Laying Down Leather #10: Bellator 238, RIZIN, and Special Announcement!

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Laying Down Leather, the casual blog post discussing my thoughts on events throughout the past week. There’s a lot to discuss this week so let’s jump in.

Before the MMA thoughts, I have a very special announcement. On February 3rd, I will launch my new MMA news site, Knockdown News! This will be my final week doing MMA coverage on, with the coverage switching next week.

It feels like a new chapter to me. One where I can continue to do what I love and hopefully reach more people. Also, I have many new ideas for the site. Some I’ve already unveiled at, and some will be rolled out in the coming months.

Anyway, no more about me…


I did not catch much MMA this week due to my work. But, I am slowly working through the week.

Cris Cyborg had a successful Bellator debut on Saturday, stopping Julia Budd in the fourth round. The fight was amazing to me as it was another example of the nonstop pace that Cyborg can work. To say it’s impressive is an understatement.

Read: Cris Cyborg Claims Bellator Featherweight Championship, Stopping Budd In Four Rounds

I’m happy that Darrion Caldwell advanced into the next round. It sucks to see Adam Borics take his first loss as a pro, but obviously, we will see him again. Caldwell versus McKee in the next round should be really fun. I wonder how long we’ll have to wait to see that. Hopefully enough time for me to decide who I think will win.

Read: Darrion Caldwell Advances In Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix With First Round Stoppage

Um, I think many expected Sergio Pettis to have a good debut in Bellator, but did many expect that? That was pretty, well, uh, brutal for his opponent.

Unrelated to Bellator, but I watched CES on Friday and quite enjoyed it. I have not followed CES closely in the past, but they put on some good fights and had a pretty good television product for a regional MMA promotion. I’ll check them out again soon.

Read the full coverage of CES 60

RIZIN announced many fights for RIZIN 21, and I have a few thoughts.

The elephant in the room is that it’s a weak card. And while this could change, it currently lacks any of the promotion’s major stars. This wasn’t a shocker to me since everyone just fought a month ago.

With that being said, I’m happy to see Roque Martinez and Kyle Aguon on the card. The representation of Guam in JMMA is such an interesting crossover.

What’s Ahead

This week I’ll have my late full scouting reports of UFC on ESPN+ 24 and Bellator 238 out on the site. Before switching over to Knockdown News on Monday, I’ll have live coverage of ONE Championship on Friday morning.

Laying Down Leather will continue as a Monday morning series on Knockdown News.

Have a great week!


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