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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
Bellator 148 and UFC on Fox 18 were both this past weekend. Let's get right to the rundown.
BAD/GOOD: Tony Johnson stops Raphael Butler
I don't know, I guess I shouldn't be so harsh, but the fight was just very meh. Even the finish just kind of happened. The ref stepped in because Butler wasn't doing anything. It wasn't like Johnson was really doing anything either, though. They get a B for effort but a D for everything else.
GOOD: Patricky "Pitbull" Freire stops Ryan Couture
Freire got rocked early but battled through and dropped Couture with a powerful left that ended things just over halfway through the first round. It was a very good performance from Freire on a few week's notice.
GOOD: Paul Bradley stops Chris Honeycutt
A bigtime right hand from Bradley dropped Honeycutt and gave him the win in under a minute. It was quick and decisive and a big highlight reel finish. Good win for Bradley.
GOOD: Paul Daley stops Andy Uhrich
Daley got the walkoff as he crushed Uhrich with a vicious shot that turned out the lights a few minutes into the first round. Daley called out Josh Koscheck after the fight and it looks like that will be next. It's built on bad blood, which is interesting, but let's hope that Daley has been working on his takedown defense. He probably hasn't, but we can hope.
Back to the fight, this was a great way to end a great night of knockouts for Bellator.
UFC on FOX 18
GOOD: Bryan Barberena submits Sage Northcutt
Northcutt has all the potential in the world, but he got submitted by a guy with more experience. Barberena took the fight on a week's notice so they fought at welterweight instead of the usual lightweight that Northcutt fights at. Barberena did a good job and showed that Northcutt still has a way to go. The potential is there, though, for sure. Good win for Barberena.
GOOD/BAD: Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera
This was another effort fight. They tried hard, but this was just kind of there. Rivera won by decision. The GOOD is for the effort, I just added the BAD because I wasn't into it.
GOOD/GREAT: Ben Rothwell submits Josh Barnett
This was stunning. One doesn't simply submit Josh Barnett. He's been in the cage with true legends of the sport, so a win over him is something to be proud of. A submission win over him is really something else, and will surely be a memory Rothwell won't ever forget.
The beginning of the fight was slow and tedious, as they felt each other out. They both respected one another's power, and for good reason. It led to the fight being dull for most of it, but then Barnett shot in and Rothwell grabbed his neck. He kept cranking it as they went to the ground and eventually Barnett was forced to tap. That was such a great submission from Rothwell. I was on the fence before but now I'm a believer in Rothwell. There's not many guys in the division that I would pick to beat him. I'm most definitely in favor of him fighting in a title eliminator in his next fight. Give him a chance and let's see what he can do. He's making waves with some big wins, he should be rewarded.
GOOD: Anthony "Rumble" Johnson stops Ryan Bader
Most everyone was picking Rumble to win, but there was a thought that Bader could win if he grounded Johnson and kept his weight on top of him. Bader made a critical error, though, as he shot in on Johnson and grabbed for a kimura. That wasn't the problem, but what was the problem was that Bader held onto Johnson's arm even after he lost his leverage and was in a bad spot. Rumble was able to mount Bader and as soon as he worked his arm free, he started raining blows down on Bader. The ref stepped in not long after, as Bader was in an incredibly bad spot. Things ended as we largely expected, but it's still a good win for Johnson. Bader was on a win streak and Johnson shut him down.
I don't know if Rumble gets a title shot next, but there's only so much he can do. Either he fights the winner of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier or he fights in a title eliminator. I don't know who his opponent would be in that fight, but those are the only two options, really. The only guy Johnson has lost to recently is Cormier. Other than that, he has some explosive wins over some talented guys. I'm a Rumble fan, so I'm in favor of him getting the next title shot. It does help, though, that there's a lack of other contenders around. If not Rumble, then who?
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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