The stars were aligned in just the right fashion this past weekend, so we were privy to installments of violence courtesy of the three top MMA promotions in the world. Friday, Bellator and the World Series of Fighting dished out some lovin’ concurrently, while early Saturday afternoon gave us a UFC Fight Night broadcast out of Poland. So who shined out of the combined 50+ hours of fighting? Here’s all you need to know…
- Will Brooks, Bellator 136: The best lightweight Bellator has on their roster notched another win on Friday night, handling top contender Dave Jansen for about four out of five rounds and proving once again that you’re going to have to be something really special to beat him. Whenever a Bellator-ian becomes dominant among his peers, talk of how he’d do in the UFC always arises. I guess where at that stage with Brooks. (He’d do okay in the Octagon.)
- Dave Branch, WSOF 20: The organization’s middleweight champ went up a weight class to take on Ronny Markes, but thanks to Markes needing some Gatorade, Branch ended up taking on – and completely owning – a last-minute replacement. The win was pretty much what was supposed to happen, and yet if it had been too difficult, Branch would’ve come away from the bout with some of his luster gone. He dominated though, so all’s well that ends well.
- Marcin Held, Bellator 136: Held hasn’t been able to get the victory that would earn him a title shot, but if Friday’s performance is of any indication, that could all change soon. Always unorthodox and creative in the submission department, Held did not fail to deliver – and he put away a tough opponent on top of it all.
- Nick Newell, WSOF 20: Newell is the biggest star WSOF has and the one most apt to garner mainstream attention, so him winning on Friday was great for the promotion. It was also great for Newell, who fell short in his bid for the lightweight title last year and needed a “W” to get back on track.
- Maryna Moroz, UFC Fight Night 64: It must really suck for the UFC to have a groundbreaking season of TUF featuring women, and have a female 115-pound champ crowned, only to have the women who didn’t make it onto the show come in and smash all who appeared on camera. But thanks to champ Carla Esparza getting dethroned in convincing fashion against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and on Saturday Joanne Calderwood falling to Moroz, that’s the case with the UFC’s strawweight division. The one shining light in all of this is Moroz challenging Jedrzejczyk from the cage, and there maybe being a little heat between the two. Because as we’ve seen with Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, heat is good. Heat is very good.