HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 175 including Rampage vs King Mo

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Bellator 175 was this past weekend, and it featured possibly the last fight in the career of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Bellator 175

GOOD: Steve Kozola stops Jake Roberts

Kozola landed a left that dropped Roberts, who got back up, but then Kozola started landing big shots that ended things less than thirty seconds into the first round. Big win for Kozola in exciting fashion.

GOOD: Noad Lahat submits Lloyd Carter

Lahat was in complete control throughout this fight. He was all over Carter and wore him down before finishing him with a rear-naked choke in the second round. Nice win for Lahat. He was expected to win, but even when you’re heavily favored, you still have to go out and execute. That’s what Lahat did here.

GOOD: Sergei Kharitonov stops Chase Gormley

These guys were in there battling and trading shots, but then Kharitonov took over with his power and landed a huge shot that put Gormley out cold. Kharitonov did the walk-off with his hands raised as soon as he connected with that big uppercut, he knew it was over. That’s always a bad-ass moment and I love seeing it. Big win for Kharitonov.

GOOD: Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Marcos Galvao

Sanchez pretty much dominated every aspect of this fight on his way to the decision win. Galvao came to fight, though, Sanchez had to work for this victory. Galvao is really tough, but Sanchez was all over him with punches and kicks. Galvao returned many of them, but the relentless pace of Sanchez had to be taking a toll on him. Sanchez even successfully defended numerous takedown attempts from Galvao. This was a big win for Sanchez, and he’s hoping for a title shot in his next fight. That sounds pretty good to me.

BAD: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

This was actually fought at heavyweight, and Jackson really took that to heart, weighing in at 253 lbs. He said he put on the additional weight to try to combat the wrestling of King Mo. He probably also thought it would help with his power. It definitely took away from his cardio as well. Rampage didn’t look like his usual self in this fight. He looked slow. He’s had a lot of wars, though, so I’m sure it’s catching up with him.

As for Mo, he didn’t quite hump Rampage’s leg for 15 minutes thankfully, but he did control him with his wrestling. To be fair, though, Rampage did fight off a lot of Mo’s takedown attempts and overall did fairly well with is defense. It was a close fight. It was very measured and both guys looked tentative to me.This lead to a less than exciting fight. Mo evened up his record against Rampage, though, so that’s probably more important to him than an exciting fight he loses. I didn’t care for this fight much at all, but Mo did what he had to in order to win. There were some nice parts to the fight, and I might be being a little harsh in my dislike towards this fight, but I just wasn’t feeling this one.

Rampage had made several comments before the fight that were very much unlike him and how he usually acts. The big one was when he said he regrets getting into MMA. That’s a troubling comment as it indicates that Rampage’s heart isn’t into this anymore, assuming it ever was. It’s possible that this comment stems from the fact that Rampage is just weary from all the fights he’s had. He’s been in nearly fifty fights, that’s a lot of times to step into the cage or ring. Maybe he’s just tired of fighting and ready to move on? Maybe it was just gamesmanship and he was trying to play headgames with King Mo? Only Rampage knows for sure.

This was the last fight on Rampage’s contract with Bellator, and it’s unclear if he’ll continue to fight or not. The only time I would ever encourage a fighter to retire if when their health is in danger. I don’t think Rampage is there physically. Mentally, it’s so hard to say. So my thoughts would be that Rampage should do whatever he wants. If he wants to fight another time or two, so be it. If he wants to retire right now, that’s equally good. If he wants to fight several more times, so be it. Rampage has had a great career in the cage/ring. Whenever he does call it quits, he can know that he was one of many who helped popularize MMA and turn it into the global force it is now. Rampage has always been unpredictable. He could re-up with Bellator for more fights, go back to the UFC for a fight or more, go to some other MMA organization, or embark on a different path. I hope he chooses the right path for him.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: HYDEN’S TAKE: More and more big name hypothetical fights – how likely are they and should they happen at all?

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