The emotions of walking out of the arena after an MMA event can be exhilarating for any fight fan. The slick submission, the brutal knockout, or outlandish personalities, they all leave a memorable impression that gives us something to talk about in the following days.
On Saturday, Bellator MMA made its long-awaited return back to Southern California to bring fight fans Bellator 192 live from the Great Western Forum. While the event’s main attractions featured Lima vs. MacDonald, Heavy Grand Prix First Round Bout: Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson, and Michael Chandler vs. Gotti Yamauchi, the night also featured a slew of moments that left many viewers boggled, baffled, and disgruntled.
We here at MYMMANEWS would like to highlight the wonders and blunders of Bellator 192.
Fight of the Night: Lima vs. MacDonald ( MacDonald Victorious by Unanimous Decision, becoming the new Bellator Welterweight Champion)
If you look at the stats of Doulas Lima and Rory MacDonald, both competitors are evenly matched, which made it difficult to predict who would emerge victorious as champion. The standout moment that made this fight memorable was the sheer heart and determination of Rory MacDonald. Although he dished out the punishment to Lima, MacDonald also had to withstand the onslaught of his opponent.
Even with his left shin shattered he continued to press, as the crowd roared in support of the Canadian Red King. After five grueling rounds, the judges would rule in favor of Rory MacDonald ,crowing him the new Bellator Welterweight Champion
Worst Fight of the Night: Khonry Gracie vs. Devon Brock ( Brock wins by unanimous decision)
As Khonry made his walk to the cage, the image seemed reminiscent of his father, Royce Gracie’s MMA debut that would forever change the sport. It looked like the family’s legacy would continue through Khonry, however, the young Gracie’s hype did not match his performance this night.
Aside from a triangle attempt in the first round, the rest of the three-round confrontation found Gracie barely engaging with his opponent. Whether it was lack of fight experience, the pressure to live up to the family name, or failure to implement his strategy made up a lackluster fight that had spectators waited early in anticipation for the match to end. Gracie’s reluctance also made very difficult for his opponent Devon Brock, as Brock found himself chasing Gracie around the cage barely making any exchanges throughout the three rounds.
Knockout of the Night: Aaron Pico def. Shane Kructchen (37-second body shot- Round 1)
Bellator 192 featured two arena shattering 37-second KO victories. However, the distinct feature of Pico’s K.O victory over Kructchen was that it was on the televised main card attraction for a nationwide audience to see. The short but savage attack on Krutchen at the beginning on the bell told the story of how the fight was going to play out, as the left-hand strike to the liver would seal the deal sending Kruchten crumbling to the ground at 37 seconds in the first round.
Submission of the Night: Johnny Cisneros def. Marlen Magee (Rear Naked Choke at 2:28 –Round 3)
Bellator 192 showcased a wide range of submission victories in the first round from many competitors. Johnny Cisneros submission victory over Marlen Magee showcased a wide range of skills from the welterweight contender. It’s always fun to see a slow decapitation of a competitor in a fight administrated by their opponent, as it creates the curious notion of when the finish will happen.
In round one Cisneros dominated with great takedowns and control on the ground, as he worked his opponents against the cage always advancing through positions. Cisneros continued his dominating ways in the second round, which saw him once again dominating on the ground, and even dropping Magee with a cross jab that sent him stumbling to the mat. At this point Magee the frustration and fatigue began the show, as he seemed very defensive in the third round. Cisneros would use this to his advantage, as he would utilize the same strategy of taking the fight to the ground to securing an RNC finish at 2:28 in the third round.
Strangest Moment of the Night: Welcome to Bellator MMA Jake Hager (Jack Swagger)
When you think of the list of fighters that have joined the Bellator roaster UFC fighters and MMA pioneers are the first and sometimes only set of figures that come to mind. However, champions can also come from other realms of combat sports. At Bellator 192 the world was introduced to the company’s newest fight acquisition; Former WWE World Champion and. 2 times WWE United States Champion Jake Hager, known by many pro wrestling fans as Jake Swagger. Oddly enough, there was a sea of pro wrestling fanatics in attendance at the Great Western Forum as they rallied in support of his arrival chanting his memorable WWE line ” WE THE PEOPLE,” while other pondered “WHO is this guy? Will his aspiring MMA career match his WWE accolades? Only time will tell.
A Work in Progress: While the company continues to create innovative concepts to change the MMA landscape, Bellator 192 exposed flaws in their plan, as the event was a smothering hype train that failed to deliver. Heavy emphasis has been centered on the Heavyweight GP tournament, as the fighters of the Grand Prix were introduced throughout the program. Sadly, the competition got off to a lukewarm start. The first round bout featuring “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s in-ring fight value was not worthy of being the grand finale closing of the show. Luckily fights such as MacDonald vs. Lima and the many show-stealing undercard bouts would be the show’s saving grace reminding us of what makes Bellator MMA special.
The year of 2018 has just begun, so let’s not count Bellator out just yet.
Mounting issues with Paramount
**** Editor note as Monta was at the event and did not see the televised broadcast. This was Bellator MMA’s first event on the new Paramount network. There were some issues with the sound cutting in and out and video stalling throughout the broadcast. This too will be a work in progress.