Weekend Wrap: April 6-8Author : Brad Taschuk
In the Weekend Wrap, we take a look at some of the more out of the way events and results from the past few days, with a focus on global MMA and regional level cards that don't always get the recognition they deserve.
Coming out of a holiday weekend, there wasn't as much MMA as we've seen over the past few weeks, which is ironic given the fact that I've actually got the time to talk about it. Still, Bellator put on a solid card, there were a few quality fights happening over in Japan, and the newest player in the freakshow MMA scene was back at it. In the last weekend before the UFC awakes from its slumber, there was just enough going on to keep an MMA fan satiated in between family gatherings, but not too much to make said return seem obsolete.
The biggest fight of the weekend was Ben Askren retaining his Bellator Welterweight title in a dominant performance over Douglas Lima. Unfortunately, fans seemed to be more focused on Askren's style rather than the substance behind it, as most comments regarding his performance have talked about how "boring" it was, rather than discussing him completely shutting down any offence Lima could muster standing or on the ground. Askren is a unique fighter in MMA in that despite only having 3 years in MMA, and his last 7 opponents being Ryan Thomas (UFC veteran) x2, Dan Hornbuckle, Lyman Good, Nick Thompson (UFC veteran), Jay Hieron and Douglas Lima, he's managed to beat them all. His first 3 fights aside, he's faced nothing but UFC veterans and top 20 Welterweights. Askren's job has not gotten any easier, as Bellator has found some stiff competition for him, and it makes it difficult for him to incorporate new things into his game. Most prospects get more than 3 fights to develop their style, Askren did not. His game will continue to develop, just not as quickly as some might like.
Also on Bellator 64, Marlon Sandro advanced to the Bellator Featherweight tournament final, while Hiroshi Nakamura and Travis Marx advanced to the Bantamweight semi-finals. The other events this weekend saw the Super Fight League return for their 2nd card, DEEP put on an event with some solid Bantamweights, and a former Sengoku champion making his debut at a new weight class. Head over to tazmma for the full rundown of the weekend's events as well as videos of everything worth watching.