Five Quick Rounds 10.08.12: Results, Results, and More Results (and an Arrest)!
Welcome to another edition of Five Quick Rounds, 411’s fastest-finishing weekly opinion column. As you’ve probably come to expect, I’m your host, Wyatt Beougher, and as you’ve probably seen by now, 411 has instituted a new commenting system sitewide, so make sure you register and start making your voice heard. The goal here is not censorship, but to promote better discussion by eliminating some of the spammers and encouraging people to leave thoughtful comments. I’m a big proponent of the new system (the change has been a long time coming, really), and I hope that you’ll start enjoying the benefits of the new system as well.
Round 1: UFC on FX 5 – Bigfoot Victorious
***TOUCH OF THE GLOVES***
UFC ran their fifth show on FX this past Friday, just one week removed from their fifth FuelTV show, and this week’s, like last week’s was headlined by a heavyweight tilt. The night started off quickly, with Justin Edwards needing only 45 seconds to submit Josh Neer with a guillotine, and while the action slowed down in the first round of the next fight, John Dodson made up for it by ending former number one flyweight Jussier Formiga’s night with a big left hand and a flurry of ground and pound with only 25 seconds left in the second round. Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron had an entertaining rematch to their 2006 encounter, but this time it was Ellenberger who came out on top, picking up the unanimous decision win. And in the main event, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was able to put together a nice combination and end Travis Browne’s night.
Overall, this ended up being a great night of action (including the prelims), but I think the main event marred the show for me just a bit. While I have no problem with Silva’s win, it just stinks that Travis Browne’s undefeated record was blemished because he injured a tendon, ligament, or muscle (as it’s currently believed to be his hamstring, the third option would be the correct one). With the win, Bigfoot has probably earned himself a fight with Stefan Struve based on both guys being near the middle of the pack in the heavyweight division and coming off of stoppage wins only seven days removed from one another. I can think of worse fights to put together, and I’d expect to see that fight main event a European FX show early next year (if it does in fact come to fruition). The biggest news of the night was probably John Dodson earning himself a flyweight title shot against Demetrious Johnson with his win over Formiga. Mighty Mouse and the Magician are almost guaranteed to put on an entertaining fight, but will the fans crap all over it, like they have the Johnson/Benavidez title fight and the Dodson/Formiga fight? As long as there’s an Ian McCall/Joseph Benavidez fight signed, with the winner facing the winner of Johnson/Dodson, I could care less what the rest of the MMA world thinks – I’ll be happy with the UFC’s early management of their flyweight division (even though I still think a women’s 135-pound division would’ve been a better addition).
Round 2: Bellator 75 – More Heavyweight Controversy
**TOUCH OF THE GLOVES**
Stop me if you’ve heard this one – Bellator puts on a great night of action, only for the show to end with some controversy. On Friday night, Bellator 75 highlighted the heavyweights, featuring the first round of the season seven heavyweight tournament, and things got off to a quick start, as Vinicius Queiroz absorbed some abuse, but ended up locking in an armbar on Mark Holata to advance to the semifinals in just 3:25. Not to be outdone, former light heavyweight tournament finalist Richard Hale displayed some great combinations as he returned to the heavyweight division, landing literally 16 shots in a row to Mike Wessel before the latter man dropped to the canvas. After briefly looking for a rear naked choke, Hale opted to pound Wessel out, with the entire process taking only 1:19. With the first two fights taking up less than a round of clock time, Bellator aired one of the more entertaining preliminary fights, so we got to see Joe Williams absolutely outclass Rod Montoya en route to a 3:17 submission victory by way of rear naked choke. In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov made Brett Rogers look like a tire installer by controlling the distance and outstriking Brett Rogers so bad that Rogers almost literally had no offense in the second round. And then came the main event…
Poor Bellator – they just can’t seem to get their heavyweight division on track. Between the groin kick that caused a no contest in the first Eric Prindle/Thiago Santos fight to Santos missing weight for the rematch, to Prindle being defeated handily by champion Cole Konrad, who then went on to retire not too long afterward, it’s just been one mishap after another for Bellator. Unfortunately, Friday night didn’t do them any favors, as Prindle/Santos 2 ended in similar fashion to their first encounter, only this time it was Prindle doing the damage to his opponent’s manhood, and he ended up getting disqualified for it. If you’ve seen the brutal axe kick he delivered, it’s a justified result, but man, I’d really like for these guys to get through a fight without someone having their manhood immolated. I’ve included the video of the fight so that you can see for yourself if the disqualification was justified (hint: it was).
Round 3: Invicta FC 3 Crowns IFC’s First Champion
**TOUCH OF THE GLOVES**
Invicta held their third show on Saturday night, and, as you should’ve come to expect from Invicta by now, it was heavy on the action and light on the production values. On the main card, Julia Budd TKOed Danielle West with strikes in just 2:32, Michelle Waterson picked up a split decision win over Lacey Schuckman, Cat Zingano dominated Raquel Pennington en route to a rear naked choke win at 3:32 in the second round, Vanessa Porto picked up a unanimous decision win over Tara LaRosa. In the top half of the main card, Barb Honchak decisioned Aisling Daly, Leslie Smith finished Kaitlyn Young with punches at 2:19 of the second round, Shayna Baszler locked in a rear naked choke and tapped Sarah D’Alelio at 0:39 of the second round, and, in the main event, Jessica Penne picked up the submission win over Naho Sugiyama with a triangle choke at 2:20 of the second round to claim Invicta’s first championship, in the Atomweight division.
I can’t rave enough about how good these fights were. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was upset with Jeremy Lambert and Larry Csonka because they were able to watch the fights live on Saturday, while my crappy UVerse internet wouldn’t stream the event without getting too choppy to see. I had to seek out the videos on YouTube and download them on Sunday just to catch up on the action, and while it was time-consuming, it was definitely worth it. Invicta 3 featured 14 fights, and 10 of them ended early. Even the fights that went to decision were action-packed, and while I think Waterson/Schuckman was a draw, the judges did a great job otherwise. There were so many great moments on the show, from Cat Zingano showing why she was in such high demand from Strikeforce to Vanessa Porto shocking the world with her decisive decision over female legend Tara LaRosa, from Leslie Smith and Kaitlyn Young picking up where they left off at Invicta 1 (and Smith’s subsequent transition to BEAST MODE to earn the stoppage) to Shayna Baszler filling the void that was left by Liz Carmouche signing with Strikeforce. My favorite moment, though, was Jessica Penne’s absolutely slick transition to the fight-winning triangle, which not only earned her the Invicta atomweight championship, but also the world number one ranking in the atomweight division. (That transition starts around the 10:30 mark of the above video, but you’re doing yourself a HUGE disservice if you don’t watch the whole fight.)
Round 4: Batista Makes a Successful MMA Debut
***TOUCH OF THE GLOVES***
On Saturday night, Invicta wasn’t the only promotion airing an event, as CES MMA made their PPV debut with a card featuring former UFC fighters David Loiseau and John Howard, but the real attraction for most was the main event, which pitted actor and former WWE Champion Dave Bautista (Batista) against Vince Lucero, a journeyman MMA fighter possessed of a 22-22-1 record. Howard, Loiseau, and Bautista all won their bouts, but Batista’s MMA debut wasn’t an easy one, as Lucero, who tipped the scales at 300 pounds, came out swinging. Batista was able to counter with some knees, but he definitely ended up on the worse end of the striking on the feet. The ex-WWE champion, who has no amateur wrestling background, did manage a takedown on his opponent, and after some ground and pound from both the mount and back mount, the fight was stopped when Lucero ceased defending himself intelligently. You can watch the fight in its entirety above.
All in all, Big Dave’s debut wasn’t quite as impressive as fellow WWE alumni Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley; however, Bautista himself was realistic in the assessment of his future, stating that he’ll never be an MMA champion and that he’s simply fighting because he loves to do it. Bautista was also quick to point out that he didn’t follow the advice of arguably his most famous training partner, Stephen Bonnar, who told him to keep his chin down and his hands up. I respect Bautista tremendously for actually stepping foot into the cage in spite of his age and history of injuries, and I respect him even more for honestly appraising his talent level and future.
Round 5: Jeremy Stephens and Dennis Hallman Have Bad Weeks
***TOUCH OF THE GLOVES***
Friday just wasn’t Dana White’s day, as I mentioned in Round 1, but as poorly as it went for the UFC president, it was even worse for two of his fighters. Neither Jeremy Stephens nor Dennis Hallman were able to fight in their scheduled bouts on Friday night, and while the reasons were different, neither man finds himself in a very favorable situation. Stephens was arrested on Friday morning stemming from an outstanding warrant in the state of Iowa, and after negotiating his release with the local authorities and those waiting for him in Iowa, White revealed that police in Iowa kept changing the monetary amount that they’d require for Stephens to be released on bail in order to fight, and in the end, he remained in custody. On the other hand, Dennis Hallman showed up to the weigh-ins on Thursday and was severely overweight, so much so that he didn’t actually step onto the scales. This marked the second consecutive fight that Hallman had missed weight for (not coincidentally, the sum total of his fights since deciding to drop to welterweight), and White was forced to release him.
Fortunately for both Stephens and Hallman, White has remained supportive, at least for now, even going so far as to pay Hallman both his win and show purse, which totaled $60,000, to help him with the personal problems that prevented him from making a successful weight cut. White acknowledged that he and Hallman haven’t seen eye-to-eye in the past, but that cutting him a check was the right thing to do, and that he would’ve been wrong to even try to send Hallman out to fight on Friday night, as he felt the fighter was completely unprepared in any way to step into the Octagon. White said he had never experienced anything like what Hallman was going through before wishing the best for his former employee. As far as Stephens was concerned, White complimented the Minnesota police, but said that Stephens is going to have his hands full when he gets extradited. Still, though, Stephens is riding a two-fight losing streak and just caused the cancellation of a fight, yet White didn’t release him, so if there is a silver lining in this situation for the Iowan, it’s that he potentially still has a job to return to once he gets his legal issues sorted.
Thanks for joining me this week for a column full of results (not quite literally, though if I’d included OneFC and a full write-up of CES, it could’ve been), and I’ll be back next week, hopefully with a column that features a little more diversity of content. If you have any feedback, leave it in the comments, email me at the link below, or let me know on Twitter: @webeougher or on Google+. I’ll see you back here for more Five Quick Rounds next Tuesday, so until then, remember 411 MMA for all of your mixed martial arts needs!