Bellator held it’s first extremely lackluster summer series fight card tonight with Bellator 121. We take a lot of heat for being negative, but this card warrants the hate. It was easily the worst card (on-paper) Bellator has put on in ages.
Things didn’t go Rockhold’s way that night, to say the least. In hindsight it’s not such a bad loss considering what Belfort did to iron-chinned Dan Henderson in his next bout, but it was still incredibly disappointing for the highly-touted Californian to be knocked out in less than five minutes when — on paper at least — the fight with Belfort should have been much more competitive.
Of course, Rockhold isn’t the first UFC fighter who fell short of expectations in his Octagon debut. The question is, will he rebound in his second fight, or fall deeper into “bust” territory? Read on for our list of eight other fighters who didn’t live up to the hype in their first UFC appearances, and let us know if we’ve left out any notable disappointments.
After the IFL collapsed, the promotion’s former heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell made his way over to the UFC and debuted against fast-rising contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 104. Although Rothwell’s aura of invincibility had been cracked by Andrei Arlovski’s limbs at Affliction: Banned the previous summer, there was still hope that he could get back to his winning ways and make a run for the UFC heavyweight title.
But against Velasquez, it was clear that Rothwell was thoroughly outclassed by a far superior mixed martial artist, and “Big Ben” suffered the second true knockout loss of his career. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that Rothwell couldn’t hang with Velasquez, the current UFC heavyweight champion, but at the time it was a harsh reality check for those hardcore MMA fans who believed in Rothwell after his IFL run.
(You think that’s funny? I just pissed in your Gatorade.)
It looks like the UFC’s light heavyweight division is about to get a much needed shake up, because it is being reported that hard hitting Shooto and WEC vet Glover Teixeira has finally signed with the promotion, and will debut at UFC 146 against an opponent that has yet to be determined.
Undefeated since March of 2005, when he dropped a unanimous decision to resurgent TUF 3 alum Ed Herman, Teixeira has reeled off 15 straight, with only one going the distance and only three making it out of the first round. Most recently, the Ruas Vale Tudo product ran through former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez, forcing him to submit to strikes in under 2 minutes. The Brazilian slugger also holds notable victories over UFC vets Marvin Eastman, Antonio Mendes, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudoju.
To familiarize you all with some of Mr. Teixeira’s handiwork, check out the Rodriguez scrap along with a highlight video after the jump.
If there was anyone out there who felt that a rematch between former World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowksi and world renowned punching bag James Thompson was an absolute necessity, well then I hope you’re satisfied. The fight, which went down yesterday and thankfully was only scheduled for two rounds, saw Thompson thoroughly dominate Pudzianowski in the first round with top control and pitter-patter punches from side control. In fact, the most significant offense Pudianowski was able to mount was a fricken’ jab early in the second that managed to rock Thompson nonetheless. However, the judges, whom I can only assume were members of Pudzianowski’s immediate family, saw the fight in his favor, despite Thompson’s multiple takedowns that would have won him the fight in any other promotion on this planet. “Revenge” indeed.
It’s just baffling how anyone could have given Mariusz that fight, especially considering how the first round went. But perhaps more interesting than the fight itself was that of the post fight interview, wherein Thompson stole the microphone and went on a verbal tirade that would have made Brock Lesnar be like, “Chill, bro.”
The evening’s main event saw Mamed Khalidov score another quick submission win over TUF 7 alum and late replacement for Paulo Filho, Jesse Taylor, to retain his middleweight title. Capitalizing on an early takedown from “JT Money,” Khalidov transitioned beautifully between submission attempts, finally locking in a kneebar just 46 seconds into the fight. I think it’s safe to say that Khalidov is currently one of the most overlooked fighters in the middleweight division, and if the UFC doesn’t give him a call then they will be seriously missing out.
In other action, Polish born fighter Jan Blachowicz evened the score with Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, taking away a unanimous decision victory over the Cameroonian and scoring some revenge of his own for his second round TKO via retirement loss to Sokoudjou back at KSW 15.
In the absence of a UFC event tonight, many of you are going to tune in to Bellator 59 to catch this season’s Heavyweight and Bantamweight tournament finals. But let’s say that Bellator isn’t your scene. Let’s say that you’re the type of person to watch an event and say “This is fun and all, but I’d much rather watch freak show fights and can crushing”. Well, good news: Your favorite Polish promotion, KSW returns tonight with both of the above.
Jimmo dominates the pre-fight staredown. We’re talking 10-7.5 dominance.
Sometimes an idea comes along that’s so stupid that society adopts it just out of curiosity. YAMMA Pit Fighting, Canned bacon, XARM- things that supposedly solve a problem that someone is having somewhere, but are essentially useless to everyone else. So when Doc Hamilton introduced his half-point scoring system after Machida’s controversial decision over Shogun Rua at UFC 104, which essentially said that judges should score close rounds 10-9.5 instead of 10-9, it was just a matter of time before someone said “Hey, maybe he’s right about this whole judges not working with fractions thing”. If last night’s MFC 31 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada , which utilized the half-point scoring system that Doc Hamilton proposed would improve MMA judging, taught us anything it was that half-point scoring is just as flawed as whole point scoring.
Jimmo has stated that Sokoudjou is his toughest opponent to date and that he plans on pulling thetrigger in the bout and finishing the former PRIDE and UFC veteran so he can punch his own ticket to the big show. If the altercation at the weigh-ins today is any indicator, both men will be looking to hurt the other.