Saturday, September 29, 2012
Bellator graced us with its presence again last night, touching down at Caesar's in Atlantic City and giving us the opening round of the latest welterweight tournament. Some thoughts on the event:
- Holy start time confusion, Batman! Maybe ten people knew that the first fight had been rescheduled from 6:30pm to 6:00, so about twelve people were in the audience to see the opening bout between Claudio Ledesma and Kenny Foster. Allegedly, this screwed a few of the fighters as well, as they had their warm-ups cut short.
- Ledesma and Foster had a pretty decent scrap that Ledesma won handily. It's funny, but sometimes we see Foster as sharp as a knife and sometimes we see him flat as fuck, and the same goes for his opponent. Last night, it looked like Foster simply could not get anything going while Ledesma was on-freaking-fire. I guess that's just how it goes in the fight game.
- It may have lasted only a minute, but the sudden back-and-forth between Brylan Van Artsdalen and Jay Haas had both men quickly putting each other in danger. It was almost as if a four-minute fight was condensed down to 63 seconds. Good showing for Van Artsdalen, who got the tap out via guillotine, but Haas definitely had his moments.
- The first round of the Phillipe Nover/Derrick Kennington fight was pretty even thanks to Nover's ground and pound and Kennington's close sub attempts, but man, Nover turned Kennington's face into applesauce with his g-n-p in the second. Kennington was totally out of it by the time the TUF vet took his back and choked him out. It was good to see that Nover's still got his power.
- Alexandre "Popo" Bezerra completely had his way with late-replacement Matt McCook. McCook is very much not ready for prime time.
- Michelle Ould came in with a game plan - to avoid Munah Holland's dangerous boxing and grind her relentlessly on the ground - and she executed the plan perfectly. I spoke with Ould's Team Quest teammate Tom Gallicchio afterwards, and he said Ould may have broken her hand in the second round. Tough loss for Holland, but she'll be back.
- Will Martinez Jr. owned Casey Johnson in every range. It was barely even competitive.
- Andrey Koreshkov and Jordan Smith had a very fun scrap. I don't buy into the hype that Koreshkov is an elite, ultra-dangerous dude, but he's definitely skilled and willing to take damage to give some.
- Tim Welch was kicking Michail Tsarev's ass pretty hard until he inexplicably had a brain fart and let Tsarev take his back and choke him out. It was almost as if Welch forgot he was in a fight and was instead concerned that he didn't pick up bread and milk at the grocery store. Dude, stay focused!
- Nordine Taleb's crisp and accurate striking would've taken out a lesser man. Unfortunately for him, Marius Zaromskis isn't a lesser man - and the Lithuanian don't care 'bout no strikes to the grill! Zaromskis kept finding the knockdown blows, and took the deserved unanimous decision.
- Lyman Good was in no way, shape or form threatened by Jim Wallhead. Regardless, Wallhead was in it to the end, proving himself to be durable and unbreakable in spirit. As it stands now, Zaromskis seems to be the biggest threat to Good in the tournament; until that match-up happens, though, some Russians have to be dispensed with.