Giving Thanks for Last Weekend's Action

By Jeff Sherwood Nov 24, 2011
This weekend past was definitely a weekend that MMA fans should have been thankful for. We got to watch some MMA fights that weren’t just good, they were great -- true classics.

The UFC 139 card in San Jose ended with some bombs between “Shogun” and “Hendo.” You can easily argue that it could be the “Fight of the Year” for 2011. In a bloody fight that went back and forth, Henderson and Rua gave us a fight that showed why the UFC wanted five-round non-title fights in main events. I’m not even going to get into the Le-Silva fight, either, a fight that could’ve been “Fight of the Night” on just about any other night.

But, it wasn’t just UFC 139 on Saturday night. We also had the pleasure of watching Bellator coming to us live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. The main event was Eddie Alvarez defending his lightweight strap against Michael Chandler. Chandler battled his way through the lightweight tourney to get the chance to fight Alvarez, while Alvarez was being mentioned by many as the best fighter not fighting in the UFC.

I will admit I expected Chandler to come out and look to wrestle Alvarez, but wrestling did not seem to be in the former Mizzou Tiger’s game plan as he started the fight with a bang and dropped Alvarez. Referee Troy Waugh seemed like he was about to stop the fight just as Alvarez was getting his bearings back and able to get back to his feet. As comes with lightweights, these fighters did not tire the entire fight and both had plenty of “Wow!” moments in the fight, trading dominant rounds back and forth.

Going into the fourth round I had Alvarez up two rounds to one and he seemed to be finding his range and getting more and more comfortable. Even though Alvarez looked to be the fresher of the two, Chandler found his second wind and eventually choked out the champ for the win. I thought to myself in the middle of this fight, “Man, this is why I love the lower weight classes. They are all like the Energizer Bunny.”

Bellator has really picked their fights up and, putting on great fights with a small-but-strong stable of fighters. Any week now, a Bellator fight is a threat to be the best fight of the month, or maybe even the year.

And the weekend wrapped up with the return of Fedor Emelianenko. Not that Fedor facing Jeff Monson was a “great” fight, but it’s always exciting to see Fedor step back into the ring or cage, kind of how I used to like watching Michael Jordan play for the Washington Wizards.

So before you plan on filling out any year-end award ballots, make sure you go back and watch the fights from this weekend or else you will be cheating not just yourself and also the fighters, who all rose to the occasion in a major way.

Between the two main events there was more blood in the cage then there was at a typical turkey farm this month. What more is there to be thankful for?


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