My first exposure to Bellator was the circus show at Bellator 149 where Kimbo Slice “knocked out” Dada 5000. Hearing the hype and results for that fight was all I needed to instinctively classify the Bellator organization as unrespectable.
MMA is quickly becoming my favorite sport (until football starts up at least) and as a person with an addictive personality does, I want to consume as much of it as possible, hence my consumption of a Bellator card. Bellator 160 impressed me with the production value and the quality of the fights.
The UFC has a standard Reebok uniform that is free of ads and looks professional. Bellator allows their fighters to plaster ads all over their fighting gear and to put on shirts and hats with advertisements all over them for shady vape companies after the fight. I prefer the UFC uniform model as it doesn’t treat its fighters like a billboard. The fighters in Bellator wear different colored gloves (one fighter wears blue while the other wears red) to differentiate them as their shorts are covered in advertisements.
Bellator is set up the same way as the UFC, a pro blow by blow man, a color commentator, and a loud fight announcer sing songing the fighters in the ring before the fight. But instead of Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan, and Bruce Buffer, Bellator has the much inferior Sean Grande, Jimmy Smith (he was actually good), and Michael C. Williams.
Similar to the UFC, the Bellator fighter nick names are dreadful. The UFC has a terrible nu-metal intro while Bellator has dubstep transition music.
The preliminary card was fast paced and streamed without any commercials. Two hours of fights free of Harley Davidson ads is refreshing but that feeling wore off when the main card on Spike took over two hours to show 4 fights.
Preliminary Card (spike.com)
Lightweight – Jake Roberts def. Stephen Martinez – TKO Punches – (RD 1 – 4:24)
This was a strange fight as Martinez dominated the first round but was TKO’d in just a few seconds. Martinez clinched and latched onto Roberts most of the first round. He controlled the fight up to the 4 minute mark where Roberts gets in position to land several strikes that opened up Martinez’s face pouring blood into his eyes. The fight was called shortly after that and it felt like the fight was called way to early. Unlucky outcome for Martinez as the safety concern for blood in his eyes determined the outcome.
As soon as this fight ended the stream jumped right into the next fight. No commercials, that is awesome.
Featherweight – Chinzo Machida def. Mario Navarro – TKO Punches – (RD 1 – 2:57)
Big John was the ref for this fight. For some reason I assumed that each league had their own refs.
This was another first round TKO. The Bellator debut for the 39 year old Machida was impressive. Early in the first round Machida clipped Navarro which brought him to the mat. Machida went in for the kill but Navarro survived and got back to his feet. Shortly after Machida lands another heavy blow to the face of Navarro which lead to the TKO. The replay of the uppercut used to finish Navarro was brutal.
The arena was still empty during these early prelims making it very easy to hear the cussing and shouting from the coaches over the telecast. The commentators had to awkwardly acknowledge the loud coaching.
Lightweight – Jacob Roslaes vs. Mike Segura – Decision Unanimous – 30-27, 29-28, 29-28
Both of these fighters wore extremely ugly shorts. I much prefer the uniforms of the UFC, these shorts looked unprofessional.
The first round of this fight was very active and fast, both fighters traded blows. Rosales brought Segura to the mat with a heavy right but was unable to finish him.
The second round saw more of the same fast action, both fighters landing blows. Segura was able to get some strikes in but Rosales was the clear winner of this round.
The third round was more of the same, fast quick action from the two young fighters, but Rosales stayed in control. As the round neared a close, Rosales looked and Segura and gives a big “wooo!” feeling confident that he was going to win. The commentators gave several Marcellus Wallace references in this fight. I love Pulp Fiction but these references seemed corny and out of place.
Rosales won in a unanimous decision and the fight recap showed that his overhand right attacks were effective in all three rounds.
Catchweight – Andy Murad def. Johnny Cisneros – Decision Unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
I am trying to not post pictures in these fight recaps because I think it is illegal and I don’t want them to take away from my great writing (sarcasm). But I need to show how ugly Murad is. This dude is just gross. He is a fat lightweight, with flabby pale skin covered in black hair. His shorts are 3 sizes to small and they fell down under the pressure of his love handles exposing his jock strap several times.
There isn’t much to say about this fight other thank Murad was the much better wrestler and keep Cisneros on the ground most of the fight. Murad controlled the ground and except for getting his face opened up at the end of the 3rd, he dominated this fight. The commentators believed he was hiding his wound from the ref at the end of the fight because it was bleeding badly. After the final bell. Cisneros stood up and looked terrifying covered in Murads blood.
Lightweight – Gabriel Green def. Alex Trinidad – TKO Punches – (RD 2 – 2:01)
Personally I thought Trinidad was controlling this fight until he was dropped by an upper cut in the second round. He brought Green to the ground multiple times, one being a brutal body slam landing in full mount. But the upper cut that Green landed through Trinidads gloves defending his own face was all that was needed. Once Trinidad fell, Green jumped on top to finish him off and the ref called the right.
Welterweight – Joey Davis def. Keith Cutrone – Decision Unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
The debut of Joey Davis has been highly anticipated for Bellator (according to the prefight promos). He is a 4 time division 2 college national champion and he never lost a match in college.
Davis dominated this fight. The first round saw him fighting standing up. He clipped Cutrone but didn’t attack to finish him off. In the last 10 seconds of the round, he took Cutrone to the ground which served as foreshadowing for the rest of the fight.
The last two rounds saw a lot more ground fighting. Davis took Cutrone to the ground with ease every time. Big John stood them up multiple times as Davis wasn’t doing much once he brought Cutrone to the ground. Davis was visibly exhausted in the third as he took his time getting up after Big John stood them up. He may need to work on his conditioning or get used to the adrenaline dump, but overall Davis looks like he is going to have a successful career in Bellator.
Main Card (SpikeTV)
The fast pace commercial free action in the prelims were followed up by the impossibly slow commercial bloated main card. It took me a while to figure out a way to stream SpikeTV (probably illegal) but I was able to find it.
The fighter entrances are more Pride like in Bellator vs. UFC. They have more of a professional wrestler feel to them with huge screens and a lit up walkway with their nick names on it.
Lightweight – A.J. McKee def. Cody Walker – Submission Guillotine Choke – (RD 2 – 0:32)
This is the first McKee fight that went into the second round. He has dominated his opponents in his short Bellator career and even though this fight went into the second, McKee continued his winning quick reputation.
McKee controlled the first round and almost submitted Walker via a triangle. The second round started with McKee body slamming Walker to the ground and getting a modified guillotine submission.
In celebration McKee attempted a back flip off the side of the cage but failed, embarrassing.
Catchweight – Georgi Karakhanyan def. Bubba Jenkins – KO Punch – (RD 1 – 0:53)
The back story for this rematch is unique. Karakhanyan gave Jenkins his only loss in January in 2015 via a brutal guillotine choke that put Jenkins to sleep. Since that fight Karakhanyan has lost 2 fights in a row while Jenkins has won two fights in a row. Both fighters went in opposite directions since their first match up.
Less than a minute into the fight, Karakhanyan knocked Jenkins completely unconscious for a second time. Jenkins was up against the cage and threw a kick which Karakhanyan caught. Holding onto his foot, Karakhanyan hesitated for a second and then landed a heavy blow to Jenkins jaw, finishing him off.
The post fight interview saw Kayakhanyan hitting an easy button and then tearing up when he mentioned his daughters. Fucking dumb. The post fighter interviews in Bellator are awful.
Since this card is on cable TV, a first round knock out lead to almost 3o minutes until the next fight. They even had enough time to replay the Machida fight for the TV audience. Non PPV cards are watered down by commercials and stretching 4 fights over 2 plus hours even if there is a first round KO.
There was also an extremely terrible “hype” conversation between Page and Gonzales as they promoted their match up for an upcoming event. It was so stiff and cringey, I had to walk away from my screen.
When I came back to my screen I saw another awkward announcement of the signing of Rory MacDonald. Bellator signed him from the UFC and he made an awkward entrance and gave an even more awkward interview. Can we please get to the next fucking fight? Curb you Enthusiasm isn’t as cringey as these two announcements.
Lightweight – Derek Anderson def. Saad Awad – Decision Unanimous – 30-27, 29-28, 29-28
The Awad/Anderson fight was the best fight of the main card. Awad looks like a jacked up Manu Ginobli which distracted me all three rounds.
I have the hardest time writing about fun active 3 round fights because so much happens during them. Both of these guys attacked and were active in all three rounds. This was a close unanimous decision. The aspect of the fight that is most memorable is the triangle that Anderson had Awad in during the first round. It was a deep tight triangle that Awad struggled to get out of. As Awad rolled over to escape the submission, it contorted his arm and looked like it was going to separate at the shoulder. He somehow got out of it without injury.
This was a fun fight and the clear fight of the night.
Lightweight – Benson Henderson def. Patricio Freire – TKO Leg injury – (RD 2 – 2:26)
The headlining fight featured a MMA vet in Henderson who held the lightweight belt in the UFC. His resume in the UFC is impressive with victories over Alvarez and Cerrone. He also knocked out Freire’s (Pitbull) brother while he watched in the first row of the crowd. This was promoted as a revenge match for Pitbull, revenge for his brother. The winner of this fight gets a title bout vs. the current lightweight champion, Chandler, who was commentating this fight.
This fight was a dud. Both fighters barely did anything in the first round bouncing around not being aggressive. The crowd began to boo loudly begging them to fight. Henderson went to the ground in the first round but Pitbull let him get up without attacking him.
In the second round Pittbull latched onto Henderson and was trying to get the Kemura submission. Henderson escaped and then Pitbull stopped fighting due to a leg injury. Pitbull turned his back which is the MMA method for the fighter to forfeit. Big John ran in and called the fight. It was hard to tell which part of his leg was injured but the commentators suggested that he broke his shin earlier in the fight from leg kick checks.
In the post fight interview Henderson began reciting a poem and I couldn’t turn the stream off fast enough.
Bellator 160 was a good watch, starting off with great prelims and stalling to the finish line with a dragged out main card.
Bellator 161 is on Friday September, 16th.