Pro wrestling is snoozing on this long U.S. holiday weekend, leaving us with two MMA shows to take a look at. Joining me as always is Paul Fontaine and Ryan Frederick to help answer a few questions of the somewhat burning kind.
First, The Cards
Bellator 194 main card: Friday
- GP Tournament First Round: Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson
- Patricky Pitbull vs. Derek Campos
- Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov
- Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton
UFC Fight Night (Steve) Austin: Sunday
- Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros
- Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
- James Vick vs. Francisco Trinaldo
- Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender
- Brian Camozzi vs. Geoffrey Neal
- Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti
- Jared Gordon vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
- Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams
- Roberto Sanchez vs. Joby Sanchez
- Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova
- Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis
- Alex Morono vs. Josh Burkman
What fight(s) are you most looking forward to?
Paul: I’m a sucker for "Super" Sage so I really want to see if he can get on a roll. He’s young enough that he could still be a big transcendent star someday if he can back up the hype with results. On the Bellator show, I’m really looking forward to the women’s fight as Hardy has had great fights in both of her previous appearances and has a real star presence. I’ve seen every one of Julaton’s fights and she’s scrappy as hell. This could be a show-stealer.
Ryan: I like the UFC main event between Cerrone and Medeiros as they are both exciting fighters who like to slug it out. Cerrone has been on a skid but is still capable of being one of the best. Medeiros has won three straight since moving up in weight, and has shown a lot more power. He’s also coming off of one of the best fights of 2017 in his win over "Cowboy" Oliveira. This should be exciting. I also am looking forward to Derrick Lewis fighting, because he is just fun.
Nason: There's a lot of intrigue throughout the two cards, but I'm most interested in both main events. I don't think Medeiros will ever be a champion, much less a top flight contender, which is why this will tell us a lot about where Cerrone is at. He's lost three straight coming into this, a first in his long career. I wonder how much is there after his legendary hellacious fight schedule over the last five years. On the Bellator side, I'm hoping we see a big performance out of Mitrione. Nelson is old hat and doesn't do much for me interest-wise based on the last five-seven UFC fights he had.
Any dark horse fights?
Paul: Brian Camozzi vs Geoffrey Neal on the UFC card. Camozzi is 0-2 in UFC and is probably fighting for his job. Every one of his fights in the last four years has ended in a stoppage for either he or his opponent. Neal’s record is similar and he’s coming off a very impressive first round KO on the Dana White Contender Series last summer.
Nason: Vick has been making a lot of noise about not being able to get good fights and has been on a nice run as of late. If he can top a solid veteran in Trinaldo and look good doing it, he has to get a top 10 dude next. Has to. I'm also interested in seeing how Thiago Alves fares in his return against Curtis Millender. He's a true veteran but still has that charisma that makes you turn your head, even for a few minutes.
Ryan: Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis on the UFC card. Both are mostly unknown, but have had exciting fights on the regional scene. Davis stepped in on short notice in his last fight (his UFC debut) and is looking to rebound from that loss. Also, Vick vs. Trinaldo should be good. Both are underrated at 155 pounds and this is a potential breakout fight for both.
Any fights a bit overrated?
Paul: The main event of the Bellator show is a couple big names who are well past their prime. It is likely to be a three round boring fight as Mitrione’s best path to victory is knocking out Nelson early which is tough to do. Nelson is likely to clinch up with him on the cage all night in an attempt to tire him out, but he’ll do nothing to try and put Mitrione away.
Ryan: I’m not so interested in the main event of the Bellator show. I feel they could have matched up both Nelson and Mitrione in other fresh matchups. They’ve already fought and Nelson knocked Mitrione out. Nelson has gone down as a fighter while Mitrione is maybe just slightly better than he was then, but not much.
Nason: Look at these couple'a' Bellator hatahs! Paul mentioned the Hardy-Julaton fight and I need to tell you this: I could care less about Hardy and think they are trying way to hard to get her over. Also, the whole boxing-MMA crossover fight deal? Zzzzzz. Don't care. Also, enough with the Pitbull brothers already. They're one of the last few holdovers from the Bjorn Rebney era and I don't really care about seeing them in a Bellator cage anymore.
Do these shows matter?
Paul: Yes and no. If you care about the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, then obviously yes. The semi-main of that show is probably a #1 contender for their lightweight belt and, in fact, Patricky Pitbull is the #7 lightweight in the world according to FightMatrix.com and is coming off a win over Benson Henderson. As far as the UFC show, in the grand scheme of things, no. But, this show looks like it could be sneaky great. Nothing on this show comes off as looking terribly bad on paper and most of the fights have potential to be very fun.
Ryan: The UFC actually has a real solid card, and Bellator continues the GP tourney, so they do matter. The UFC has one of their most popular fighters in the main event, a good lightweight bout, and Northcutt on the card, so it is somewhat loaded. Bellator also has Hardy on the show, so they loaded that up a tad. The UFC show should be good, and Bellator is kinda just there.
Nason: The Bellator show not so much outside the main event, but there are some interesting stakes in the UFC show. As mentioned above, I'm interested to see where Cerrone, Northcutt, Vick, and Lewis are at. This is essentially a heat check show for some of these younger-ish guys.
Mitrione vs. Nelson
- Mitrione: Nason, Ryan
- Nelson: Paul
Cerrone vs. Medeiros
- Cerrone: Paul, Ryan
- Medeiros: Nason
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
- Lewis: Nason, Paul, Ryan
Patricky Pitbull vs. Derek Campos
- Pitbull: Paul, Ryan, Nason