The Severe Diagnosis: UFC Berlin And Bellator 138

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St. Louis, Missouri and Berlin, Germany went toe-to-toe this weekend as the two biggest MMA promotions in the world held events on the opposite side of the globe. For Bellator, a fight six years in the making between two over-the-hill, old men went down while the UFC had their very first ever title fight on Fight Pass.

Joanna Champion

That title fight, on Saturday night, saw Polish women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk put her belt on the line for the first time against former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jessica Penne. After an unfriendly staredown where they got nose-to-nose, it was straight down to business as Jedrzejczyk came out throwing hard with her jab and overhand right.

Penne did manage to answer back with a right hand of her own but ate a couple of left hooks for her trouble. Inside the first minute, Penne attempted her first takedown but Jedrzejczyk got her back to the fence and stopped it. From the break Penne took some hard shots before another takedown try got Jedrzejczyk briefly to the floor. Although the champion popped straight back to her feet, Penne got some useful cage control and kept the attacks a bay for a while. Eventually, Jedrzejczyk didn’t manage to escape and landed a huge right hand which dropped Penne to the floor. The American looked badly hurt and Jedrzejczyk dived down with strikes but she managed to survive as the Pole stood up out of her guard. A late Penne thrown was a real sign of her toughness but came too late in the period to have any real meaning.

The second round saw Jedrzejczyk really open up from the beginning as she landed hard with combinations of hands right from the bell. Although Penne was brave with her striking, it was clear who had the advantage as Jedrzejczyk landed with three rasping kicks to the head and legs. An elbow midway through the round saw heavy blood gush from the nose of Penne and, as Jedrzejczyk upped the pace, referee Marc Goddard gave Penne warnings to protect herself. Penne attempted to clinch again but it didn’t work as Jedrzejczyk battered her with more punches and knees. Penne’s face was covered in blood at this stage as she entered survival mode. Jedrzejczyk gave no quarter, though, as she jabbed, front kicked and elbowed Penne into oblivion. Late in the round, Jedrzejczyk upped the pace even more but Penne held herself up and did well to see the bell.

Even though Penne had her face cleaned between rounds, it was quickly bloodied again in the third as Jedrzejczyk unloaded jab after jab, kick after kick and hook after hook on the increasingly more forlorn looking challenger. The low kicks of Jedrzejczyk looked really slick throughout the round as she used them to get Penne to open up while a left hook from Jedrzejczyk before Penne failed with a takedown attempt was just another signal of the Pole’s domination. To her credit, Penne kept at it and did manage to clinch Jedrzejczyk against the fence before cutting her eye with what looked like an elbow. Jedrzejczyk quickly escaped, though, and landed three high kicks which Penne walked through. A late surge in the last minute of the round from Jedrzejczyk had Penne in trouble again and this time there was no escape as a series of hard hooks and a knee straight up the middle against the fence forced referee Marc Goddard to step in and stop the fight. It was another unbelievable performance from Jedrzejczyk who extends her MMA record to 10-0 and establishes herself as, clearly, the best strawweight female in the world.

Kimbo KOs Ken

Before that, in the wee small hours of Friday night, the long awaited Bellator 138 went down in front of 7,000 odd fans in St. Louis, Missouri and, boy, did it live up to expectations. The main event saw UFC hall of famer Ken Shamrock put his 51 years of experience up against 41 year old former street fighter Kimbo Slice. After a bizarre set of walkouts which saw Ken Shamrock walk out with former WWE superstar Road Warrior Animal, a singer and what seemed like half of his family while Kimbo with his previous street fights playing in the background the much-anticipated and often laughed-at bout finally got under way.

The first move of the fight, as everyone thought it might be, was a Shamrock takedown attempt. Initially, both men looked their age as they slipped and stumbled around the cage but Kimbo managed to get his back to the fence and stayed on his feet. To his credit, Shamrock kept attacking the takedown and tripped Kimbo to the floor as they clinched around the cage. Kimbo powered out quickly without too much trouble and got back to his feet as the pair exchanged knees to the body. Following another clinched stalemate which saw Shamrock land another couple of knees to the body, Kimbo looked more weary to strike and left himself open for the takedown. This time, the single leg was the takedown of choice for Ken as he quickly toppled Mr.Ferguson with complete ease.

As they hit the floor Kimbo tried so hard to get his back off the mat he did nothing more than leave himself on his knees as a sitting duck. Amazingly for a man of his age, Shamrock dived on the back quickly and put in two hooks as Kimbo looked panicked. From there, Kimbo defended the hands for a brief second but Shamrock got free and tied up the rear naked choke. It looked all but certain that Kimbo was going to tap but he didn’t give up for a second and fought the hands as Shamrock adjusted and re-adjusted. After around a minute of sustained choking, it was clear Kimbo had survived and Ken had given all he could and as Shamrock released the choke, Slice powered out and back to his feet.

As Shamrock stood to join him, Kimbo pressured him against the fence and landed a big right hands as Ken scrambled away. With no place to go, Shamrock put his back against the cage and traded bombs – that was never going to end well. Two hard shots from Kimbo had Shamrock wobbled and when he circled to his left to escape, Kimbo landed a huge right hand which dropped Ken and forced referee John McCarthy to step in and stop the fight. As bad as everyone expected it to be, it wasn’t quite that. What it did turn out to be was two tough, never-say-die fighters going to battle. It wasn’t technically good, it wasn’t relevant but it wasn’t the abomination everyone expected either. And with ratings likely to be through the roof, Bellator will be more than happy with that.

Check out the full results from the weekend below:

Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Jessica Penne via TKO – Round 3 – 4:22
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Dennis Siver via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Peter Sobotta def. Steven Kennedy via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1 – 2:57
Nick Hein def. Lukasz Sajewski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Makwan Amirkhani def. Masio Fullen via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1 – 1:41
Mairbek Taisumov def. Alan Patrick via TKO – Round 2 – 1:30
Arnold Allen def. Alan Omer via submission (guillotine) – Round 3 – 1:45
Noad Lahat def. Niklas Backstrom via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Scott Askham def. Antonio dos Santos Jr. via TKO – Round 1 – 2:52
Magomed Mustafaev def. Piotr Hallmann via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2 – 3:24
Taylor Lapilus def. Yuta Sasaki via TKO – Round 2 – 1:22

Bellator Results:

Kimbo Slice def. Ken Shamrock via TKO – Round 1 – 2:22
Patricio Freire def. Daniel Weichel via knockout – Round 2 -0:32
Bobby Lashley def. Dan Charles via TKO – Round 2 – 4:14
Daniel Straus def. Henry Corrales via submission (guillotine) – Round 2 – 3:47
Michael Chandler def. Derek Campos via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1 – 2:17

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma