Five Quick Rounds 10.02.12: UFC on FuelTV, Bellator 74, Cat Zingano's Roundabout Path to Invicta FC 3, and More!
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 10.02.2012
From the weekend results of UFC on FuelTV 5 and Bellator 74 to Tyson Nam finally getting some resolution on his contract issues, fighters turning down fights, and more, 411's Wyatt Beougher looks at the week's MMA news!
Welcome to another edition of Five Quick Rounds, 411's fastest-finishing weekly opinion column. As always, I'm your host, Wyatt Beougher, and I apologize in advance for what may not be my best effort this week. My maternal grandmother passed away on Saturday night and the last couple of days have more or less been a blur. By the time you're reading Fact or Fiction on Wednesday, I'll be getting ready to serve as a pallbearer. I'm not telling you this to bring you down; just the opposite, in fact - make sure the people who are important to you in life know that they're important, and make sure you make the most of each and every day.
Round 1: UFC on FuelTV 5 - Building a Skyscraper
***TOUCH OF THE GLOVES***
The UFC emanated from Nottingham, England, this past weekend and it ended up being a decent show. Che Mills picked up an injury stoppage win over Duane Ludwig in the first round, John Hathaway won a unanimous decision over John Maguire, Matt Wiman earned Submission of the Night honors with an armbar win over Paul Sass, Brad Pickett knocked Yves Jabouin out with an uppercut in the first round, and Dan Hardy came out ahead of Amir Sadollah on all three judges' scorecards. In the main event, Stefan Struve tko'ed Stipe Miocic in the second round
The Hathaway/Maguire fight was a little underwhelming, as was the main event up until the finish, but the rest of the fights were solid to good, which is a step up from the usual fare that the UFC offers in England. Hopefully Zuffa will learn from this show and stick to FX or Fuel cards in the UK from here on out, as they never suitably stack their PPV cards enough to justify the heavy price tag. I think the night's big winner was probably Brad Pickett, as he won impressively enough that the UFC could start building to a rematch between Pickett and the last man to beat him, Renan Barao, the current interim featherweight champion. Yes, Struve won decisively, but Stipe Miocic hasn't really lived up to the "new Cro Cop" hype and I don't think a victory over him really improves Struve's standing in the heavyweight division all that much.
Round 2: Bellator 74 - A Good Night
**TOUCH OF THE GLOVES**
Bellator held the quarterfinal round of their latest welterweight tournament on Friday night, and it was a night of decisions, as only Michail Tsarev was able to finish his opponent, Tim Welch, by way of a second round rear naked choke. Andrey Koreshkov was able to beat Jordan Smith by unanimous decision, Marius Zaromskis pretty easily decisioned Nordine Taleb, and former champion Lyman Good took one more step towards rematching Ben Askren for the Bellator welterweight championship, earning a 29-27 unanimous decision over Jim Wallhead after losing a point in the third round due to both a kick and a knee landing in Wallhead's groin.
Not a bad night of action for Bellator, and this welterweight tournament should prove to be a good one, as no fighter really jumped out and looked like the favorite after this round.Tsarev may have finished his opponent, but none of the other fighters had close fights either, so I look for the semifinals to be much more interesting. I guess we'll see how things play out in a few weeks.
Round 3: Cat Zingano Comes Full Circle
**TOUCH OF THE GLOVES**
Originally booked to face Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 3, Cat Zingano was then signed to Strikeforce to face Amanda Nunes at Strikeforce: Melendez vs Healy. As I discussed last week, though, that event was cancelled due to an injury to Melendez and Showtime's unwillingness to carry the event with a substitute main event. Invicta originally offered to host the Zingano/Nunes fight on IFC3, but an injury to Nunes scrapped that plan, leaving Zingano without a fight. Fortunately for Cat, Kim Connor-Hamby injured herself while training, and Zingano will now face Raquel Pennington at the same event she initially was scheduled to fight at.
This actually worked out well for Zingano, as she'll still be paid for the Strikeforce fight in the wake of the event's cancellation, and now she can pick up her Invicta purse and at least some of the sponsorship money that she stood to lose with her Strikeforce debut not happening. Moreover, I think men's MMA could greatly benefit from some of the fluidity that women's MMA currently enjoys. While there is very little men's talent outside the UFC that could realistically main event a UFC PPV, they could certainly fill out a card decimated by injury if they had a working agreement with other promotions that Zuffa doesn't own. Plus, it would help stock Strike force's nearly empty cupboards if they could swap talent more freely, not to mention the opportunity to get up-and-coming fighters more seasoning without releasing them if they don't start out well in a division that the UFC offers that Strike force doesn't. I realize that Dana White's control freak nature will ensure nothing like this ever happens, but it'd certainly be helpful, especially in the wake of Zuffa cancelling two shows in a month's time. I'm willing to bet Showtime would've aired a card headlined by Edgar vs Healy for a shot at Melendez' Strikeforce lightweight title.
Round 4: World Series of Fighting Signs Tyson Nam
***TOUCH OF THE GLOVES***
Former Bellator fighter Tyson Nam has signed a deal with the new World Series of Fighting promotion and is rumored to be facing Miguel Torres on their debut show in November. This is notable because Nam was worried about about facing a lawsuit from Bellator if he signed with another promotion due to a matching clause in his Bellator contract that remained viable in spite of Nam being released by the promotion. Many pundits believed that Bellator president Bjorn Rebney would exercise the clause after Nam knocked out Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas at a Shooto event in Japan. However, Rebney opted not to match WSOF's offer and Nam was able to sign a contract without any repercussions.
Even Dana White criticized Bellator's matching clauses, pointing out that once the UFC releases a fighter, their rights to atch an offer are voided. Rebney argued that that wasn't the case, at least when it came to Muhammed Lawal, and that Bellator had to wait over three weeks from the start of their negotiations with King Mo before they were able to actually sign a contract with him. That makes the entire discussion quite a bit more interesting, but I'm curious as to whether that has to do with the fact that Mo's contract was a preexisting one with Strikeforce or if Dana is just a dishonest bastard. The important thing here is that Nam is free to resume his career, and hopefully he doesn't end up in another situation like that again.
Round 5: Mitrione and Evans Turn Down Fights
***TOUCH OF THE GLOVES***
If Jon Jones taught us anything, it's that Dana White really, really doesn't like it when you turn down a fight, but that message must not have gotten through to Matt Mitrione and Rashad Evans. White outed both men for turning down fights in the recent past, with Mitrione opting not to replace Frank Mir in a headline fight against Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce and Evans choosing not to face Glover Teixeira at UFC 153 later this month after Rampage Jackson had to withdraw due to injury.
Unsurprisingly, Dana was far more vocal about Mitrione turning down the Cormier fight than he was about Evans turning down a fight with Teixeira. On one hand, this looks like the typical Dana double standard that applies to winners of the The Ultimate Fighter, but Mitrione also made his way to the UFC via TUF (although not by winning), and there is one other pretty major mitigating circumstance in play here - Mitrione is already training for a fight (against Phil DeFries in December), while Evans isn't, and in fact Evans hasn't fought since losing to Jon Jones in April. White was also upset that Mitrione has called out Rampage Jackson but wouldn't fight another heavyweight. And while White is full of bluster, I seriously doubt either fighter will face any ramifications for their actions (not that they should), so it was just another case of the UFC president talking to hear himself talk. After all, Fabricio Werdum has volunteered to fight Cormier and Cormier has requested a fight with Pat Barry, so it's not like White is out of options (Fabio Maldonado took the fight against Teixeira at UFC 153 already), and a win over Werdum or Barry would mean more for Cormier's careeer than one over "Meathead" Mitrione.
Thanks for bearing with me this week as I work through my personal issues, and I'll be back next week with a stronger effort. If you have any feedback, leave it in the comments, email me at the link below, or let me know on Twitter: @webeougher or on Google+. I'll see you back here for more Five Quick Rounds next Tuesday, so until then, remember 411 MMA for all of your mixed martial arts needs!