The Week That Was In Combat Sports
This week in combat sports saw a Pay-Per-View that had an insane knockout, a violent brawl and a champion deliver an ass beating to a former divisional kingpin. We also saw a Navajo Warrior win a great fight and the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight championship. And Conor McGregor goes on a date!
UFC 218 was one of the best cards of the year on paper and once the fights wrapped up this was an event that will be remembered for years to come. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway put a beating on one of the best ever in the division, former champion Jose Aldo.
We all knew Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje would be an exciting fight. What we didn’t know was that it would be an insanely violent war inside the Octagon.
Francis Ngannou hit Alistair Overeem with an uppercut from hell. Ngannou is a scary man that has a promising future in the UFC’s Heavyweight division. With this win, he should get a title shot. Champion Stipe Miocic is in for the toughest test of his career with a fight against a human wrecking ball like Ngannou.
There was an absolute war on the prelim portion of the UFC 218 card when Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliviera threw the fuck down. Medeiros would beat Oliviera in the third round in a fight that was an absolute fireworks and would go on to win fight of the night honors along with the aforementioned Alvarez versus Gaethje fight.
The UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight title fight between Nicco Montano and Roxanne Modafferi turned out to be a five round thriller. Montano would go on to win, making her the first ever Native American champion in the UFC’s history, along with the inaugural women’s flyweight champion. This is a tremendous feat given that Montano was a virtual unknown in the MMA world and her opponent was regarded as a pioneer and one of the current best in the women’s flyweight division. Making this win even more special, Montano fought and won with a broken foot! Montano will have her hands full if and when Valentina Shevchenko drops down in weight and challenges the champion for her strap. Montano is a great story and, I personally, would love to see her defend the belt and win. Her Navajo heritage means a lot to her, to her people and to all of the Native American people in this country. Montano is an inspiration and a tremendous person outside of the cage. Congratulations to Nicco Montano and to all of Navajo Nation!
Bellator 189 took place this past Friday and women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd defended her belt for the first time against a game opponent in Arlene Blencowe. Budd would win the fight via a split decision victory. This was a decent card but lacked star power. It will be interesting to see how this card did in viewers opposed to the UFC’s TUF Finale which aired at the same time. I don’t see Budd as a fighter MMA fans will turn the television to see fight, this might not have been a good weekend to hold an event. We shall see.
Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix opening betting odds have been released. Given the fact that four of the eight fighters in this tournament are not heavyweights it is kind of a mockery. If you’re going to make a tournament, at least have all contestants fight in the same division. With that said, I’ll be tuning in and most likely will be putting money on the GOAT, Fedor 🙂
Betting odds for the overall winner of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix (via Bovada):— Justin Hartling (@justinhartling) December 1, 2017
Matt Mitrione +225
Ryan Bader +280
Frank Mir +400
Fedor Emelianenko +600
Roy Nelson +600
King Mo +1100
Chael Sonnen +1400
Rampage Jackson +1600
Any Alternate Fighter +600 pic.twitter.com/FjvbRURQTz
The betting odds for Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal match-ups have also been released. The biggest betting favorite is Ryan Bader at -210 and his opponent is at +160.
Opening betting odds for Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals (via 5Dimes):— Justin Hartling (@justinhartling) November 30, 2017
Chael Sonnen (+120) vs Rampage Jackson (-160)
Roy Nelson (+140) vs Matt Mitrione (-180)
Fedor Emelianenko (+140) vs Frank Mir (-180)
King Mo (+160) vs Ryan Bader (-210) pic.twitter.com/UINioUUgTB
Submission Underground 6 took place on Sunday and didn’t disappoint. If you don’t know what Submission Underground is, it’s a grappling promotion out of Portland, Oregon which is ran by MMA fighter Chael Sonnen. SUG brings in some of the best grapplers in the world along with amateurs and teenagers and also professional MMA fighters. This was only Submission Underground’s sixth event, as the promotion gets bigger and grows a larger fanbase, the events will be more well known. But for now stay tuned to the promotion and keep an eye out for their next event, you won’t be disappointed.
One of boxing’s best has fought his last fight. Puerto Rico’s favourite son, Miguel Cotto, took on Sadam Ali this past Saturday night from the boxing mecca, Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Although Cotto would lose, this did not put a dampener on his retirement. He is one of the legendary boxers in the sports history and will forever be remembered as one of the respectful champions of the sport. I’ve been a longtime fan of Cotto and have watched more of his fights than I can count. The Pride of Puerto Rico is now a family man and well deserved. Cotto fought in many wars over the years and fought some of the best boxers of his generation including Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquaio, Shane Mosely and Canelo Alvarez. He was a great champion, a likable fighter and one of the most entertaining fighters to step into the ring. Thank you Miguel Cotto for all you have done in a sport loved by many. You will forever be loved and missed!
"Thank you fans for supporting me at every moment. I am so glad to call Madison Square Garden my home." — @RealMiguelCotto— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) December 3, 2017
Thank you, Miguel #Cotto #CottoAli #TheFinalOne #Legend pic.twitter.com/OICZO82RP8
In what shouldn’t have been big news in the MMA world but turned out being talked about on Twitter way more than it should have, Conor McGregor was again in the news for something having nothing to do with fighting. Unless you count fighting a judge? Yep, McGregor had to go to court last week for a speeding fine. If that wasn’t enough for the McGregor lovers – Conor went on a date with a woman who is not his baby mama. The biggest question I have regarding all of this nonsense is; when will we see the Lightweight champion defend his strap? Interim champion Tony Ferguson is waiting, the ball is in McGregor’s court but it doesn’t seem like he wants to fight anytime soon, which is unfortunate for his fans, for the UFC and for the sport.
UFC Welterweight Diego Sanchez took to the cage to make a fan with Down Syndrome’s week, year and life! This is a wonderful gesture by a fighter who has been through crazy wars in the cage. It’s nice seeing fighters showing a softer side and showing they’re willing to make a fan happy at all costs, including fighting him!
UFC fighter Diego Sanchez competing in a MMA bout with an athlete who has Down Syndrome, so that he could achieve his dream of fighting inside the cage pic.twitter.com/7SpPASiC1l— Bookie Insiders MMA (@UFCInsiders) December 5, 2017