Bellator’s Hawaiian Invasion, UFC Vegas 52: Who Came Out On Top In A Busy Weekend for MMA?

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Cris Cyborg, Bellator 279Cris Cyborg, Bellator 279 Credit: Bellator MMA

If extent connected insubstantial means thing astatine each erstwhile it comes to mixed martial arts, past the UFC was astatine a uncommon disadvantage connected Saturday, going head-to-head (sort of, with offset commencement times) against Bellator MMA.

UFC Vegas 52 was thing of an afterthought. Aside from a large Bellator paper successful Hawaii (more connected that successful a moment), determination was the Fury-Whyte boxing spectacle successful London — which, with the clip difference, was an day assignment for viewers successful North America.

The Fight Night paper was fundamentally squeezed betwixt those 2 events, kicking disconnected conscionable aft Tyson Fury had floored Dillian Whyte with an uppercut, and wrapping up conscionable arsenic Bellator’s main paper was getting underway. And portion it surpassed the erstwhile week’s card, UFC Vegas 52 didn’t boast overmuch prima powerfulness — and adjacent lost a fight during the broadcast.

Sadly, that combat wasn’t Mike Jackson vs. Dean Barry, a foul-filled matter that had nary concern being booked extracurricular of a determination show. Jackson, a part-time combatant and media subordinate who was lone successful the UFC arsenic a foil for Mickey Gall and CM Punk years ago, was the recipient of the aforementioned fouls— 2 debased blows and an oculus poke (rake? gouge? Barry beauteous overmuch gripped the oculus socket similar a bowling ball), and coiled up taking location a DQ triumph successful the end.

Thing is, arsenic tends to happen, a anemic paper connected insubstantial did punch up successful weight. The main paper successful peculiar started strong, with back-to-back submissions from Canadian talents Marc-Andre Barriault and Charles Jourdain. Claudio Puelles would unafraid kneebar submission fig 3 against Clay Guida successful the co-feature, portion Jessica Andrade executed a lasting arm-triangle sub successful the main event. Both of those submissions volition participate the grounds books, arsenic Puelles has the astir kneebar wins successful UFC history, portion Andrade has the only palmy lasting arm-triangle.

But portion those were bully fights, they didn’t person overmuch relevance extracurricular of the main event. Bellator 278 and 279 had 3 rubric fights betwixt them, not to notation 4 fights from the promotion’s bantamweight expansive prix, which launched implicit the weekend.

Honestly, Bellator’s yearly travel to Hawaii, which had been delayed a fewer years owed to the coronavirus pandemic, ever has a large combat feel. But look nary further than Cyborg vs. Blencowe 2, and Medeiros vs. Sanchez from Saturday’s Bellator 279 card, for fights that were some wildly entertaining, and had the highest stakes imaginable (in the lawsuit of Medeiros, helium apt won himself a caller job). Not to notation the large decorativeness to Raufeon Stots vs. Juan Archuleta.

It wasn’t a cleanable play for Bellator, caput you. The instrumentality of “post-liminary” fights was an unwelcome sight, and the Bellator 278 main lawsuit finished with a questionable stoppage. Still, the treble header successful Honolulu had the edge.

Of course, successful a week oregon two, the publication is apt to beryllium flipped. When the UFC heads to Phoenix for UFC 274, featuring lightweight champ Charles Oliveira throwing down with quality item reel Justin Gaethje, determination volition beryllium nary bigger crippled successful town. Still, for the 2nd week successful a enactment this past weekend, the UFC was beat, connected the amusement broadside of things astatine least, by the statement fig two, possibly a motion that the endless onslaught of Fight Night events astatine the Apex needs to beryllium rethought.

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