Weekend show feedback



Holy crap, if Dana was trying to prove a point that the best fights are usually the guys
you may not know, he made that point and more.  This is why I love HD Net Fights and
NAAFS and the like - I'd rather watch a hundred tough hungry guys than (no disrespect)
Franklin vs. Liddell.
 
So yeah, thumbs way way way up.
 
Best fight was the main.  Johnson must be pissed, you solve the footwork of Cruz and get
beaten by the ground game.  Aint that a bitch.  Now  Cruz needs to DO something in side
control.  Even my wife, who is hard to impress with MMA, was amazed at the pace these
guys were setting.
 
Runner up: Wiman/Danzig.  Awesome fight.  I loves me some Handsome Matt and I can't stand
Danzig (he can stand next to the Diaz brothers in the "jump off a cliff" sweepstakes) and
I actually gave the fight to Danzig.  I'd be willing to watch part 3.  Either way, I hope
they got some regonition from that.
 
Sam with Berry and Struve.  One of the strangest matchups this side of Japan and it
worked.  Sick, sick transition into tat triangle. 
 
Worst fight by definition was Brenneman/Johnson.  Thought it was a good stoppage live but
I simply don't know.
 
Bring on Oct 8.  Stipe Miocic vs/ Joey Beltran, fight of the night!!!
 
Mike DeGeorge

BELLATOR 52
 
Thumbs up. Gotta give 'em props---getting a good card out of lower level heavyweights.
 
Best fight: Prindle vs. Wagner
 
Worst fight: Hayes vs. Grove and it wasn't that bad
 
KO: Sparks
 
Sub: Ivanov
 
Sparks opened the show with a quick one punch KO of Holota.
 
Ivanov, who beat Fedor for the Sambo championship one year, destroyed the obese Zak Jensen with punches before putting him to sleep late in the 1st with a Standing (well started that way anyway) Guillotine. That said Ivanov did not seem in great shape either and was puffing badly by the end and needs to work on his conditioning. Could probably make 205.
Prindle and Wagner tore it up going three hard hitting fast paced rounds. Prindle remarkably conditioned for a guy who cuts from 300 and is carrying a little extra weight and so strong it makes his rudimentary kicking, wrestling and JJ things that have to be dealt with, and he's willing to try them, and his boxing is very good. Wagner the more all around skilled and was in the fight all the way but Prindle was just too strong. One of the better HW fights of the year from any promotion.
 
Hayes edged Grove in a remarkably tentative performance from both. Grove seemed not quite in the same fighting trim he has been in his previous Bellator fights. Very close fight and a 1-point SD. Hayes probably could make 205 also.
 
UFC on VS
 
Thumbs up. Better card than the Jones-Hambone PPV. Some strange reffing from the Yamazaki Brothers.
 
Best fight: Almost everything was good. I'll go with Grant-Roller for the outstanding grappling but Neer-Wiesnewski and Wiman-Danzig were really good too.
Worst fight: Nothing was bad. I'll say the first fight, Watson-Sandoval, for the apparent mismatch.
 
KO: split it between Watson, Yves, Easton & A. Johnson
 
Sub: Sass
 
Like I said, Watson seemed to be way too much for Sandoval in the opener, and a foot taller, but might have been a premature stop also.
 
Neer and Wieniewski staged a minor war. It was like either of them got insulted if the other guy missed a punch. Bizarre bit as Neer's mouthpiece gets knocked out and slips down the crack beteen the mat and the cage, causing a long TO. Supposed to have an extra in the corner. Neer walks through probable broken ribs to batter Wiesniewski into a doctor stop after the 2nd.
 
Grant looking much improved by the drop to 55 stays a step ahead in a heads up grappling clinic over Roller before finishing him in the 3rd with an arm bar. Mario Yamazaki's brother Fernando debuts as a UFC ref and calls the verbal tap for Roller yelling in pain, which all the fighters are told will signify a verbal tap. Roller, who had his hands linked and did not appear to be in trouble yet, claimed it was a grunt of effort. Outstanding fight, and performance by Grant, in any case.
 
Local Mike Easton opened wasting a lot of energy trying to do an imitation of teammate Cruz, but got down to bidness in the 2nd to take apart Bloodworth and register the TKO after dropping him with a knee to the solar plexus. Easton is really a flyweight (as is D. Johnson) but the division doesn't exist yet. They should start it, drop these two guys down, and buy Alexis Vila from Bellator.
 
British sub specialist Paul Sass walks through a varied attack from TUF runnerup Michael Johnson to secure the tap with a knee bar/heel hook in the 1st. Sass looks huge for the weight, twice MJ's size.
 
Still dangerous Yves Edwards weathers an early burst from Rafaello Oliveira to take control and stop him in the 2nd after a high kick. Mario Yamazaki as if trying to balance out for his brother allows Oliveira to take about half a minute's unnecessary punishment before stepping in. Outstanding undercard, one of the best of the year.
 
Danzig and Wiman kick off the top card with an amazingly evenly contested three round phone booth war. Wiman more aggressive but Danzig more effective. Judges go Wiman. Really should have been a draw, and I don't think anybody would mind a third fight even with Wiman winning the first two because both have been controversial.
 
Anthony Johnson never lets Charlie Brenneman out of the gate, squashing him to the mat with one hand and pounding on him before dropping him twice with high kicks for the TKO. Mario maybe premature on the stop, as if trying to compensate for his previous late stop. Brenneman was hit very hard the last time, but controlled his fall and seemed to be in full possession of his faculties, and Johnson as we know can gas if he doesn't get the job done quick. How Johnson makes 170 escapes me, he's really a BIG light heavyweight.
 
Barry and Struve, separated by a foot in height, make an almost comic picture in the ring. Both wary of the other's power in the 1st, causing ref advisories and crowd unrest. Barry starts finding range in the 2nd, causing Struve to go the hell with this, take him down, and dispatch him with a sub series ending with an arm bar.
 
Cruz and Mighty Mouse stage a very technical 5 rounder that sees both somewhat neutralized by the other's speed, leaving Cruz' greater size and strength as the determining factor as he pretty much sweeps the cards for the UD. DJ as stated is really a flyweight and I didn't think he really beat Miguel Torres, which the company line is now that it was a 'decisive victory'. Cruz for all his skill and ability to dominate just does not have the finishing instinct or the striking or sub weapons to do it naturally. 
 
Crimson Mask
l
Thumbs Way Up
Best Fight: Eric Prindle vs. Abe Wagner
Worst Fight: Neil Grove vs. Michael Hayes
 
1) Ron Sparks d. Mark Holata by KO:  Sparks is one of my picks to the
make it to the finals.  He is a juggernaut with hands of stone.  Like
most of his fights, Sparks quickly KO'd his opponent.   Watch out for
this guy.  Funny at the end he was upset that he didn't get to show his
ground skill.
 
2) Eric Prindle d. Abe Wagner by UD:  Jim Ross would call this a
slobber knocker and Bill Watts would love this fight.  Two big men just
throwing the biggest blows at each other.  Prindle is a huge man and
made a big Abe Wagner look small.  Prindle doesn't have much of a
ground game and that is going to be his weakness going forward in this
tournament, but he is very powerful if put on his back.   This wasn't a
pretty fight, but a lot of fun to watch.
 
3) Blagoi Ivanov d. Zack Jensen by guillotine choke:  Jensen has a head
made of rocks.  Ivanov him with everything he could, and Jensen kept
moving forward.  Jensen was a last minute replacement for Thiago Santos
who had visa issues.  Santos was a heavyweight favorite to win this
tournament.  Ivanov is known for beating Fedor in a 2008 Sambo
tournament, and even showed off that sambo with a beautiful through of
Jensen.
 
4) Michael Hayes d. Neil Grove by split decision:  It was tough to see
Neil Grove lose.  Grove his a real nice guy and I have had the pleasure
of chatting with over the last year.   Grove came out very tentative in
the first round, but won it with some hard leg kicks.  Then in the
second round, he came even more tentative which cost him the round. 
Finally,  Grove blitz Hayes, but Hayes survived and got on top.   
Grove reversed Hayes and looked like he was going to finish the round
on top, but he went for a heel hook and Hayes was able to get on top
again for the final 30 seconds.   That cost Grove the fight.
 
I don't know what was wrong with Grove.  Either he had a tough weight
cut as he just made it at 265 1/2 or an injury going into this fight.  
Grove just had a baby daughter porn in late September, so maybe he
didn't train for a week or two.  Maybe Grove was concerned about his
carido and thus didn't want to gas out early.  Since Grove was my
favorite to win it, and also favorite in the overall field of
heavyweights in this tournament, this was a tough loss.
 
Overall Analysis:  Bellator's Heavyweight division is considered their
weakest, but 3 out of the four fights where exciting.   So far this
tournament has been a lot better then the first ever Heavyweight
tournament during Season 3.  My pick in the finals is Ron Sparks vs.
Blagoi Ivanov, with Sparks winning.  With his punching power, if Sparks
connects you are going down.
 
John LaRocca
San Jose, CA

I give UFC Live 6 a thumbs up.
Best match: Cruz vs. Johnson.   Good exciting fight and exactly what you would want out of a main event.  I didn't at any point think that Johnson was going to win but he put up a hell of a fight.  Cruz needs a few more wins in fights like this for people to see him as the same level of champion as GSP and Silva which I believe he is.
Wiman vs. Danzig was a good fight.  I had Wiman winning 29-28 but I can see how Danzig got the win with the close rounds.  Wisniewski vs. Neer was a good bloody fight as well and I would say was one of the better fights on the show.  Grant vs. Roller should be a rematch.  Whether Roller screamed in pain or not, it was a horrible finish to what was a good fight.  I'm sure if he actually screamed that loud one of the many microphones around the cage would have picked it up.  Anyways, Eastman looked like a future star in his match but being in his home state and up against an opponent who wasn't quite prepared could have helped some.  Besides a couple of shitty ref calls, great show.

Jason McNeil

Wow, this card rocks! I watched the card from the Facebook prelims to the broadcast fights and the fight of the night changed several times. I loved the Neer - Wisniewski fight as FOTN, then we had the Grant - Roller fight which I thought was better. Then we get Wiman vs. Danzig 2 which kicked ass even more! Cruz-Johnson was exciting too, but not better than Wiman - Danzig.
 
Johnson - Brenneman: Johnson was just too big and strong for Charlie. A nice win for Rumble. I'd love to see him against Jon Fitch to see if he's for real.
 
Struve vs. Barry: A freakshow fight due to the height discrepancy. I gave Barry round 1 for his effective leg kicks. Unfortunately his poor ground game was exposed in round 2. I thought he might have avoided trouble with the power bomb, but it was for nought. A good win for the tall guy.
 
Overall, definitely a thumbs up.
 
A. Wong
Toronto, ON


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Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who should get the next featherweight title shot?