So… Bellator MMA had their big NYC card last night, and since it was kind of big deal, I decided to do an AfterMMAth post for this historic event. This, for the first time, will also feature in CombatDocket. Thank you guys for having me.
Let’s start, as usual, by reviewing my picks and then we will touch on a couple of topics.
From docketcombat picks:
Chinzo Machida Vs. James Gallagher – I mostly picked Gallagher due to age and submission game. Both seemed to have been a factor. The execution was perfect and Gallagher didn’t let the fight continue more than it had to (from his perspective) and take unnecessary risks. 1 for 1.
Zack Freeman Vs. Aaron Pico – The hype was hard to resist. I admit to looking at this pick as a risky one, but it is a debut. Freeman executed clean and quick. Another day at the office… 2 for 2.
Michael Chandler Vs. Brent Primus – I made it my habit not to bet against Chandler, but no one could anticipate that… That injury seemed devastating before the fight was stopped, and Chandler – tough as nails – kept putting weight on that leg. Hell, he was bouncing on it. But damn it, that’s a miss. 2 for 3.
Douglas Lima Vs. Lorenz Larkin – I picked Larkin based on speed, strength, movement and creativity. All of which he did not bring in last night. Could be a game plan kind of thing, but he seemed too static and even though he found some success early with combinations that allowed him to get within reach, he remained on the outside for long stretches and tried to “jump” into range. I scored this fight 48-47 Lima, but it was more optical than anything. After a close round 1, it was Lima coasting for the decision win. Better not coast Vs. Rory. Well, unless he wants to part ways with the belt. 2 for 4.
Phil Davis Vs. Ryan Bader – I got nothin’… So did Davis. Bader came with a superb defensive game, negating every TD attempt and doing j u s t enough to get the nod. Was not impressed by either one. 2 for 5.
Matt Mitrione Vs. Fedor Emelianenko – It was simple for me (though risky). Both were going to get tagged and I believed Mitrione has the better chin at this point in time. Honestly, a double KO would’ve been more on par with the weirdness of that night, but I’m not about to give up on a rare correct pick. 3 for 6.
Chael Sonnen Vs. Wanderlei Silva – Another one that felt clear to me. Sonnen’s TDs are a thing of beauty and his top game, as mean as ever. Early takedown, control, semi sub attempts, some GnP, lather-rinse-repeat. 4 for 7.
Performance of the night is James Gallagher’s smooth submission.
Fight of the night is the prelim war between debuting Heather Hardy and tough cookie Alice Smith Yauger.
And here are some loosely collected musings following a really strange evening in the big apple:
Bellator continues to be excruciatingly annoying in their promotional efforts. “Tonight we have 2 main events!” Yeah, every event has ’em, ‘cept we call the earlier one a CO-main event.
Time and card management continues to be a joke… On the website, Freeman/Pico was supposed to come before Lima/Larkin, but hey, who cares? It’s not like someone might go for a quick smoke break and almost miss the one fight he was looking forward to… and between the aforementioned 2 “main events”, we got ANOTHER main event that was planned?… as part of the prelims? It’s these very things that really hurt Bellator’s effort to “hang” with the “big boys” (Though UFC certainly have their issues).
MIKE FREAKIN’ GOLDBERG! Yes, I prefer the Anik / Cruz / Stann and hope they continue, but damn, Goldie, was so nice to hear that voice. As I wrote in the past, it’s definitely a step in the right direction and I hope they keep him.
And before I bid you farewell, the silver lining – Finally a card in New York that NYSAC didn’t find a way to screw with. To quote Chael P Sonnen “God Damn, I hate NY (G.S. Athletic commission)”…
Enjoy UFC tonight and see you soon here, and on combatdocket.com.