View from The Hawks Nest ("Say it ain't so" Bellator 172 Fan Review)

Discussion in 'Cageside - MMA Discussion' started by MMAHAWK, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. MMAHAWK

    MMAHAWK @MMAHAWK21 Coast 2 Coast Combat Hour @COMBATHOUR

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    View from The Hawks Nest
    An event review from a Fan's perspective
    By Matthew “MMAHAWK” Hawkins


    All photos by Matthew Hawkins


    Bellator 172 “Say it ain’t so”

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    “Say It ain’t so”! That was the message I recieved on my phone in my hotel room, while on my UBER app scheduling a ride to the SAP center for Bellator 172. What was supposed to be the glorious stateside return of one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Fedor Emelianenko, quickly became a depressing reality that the fight would be cancelled as the news of Matt Mitrione’s medical issues spread on social media. I had the unnerving privilege to inform the rest of my group of the bad news. I reached a couple buddies who fought through flight delays with me to get to San Jose but that was nothing compared to letting a friend, who drove 14 hours for this event, know that the Fedor/Mitrione fight was in fact, not happening. After the realization set in we knew it was still time to go enjoy some of the best MMA that the sport has to offer. Bellator president Scott Coker let us know the show would still go on and we were now on our way to watch Bellator 172, with it’s new main event, Thomson vs Pitbull.


    As we approached the arena. We were informed that all tickets were eligible for refunds. Now, I’ve probably purchased tickets to more cancelled bouts that any other person walking this planet. From NHB Cobra challenge fight day no shows to AFFLICTION Trilogy to UFC 200’s main event and more in between that I can't quite remember, but the day I arrive at an event and accept a refund rather than watch the fights is the day I will stop watching this sport. This was still a Bellator show after all and having attended 17 of them prior to this one, I knew they would do their best to give the fans their money’s worth.


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    Cancelled fights and events the life of an MMA fan

    Upon entering the center, we immediately noticed the walkout ramp. A staple for bigger Bellator shows and a throwback to old UFC and Pride FC events. While I understand the reason the UFC doesn’t use it, I think that the ramp does something to make even average fights seem special. Bellator does a great job of using the video screens to give fighters a unique and personalized walk to the cage. It was now time to take our seats. For this event I managed to get a group of 8 cageside seats next to the walkout ramp. The tickets were priced at $100 each which is a good value when you compare them to the $2500 minimum that the same seats would cost for a UFC event. One thing clear, the venue was noticeably less full than previous San Jose shows that I’ve attended and one would have to wonder how the crowd was affected by less walk up sales and refunds that were given after the earlier announcement. With that said, the fans that were there seemed eager to watch some top shelf MMA and after about a half dozen prelims it was time to witness the main card.


    They kicked off with the very familiar face of former UFC title contender Josh Koscheck making his Bellator debut. He would be facing off with the little known Mauricio Alonso who entered with a record of 12-7. During some interviews prior to the fight. Koscheck commented that he wished BJ Penn would sign with Bellator to get more favorable matchups. Unfortunately for Josh as well as the crowd, there would be no chance for ring girl Mercedes to let us know it was round 2 as a perfectly placed uppercut by Alonso would send Koscheck backpedaling and covering his eye. A few second later he was down covering up while the ref stopped the bout. The first round TKO would be the biggest win in Mauricio’s career and he let fans know it in an emotional post fight interview.


    The second main card fight would be a back and forth battle between Brooke Mayo and Veta Arteaga. While possibly the fight of the night, it ended in some controversy as the bout was stopped by the ringside doctor due to a huge ugly hematoma that formed near Mayo’s left eye. Despite her pleads to continue the decision was made and Arteaga was named the winner by late 3rd round TKO. Both ladies showed skill and tremendous heart for two young fighters. They both seem to have bright futures and a rematch would certainly be something I’d be happy to watch.


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    Brooke Mayo & Veta Arteaga set to square off


    The next bout would see team Fedor fighter and rising star Anatoly Tokov dominate his opponent to a 2nd rounds TKO win. That was followed by a fairly uneventful decision win for Cheick Kongo over Oli Thompson in the co-main event. Kongo had no problem controlling Thompson on the ground and easily took a unanimous decision with 30-26, 30-25, 30-25 scores. Despite another dominant victory he didn’t seem to do much to change people’s minds about him being a fairly unexciting fighter. However with 6 wins in 7 bouts following his narrow title loss in 2014 it's hard not to imagine a Bellator Heavyweight title fight in his future.


    Something that Bellator is great at is bringing stars to the arena. The amount of talent at this event was incredible and the access that fans have to meet and get photos with them is unparalleled to other organizations. Some of the big names in the crowd included names such as Nick and Nate Diaz,Don Frye, King Mo, Phil Davis, and Royce Gracie. Occasionally there would be an unexpected guest in the crowd. This night it turned out to be the chance to shake the hand of Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the former president of Pride Fighting Championships and current leader of Rizin. For any fan looking for the opportunity to meet fighters or MMA dignitaries, Bellator MMA constantly brings the goods.


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    RIZIN president Nobuyuki Sakakibara


    Now it was time for the main event. While not the one we came to see, it still pitted MMA veteran and always exciting San Jose fighter Josh Thomson versus the very violent Patricky Pitbull. Thankfully this fight had been booked as the co-main event so bumping it to the main slot allowed fans to end the night in exciting fashion. Pitbull did everything he needed to pick up the biggest win of his career in very little time. After dropping Thomson with a punch early in the first round, it would be a perfectly timed uppercut on this chin shortly after that would lead to the TKO victory. In his post fight interview he called out Michael Chandler for the lightweight belt. Chandler is already 2-0 vs Patricky including a devastating one punch knockout win in their latest bout last June. However with the punching power that the Pitbull brother brings to the cage anything is possible including having both Patricky and Patricio wearing Bellator gold in the future.


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    Thomson and Pitbull face off at Bellator 172

    Considering the massive letdown prior to the show, I’d say Bellator did a nice job getting through the night still delivering the Bellator experience well worth the time and money of the fans who decided to attend. I very much look forward to the next west coast show and the opportunity to again attend a Bellator event. Although I started this article with the words “Say it ain’t so”, I very much want to hear Coker say, “It is so!” while letting the fans know when Mitrione vs The Last Emperor is rescheduled.


    Follow me on Twitter @mmahawk21
    Edited by @lueVelvet@lueVelvet
     
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  2. Wild

    Wild TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
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    Well done Matthew.
     
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  3. TheEmperorRises

    TheEmperorRises Right click hospital, left click cemetery

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    How much english does Sakakibara speak?
    I would want to tell him I was a big dan of Rizin without it sounding like I was mocking him or making fun.
     
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  4. MMAHAWK

    MMAHAWK @MMAHAWK21 Coast 2 Coast Combat Hour @COMBATHOUR

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    I was surprised
    Didn't go deep into conversation but he knew the basics for sure. He also had no problem understanding the few people who were asking him who he was
     
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  5. Vagabond

    Vagabond it's not what you think it is, it's what it is

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    I went to the show with @PrideRules@PrideRules. We were supposed to hit up the prelims around 4 pm but he was late. As I was waiting, I checked TMMAC to kill some time and saw the thread, "Metrione out with illness". Clicked on the thread and saw what was going on. I eventually got a hold of PrideRules and he told me he was passed out and sorry. I broke the bad news and both super bummed out but we still decided to go to the SAP center.

    On the way, PrideRules was working hard to contact ticketmasters to see if we can cancel and get a refund but couldn't get any humans on the line and just endless holds. We got to the SAP center, there were printed information about how to get a refund posted on a regular white piece of paper. We also confirmed with one of the SAP employees and she had told us that "it's by the law when Main Event cancels, they have to fully refund, but probably have to wait about 24 hours so that they can make sure those tix haven't been scanned". I bought pretty descent seats, @ low level, row 10 right in the middle of the Arena so they were kinda pricy. After we were for sure that we could get a refund of our original tix, we decided to see if there were any cheap seats left. (This was right around 6 pm before the Main Card started) Luckily, they had the last 2 of the $32 tickets, which were still in the lower level but just bit higher than our original seats.

    As we made our way in, walked to our seating area, and did the whole procedure of SAP employees checking our tix but not scanning, PrideRules had a great idea! Asked me if I still had my original tix. Immediately, we got up and walked around to our original seating area, which were way better seats. Nobody even checked to see our tix (if they had, we'd still have our old tix to show and they weren't scanning it once we're inside). So we sat in our original seats but started noticing all the empty seats in front of us. So we moved down even closer, and closer to the cage, ended up around row 5 right in the middle facing the cage and watched the show from there.

    I saw people complaining in the threads that the show was kind of boring but I forgot how awesome it was to watch fights live, especially that close to the cage. Last time I sat that close was for Penn vs Sherk 7,8 years ago. Being part of the crowd, watching real time speed, the ramp! and hearing loud thuds from strikes was so cool. Also saw many people, like Don Frye, CT Fletcher, Phil Davis, Bendo, The Diaz Bros, Joe Schilling, King Mo, Rampage, (Saw Henry Cejudo walked by us in the crowd) and even Tito's big ass head.

    Super bummed about not seeing Fedor fight, but overall it was a great night of fights and had a great time for things to turn out the way it did and already got my full refund! Thanks to PrideRules's cunning mind and him passing out and not showing up on time!

    Bellator 172 was a great experience for me. Next time, I'll try to meet with some community members. I was wearing my green TMMAC shirt!
     
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  6. BirdWatcher

    BirdWatcher Can jersey anybody I want
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    Awesome job @MMAHAWK@MMAHAWK and @lueVelvet@lueVelvet

    I love these fan perspective write ups along with pictures. Only a matter of time before this evolves into video and you in a suit with a mic backstage.
     
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  7. jason73

    jason73 TMMAC 2020
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    I love reading these.so much better getting an actual fans perspective compared to the douchey mma media
     
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  8. Miesha's Taint

    Miesha's Taint VLOGGER

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  9. PrideRules

    PrideRules Pride Never Die!!!

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    [​IMG]

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    View from our seats. Thank you @Tang@Tang

    It was interesting to see Ct fletcher get so much love.
     
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  10. Carbazel

    Carbazel Freelance MMA Analyst

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    It's nice to hear from folks that were there and made the best of it. The fights were good, I really liked the Arteaga/Mayo fight too and hope they meet again.
     
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  11. crowbar

    crowbar Member

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    Somebody in the crowd pissed Tito off and he stood up and took off his jacket.Anybody see who it was or if anything went down afterwards?
     
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  12. Cagesidelore

    Cagesidelore Man on the silver mountain

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    Amazing story!! Thanks of sharing this!! Living in buttfuck no where, it's not easy to get to many events so living vicariously through posts like this is all I got! :p
     
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  13. Andrewsimar Palhardass

    Andrewsimar Palhardass Women, dinosaurs, and the violence of the octagon.

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    Thanks for sharing Hawk! So cool you got a pic with Sakakibara.
     
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  14. TheEmperorRises

    TheEmperorRises Right click hospital, left click cemetery

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    A sweet old lady sitting behind him couldn't see because of his ginormous head and asked if he could switch seats with a normal headed human being. He got mad, she offered a juice box to smooth things over.... shit. Got. REAL.
     
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  15. regular john

    regular john Interim Champion

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    great stories, this is indeed much better than MMA media. @Tang@Tang 's story is straight out of a Seinfeld episode with @PrideRules@PrideRules being Kramer and Tang being George Costanza.
     
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