What was supposed to be a relatively slow weekend in MMA ended up being the weekend they shoot off all the fireworks left over from the 4th of July. While I am going to spend the most time, obviously, breaking down the highlights of the UFC’s trip to Glasgow, there are a couple of things from Bellator to address as well.
-Gegard Mousasi, a unanimous top-ten Middleweight the UFC barely made an attempt to resign, had his first Bellator bout announced during the #2 organizations Friday broadcast. His opponent will be former champion Alexander Shlemenko. Ignoring Shlemenko’s positive steroid test that secured him a 2 year suspension (he fought twice abroad during that time), the undersized Russian is one of the most prolific top-tier Middleweights out there, having 66 fights under his belt to this point. He is primarily a striker, and a powerful, accurate one at that, registering 31 knockouts in his career. Considering one of Mousasi’s problems has always been getting hyped for fights that don’t mean a whole lot to him, this could be a a trap bout for the favorite.
-Girtz Vs. Campos Friday night was a WAR. Both guys left it all in the cage for two rounds until the gigantic gash in Girtz’s forehead, cause by a Campos knee, forced the cage-side doctor to call the fight before the 3rd. Legit looked like a Greyjoy had tried to start flaying Brandon Girtz’s head just before the fight. Good stuff from these guys.
UFC Fight 113 aka UFC Glasgow Aka UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Pozninibbio
-First and foremost, on my pre-event blog I missed discussing Paul Felder’s motivations going into this fight, so my sincerest apologies. “The Irish Dragon” actually lost his father to pancreatic cancer just before he began training camp for his battle with Stevie Ray, and dedicated his performance to his late Dad. Well, he did not disappoint. The Muay Thai practitioner crushed Ray in the clinch with a knee to the dome and then finished him on the ground with some of the most hellacious elbows you’ll ever see. Huge win for Felder and good to see him succeed at such an emotional time
-On the other hand it sucks to see Steve Ray lose so emphatically going into contract negotiations. He has significantly less leverage than if he had won and it would seem his two options are to accept what they offer and try and get his payday with his performances next time around or take his 4 oz gloves elsewhere. Here’s to hoping he sticks around.
-In maybe the oddest thing I’ve ever seen happen in the Octagon, Charlie Ward got thrown on his face into unconsciousness. Really all I have to say on that. YouTube it.
-As I said in my preview blog, sometimes Joanne Calderwood just isn’t fervid enough to get over the hump and that likely cost her the fight against Cynthia Calvillo. That isn’t to take anything away from Calvillo, but it looked like the front kicks and combinations JoJo was trying to work would have if she threw them with just a little more conviction. Here’s to greener pastures at 125 for the Scotswoman.
– So this Ponizinibbio guy is pretty good huh? My prediction was that “Gente Boa” would throw bombs at Nelson, move forward a little too much and get taken down and submitted. So I was right really except instead of being taken down Ponzinibbio took Nelson’s head off with an overhand right, then used a stiff left jab of all things to put an end to Nelson’s night.
-Shout out Podrick Payne sitting cage-side.
— UFC (@ufc) July 16, 2017
With all that said, here are a couple of fights I think make sense to put together with some of our Glasgow combatants.
Matches to make
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Neil Magny
-Who knows if Magny will ever make the jump to true contender, but a win over him will give Ponzinibbio a push in the direction of the belt he now publicly craves.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Michelle Waterson
-It is already time to give Calvillo a top ten 115er, and who better to welcome her to the dance than the ever popular “Karate Hottie”.
Paul Felder vs Rashid Magomedov
-Magomedov is an ultra-talented striker who is unfortunately known for the tepid way he fights. I’m thinking a whirling dervish like Felder will bring out the best in him.