Opinion: Golden Boy’s First MMA Card a Win
Drew Zuhosky thinks Golden Boy Promotions hit a home run Saturday night.
By Drew Zuhosky
Heading into Saturday night’s Golden Boy MMA card, highlighted by the end of the Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell rivalry in the main event, many people, myself included, were unsure as to how a promotion which had exclusively put on boxing events, would present mixed martial arts.
After seeing the card on Saturday night, I have but one phrase to describe it:
In short, Golden Boy MMA’s first outing last Saturday evening was incredible, From the single prelim on FITE TV before the main card to the main event itself, there weren’t too many hiccups to mention here.
Aside from the FITE TV stream buffering momentarily during the fighter walkouts in the prelim, everything went off without much hassle during Golden Boy MMA 1 on Saturday.
Now, let’s address the fights themselves. Between the FITE TV undercard and the pay-per-view, those who tuned in got to watch a total of seven fights on Saturday.
As a whole, the card featured 18 MMA fights, including 11 dark matches, one of which wrapped up as the pay-per-view was coming on the air.
To reiterate what was mentioned during an article regarding Bellator 206 earlier in the year, dark matches are very common in combat sports. Bellator regularly conducts dark matches prior to the Internet prelims on a card.
Stoppages reigned supreme, as only two of the fights broadcast on Saturday went to the scorecards for decisions.
Deron Winn, who had won exclusively by first-round stoppages in his previous four MMA appearances, scored a unanimous decision victory against Tom Lawlor in the co-main event. This was preceded by Gleison Tibau winning by unanimous decision himself over Efrain Escudero.
There was also an innovative look at one of the fights, as the Ricky Palacios vs. Walel Watson contest featured referee Frank Trigg equipped with a body cam, with the fight occasionally being shown from that vantage point, including the knockout.
The main event itself was spectacular. Although there was no championship belt at stake at The Forum in Los Angeles between Liddell and Ortiz, there were still fireworks in the short fight, a first-round knockout by Ortiz.
All in all, Golden Boy MMA 1 was an impressive first foray for the company into mixed martial arts. Personally, I’d like to see future Golden Boy MMA events.
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