Bellator 289 Recap – Winners Only Club

Bellator 289 Recap – Winners Only Club


Upset Of The Night: Christian Echols defeats Pat Downey by Knockout

This is the easiest award of the night… At +900, I should have listened to our friend, Ben “Big Tuna” Parrish, and placed my money on the underdog, Echols. Christian Echols was in control for the entirety of the fight for the short amount of time that they were locked in the cage. It was quick, it was entertaining, and it probably killed a lot of parlays before it had even started. This fight that made a statement on a trend that was heavily dominated by betting underdogs winning on the card.

Performance Of The Night: Patchy Mix defeats Magomed Magomedov by Guillotine Choke

Patchy Mix is no joke. Patchy Mix was dominant and secured his spot as the challenger in the million dollar fight between Raufeon Stots and himself in the grand prix championship. Patchy Mix rag-dolled Magomedov for this fight before ultimately putting him to sleep when the judge felt his limp arm and stopped the fight from getting worse. Round one was a little slow but you could see Mix was feeling himself and was gaining momentum and then in round 2 Mix showed that he was the best bantamweight in the world on that given day. I truly don’t believe anyone weighing 135 lbs at any promotion would have had the skills to beat Mix on December 9th.

Honorable Mention: I would say that if this fight didn’t happen then a very close second for me was Liz Carmouche defeating Juliana Velasquez to retain her title would have been the performance of the night.

Fight Of The Night: Raufeon Stots defeats Danny Sabatello by Split Decision

Before we go into the fight, whoever scored this 50-45 needs to never judge again. I did believe this fight was extremely close but ultimately this came down to the absent ability to land any damage while Sabatello had Stots on the ground. Sabatello’s wrestling was way better than Stots but in an MMA fight, ground control time just doesn’t always get it done. Sabatello was out struck heavily and most people had this fight at 38-38 going into round 5. I rewatched the fight this morning and one of my biggest takeaways was corner work. Mike Brown and American Top Team are incredibly prestigious to be around but what I notice not only in this fight but what was reiterated was that they seem to be unable to ignite a fire in their fighters. We’ve seen this time and time again. Going into round 5, they were telling Sabatello “we don’t know it might be 2-2” but in the opposing corner you have Eric Nicksick yelling at Stots knowing it is 38-38 and that he needed to win this fight. Sabatello went into round 5 believing he won that fight and we know that because he looked a Mike Brown in disgust almost feeling insulted that there could be belief he wasn’t up in these rounds. If I was coaching Sabatello, the first thing I am doing is putting him through a grueling couple weeks of muay thai or kickboxing because he lacked those skills in this fight and it showed very much so. Danny went 4/19 on takedowns and for someone who is going to depend on their wrestling ability, this is going to be a major issue if you aren’t going to get a submission. If this coaching issue doesn’t improve, we are going to see more athletes going the route of guys like Colby Covington, Amanda Nunes, Kamaru Usman, and many more that are leaving these mega gyms for more specialized and individual teams like MMA Masters or Trevor Wittman. All the respect in the world to Stots and Sabatello as they put on a hell of a performance. After tonight, we are going to be in for a treat when we witness Patchy Mix and Raufeon Stots fight for the bantamweight grand prix championship.

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