If there is two things this week in MMA has shown it’s that Chael Sonnen has never lost his “it” factor and competitors absolutely 100% need to take a shit before they go in the ring.
This past weekend the MMA world was graced with two noteworthy events UFC Fight Night Oklahoma City, and Bellator 180/NYC.
One of my takeaways from Bellator NYC was seeing Michael Chandler refuse to quit even when his ankle gave out due to nerve damage while defending his Lightweight title against Brent Primus (In video below, you see it looks like Chandler’s ankle broke when he took a step back and then it would continue every so often as if his ankle just quit on him in his most important moment). The most memorable part of that fight to me was that every time his ankle froze and it collapsed, Chandler didn’t squirm, didn’t show any signs of pain and really just wanted to compete. When I think of toughness in sports, I remember Gregory Campbell still helping the Boston Bruins kill a penalty after Evgeni Malkin’s slapshot broke Campbell’s leg. Now I will remember this moment from Michael Chandler along with it.
Earlier in the night, Zach Freeman quickly derailed the Hype Train of MMA Debut fighter Aaron Pico, submitting him in just 24 seconds. MMA Debuts really shouldn’t be occurring on PPV anymore as the level of competition has risen quite drastically over the last decade.
“The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione knocked each other down simultaneously in the first round of their fight. Mitrione recovered quicker and was able to continuously beat down Fedor to cause a stoppage. Since moving to Bellator in 2016, Mitrione is 3-0 and just defeated arguably the greatest heavyweight of all time in Fedor.
In the main event Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen finally were able to lock horns in the octagon. These two simply hate each other and having that combined with Chael’s ability to sell fights gave this a massive enough background to give Bellator it’s second pay-per-view event in the companies history. Sonnen was able to grind out a decision victory in this main event and while it wasn’t the prettiest win, he still shut up his biggest rival.
At UFC Fight Night Oklahoma City there quite a few noteworthy moments. Such as when former Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks missed the Middleweight weight limit by two pounds and then got knocked out by Tim Boetsch. About thirty minutes before that, Felice Herrig choked Justine Kish so hard that she shit herself (No, Really she did). and thirty minutes before that UFC newcomer Dominick Reyes knocked out Joachim Christensen in just 30 seconds. But the Biggest news to come out of this night was the absolute tragic ending to the main event of Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee.
Chiesa started the fight by keeping distance with some long kicks while Lee was trying to move forward and close the distance. After a small scramble, Chiesa took Lee’s back then tried to look for the finish, Lee managed to reverse the positions and took Chiesa’s back, it looked like Lee had a deep rear-naked choke sunk in and I thought Chiesa was going to tap out or escape it somehow. But then, before he could even try escaping, referee Mario Yamasaki ended the fight because he thought Lee choked Chiesa unconscious. While Lee was celebrating his victory, Chiesa was livid, screaming at Yamasaki because he knew he didn’t tap out. The ending was simply unfair to everyone involved. To Chiesa for obviously receiving a loss on his record when it wasn’t warranted. To Lee, who’s victory will forever be in question of the public eye and to the fans who watched hoping to see an awesome fight. The one real positive from this victory for Lee is that he got his name out there on a massive stage and he has a bit of a Connor McGregor effect to him (trash-talk abilities on point) which is really good to have in this sport when they want to make more money. Also, put Kevin Lee on that Detroit card in December. That place will be an Electric Factory with him on that pay-per-view fighting.
That’s really all for me though. I’ll be back to talk about TUF redemption and UFC 213 in about a weeks time.
PS: Fuck the Reebok Deal
PPS: Every blog without a real PS will have “Fuck the Reebok Deal” as it’s PS