You could hardly script a better night for Bellator when it comes to Bellator 198.
With a lineup of prospects impressively passing their tests and a red-hot crowd being treated to a sub-minute fight between two heavyweight legends that took away any risk of looking like a battle of well past-their-prime big men, the results were perfect.
Four of the five main card fights ended in the first round, with the lone fight to go past five minutes of action coming to a decisive end in the second.
That’s the kind of breezy MMA telecast that’s easy on the fans — and especially easy on a live blogger.
- For a 48-second fight, Frank Mir and Fedor Emelianenko provided a good amount of drama. The crowd was excited from the entrances through the post-fight interview, which helped matters, but Mir had a moment where he seemingly had Fedor hurt. Fedor still hits hard and Mir got cuffed with a shot that stumbled him forward off-balance and face-first into an uppercut that effectively ended the fight. Fedor still hits hard, and he’s not exactly running a huge risk in fighting Chael Sonnen in the semi-finals of the tournament. That’s a style matchup that plays well into his skills at this point (or any, really) in his career.
- Speaking of Sonnen, the highlight of the night may have been Fedor blowing Chael off after a rather lazy attempt at some cheap heel heat after the fight.
- Emmanuel Sanchez and Sam Sicilia gave a spirited fight in the co-main event and Sanchez’s standing arm-triangle choke was a thing of beauty. The pacing of the card worked out well here with two men who were almost certain to spend their fight going all out keeping the crowd up for the main event. Sanchez is now 9-2 in the Bellator cage with a four-fight winning streak, putting himself right in the mix for a featherweight title shot.
- Rafael Lovato Jr. is a talented guy, but Gerald Harris looked every bit like a guy who got the call while eating a donut. That’s no disrespect to him, he just was not a man who had prepared for the twists Lovato’s ground game throw at you and that led to the quick armbar.
- Javier Torres looked like he could have given Neiman Gracie some trouble in their fight, but he couldn’t stop himself from throwing kicks. Gracie still has holes in his stand-up, but Torres threw a body kick that got him taken down and controlled in the opening round and, not learning his lesson, slipped on a head kick attempt in round 2, allowing Gracie to close distance, lock him up and take it to the ground where he got the finish. Torres had the edge on the feet, so he should have been staying far away from techniques that gave Gracie better openings to take the fight to his money zone.
- Dillon Danis ran through Kyle Walker. That’s not a surprise. But Danis calling out Ben Askren certainly was.
- Seriously, Danis called out Ben Askren after defeating a 2-4 opponent in his MMA debut.
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