(Bellator: the only place where chicks who like to bang are respected.)
By ReX “Dude, Big Ups to the 90s” Richardson
Chances are very good that you missed at least one good fight card last night. If you neglected to tune in to Versus for WEC 51, you are likely still kicking yourself in the balls for not watching a card that was ludicrously stacked (and lived up to expectations). If you forgot about the Bellator Fighting Championships in all the excitement, you passed on some pretty fun stuff there, too: of eight fights, only one went to decision. The women’s division was on showcase last night with two semifinal bouts, seasoned with a double handful of the kind of hungry fighters who tend to knock the piss out of one another.
Follow me past the jump, because let’s face it, at this time of day you’re just killing time until the weekend anyway. I’ll let you know where I stand on the judges’ controversy. **dramatic music**
Actually, I’ll keep my promise this week. I’m definitely going to let you know about some judging.
Chris “The Assassin” Lozando vs. Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida
First televised bout is a welterweight tournament qualifier (winner gets thrown into what is probably Bellator’s most stacked division. Yay!). Chris Lozando is kinda a big deal around Cleveland. Four of his five pro fights have been for the Ohio-based North American Allied Fight Series. Oh yeah, he’s won all five of those fights by KO or TKO. Lozano says that he doesn’t really think about knockouts or call his shots, they just happen to occur every time he fights. Plus, it hits all by itself. Yoshiyuki Yoshida stands across from him, gnarled and scarred and looking Randy Couture at only 36-years-of-age. If you have trouble keeping your Japanese fighters straight, he’s one of the six fighters reportedly hospitalized after the notorious UFC: Fight for the Troops. Yoshida suffered a brutal KO at the hands of Josh Koschek, and they carted the poor fella out on a stretcher. He did choke out War Machine, though, so there is that.
First round, and Lozano’s game plan — put on your surprised face — is to punch Yoshida and make him go nappy nap. Yoshida really, really wants to get a firm grip on Lozano and look very intense. So they clinch for ninety seconds as Yoshida works to disrupt Lozano’s balance and take him down. Lozano works his way to his feet, lands some good blows and they CLINCH! Yoshida is from the world of Olympic Judo, if he has an advantage it’s in the CLINCH! If Yoshida gets rocked (and Lozano rocks him a few times), his immediate instinct is to grab a convenient body part first and beg the world to stop swooshing around second. Both fighters initiate a handful of submission attempts as well, although in Lozano’s case I’m counting two half-assed tries at rolling from a standing position to a kneebar. I guess it worked once in the gym and he just can’t wait to wow us with his sophistimicated Brazilian lock skills. At the end of the second, Yoshida tries to snatch an armbar as Lozano escapes out the back door from Yoshida’s mount. Lozano pulls his elbow out of danger, and starts a blue light special on knuckle buffets and facial swelling. Yoshida survives the second, but he’s taken a huge amount of damage from knees and fists to his facial-blinky-looky area. The cage doc examines Yoshida, and declares that he is able to continue if he’s not a pussy. Then, the sadistic doctor presumably goes on to skin a live kitten and falcon punch an old lady. Yoshida’s right eye is grotesquely swollen, completely shut, and a sick purple, and his corner calls an end to the fight for fear that if he’s hit again his eye will burst and spill forth all his judo knowledge. Chris “Just Any Generic Nickname Will Be Fine” Lozano defeats Yoshiyuki Yoshida via TKO (corner stoppage) between the second and third round.
Lozano is now slotted into next season’s welterweight tournament along with Steve Carl, Brent Weedman, Rick Hawn, and Dan Hornbuckle. Lozano is so excited about his win that he randomly drops “Cleveland, Ohio!” into his sentences. Smart money would be on Bellator putting on an event in Ohio sometime in 2011.
Jessica “Jag” Aguilar vs. Zoila “Warrior Princess” Frausto
Jessica Aguilar is a sponsors dream.
A product of American Top Team, Aguilar is a well-rounded fighter, she’s charismatic, well spoken and very appreciative of her support. A 9-3 record with eight stoppages probably can’t hurt, either. Aguilar explains that her mother is very traditional, and worries if her mother would accept her decidedly non-traditional lifestyle. See, Aguilar is still in the closet. No, assholes, I mean that she hasn’t yet told her mother that she’s a pro fighter. Geez; you guys with your dirty minds. Anyways, Aguilar has a huge advantage here in the grappling department, question being how she handles Frausto’s strength advantage.
Zoila Frausto used to hate being called “Stephanie Frausto‘s sister“; now people are all like “Who is Stephanie Frausto?” After spoiling Rosi Sexton’s Bellator debut using Mighty Knee (it was Super Effective!) and out-pointing Jessica Pene with Giant Growth (it was Super Boring!), Frausto now finds herself in the thick of the competition, and her biggest battle so far has been with the scales. She looked shredded and huge for the weigh-ins against Pene, but it seems like the cut for this fight was harder on her, as she took three attempts to make weight.
Well, Frausto has a bigger battle tonight; Jessica Aguilar snuck in a featherweight-sized can of whoop ass, and she’s passing out servings. Aguilar presses her offense forward, pressuring Frausto into a three round retreat. Aguilar attempts a pair of takedowns in the first, but when “Plan A” doesn’t work, she settles into a tight boxing style, methodically firing precise jabs, straights, and crosses at Frausto’s teeth. Frausto has had nine pro fights, but apparently no one has ever come at her like this. She’s unaccustomed to fighting while moving backwards, and she’s unable to generate any considerable damage or even concern from Jag. Aguilar won’t put Frausto away, but she’s certainly controlling the whole fight. By the end of the third, Frausto’s face is a swollen mess, while Aguilar doesn’t have a scratch. There is an unusually long pause for the judges to turn in and tabulate their scores, and you wonder if there isn‘t some kind of dumbassery going on, because incredibly, Zoila Frausto defeats Jessica Aguilar via split decision. Two (2) judges in the state of Louisiana scored the fight 30-27 for Frausto, based on I have no idea. Frausto was able to resist a couple of takedowns and landed a bare handful of strikes, so I am going to assume that all three judges said to give it to “the girl there with the cornrows in her head” and went back to playing Angry Birds on their iPhones. Aguilar is visibly shocked at the announcement, but she recovers and takes her screw job with rare grace. Frausto’s lips are quickly taking over her face as she accepts this gift decision , and she takes an icepack off long enough to say that she’d be honored to fight either Ward or Fujii. Mostly Fujii, though.
Lisa Ward vs. Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii
Lisa Ward is actually Lisa Ellis, having tied the knot with some lucky asshole in July. Ward cut the honeymoon short to hit the gym (best wife ever?) for her quarterfinal match against Irish ghost/fighter Aisling Daly. 15-5 with 10 submission wins, Ward is still obsessed about a previous loss to Fujii and is very motivated to win. With her grappling cred and well-rounded striking, Ward is as much a threat to Lady Fedor as anyone. The Last Empress now stands at 21-0 with 18 stoppage wins, and she looks buff and ready to rumble. Her pre-fight clip consists mainly of her opponents and coach Josh Barnett being really impressed with a sprinkling of Fujii speaking English. Doesn’t matter; Fujii is here to kick ass and chew Fuwarinka, and she’s very upset that there’s no Fuwarinka around the bayou.
Well, it turns out to be a mismatch, as Fujii dominates a brief fight. She bloodies Ward’s nose before going to the ground, and first looks for a mounted triangle to finish. Failing that, she locks onto Ward’s arm and begins to pull it straight. Ward fights it off, but she’s out muscled and leverage is against her anyway. Megumi Fujii defeats Lisa Ward via submission (armbar) at 1:39 into Round 1. One note: Ward yelped a little bit when Fujii finally got her arm extended for the sub, which alarmed Fujii somewhat. After releasing the hold on Ward’s wrist, Fujii checked to make sure that nothing was broken. At least this loss was clear-cut–maybe Ward can move on with her life now and quit reliving the past. Fujii cruises into the finals against Frausto, which I am telling myself I am very stoked about.
Mark “I Don’t Need a Damn Nickname” Holata vs. Shawn “Yeah, What He Said” Jordan
An undercard fight that made the broadcast to sooth the savage KO fanatics, Holata v Jordan is a matchup of two former college fullbacks, as it happens, and they hit it off and start hanging out together at the weigh-ins. I’m assuming that the women’s good sportsmanship overwhelmed them. Holata is 6’3”, 261 pounds. Jordan is 6 feet even, 262 pounds. They’re beefy guys but they’re not fat, and they look like they have some cardio. We won’t find out for sure tonight, but they look fit, is what I’m saying.
It’s another quick fight. They both start winging punches after about a minute, and Holata lands a clean shot to the jaw, dropping Jordan’s body off of his feet and his consciousness out of this reality. You know how most decent people just nap quietly and then wake up and say “What happened?”, and everyone laughs and goes out for sundaes? Well Jordan doesn’t. Jordan peers into a alternate reality where Mark Holata has just shot for a takedown, and he tries to fight him off. He struggles with a Bizarro world where up is down Jose Aldo is a pussy. Officially, Mark Holata defeats Shawn Jordan via KTFO (punch) at 1:13 of Round 1. Unofficially, Jordan does not want to be Holata’s broheim no more. You might see this Holata guy back in the cage sometime soon, Rebney does like those hard hitters in the heavyweight division.
Scott Stapp vs. Michael Chandler
Time for one more quickie, a catch weight bout at 165. Michael Chandler is yet another college wrestler making the transition into MMA, and gets a leg up by training out of Xtreme Couture. Scott Stapp jumped into MMA when his Creed royalties dried up, and is making his pro MMA debut. Chandler comes out cocked and loaded, and stuns Stapp with a quick right hand. Stapp falls to his back and tries to keep Chandler in his guard, but it takes little time for Chandler to work himself free. Chandler stands and starts slinging hooks at 180 bpm until the ref calls the fight. Michael Chandler defeats Scott Stapp (no, he’s not the Creed guy) via TKO (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 1:57 of Round 1. Obviously, someone sent out a memo that the judges were mainlining Human Retard Hormone and Chandler was not interested in going the distance. If he can pick a weight class and go with it, I’d be willing to watch how he does.
Everyone on the undercard received said memo:
John Harris defeats Kyle Miers by submission (rear naked choke) at 0:49 of Round 2
Tim Ruberg defeats Aaron Davis by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:44 of Round 1
Dave Herman defeats Michal Kita by submission (omoplata) at 3:16 of Round 1