Some solid match-ups listed: Lucas Lepri vs Davi Ramos, Farias vs João, Doederlein vs Frazatto, Marangoni vs Moizinho, Tanquinho Mendes in action, Josh Hinger in action, & Mafra vs Langhi....amongst others.
Monday, May 28, 2018
We get a clash of contenders with WSOF import Moraes facing Rivera who has been knocking at the top of the upper echelon of the division.
We also get the next fight in the building career of Gregor Gillespie who has looked like a contender in each of his UFC appearances thus far. I'm super excited about this main event and co-main event. I have little doubt that Moraes plans to take Rivera to deeper waters and hope that Rivera's power and dynamism fades by the end of the 3rd round and then falters later in the game.
Gillespie has impressed in various capacities in his fights up until now. Whether it's transitions following takedowns, durability trading punches, and just overall work rate.....Pichel is just the guy to bring out the best in Gillespie as we see how his game has evolved from his last outing.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Allen pulled off a last minute submission against Burnell who's level changing and chain wrestling to top position and half-guard work had him well on his way to winning a decision. Excited to see both of them fight again soon.
The Dentist blubbering in the cage was awkward, but pulled of a good stoppage against Spicely who failed to drag him to the mat.
Taleb turned down opportunities where his opponent turned away, got tossed to the mat, and let a questionable leg log attempt lead to being mounted and then poorly defending a short choke/back take get him tapped in a fight he was handily controlling in the first round. Hopefully a learning experience for him as he was expertly catching kicks, turning them into knockdowns, and otherwise busting up Silva in the fight.
Tom Breese looked the part of younger, more athletic man, with an errant thumb knuckle grazing that put Kelly in a bad way then lead to a TKO/ref stoppage. I felt like the knuckled caught him in the eye, but hey, these things happen and the ref didn't step in to investigate.
The "elbow queen" was a boring clinch-fest and not exactly an amazing showing for someone claiming Muay Thai as her wheelhouse in MMA. No one saw that fight and was concerned to face her, especially not anyone with some takedown tools in their toolbox.
Neil Magny showed the difference between UFC veteran experience and up n' comer status. Granted White was a late notice replacement, but looked outclassed at the end.
Till failed to make weight by 3.5 lbs and given his prior weight cut fail in Sweden of 5 lbs, I'm not sold on him. Also, his 4 fight win streak in the UFC (2 fights of which he failed to make weight - this time IN HIS HOMETOWN AS A HEADLINER) speaks to some need for growth and maturity. There are several guys ahead of him with far better active win streaks and thus, Till should do some more professional-ism worthy work before getting a title shot. Fight was close, can't really say who should've won, Till did more stalking, Wonderboy connected with clean straight right hands, minus that 5th round knockdown.
Phil Davis despite not being to keep Vassel on the mat picked up a head kick finish after the big man grew noticeably tired after the first round. Davis wants a shot at Bader, I thought he actually won that fight TBH, but it was razor close so I wouldn't mind seeing them roll it back. I dunno that beating Vassel equates to a title shot but the previous fight with Bader was so close I don't see why they shouldn't do it again.
Shipman fought a guy who looked a weight class smaller and took a punch like one.
The cross promotion of the UK's Jersey Shore guy's castmates in the crowd, the suspicious flop standing guillotine, and the 50 cent appearance just felt all very contrived. But hey, Bellator has come a long way since it's days on Fox Deportes. Scott Coker is building/has built a real Frankenstein of compelling TV with faded UFC legends, wrestling and other combat sports prospects, mid-tier disgruntled UFC employees, and the right mix of B level entertaining fights. Case in point: the show was virtually all stoppages. We got KO's, TKO's, flash dancing MV Page, some women's MMA, and were supposed to have a Pride/UFC Legends Match with Big Country and CroCop until the gypsy injury curse struck.
Rickels decided "no mas" because of MVP's incessant clowning and dancing. All in all, infinity gauntlet gimmick or not, it was a piss poor culmination of what could've been an exciting fight. Both fighters were/are to blame.
Mousasi obliterated champ Carvalho....and now who? Literally the only guy worth calling out for Mousasi is a welterweight, and thus the problem of taking his walking papers from the UFC where he had an already impressive hall of fame arguable level list of scalps on his resume. Sadly, Mousasi will now slide to irrelevance as there's just not any depth at 185, he's crushed the champ, and otherwise he has to with MacDonald the welterweight champ or go up to LHW which wouldn't surprised me either TBH.
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Came in 3.5 lbs over the welterweight limit. Back at UFC Fight Night Sweden he came in 5 lbs overweight against Ayari.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
July 28th folks, it’s going dooooown. We also get Aldo taking on a KO artist which may spell yet another violent stoppage loss for the fading former champ, and Joanna coming off back to back losses to thug Rose. Wow, how the landscape changes over time.
Monday, May 21, 2018
Friday night we get several key Bellator match-ups and a title fight:
Mousasi vs Carvalho
Mousasi gets a title shot after not so impressively debuting in Bellator. He got the job done...but that's about all you can take away from it. Carvalho is a big, impressive, truly middlweight sized fighter and despite Mousasi having fought in several weight classes across his storied MMA career, the sport has evolved...and I think this is a tougher fight for him than a number of pundits are forecasting.
Roy Nelson vs Someone (CroCop is injured)
Michael Page vs Caveman Rickels
Rickels is tough...but that will just get him CTE level damage in this fight. Page is too long, his attack too varied, and hits too hard and often to lose this fight. Tough way to get paid being Rickels in this fight.
Linton Vassel vs Phil Davis
Vassel has beaten everyone in Bellator save Bader, King Mo, and Emmanuel Newton....i.e: the Bellator championship belt holder level guys. Phil Davis is also that tier as the fight he lost to Bader was very close scoring-wise. Tough night for Vassel here as Phil will take him down and pound on him for at least 2 of 3 rounds.
The undercard also has Anastasia Yankova (flyweight) who will hopefully bounce on over to the UFC eventually.
Sunday - early in the day we get a UFC in the UK (Liverpool to be exact) with the likes of:
Darren Till vs Wonderboy Thompson in a real test for the Till who has leapfrogged up the pecking order with his win over Cerrone. I'm honestly only interested in this scrap and the Claudio da Silva fight. The rest of the card is all prelim fodder. Likely to be some entertaining scraps, but I just watched 5 hours of prelim worthy fights from Chile this past weekend. I probably won't tune in for this one and spend my Sunday midday watching TBH. Anyhow....
Neil Magny vs Craig White (who despite it being his debut finished his previous 5 opponents in Cage Warriors in the UK)
Surging Claudio Henrique da Silva faces Nordine Taleb
Tom Breese returns from ACL surgery.
Invicta Ring Boy Elias Theodoru features on the early portion of the event.
Sunday, May 20, 2018
At any rate, some great scraps throughout TBH, on a card I had admittedly been dismissive of in the lead-up. Moreno vs Pantoja was a pleasant stand and bang bloodbath/rematch. Prazeres fought an at times boring split decision win over Cummings. Cannoneir probably got the big ole affirmative on his thoughts on moving down to middleweight with that uppercut from Reyes. The women's division got a good, solid scrap in the form of KBG Lee and her multi-pronged muay thai and takedown attack. The fight pass portion even had a kneebar hail mary in a fight Puelles was nearly knocked out of multiple times under his opponent's ground and pound and striking on the feet.
Welterweight is all kinds of interesting as Usman will hopefully face the winner of Till vs Thompson, and the winner of RDA vs Covington faces Woodley at some point to unify the belt(s). Just like that, we've got 5 guys, all of which could probably be champ, in a stand-off with two fights book to delineate some sort of order of operations. 4 hours in at 1030pm, with the main card one fight in, I was admittedly a bit tired from seeing fights and commercials, but hey, it was a solid card with kneebars, Barzola put on an impressive workrate grappling finish to defeat Davis, Saenz faced Briones in a battle of two veterans plying their wares, Laprise got one punch KO'd by Luque.....the card had it all: submissions. slams out of submissions, KO's.....not bad. Not bad at all. Excited to see KGB Lee back in action soon, and Macedo has fights she can win in the division as well, but might want to drop down a weight class as she looked to get out-beasted by KGB in the clinch at various points.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Came across Vieira thanks to the BJJ Scout breakdown of his crucifix position, and he applies it here from a couple places not unheard of but definitely his ability to get there is varied, leading to what Terra contests is an RNC finish from standing/the back.
Miyao hammers at Mantovani's guard for the better part of 5 minutes to eventually get a near back take and lose the position but then utilizes a reverse arm drag to get a sweep with 20 seconds left and score. Miyao also nearly hits a pass I first saw Leo Vieira (not saying it's specific to him, but first time I specifically recall seeing it was in that match) throw at Rafa in their ADCC match (which Rafa later won by submission).
Monday, May 14, 2018
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Belfort had his farewell speech well memorized because he repeated it (likely due to that front/snap/karate/crane/whatever) kick. The guy is by all metrics a legend of the sport due to longevity, titles, strength of resume, ability to polarize, rivalries....everything. Man. Guy faced over 10 former world champs from either Pride or the UFC. Ridiculous. He'll prob ply his wares against some other fading legends, and y'know what? I'll watch. He's a legend. He gets to say when he's done. He also gets to make money the best way he knows how for a bit longer.
Machida still has it. Still dangerous. Still mobile. Still fading in the chin department. Not sure he can bang with the top 3 of MW which is a murderer's row of Romero, Rockhold, and Whitaker, but we'll see what unfolds if he pieces together another few wins. I want him to get a second title at MW but with Romero or Whitaker holding the strap, it's tough man.
I thought Jacare won the fight. Minus getting dropped in the second round, he landed far more heavy right hands and kicks, and Gastelum for all his bouncing and moving honestly didn't hurt Jacare. Fatigue, visually, probably swayed judges to give Gastelum rounds that I think based on scoring were actually Jacare's. Jacare completely dominated the first round, landed heavier shots in the second, and the third round was close. Once again, I don't see Gastelum piecing up or avoiding being taken down by big guys like Whitaker and Romero. IN fact I think likely doesn't win more than a round or 2 at best against them. Jacare had the old adrenaline dump do him in but he still bests all but the very best and brightest in the division.
Pennington's coach is a &*^%ing bum and a clown and doesn't care about his fighter. She said I'm done after taking knees to the face and having her nose crushed and he sent her back in to take punishment in a fight she was in no position to win. Leave that camp and leave that coach and go elsewhere. Being tough is admirable but not enough on it's own to win fights. Watching her fruitlessly look for those leg grabs as takedowns and the advice between rounds was atrocious. Leave that camp.
Amanda Cooper was looking nice and sharp but dropped the lead hand and got tagged with a big right hand......from a woman who was almost in the next weight class up. Mackenzie did herself no favors showing up 7 lbs overweight with a clear "I didn't really bother to even try to make the weight because my opponent will take the fight because of how high profile it is." Fans are fickle. A clear I didn't even bother to try as the sport is seen as increasingly professional as opposed to it's thunderdome human cockfighting days got Dern rightfully roasted on the internet with memes once it was revealed for yet another time failing to make weight as a professional. She'd missed the weight prior to her UFC debut despite a regular fighting schedule and somehow always making weight et cetera in JiuJitsu and growing up as an athlete. Call it whatever you want but showing up 7 lbs overweight and refusing to just admit the truth, that you were obviously laughably overweight a week or 2 ago, just shows a lack of respect, or even full out disrespect for your opponent and the sport in general.
I'm still waiting for Elizeu to get a further up main card slot. The guy is a real dark horse in his division. His striking is dangerous. He's aggressive. Has been through some tough fights. He's resilient. His time is coming.
Ramos got to the back and made the finish look easy. The face crank/RNC in MMA is real.
Oleinik hits the no arm ezekiel/facing the guy from bottom half-guard that has been a bit in vogue in bigger man Jiu-Jitsu. Guys is 56-11 with a ton of submission wins. Always dangerous, and is dangerous even from traditionally not dangerous positions like bottom half-guard. Guys who don't watch tape of him prior to fighting him truly are doing so at their own peril. The guy throws up submissions and has a ton of neck crank and other style submissions across over 50 fights. That is a huge experience gap for the HW division. Also a dark horse in his division.
Disappointing to see a fighter outmatched, out classed and sent back in to take more punishment.
MMA's most respectable attribute is that you can submit to untenable positions. Arm going to break? Going to lose consciousness? Submit. Admit defeat. Bend the knee. Anyone wanting to see a fighter go out on their shield just wants to see human pain and suffering. Blood sport. Dog/cock fighting for the same of sadism.
Friday, May 11, 2018
IBJJF World's coming up at the end of this month...interesting to see how things shake out with some of the more notable contenders facing one another throughout the year at ACB (and for that matter, what will come of Gi events outside of ACB and a few unsigned black belts of note? 5 Grappling used to put on brackets in various weight classes but ACB has signed most of the available talent to exclusivity outside of open/IBJJF events.....). It's crazy to check the IBJJF calendar and see how many events are going on each and every month....and the growth of NoGi, sub only/ebi format events rounding out the calendar in addition to Polaris, F2Win, and Kasai.....great time to be a grappling fan.
Who will Eddie Cummings face now that he won the Kasai strap from Canuto?
Will Dillon Danis respond to Neiman Gracie's call to fight in Bellator?
Will Lovato fight for the belt in Bellator this year?
Can Mackenzie Dern make weight?
Kasai is holding it's next welterweight tournament after a pro qualifier at it's June 16th tournament in NYC. Interesting to see who they get to fill out the bracket. I attended the last two events in person and saw some great superfights in addition to the brackets they've put on.
Nunes vs Pennington
Pennington is coming off of some wins of Miesha Tate (was ready to call it quits awhile ago), Bethe Correira (also not more than mid tier at best), a close decision loss to Holly Holm...but overall just probably belongs in the top 80th percentile of the division, but has won by decision her last 3 fights....and as a result, do I see her taking a decision from Nunes? Not likely, unless Nunes shows up in bad shape and off of a rough weight cut (both possibilities as Nunes has shown some inability to fight consistently over 5 rounds at times as of late. I see Pennington perhaps with some late pushes possibly in rounds 3 and 4 or perhaps 2 and 4 et cetera, but Nunes will stun her at least once or twice and have some rounds handily won and gut out a 3rd round with activity and pressing forward and pick up a decision.
Gastelum vs Jacare
It's easy to discount Jacare after his last two losses because despite being spread apart in his UFC tenure, they were hard to forget, main event style profile losses. That being said, within the UFC Jacare has only lost to current champ Whitaker, title contender Romero, and former champ Rockhold (in Strikeforce). Before that he'd lost by upkick to Mousasi and in his debut lost to a faaaaar more experienced Patino.
Jacare has really only lost to the absolute best in the sport and obliterated most all other comes.
Gastelum for me is hard to read. His wins are a mix of good timing and opportunity. HIs loss to Weidman is the thing that has me doubting the Gastelum train. Gastelum got Bisping in a fight Bisping shouldn't have taken. Gastelum beat Kennedy (who was as it turns out on the cusp of retiring) and beat Hendricks (in a fight Hendricks was in no condition to be fighting). I think this is the real litmus test of Gastelum and I don't think he passes. He has some very good skills inside the octagon, but I think timing and external factors have increased his stock a bit more than they actually should be priced. Gastelum has flashes of speed and movement and danger in his fists as evidenced in the fight with Weidman, and Jacare's standup has seemingly become more robotic over time, perhaps more leaden and predictable somehow, but even so, the question is can Jacare use his predictable big overhand to get to dragging Gastelum down to the mat. Weidman surived an early scare to do just that and Gastelum was a bit too content to fend Weidman's top position off but never really get back to his feet (and Weidman's mat returns kept him there for extended periods)....this is the hardest fight for me to pick on the card because Jacare has really only lost to the very best in MMA, whereas Gastelum is a puffed up welterweight who has some impressive wins but I think are due more to external factors rather than his attributes. I've got to go with Jacare for this one based on strength of resume and having hopefully healed up his shoulder injury for which he had surgery.
Dern vs Cooper
Dern's being asked to leave the MMA Lab speaks volumes to me. Whether it was a veiled "you only show up when you have a fight and don't really help anyone else get ready" dismissal or a "she's not really been training hard and will get stopped sometime soon" goodbye, only time will tell. Dern's weight misses in the past notwithstanding, she's simply put, a bit fluffy for the division. As of yet, she's not faced anyone with the acumen to keep her at bay, and to her credit, she does come forward swinging with intentions that overwhelm low-mid tier opposition. Is Cooper the one to expose her? I'm frankly putting her odds as between slim and zero. Cooper's 3 losses are by submission. Dern will get her down and will quickly get a highlight real submission, I'm guessing the obvious RNC or armbar.
Belfort vs Machida AKA the "please for the love of God both of you retire regardless of the outcome of this match" portion of the card.
Ramos vs Hein
I had high hopes for Ramos coming into the UFC with his grappling and ADCC pedigree but his vaunted athleticism in those endeavors hasn't always translated into much action in his fights. His atrocious fight with Moraes was a cautious (on both their parts) affair, and he's yet to really show me he has the chops to be more than another dangerous grappler with passable stand-up but a limited gas tank that impedes his ability to drag opponents to the floor when they show any real determination or resiliency in protesting a takedown.
Lineker vs Kelleher
Lineker came within a fight of a shot at the belt but was drubbed by well-timed wrestling by Dillashaw. I've never liked Lineker's overrated brawling/wild swinging style or more specifically his ability to fail to make weight numerous times. For a guy with all this vaunted power, unless a guy stands flat footed in front of him, it makes for boring, sloppy punch-centric bouts in which he either sort of scores by this telegraphed flurries or gets picked off coming in/taken down 2 out of 3 rounds. At any rate, hopefully Kelleher puts him on the deck and Lineker's lack of much of a ground game from bottom gets him out of the upper echelon of the division for the time being.
Monday, May 7, 2018
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Anyhow, on to the matches:
Frazatto vs Welker
Frazatto sucked Welker into 50/50 and won a boring AF match over three rounds. Le sigh. The return of 50/50 in some recent ACB Gi events bores me to tears.
Farias vs Somalia - eventful match with both guys mixing it up at times. Somalia was a bit outclassed with one round I think Farias running up 26 points in a single round.
Langhi vs Silverio - I felt like Silverio actually won the match. Langhi has a nice thing going where the emphasis is on guys not being able to pass, but aside from a deep sweep attempt in the second round, Langhi was relegated to that and coming up on a single leg he didn't finish with Silverio doing what I felt like was more of the work in forcing passing attempts and a very near back take in the first round.
Mantovani vs Marangoni
Marangoni brought it to Mantovani, with some deep submission attempts. It probably cost him the match in opening up his game, but it made for some tense moments as Mantovani had to fend of what appeared to be some deep subnmissions
Najmi vs Caporal
Najmi as usual had a slack/slow start, but quickly turned up the pressure when he decided to and hit a rare RNC from the back after a reversal to top then Caporal turning to flee. Najmi looked a little flat in losing his ACB title to Ramos, so it was good to see him get back on track
Doederlein vs Tanquinho Mendes
Mendes looked a little flat as well, with Doederlein doing more of the work from bottom and fighting for the sweeps/back takes. Close match, but mainly because Mendes was reactive rather than imposing his will.
Igor Silva vs Jackson Sousa
Sometimes you get flying armbarred.
Panza vs Evangelista
Evangelista was stalling his way to victory but Panza turned it up and got the tap.
Cornelius vs Simoes
Keenan hit an impressive reverse omoplata from attacking the turtle/Simoes who was having trouble dealing with Keenan on top threatening the pass. Impressive dexterity with the legs from Keenan to get the finish.
Cyborg vs Erberth Santos
Didn't watch because I don't find either guy particularly exciting.
Barral vs Sousa
Sousa fell victim to the knee through pass to cross collar choke finished as he advanced to mount. Barral looked as sharp as he has in quite awhile.
Gordon Ryan vs Vinny Magalhaes
Vinny got a guard pass after a single lag takedown, then did a cautious amount of disengaging to avoid points or entries leading to any danger. A lot of Vinny on both knees, waiting for Ryan to extend, and Vinny looking for that as an opportunity to pass.
3rd round has Vinny with his usual incredibly low energy output/JiuJitsu barely being done, mainly disengaging on the feet and unwilling to commit to any discernible moves/techniques minus some clubbing the top of the head collar tie attempts and 2 on 1 wrist control. You'd think he and Evangelista had actually done some training before their matches based on how little actual moving or effort they seemed to put out once the timer was going.
Lo vs Arges - didn't watch because as Lo has gone up in weight, I find his style less and less interesting to watch
Buchecha vs Rocha - haven't watcched much HW JiuJitsu in the last couple years