Chael Sonnen, Kevin Lee, Matt Mitrione and Brent Primus were all big winners over the weekend, but what stood out?
In all honestly, it was a big letdown for many fighters because of circumstances beyond their control.
Sonnen out-wrestled Wanderlei Silva, but the bout brought a less-than-impressive conclusion to their rivalry.
Lee scored a first round submission of Michael Chiesa, but the former Ultimate Fighter winner never tapped and didn’t lose consciousness to the move. Instead, referee Mario Yamasaki stole the spotlight with his decision.
Mitrione knocked out Fedor Emelianenko, but only after both men went down. Mitrione recovered quicker and earned the finish, though it truly appears as if the old “Last Emperor” is dead and gone.
Primus kept his unbeaten record intact and won the Bellator lightweight title, however it came after Michael Chandler injured his ankle and was ruled unable to continue. Primus did damage to cause the injury, but without a clear finish, a likely rematch is in order.
Douglas Lima proved he is the man to beat atop the Bellator welterweight division, fending off the debuting Lorenz Larkin. Lima, though, must do more if he hopes to keep that crown with Rory MacDonald breathing down his neck.
The Aaron Pico experiment got off to a rocky start, as the hot prospect was choked out by Zach Freeman in just 24 seconds of his pro debut. Sure, many top fighters have lost their first fight, but not many have done so on pay-per-view and from Madison Square Garden.
Ryan Bader won his first major title, besting Phil Davis to become the Bellator light heavyweight champion. Did we see a different “Darth” than the one in the UFC? Not really.
Even Tim Boetsch lost some luster on his finish of Johny Hendricks because “Bigg Rigg” missed weight and claimed to be sick before the bout.
James Gallagher, Heather Hardy, Dominick Reyes and Darrell Horcher all secured wins in key bouts for both Bellator and the UFC. They are four names to keep an eye on moving forward this year.