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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
Bellator hit Spike TV again last Friday night with Bellator 115; here's how I saw things.
BAD: Mikkel Parlo vs. Johnny Cisneros
This was pretty one-sided, as Parlo was just too much for Cisneros. Parlo basically smothered him, and that was it. He didn't do much with his advantages and just seemed to lay on him for most of the fight. He did just enough to avoid getting stood up, but that was it.
BAD/GOOD: Kelly Anundson submits Volkan Oezdemir
Anundson got a nice neck crank submission, but the fight sucked before that. It was about seven minutes or so of just absolute brain-numbing dullness. Anundson kept taking Oezdemir down and doing nothing with it. That's two fights in a row that were like that. Not a good night so far.
GOOD: Herman Terrado vs. Justin Baesman
These guys were going back and forth in a weird way. Terrado took the first and third rounds while Baesman dominated the second. He almost finished the fight in the second, but he did get 10-8 scores from two of the judges. The fight was ruled a majority draw because of that. It's just really odd that he would dominate the second round like that, but get beaten. He came so close to winning, but had to settle for the majority draw. You could say the same thing about Terrado as well, though.
UGLY: Vitaly Minakov vs. Cheick Kongo
This fight was unbelievably bad. Holy crap. If you ever want to make someone stop watching MMA, show them this fight. Both guys gassed really hard and did a whole lot of nothing. I hope they're both embarrassed by this performance. This would have been pretty bad if it were three rounds, but the fact that it was a five-rounder made it even worse. Minakov successfully defended his Bellator Heavyweight Championship as he took the decision. That's right, this was a fight between a champion and his number one contender. That about sums up the state of the division right there.
Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. This follows his recent loss to Hector Lombard. However, before that loss, Shields had beaten Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. Those are pretty good wins, but the UFC cut Shields anyway. It's obvious this was done because Shields is a boring fighter. I certainly understand why the UFC would cut a guy that no one will pay to watch, but I do wonder about the integrity of the sport some. The San Antonio Spurs were considered a boring team in a small market that people didn't want to watch, but the NBA didn't ban them from competing in the NBA Finals.
I know it's a bit different with the UFC, and it's hard to find too much fault with what they're doing, but it makes me wonder if this is setting a bad precedent. I guess technically it would be the continuation of a possibly bad precedent since the UFC already cut Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch last year because they were too boring.
To be perfectly honest, though, I think this is a good thing. It encourages guys to go for the win instead of coasting to a lay-and-pray decision. I think you could make a strong argument that lay-and-pray is even more harmful to the sport than basically telling guys to value excitement over anything else in their fighting styles.
The only thing I could see being a bad thing for the UFC is that it now gives the other organizations a relatively big name to put on their shows. I don't think it'll come back to bite them too much, though, but you never truly know. I don't think this will be an issue as long as these stay isolated releases. I would imagine most fighters already assumed that they needed to place a high value on entertaining fans, this just confirms it.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank
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