Commentary

WSOF picks up weekend slack

Originally Published: March 25, 2013
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Thursday, Friday and Saturday featured noteworthy mixed martial arts televised live throughout the U.S. Even without a UFC to hold their attention, MMA fans had plenty of worthwhile fight-watching options, though only hard-cores dared to pull off this weekend's trifecta.

Bellator's wild card in Lewiston, Maine, unloaded a series of fast finishes. It saved the best MMA for last when Dave Jansen battled Marcin Held over three rounds. A name worth remembering is Michael Page (4-0), the fast and twitchy British welterweight who already has earned a reputation as a showboating finisher. It's no mystery why people are falling for the lanky 25-year-old, but I need to see him fight a quality wrestler before jumping on the bandwagon.

On Friday, the Resurrection Fighting Alliance went to Denver for the first time. Brandon Thatch disposed of Mike Rhodes midway through the first. He's a welterweight worth watching, and RFA will continue to promote him unless the UFC shows interest and wishes he'd join the party. The rear-naked choke finish was pretty, but it wasn't enough for him to jump out more than 22-year-old featherweight Mirsad Bektic, who improved to 6-0 with an early win over Nick Macias.

And Saturday's second World Series of Fighting event in Atlantic City, N.J., put on 13 contests, most of which were well matched. WSOF is the focus of this week's Report Card, which features the night's televised winners.