UFC Liverpool certainly didn't have the headline value of a UFC 225, or even the interesting names of a UFC Utica in my book, but it's afternoon MMA, so that's a major plus. My notes for this show are
Elias Theodorou defeated Trevor Smith: This wasn't a finish, but Elias showed that he would pressure the fight. He capitalized on a sacrifice roll that Smith that gave him the advantage and possibly the fight.
Gillian Robertson defeated Molly McCann, R1 Sub: McCann missed weight and Robertson dominated McCann on the ground and has Din Thomas in her corner. Robertson got the back and choked McCann cold. NASTY.
Pedersoli over Brad Scott: Brad Scott has some unusual movement. Pedersoli is really going for the gold with all the spinning shit. I'm impressed Pedersoli has kept up this pace through the first two. I never like the idea of using switch kicks that aren't set up in close quarters and no defense.
#14 Lansberg over #15 Mazany: Sneaky top 15 women's bantamweight fight as #14 Lansberg faces #15 Mazany. Granted, there are only like 19 eligible fighters in the division. This fight sucked, and I really wish I wouldn't have watched it. They need to sign more fighters.
Breese finishes Dan Kelly, R1 TKO: Tom Breese's first fight in two years went well. Just magnificent boxing that overwhelmed old man Kelly. That's three losses in a row for the 40-year old Kelly, and he had a lifetime of judo before this career, so I wonder how much he has left.
Stewart drills Eric Spicely, R2 TKO : Stewart had lost three in a row, and was actually winless in four fights in the UFC, so this was very much a gift, and one he took advantage of. He absolutely clappered Spicely. Stewart was very emotional inside the cage after the fight.
Claudio Silva submits Taleb: This was a fight made over three years ago that got delayed, and Claudio Silva hasn't fought since 2014. Taleb lands a sweet leg catch outside sweep takedown, but goes for a weird attempt at a leglock, ill advised unless you're Palhares level from there. He gave up his position to attempt that -- BAD. Silva takes control on the ground and chokes out Taleb right after Taleb gave a thumbs up. This is a big one for Silva. He lost a lot of his prime years, but has won three in a row in the UFC.
Amirkhani outlasts Jason Knight: Jason Knight pulls guard during a war. I don't get it. A big uppercut dropped Amirkhani twice, but he recovers remarkably quick. Knight was very aggressive and slick on the ground, but for a guy who was dropped twice, Amirkhani was able to escape really fast. Knight is working a lot from his rubber guard and working kidney kicks, but this isn't how you win off your back with strikes. Goddard stands them up our of rubber guard, which I approve. It was a stall at that point. I'm not sure why Amirkhani worked to take Knight down so hard over and over again. Gonna need him to pump the brakes on the Swanson/Holloway talk. 30-27 Knight is a gross, disturbing scorecard.
Arnold Allen submits Mads Burnell, R3: Burnell's head movement is pretty impressive, but unfortunately for him, he moved his head right into a modified guillotine choke and got put out for it. Allen says he was "breathing out of his ass," and for some reason thinks it's cool to tell the world he's clean, but that his dad did a lot of steroids.
#9 Magny knees up Craig White: We're seeing Neil Magny take a little more time between fights these days after having 21 fights over the course of five years -- an insane pace to keep up. White put up a noble fight, but Magny hit a smooth opportunity for a knee and finished White off. This is Magny's first winning streak since 2015-16, but he's 13-3 since 2014 started, which is insane in the UFC. Magny wants to fight Kamaru Usman. Usman should get the winner of Till/Wonderboy. But Magny would be a fun fight.
#8 Darren Till edges out #1 Wonderboy Thompson: Till had weight cut issues, and is now a persistent offender. He gave up 30 percent of his purse, and had to be at 188 pounds this afternoon. He should be competing at 185 pounds. It's inexcusable. Either way, his entrance was awesome. Till pressured the action, and the size advantage seems much more significant than when Wonderboy fought MacDonald. Till keeps looking to cut Wonderboy off, and gain the plum, but Wonderboy counter strikes every time. Till's obsession with gaining the plum is costing him in the rare event that he gets close enough to make contact with Wonderboy. The most significant strike in this fight was the high five between the two in round five. Till drops Wonderboy, but can't finish. They could give Till four rounds to one and I wouldn't blink. This has been bad until 23 minutes in. There was more action in the fight than Till's post-fight speech. At least I could hear the fight
Kate Jackson over Anastasia Yankova: Well, you can't accuse Bellator of giving Yankova easy fights, because this one was going to be problematic from the gate. Kate Jackson is a very under the radar fighter that is about to emerge. She's been beaten by Suarez, Letournea, Hannah Sillen and Joanna and that's it -- some pretty good competition.
Phil Davis KO's Linton Vassell in R3: Davis is a really big damn light heavyweight, and Linton Vassell just lumbers over him, which is humbling to see. The UFC's light heavyweight division is in a dark place right now, and Davis winning this fight makes Bellator's look better and better, the head kick setup was nice. Davis looked like he figured out the pattern of Vassell and capitalized.
MVP jobs out Dave Rickels, R2 KO: This is your vintage MVP fight. I would argue that Rickels is a better, more well rounded opponent than Daley, but man, he couldn't handle MVP on the feed. If you can make Dave Rickels wave off a fight and say "no mas," that's special.
Gegard Mousasi wins the Bellator title over Carvalho, TKO, R1: This was all Mousasi. He's truly one of the most well rounded fighters, maybe ever. Versatile in every aspect of MMA, including the weight divisions in which he fights. This was a smothering performance. He's facing Rory MacDonald next.