What mattered most at UFC Fight Night time 211 on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and Bellator 286 at Lengthy Beach Arena in Lengthy Beach, Calif.? Right here are a few put up-fight musings …
5. Mackenzie Dern’s ceiling
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 01: (L-R) Mackenzie Dern punches Yan Xiaonan of China in a strawweight fight for the length of the UFC Fight Night time tournament at UFC APEX on October 01, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photograph by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Your heart breaks a little bit for Mackenzie Dern after seeing true how terminate she changed into to staging a supreme fifth-spherical comeback in opposition to Yan Xiaonan in the UFC headliner. She changed into clearly down coming into the final body, got a heck of a motivational speech from coach Jason Parillo and did precisely what she wished to invent – apart from for for ending the fight.
We can take a seat right here all day and debate the judging intricacies and whether or no longer Dern (12-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) might maybe like to’ve gotten 10-8 scorecards from all three judges to function the outcome into a unanimous plan rather than a majority decision loss. I will watch either aspect of the argument, however indirectly that’s no longer the project at spruce right here for Dern.
If she might maybe exit every spherical and invent what she did on the mat to Xiaonan in Spherical 2 and Spherical 5, she might maybe even true be UFC strawweight champion already. But as we saw in this fight, in opposition to Marina Rodriguez and in opposition to Amanda Ribas, if Dern can’t accumulate the takedowns early and most incessantly, she’s at a splendid spruce disadvantage.
It’s evident that Dern desires to continue to work diligently on rounding out her sport, particularly the wrestling. Her striking has developed sufficient to be a serviceable factor to her sport in the octagon, alternatively it’s gentle based around environment up her world class grappling. But if she can’t prefer her opponents down, then it’s truly all in favour of nought.
4. Yan Xiaonan bounces back
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 01: (R-L) Yan Xiaonan of China punches Mackenzie Dern in a strawweight fight for the length of the UFC Fight Night time tournament at UFC APEX on October 01, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photograph by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
On the flip aspect, all credit ranking to Yan Xiaonan for rebounding from back-to-back losses with a noteworthy performance in opposition to Dern where she confirmed some stable technique and composure.
Xiaonan (14-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is largely among the more under liked names at 115 pounds, doubtless because she keeps a low profile and might maybe even’t talk English. She’s a force in the cage, although, and had her split decision loss to Rodriguez at UFC 272 in March long gone the different technique, we’d be having a study her profession in a utterly different light merely now.
It stays to be viewed if Xiaonan ever will get her arms on that UFC title, however I’m assured in asserting she’s going to be inserting around the cease of this division for some time. The one knock on her at this point is that she’s yet to realize an opponent in seven UFC wins, however if she can rectify that and add a more unsafe factor to her sport, it’s going to be a huge subject for her opponents.
3. A.J. McKee shines in light-weight debut
Flipping to the Bellator aspect of things, on the skin potentialities are you’ll perchance study A.J. McKee’s debut in the light-weight division and impart he might maybe like to’ve carried out an chubby and overmatched Spike Carlyle – who is no longer even ranked in the promotion. Nonetheless, that’s no longer giving sufficient credit ranking to Carlyle, who changed into absurdly advanced in the cage and refused to pass away.
McKee (19-1 MMA, 19-1 BMMA) did about all the pieces he might maybe to accumulate the stoppage, from slick submission attempts to heavy punches and ground-and-pound. Once in some time the opponent true obtained’t stop, alternatively, and in consequence McKee changed into compelled to pass all three rounds for the obvious-cleave unanimous decision.
For McKee, a aged Bellator featherweight champ, it changed into doubtlessly a worthwhile experience. He got to study all ingredients of his sport in a peculiar division, and except he will get his trilogy bout with Patricio Freire, he appears to would prefer to function this residence. And I’m all in favour of it.
The trilogy with Freire appears like the merely technique to pass for Bellator, however if it doesn’t, McKee might maybe be a expansive fit in the promotions’s planned light-weight gargantuan prix in 2023. He’s already bustle thru one match to whisper $1 million, and I wouldn’t rule out his potentialities of doing it every other time in yet every other division.
2. Give Patricio Freire his admire
It changed into a little bit of a bummer to be sitting cageside because the crowd relentlessly booed and exited the enviornment down the stretch of Patricio Freire’s one-sided featherweight title protection in opposition to Adam Borics. No longer that the fight – which wasn’t expansive – didn’t fully warrant it, alternatively it changed into true yet every other moment when “Pitbull” is never going to be fully liked.
The Brazilian in actuality has carried out all of it in favour of Bellator. Four separate title reigns across two divisions, the most title-fight wins in history (12), the most wins in history (22), tied for the most finishes in history (13), and the list goes on and on.
Composed, although, Freire (34-5 MMA, 22-5 BMMA) is nowhere near the superstar he desires to be. He doesn’t accumulate the becoming quantity of acknowledgment, and I like anguish seeing him turning a corner now. Some of that’s his accumulate fault, a few of it is Bellator and Scott Coker’s fault, and a few of it is true the actuality of the game, where there’s only so extra special oxygen in the room and most of it is wolfed up by UFC.
Unfortunately for him, a ho-hum fight like he had in opposition to Borics – and to a lesser extent his rematch with McKee this previous April – doesn’t precisely assist the trigger.
1. Which promotion changed into the winner?
Have to you’re a diehard MMA fan, Saturday changed into splendid ideal in that the UFC predominant tournament changed into over earlier than the Bellator predominant card started. There changed into time to expend the entire speak material dwell, however which company might maybe like to dart away feeling more pleased with its night?
It depends on perspective. The UFC card changed into OK when it comes to quality and leisure, however the real fact Designate Zuckerberg’s mysterious attendance changed into the ideal legend of the night is both an indictment and some degree out of energy for the logo. The media changed into locked out for the cardboard, too, so naturally the tournament and the warring parties competing on it didn’t accumulate the the same stage of attention as they’d’ve in any other case.
That wasn’t the case for Bellator, which got the SoCal rub and had two lengthy rows paunchy of reporters cageside, myself integrated. That’s no longer the tag of a winning tournament or no longer, alternatively it’s worth noting.
In the destroy, it comes down to who had the most attention-grabbing fight card. Neither changed into unheard of, and neither changed into depressing. Bellator doubtlessly had the most attention-grabbing fight of the night with McKee vs. Carlyle, and the cease in-cage viral moment with Aaron Pico’s shoulder popping out. So I’ll give Bellator the puny nod on this one, alternatively it doesn’t alternate the real fact UFC is gentle technique, technique ahead in the overall bustle.
For more on the cardboard, visit MMA Junkie’s tournament hub for UFC Fight Night time 211.
For more on the cardboard, visit MMA Junkie’s tournament hub for Bellator 286.