Despite the absence of an Ultimate Fighting Championship card, the weekend had plenty of action to keep mixed martial arts fans occupied.
Over in San Jose, California, Bellator MMA put on a stacked card headlined by the promotion’s first-ever champion-versus-champion superfight and kicked off its highly anticipated welterweight grand prix. Meanwhile, Saitama, Japan, hosted Rizin Fighting Federation 13 — an event that featured legendary heavyweight Mirko Filipovic, running joke Bob Sapp, Japanese flyweight standout Kyoji Horiguchi and a smattering of other familiar faces.
During the week, there was also no shortage of eyebrow-raising MMA headlines. This included the dismissal of Leslie Smith’s complaint to the National Labor Relations Board regarding the UFC in circumstances that might charitably be described as dubious and Mark Hunt’s UFC swan song being booked for the Adelaide, Australia, card in December.
In light of all that, I was utterly divided on what I wanted to write about for this column, so I figured I’d make this the second installment of Counterpunch — a series where I pontificate on a litany of topics. To quote MMA’s most influential official in “Big” John McCarthy: Let’s get it on!
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