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Monday, May 9, 2011
McCall outworks Ortiz; Hieron holds on

By Josh Gross
ESPN.com

As if mixed martial arts events in UFC 129's immediate wake weren't going to automatically feel less important. Add Manny Pacquiao's considerable shadow and you have the recipe for good MMA flying under the radar. For competitors and promoters involved this weekend, that turned to be true of quality cards in Newkirk, Okla., and Lemoore, Calif., where, respectively, Bellator Fighting Championships and Tachi Palace Fights put on fights of some significance.

The weekend's best effort was streamed online when Ian McCall, unquestionably a top-5 flyweight, showed, again, the level of excitement and skill to be had at 125 pounds. Other efforts were solid; some not so much.

In a limited report card, we're handing out no worse than a C- this week:

Josh Gross covers MMA for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at JoshGrossESPN.