Is it Monday already? Wow. Well, contained within we have the full results of last week’s UFC and Bellator cards and quick thoughts on those events. We’ve also got a passing comment on the enduring Ballad of Eddie Alvarez and a quick look ahead at what we’ve got lined up for this week.
The Ballad of Eddie Alvarez: Verse Two
So, following Bellator matching the UFC’s contract offer in pedantic fashion despite clearly operating a very different business model, the UFC made it clear they’d like to book Eddie at April’s UFC 159 event and ‘ugliness’ predicted by Dana White came out to play in full force.
On Saturday, a judge upheld Bellator’s assertion that they had ‘matched’ the UFC’s contract offer and torpedoed the possibility of Alvarez being allowed to turn out at UFC 159. The case is nowhere near closed and has a ways to run yet, though.
For my part, this looks like the first serious shot in Bellator’s attempt to be seen as an equal to the UFC and I see similarities with a promotional rivalry which informed a chunk of my teenage years. There may be an article in that…
Bellator 86: Askren vs. Amoussou
Thu, 24 Jan 2013
Looking to capitalise on last week’s successful debut on Spike TV, Bellator produced another compelling show, helped in no small way by an evident evolution of their Welterweight champion.
We had expected a Ben Askren title retention to be in the form of a unanimous decision, but for the first time since claiming gold, he finished an opponent showing that while his wrestling hasn’t lost a step, he’s added the weapon of fearful ground and pound to his arsenal, working from half and full guard to make a real mess of Karl Amoussou’s face until the doctor stopped the fight as Amoussou’s left eye swelled dangerously.
The other big draw of the evening was Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal’s Bellator debut and he took less than a round to stamp his passport into the Light Heavyweight semi finals with his trademark heavy hands. With the elimination of Renato Sobral, Lawal is surely the heavy favourite for that tournament.
We also had the Welterweight quarter finals, with the most impressive wins going to former winner Douglas Lima and Raul Amaya wining with TKOs. Brett Weedman and Ben Saunders join them in the semis following decision wins. Is there any among them that can seriously challenge the new and improved Ben Askren? I guess time will tell.
MAIN (Spike TV, 10 p.m. ET)
• Ben Askren def. Karl Amoussou via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 3, 5:00 – for welterweight title
• Muhammed Lawal def. Przemyslaw Mysiala via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:52 – light-heavyweight-tournament opening round
• Douglas Lima def. Michail Tsarev via TKO (leg kicks) – Round 2, 1:44 – welterweight-tournament opening round
• Ben Saunders def. Koffi Adzitso via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – welterweight-tournament opening round
PRELIMINARY (Spike.com, 8 p.m. ET)
• Hunter Tucker def. Javier Obregon via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 3:17
• Jason Sampson def. Chris Pham via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:55
• Brent Weedman def. Marius Zaromskis via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) – welterweight-tournament opening round
• Raul Amaya def. Jose Gomes via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:12 – welterweight-tournament opening round
• Damon Jackson def. Zach Church via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:43
Cortez Coleman def. Matt Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson
Sat, 26 Jan 2013
The first UFC title bout of the year was decided in characteristically athletic fashion and not without a small degree of controversy. Over five rounds of disconcertingly speedy action, John Dodson pressed Demeterious Johnson all the way, with Dodson taking the first few rounds with his heavy hands while Johnson came more into the fight towards the end with perhaps better cardio, title match experience (this is his third time to five rounds after all) and wrestling.
Most observers and two of the judges saw it three rounds to two, giving Johnson the 48-47 win (one judge saw it 4-1 Johnson, but there’s always one…) however there was an illegal knee landed by Johnson in the fourth round that the referee chose not to take a point for (clearly ruling it as accidental) which could have ended the match as a draw.
However, stats show that Johnson outstruck Dodson by 127 significant strikes to 57 and also landed five takedowns to ‘the Magician’s one so the belt probably ended up staying in the right place.
Elsewhere on the main card, Glover Teixeira escorted Quinton Jackson to the UFC exit with a less compelling brawl than we’d hoped. At some points Rampage looked his old self, but for the most part Teixeira had the advantage in striking and wrestling and was never seriously in jeopardy en route to the decision win.
Anthony Pettis showed that ring rust hasn’t affected him when a canny decision to come out as a southpaw combined with his always incisive striking led to a first round KO via liver kick over Donald Cerrone. Pettis is now the de facto no.1 contender for the second time in his career and says he won’t make the same mistake as last time and will wait for the winner of Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez.
Cerrone on the other hand is starting to look like a gatekeeper, always advancing to the point of title contention before losing to the eventual challenger. That’s a shame.
Rounding out the main card, Ricardo Lamas earned an impressive TKO win over former title challenger in waiting, Erik Koch and is looking like the logical next challenger to whoever walks away from next week’s Aldo vs. Edgar contest for the Featherweight belt.
The prelims provided a record breaking submission win for Ryan Bader, a real statement of intent from TJ Grant and an impressive comeback win for Shawn Jordan. Always, always watch the prelims…
MAIN (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
• Demetrious Johnson def. John Dodson via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) – to retain flyweight title
• Glover Teixeira def. Quinton Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
• Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (body kick, strikes) – Round 1, 2:35
• Ricardo Lamas def. Erik Koch via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:32
PRELIMINARY (FX, 5 p.m. ET)
• TJ Grant def. Matt Wiman via KO (elbows) – Round 1, 4:51
• Clay Guida def. Hatsu Hioki via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
• Pascal Krauss def. Mike Stumpf via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Ryan Bader def. Vladimir Matyushenko via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:50
• Shawn Jordan def. Mike Russow via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:48
• Rafael Natal def. Sean Spencer via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 2:13
PRELIMINARY (Facebook, 4:30 p.m. ET)
David Mitchell def. Simeon Thoresen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
As usual, we’ve got previews of the week’s Bellator offering and for the third week in a row (I love it) a UFC card to preview, this time featuring the Featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar. We’ve also got articles discussing the potential for genuine competition between the UFC and Bellator, a start on our (not entirely serious) glossary of MMA terms and if there’s time, we’ll start our buildup to UFC Wembley.
Hopefully, there’s something there to tickle your fancy, thanks for dropping by.