Bellator’s New York debut will host an impressively stacked PPV card that will have two title fights and a co-main event and main event that consits of legend in the industry when Chael Sonnen faces off against longtime rival Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko faces off against Matt Mitrione (I already talked briefly about these two matchups here). Plus they have one more fight that they plan to announce sometime this week. The two championship bouts include Douglas Lima defending his welterweight title against recently signed Lorenz Larkin and Michael Chandler defending his lightweight title against undefeated prospect Brent Primus. It is a good time to be a Bellator fan and I believe this is the perfect oppurtunity for any UFC fan to check out some of the action that Bellator has going on at Bellator 180 (if you are willing to spend $49.95 for it). The press conference that happened today had all of the fighter, with the exception of Silva who was there live via satellite. Sonnen constantly mocked The Axe Murderer with funny lines that include him broadcasting from behind a bathroom. Silva responded by telling Sonnen to “suck my balls” with a smile on his face. The two have a history that went all the way back to when they were still in the UFC and were coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Brasil 3. This was actually pretty tame by their stanards but was still hilarious and made the press conference great. The other fighters made respectful comments about their fights and their opponents. Mitrione talked about the kidney stones (24 of them!) he had within him that he had taken care of. It was not weight related he said which was surprising. Hopefully this next fight between him and The Last Emperor stays intact for the love of mankind. Lorenz Larkin made the only other interesting comments when he discussed his transition to Bellator (I also briefly talked about his transition here). He said he was surprised that the promotion gave him a title shot right off the bat. I believe he did indeed earn it because of his high rank in a promotion that alread has far more suprerior talents then the current promotion he is in right now. I think he has a great chance to take the belt in New York. All of the fights are shaping up nicely and the addition of another fight on an already stacked card will lead to me spending money (and possibly making prediction) for this historic Bellator event.
The UFC Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic, will face off against a familiar foe in Junior Dos Santos at UFC 211 in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The decision to place Dos Santos in a title match when there are three other contenders that are ranked higher has sparked up a bit of controversy. Let’s discuss why “Cigano” was picked for the matchup over his competition. Alistair Overeem is ranked right above JDS and had recently failed in his opprtunity (although he was close) to capture the illustrious title. Overeem is set to face Mark Hunt at UFC 209 which would undoubtedly keep him from challenging for the title a second time for the time being. In additon to that, a fighter getting a rematch just after failing to secure the title does not make a whole lot of sense for a main event fight.
Not even Chael Sonnen got an immediate rematch against Anderson Silva after almost handing “The Spider” his first loss in the UFC. Ranked number two on the heavyweight contenders list is Cain Velasquez who was set to face the number one ranked contender but had to withdraw due to injury. Velasquez’s leg injury may be too much for the former heavyweight champion to compete right now which is why he was not considered for the fight. Plus, the guy ranked above him is much more deserving of a title shot. Fabricio Werdum is the number one contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He lost the belt to Miocic back at UFC 198 in Brazil. After the loss Werdum would go on to win his next bout against Travis Browne at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio. A lot of times the UFC would give an immediate rematch to champions that lost their belts (such as Ronda Rousey). But more often than not, the UFC would have the former champion work his way to a rematch. This is evident by the fact that fighters like Jon Jones and Rafael Dos Anjos, who were dominant in their divisions, did not get immediate rematches. Werdum did go on to claim the number one contender spot and seemed like the most likely canidate to face Miocic in Dallas. However, the UFC loves to find the best matchup they can and would ignor the rankings for the biggest draw and most interesting fights. Most recently this happened when Cody Garbrandt skipped several ranked bantamweights to dethrone Dominick Cruz and claim the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Although it was ridiculous to see that occur, the fight was amazing and Cruz got the toughest fight of his life. The UFC probably thinks that this is the more exciting fight and would give a fresh matchup and challenge for the champion. The heavyweights usually put on a huge show and they say that everything is bigger in Texas. Dallas should get a treat when these two meet. Hopefully Dos Santos vs Miocic can bring us that same magic that Cruz vs Garbrandt brought. If it does then there will be no complaints from the MMA community (maybe).
Dennis Bermudez: “I thought it was a little bit early of a stoppage. I know I was on Herb’s leg. Like, I knew (Jung) was there trying to hit me, so I was shooting on him. It’s just Herb was – I know Herb was doing his job just to keep us both safe in there. But yeah, I had a big platform to make a rise to the top, and it didn’t go our way tonight.”
After re-watching the finish of the fight, I saw that Bermudez did immediately grab The Korean Zombie’s leg (as shown in the featured image above) and might have moved to a better position if given the chance. However, The Korean Zombie was raining down strikes from above that would have put Bermudez’s future cognitive abilities in serious jeopardy. Don’t get me wrong, I know Herb Dean, the referee that was initiated the stoppage, has been in the middle of many controversial stoppages as of late. He should have stopped the fight between Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping when Silva knocked out Bisping with a flying knee but instead chose to let it continue cause the round ended a second later. He would do the exact same thing at UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña when Jorge Masvidal knocked out Donald Cerrone at the end of the first round. He waved off the fight and then the round ended a second later. This caused the fight to continue even though he waved the fight off before the round ending horn. Even though Herb Dean is slowly becoming a terrible referee nowadays, this stoppage was justified by the way Bermudez fell face first to the mat. This usually signals that the fighter is unconscious as no sane person would go face first to the mat on perpose. The odds of Bermudez getting out of his situation were very slim and the odds of him taking unnecessary punishment was very high. In Bermudez’s defense, he may not have had a clear memory of what happened because of the circumstances. In the end Herb Dean made the right call for once and stopped the fight when it needed to be stopped. Hopefully he can keep doing this for every fight from now on.
Conor McGregor: “When Ronda lost, I woke up to all these messages. ‘Now let’s see what they do.’ And I’m like, what? I love Ronda, I was always a big supporter of Ronda. Then she loses that second one and people are trying to make me celebrate, ‘now they’ve got nobody.’ That’s a wrong mindset. I don’t celebrate another’s defeat like that. That’s weak. A weak individual does that. People were trying to celebrate when I lost who had nothing to do with it. That ain’t the sign of a champion. That ain’t the sign of a true champion, so I couldn’t believe it.”
Many would assume that McGregor would take joy in Ronda Rousey’s loss due to the fact that he is now the biggest draw in the UFC today. However, McGregor has always been a huge fan of Rousey and was dissapointed like many of her fans when the former bantamweight champion was stopped inside one round against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. Altough this is a class act from the first fighter in UFC’s history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously, McGregor has blasted other fighters personal lives and family. He would bring up things that had nothing to do with the fight game or him for that matter and would use it just to win a fight. He states that people celebrating somthing that had nothing to do with them are weak yet he continously uses personal subjects such as wife and kids, financial income, and even religion for his own personal gain. Rousey, similarly, bashed Holly Holm before their fight at UFC 192. Her instagram post is featured below:
Her attitude towards one of the most kind and sincere fighters in the UFC is a bit sickening to say the least. Holm has been respectful of Rousey before and after their fight but was denied a glove touch in the moments before their fight. This was why many (including myself) had celebrated Rousey’s loss at UFC 193. She was despicable and tried to ruin the reputation of Holm by throwing shade onto her with her millions of followers. I did feel more sympathetic for her after her second (and more devestating) loss to Nunes. McGregor and Rousey are not too different as McGregor’s loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 was celebrated for the same exact reason people cheered Rousey’s demise. McGregor’s constant bragging of his wealth and arrogant trash talking og other fighters was getting on the nerves of many spectators of the UFC while his loyal fanbase ate it up. Diaz shocked the world when he gave the Irish man his first loss in the UFC. This put McGregor in Rousey’s shoes and can probably attribute to why he refuses to celebrate her loss. He knows that the same can happen to him, especially with Floyd Mayweather being his focus. However, both Rousey and McGregor ate a good helping of humble pie in those fights via a kick and a Stockton slap to the face.