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If you’re like us and watch an absurd amount of mixed martial arts each week, you probably wished there was some sort of rating system so you’re not forced to sit through a boring fight waiting for something to happen. In order to help, we at Sherdog rate the fights on major cards for your convenience. If you happen to miss an event, check back here for ratings so you can pick and choose which bouts to watch and which to skip.
Fights are ranked on the scale shown here, based on competitiveness, the skill and technique on display, excitement, and the story and drama of the contest. However, just because a fight is one-sided doesn't mean it receives a bad rating. Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega, for example, would have scored high for Holloway’s showcase of technique and the overall drama despite it being a one-sided domination. With that out of the way, let's get into this week’s bouts.
Altamimi has the most incredible story of survival in MMA history and on Saturday, he made his own history by being the first fighter from Iraq to step inside a Bellator cage. The fight was rather quick and I am giving this a three-star rating for the sick kimura sweep directly into an armbar that Altamimi was able to hit. [3.0]
Juan Archuleta and Ricky Bandejas put on a decent back-and-forth fight that saw Archuleta narrowly win a unanimous decision. The fight had its moments and it went down to the last round, but nothing too special happened and both could have had more urgency earlier in the fight. Nonetheless, this was an average fight and worth the watch if you have some time to kill. [2.0]
Jake Hager vs. J.W. Kiser
Did we really expect anything else? The former WWE superstar known as “Jack Swagger” stepped inside the cage for the first time this weekend to take on a 41-year-old fighter with a 0-1 record. Hager was able to take him down with ease and after working on top for a minute, he locked up an arm triangle from half guard for the finish. Nothing special and nothing horrible so this gets an average rating. [2.0]
Hager vs. Kiser was the most foreseeable performance of the night and this was by far the most unforeseeable. Despite only fighting low-level fighters and showing major holes in his game, Aaron Pico has been heralded as the next big thing in MMA. Still only 22, Bellator has been matching their young star conservatively to hype him up and help him develop as a fighter, but it has bitten them in the ass twice now. Pico dropped Corrales early in the fight and it looked like he was on his way to another first-round victory, but his confidence soared a bit too high and he decided to stand and trade in the pocket. Just as they were exiting the clinch, Corrales landed a beautiful right hook off the exit and Pico was out before he even hit the ground. For the underdog story and the incredible comeback, this fight gets an above-average, but not quite an exceptional rating. [3.5]
They say “Pride never die,” but on Saturday Bader officially killed the Pride Fighting Championships era in just 30 seconds. Many fans and media thought Emelianenko was going to complete one of the greatest comeback stories in MMA history. Even Vegas was moving the lines in Fedor’s favor. But Bader was having none of it and ended the fight with the second punch he threw. He opened the fight patiently, but eventually stepped in with a dipping lead hook that dropped Emelianenko, then finished with ground-and-pound. All props to Bader for moving to Bellator MMA and winning two titles, but this was a disappointing end to the night and thus only gets an average rating for the quick finish. [2.0]