Friday night (Sept. 20, 2013) was filled with some pretty fun combat sports. On Spike TV, Bellator promoted its 100th event, with a card featuring the season nine welterweight tournament and the season eight finals between Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders. On AXS TV, Lion Fight Promotions brought its brand of Muay Thai to the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both shows delivered some really good action and served as a reminder that sometimes it is okay to stay in on a Friday night to watch fights.
So, About Last Night ...
Cyborg: Destroyer of Worlds
I briefly covered the featured bout of Lion Fight 11 between Cris Cyborg and Jennifer Colomb (read recap here), but I don't think I can state enough how impressive Cyborg was last night. I usually tend to dislike fighters who use the blitzing style because it usually translates into low skill set.
Not Cyborg. She decimated Colomb. Straight up apocalyptic. It's very rare to see a female combat athlete throw with such bad intentions and she put everything she had into everything she threw.
Colomb was a lamb and that was a slaughter.
Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamoto Deliver "Fight of the Night"
Kevin Ross is a staple for Lion Fight. He's one of the better known American Muay Thai fighters and always comes to fight, no matter if he's on the winner end or not. Last night, he was supposed to be completely outclassed by Yamoto. They're just on two different levels.
But instead, he stayed in the fight the entire time. Sure he was cut up with elbows and lost the bout, but he also kept pressuring Yamoto and landed kicks to the body. He was straight up spamming them in the final round.
Ross may never be a champion, but he sure is a gamer.
Is Ben Saunders Awake Yet?
Douglas Lima is a bad man. Last night by giving Ben Saunders a trip to the astral plain via head kick (see .gif here), he cemented himself as the No. 2 Welterweight in Bellator. And with Ben Askren's current contract situation being what it is, Lima could very well find himself as the king of the mountain very soon.
There's no doubt in my mind that Lima has the skills to be an elite welterweight. He has a killer instinct that you just can't teach and knows how to find the openings in an opponent's defense to exploit them.
I hope that Bellator recognizes what is has with "The Phenom."
Look, we know I'm not a huge War Machine fan. I think he's pretty much that super Bro-y dude who talks a big game about how badass he is. It's one thing to say you're an "Alpha," it's another thing to prove it. Last night he proved it.
That rear-naked choke was nasty. He's gotta be considered a favorite to win the tournament.
That is, if Rick Hawn can't find a way to play spoiler. Hawn has moved up in weight and put on an impressive performance of his own. Between his heavy hands and his world class judo pedigree, he's going to be a guy to watch in Bellator's 170-pound division.
- I hope that Nampon enjoyed his free trip to the United States because his fight against Cosmo Alexandre was absolutely atrocious. At least pretend to actually care.
- On the flip side, Malaipet showed what a great Muay Thai fighter can do. He's usually known for his leg kicks but last night he dropped his opponent three times with hard right hands. He may not have had a successful MMA career but when he's in the ring, he's one of the best.
- Bellator 100 saw the fall of one of the promotion's hottest prospects in Bubba Jenkins (see .gif here). Maybe he over looked his opponent. Maybe he thought that his high level wrestling would be enough to cruise. Whatever he thought, he wound up on the wrong end of a technical knockout.
- Though he wasn't a winner, a fighter to watch from Bellator 100 is Herman Terrado. Sure, Hawn was able to pick up the "W," but Terrado took the fight to the judoka and made it ugly. He's still young and if he keeps developing, he could be an interesting fighter in the future.
- Overall, both cards delivered. Yes, there were some low points. But, when I can watch fighters punch each other in the face for free, I'll rarely complain.