I did not enjoy watching Bellator 161. This is also my third time writing this post about the event because I didn’t save my notes and even though I published my second draft, when I pulled up the WordPress app on my phone and discarded a “draft” it just eliminated the whole post. So these are going to be brief as I am going off from my memory two days after the fact.
There were only 3 preliminary fights and 4 fights on the main card. The main card started at 8 pm with a horrendous intro from the newly signed washed up fighter Chael Sonnen. The headlining fight between Kongo and “man boobs” Johnson started after 11 pm. Stretching 4 fighters over a 2 plus hour period is a crime that should be punishable by death. I set myself up for failure watching these fights after eating a sad meal of two bowls of Chunky soup and a bag of 99 cent tortilla chips which induced a stomach ache. That poor decision combined with the brutally bad Dave and Buster ads with a fake ass skully wearing actor, and Miller Lite ads where they boast their chest about spelling the word light wrong.
Before I get into my 3 sentence fight recaps, I want to discuss Chael Sonnen. From what I have heard about him, I respect what he stood for in the UFC. He was not afraid to play the heel to promote a fight and to sell tickets. Many have said that he opened the door for the current trash talkers like McGregor. But when I actually saw and listened to Chael Sonnen in his multiple appearances in the Bellator 161 broadcast I was extremely disappointed. He is not good at trash talking. A few of the moments that I can remember involve him calling out fellow washed up fighter Tito Ortiz which saw him hold up a piece of computer paper that had the word “coward” printed on it in comic sans. He also stated he fights at a “gangster” weight and when Jimmy Smith ended the interview, Sonnen said “the pleasure was all yours.” Maybe I don’t understand what Sonnen was doing, but he came off as fake and corny. McGregor sells fights much more effectively than Sonnen did on Friday night.
The fights weren’t that great and the Sonnen interjections made them worse. Bellator 161 sucked.
Postliminary Card (Dark Bouts)
Catchweight – Nick Gonzalez def. Warren Stewart – Decision split
Catchweight – Rey Trujillo def. James King – Submission triangle – (RD 1 – 1:20)
Featherweight – Matt Mazurek def. Jose Guerra – Decision split
Bantamweight – Armando Villareal def. Tommy Burghardt – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 1 – 2:08)
Preliminary Card (spike.com)
Featherweight – Daniel Pineda def. Mark Dickman – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 3 – 2:07)
I am going to point out the obvious and express my condolences to Mark Dickman for having one of the most unfortunate last names a short man can have. I also noticed he didn’t have any advertisements on his little black shorts which is strange as most fighters in Bellator look like NASCARs. Pineda didn’t sit down in-between rounds, a strategy that I do not often see. It makes sense to keep standing up to prevent your body from locking up or calming down. Pineda finished Dickman off with a rear-naked choke in the third round while standing up. I have never seen a fighter tap out while standing up before.
Women’s Catchweight – Emily Ducote def. Kenya Miranda da Silva – Submission armbar – (RD 2 – 4:37)
Ducote finished Miranda da Silva off with a armbar in the second round. When this fight went to the ground it was clear that Ducote was the better ground fighter. Ducote was close to getting a TKO before her successful armbar submission.
Welterweight – Garrett Scott def. Waylon Bronstrup – Submission rear-naked choke (RD 1 – 0:50)
This fight did not last long. Scott clipped and brought Bronstrup to the ground almost immediately and got in position for the rear-naked choke. I remember Bronstrups face being red and contorted struggling to loosen the grip of Scott before tapping out. Scott, a deaf man, lived up to his nickname “the deaf grappler.”
Main Card (Spike)
Lightweight – Derek Campos def. Djamil Chan – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Campos appeared to be done in the first round after his legs buckled due to the heavy hit to his head from Chan. Chan couldn’t finish Campos off after the blow and Campos recovered. At first Campos looked like a man sleep fighting after his near knock out, only running on instincts. He then controlled the rest of the first round and the second and third to pull an unlikely unanimous decision after getting rocked.
Women’s Catchweight –Anastasia Yankova def. Veta Arteaga – Decision split – (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Another catchweight bout (I am beginning to realize missing weight is a normal occurrence in the Bellator, something I have yet to see in the UFC) saw the highly publicized Yankova take on the unconditional looking Arteaga. This was a close fight seeing Yankova pull out the split decision. Arteaga clipped Yankova in the first round and used her herky jerky jib fighting style that looks like a person trying to control a minor seizure. In the post-fight interview I couldn’t understand anything Yankova said, but after the fact I saw she called for a rematch with Arteaga as this fight was too close to declare a real winner in the mind of the fans and the two fighters.
Bantamweight – Joe Warren def. Sirwan Kakai – Submission guillotine choke – (RD 3 – 1:04)
The 39 year old Joe Warren destroyed the nose of Sirwan Kakai in the third round. After getting out of an armbar, Warren landed a knee directly to the nose of Kakai which clearly broke it. This stunned Kakai which gave Warren an opening for the guillotine. The replays and post-fight looks at Kakai’s nose were hard to look at.
Heavyweight – Cheick Kongo def. Tony Johnson – Decision majority – (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The headlining fight between Kongo and Johnson was a perfect ending to this awful card. The fight was boring which saw both fighters in the clinch and on the ground doing the bare minimum to no get separated by the ref. Kongo looks intimidating with his perfectly proportioned cut body and has one of the few good MMA nicknames; “the darkness.” Johnson is the complete opposite of Kongo when it comes to appearances, sporting man boobs and love handles. Johnson is the chunkiest MMA fighter I have ever watched. The fight was stopped when Kongo landed a knee to the groin of Johnson. Kongo won in a majority decision and is looking to fill the vacant Bellator heavyweight champion spot.