MMA is a game of extreme highs and brutal lows, and the fighters that can handle these swings effectively are most likely to succeed at highest levels in the sport. This past weekend New England saw a number of our regional combatants competing outside of the area, and on some of the biggest stages. Although it wasn't a successful weekend in the win column for many of these warriors, the wealth of knowledge gained will help them improve their games and allow them to evolve as fighters. Here's a quick recap of last weekends results.
Bellator 256 - Uncasville, CT
John "It's Not A" Douma (5-2) vs. Will "Siracha" Smith (3-3)
On Friday night two New England brethren took center stage at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut when John Douma took on Will Smith in a bantamweight bout on the under card of Bader vs. Machida II. It was a highly contested matchup between two varying fighting styles that ended up going to the judges' scorecards.
The first round saw Smith landing some clean strikes, but Douma holding his own on the feet. Douma eventually got the takedown halfway through the round, worked his way to the back, and threatened a fight-ending submission, but Smith defended well. The striking was fairly even in the 1st round, but I'd give Smith the slight edge. Once the fight hit the ground, it was all Douma, and that was enough to tip the scales in his favor, in my opinion. 10-9 Douma.
The 2nd round saw more effective striking from Smith; landing a stiff jab and the occasional low kick to keep Douma off balance. "Siracha" also seemed to take less significant strikes from his opponent in the round, but eventually Douma was able to get the fight to the mat. Smith defended well and avoided any threatening positions. It was a super tight round, but I gave the slight nod to Smith, as he landed the more effective strikes on the feet, and Douma was not as effective on the mat as the first round once he got the fight there. Very close round, but in my opinion, Smith won it 10-9.
The 3rd round saw more Will Smith landing clean shots on the feet. He had gained confidence, and his footwork kept him out of the grasp of Douma for a majority of the round. The 3rd round was a clear and concise victory for Smith. On my scorecard I had it 29-28, but two of the 3 judges didn't see it that way, and gave Douma a tight split decision victory on the official scorecards.
A tough loss for Smith, as I believe he did enough to win the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but he showed some improved skills and a high fight IQ on a big stage. Smith falls to 3-3, but he should