torres who seemed to connect more.
Both men started to get in counter punch mode so a lot of circling.
Moraes did a sweet jumping round house kick that nearly caught Torres.
Funny, WOSF did a feature on Miguel and not of Marlon, and after the
fight it was Moraes who came out the star. I would keep Miguel Torres
on the roster because he is a recognizable name.
Big time production botch when Mike Straka the in ring interviewer
announced that Moraes next opponent on WOSF 2. They camera man missed
his opponent and never showed him on TV. Heck, it was announced so
fast I don't even remember the guys name.
3) Anthony Johnson d. DJ Linderman via KO: This KO is a high candidate
for KO of the Year. Johnson looked great at 205. He still was bigger
then Linderman. DJ Linderman many Bellator fans will remember as a
Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament semifinalist. DJ pulled off a
major upset in the tournament by defeating Raphael Davis who was a
favorite to win the tournament. No magic here for DJ. That was one
4) Andre Arlovski d. Devin Cole via TKO: Arlovski gets a win, but I am
not sold on his comeback. He can defeat tough journeymen like Devin
Cole, but he was really here just for some name value.
Thumbs mostly up. Short card though, only 2 prelims?
Best fight: even though it only went a couple of minutes, Shamhalaev-Richman
Worst fight: Hale-Santos
Impressive JAB KO by Russian HW prospect Minkov to start the prelims. Capoeira champion Marcus Aurelio (not the veteran fighter) flashes some fun to watch stuff but his poor conditioning and deficiencies on the ground cause him to drop the SD to Christ (rhymes with wrist) Franck.
Ryan Ford takes the UD over a very tough Kyle Baker in the main card opener.
Douglas Lima finishes the tough but inept Koby Ortiz with 12 seconds left. Unlike Baker, Ortiz had no offense. Lima looked great.
Shamhalaev stops the southpaw Richman with a counter right over an attempted left to the body after a couple minutes of high level boxing between KO strikers in a FW tourney semi.
The nutshot elephant, Santos, starts running right through Rich Hale then runs out of gas in a couple of minutes and Hale gets the TKO from undefended strikes from ride in the main event HW tourney semi. Replay showed Santos appaaring to freak out and quit when he got a tooth knocked out. Miserable performance.
Thumbs more up than down. New promotion on NBCSN (formerly Versus) off to a decent start with some known fighters. Squash booking a potential problem but it turned out the wrong way enough times to make it a + instead of a -.
Best fight: Moraes-Torres
Worst fight: Spong-Bartlett
KO: Spong & AJ
Again no subs.
Prelims streamed on a loop on Sherdog (maybe elsewhere as well, don't know). Missed some of them but saw a very good performance by Josh Burkman UD over Gerald Harris, and David Branch taking a dubious UD over Dustin Jacoby, both decent fights. After the main event they ran highlights of Gregor Gracie getting TKOed by Tyson Steele, which was one of the fights that didn't go the way they were banking on.
Going live, top kickboxer Tyrone Spong in his MMA debut quickly destroys a very poorly conditioned Travis Bartlett. Horrible mismatch even for a debut fight. Bas claiming Bartlett had 96 boxing matches and was rated #16 in the world. boxrec shows NOTHING. Spong looks awesome but was basically watching him hit the heavy bag.
In the other one that doesn't go as expected, little known, alleged 2-time Brazilian Muay Thai champion Marlon Moraes beats former WEC champion Miguel Torres up standing most of the fight and gets the only KD of the fight in the 2nd and only TD of the fight late in the 3rd. Torres' instincts are dead and buried. He's shot. 29-28 split, 30-27 Moraes. Good for the judges.
Anthony Johnson KOs previously unstopped DJ Linderman with one punch late in the 1st. AJ was complaining of an eyepoke, Dean didn't see it, and DJ walked right into the right. AJ looked good but didn't go long enough to test his cardio.
In the main, Andrei Arlovski drops the somewhat pudgy Devin Cole with the right early in the 1st and that's that.
That was a perfectly fine debut show, largely due to the two highlight reel finishes with the opener and Rumble's fight. The production values were fine, except for the shaky cam during Mareas's intro and the crowd being in the dark thoughout. I thought Spong was impressive due to the snap in his kicks, even if he didn't show much depth in his offense, he didn't need it tonight. Torres-Moreas was easily the best fight on the main card. Three rounds of constant action and some highlights, like the spin kick to the body from Moreas that hit and the tornado kick that missed. Between the win and his post-fight promo, he came off as a star here.
Johnson-Linderman wasn't much of a fight, but the ending was tremendous. DJ just falling like a tree was a highlight reel finish and I liked Rumble's post-fight promo. Arlovski-Cole was just a fight. Between the goatee, physique, and tattoos, Cole looked like the never-was version of Tim Sylvia. Arlovski came off great in the pre-fight video, so I'm glad to see him win even if he wasn't all that impressive here. I liked them at least showing some clips from a prelim fight to fill time - it was better then just having the commentators banter back and forth waiting for the show to end.
Best fight Anthony Johnson vs DJ Linderman
Worst fight Andrei Arlovsky vs Devin Cole
Best KO Rumble Johnson
Great production for the show i hope it does well enough to keep broadcasting. On the downside other than Torres-Moraes every fight was a glorified squash and i hope that Is remedied for the next card and its quite distressing to see Devin Cole on a nationally televised card.
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