The first truly busy weekend of 2016 in MMA took place the last couple of days. From Indonesia to Utah, if you complained about there being no fights to watch, you obviously were not looking hard enough.
Though the weekend was exciting, Bellator 149 was not the greatest way to kick it off. Light Heavyweight Linton Vassell won his rematch against former champion Emanuel Newton despite taking several illegal groin shots. Vassell won by unanimous decision. Lightweight Derek Campos snapped a two fight losing streak when he knocked out Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard at :32 of round 2. In a Heavyweight contest that turned out to be a snooze fest, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson won by TKO against fellow street fighter Dhafir "Dada5000" Harris at 1:32 of round 3. The main event saw MMA pioneer and legend Royce Gracie win a controversial fight against Ken Shamrock. The Light Heavyweight contest ended by way of TKO when Gracie, who didn't even have his hands wrapped for the fight, utilized ground and pound following a unnoticed groin strike. The stoppage came at 2:22 of round 2.
A much more exciting RFA 35 saw Thiago Alves Cavalcante Rodrigues defeat David Putvin by decision in a Lightweight contest. In the main event Thiago Moises took home the Lightweight belt after an armbar victory over David Castillo at 3:19 of round 2.
At ONE Championship 37 Welterweight Luis Santos looked impressive with a devastating TKO (knee, soccer kicks) over Rafael Silva at 1:17 of round 1. Featherweight Kotetsu Boku took out Vincent Latoel with a TKO at 4:04 of round 2.
One of the more questionable decisions of the weekend took place at WSOF 28. Bantamweight Timur Valiev lost a split decision to Chris Gutierrez. There was no question about who won the main event though. Bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes successfully defended his belt again, this time against Joseph Barajas. Moraes won via TKO at 1:13 of round 1.
UFC Fight Night 83 capped off the weekend in impressive fashion. Flyweight Cody Garbrandt moved up to a catchweight of 140 pounds to take on Augusto Mendes. Garbrandt came out on top with a TKO coming at 4:18 of round 1. Middleweight Derek Brunson made quick work of Roan Carneiro with a TKO at just 2:38 of round 1. The main event saw a match-up between two "Cowboys." Lightweight Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone won the battle of the nicknames over Alex "Cowboy" Oliveira when he pulled off a slick triangle choke at 2:33 of round 1.
Light Heavyweight legend Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will be returning to Bellator after his contract dispute was figured out.
Invicta FC 16 has been announced for March 11 and will feature a title fight between Atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki defending her belt against Amber Brown.