In yesterday’s BE’s BADDEST Tournament Series matchup, #4 Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar 1 took on #5 Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry. As was the case with a lot of our tourney bouts, this too came down to the wire. With a score of 22-17, Griffin vs. Bonnar 1 narrowly escaped with the victory. That closed out the opening round of 32, and now it’s time to move on to the Sweet Sixteen portion of the bracket to figure out what is the single Greatest MMA Fight Of All Time — that one to watch before the world ends.
For the first matchup of our 16 remaining fights, we have the red corner’s #1 seed, Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2, slated against the #2 ranked, Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum. Lawler/MacDonald completely annihilated their opening round opponent, #8 Yair Rodriguez vs. Korean Zombie, by a lopsided final score of 50-3. Adesanya/Gastelum had a much more challenging road to get to this round. After fighting to a draw with #7 T.J. Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz, Adesanya/Gastelum had to dig deep in a tie-breaker round to pull out the 31-25 win.
Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 was a fantastic scrap. Rory’s nose. Robbie’s lip. Momentum swings with a fifth round finish. Both men showed off tons of heart and toughness for days. What a wild welterweight title fight this was!
Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum went down at UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia back in 2019, with the promotion’s interim middleweight title up for grabs. Gastelum went right at Izzy, throwing hard combos in the pocket. Adesanya recovered from being rocked to get the fight back on his side, and managed to drop Gastelum a bunch of times in the final round of the war. All of the toughness was in this fight!
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Tournament bracket (click to enlarge):