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Ascension 351 PBP Commentary


Coming up we have a middleweight MMA rules bout between Arkady Balagan and Don Johnson. Johnson is bouncing up and down as he enters the arena, backed by Miami Vice Theme Song. Arkady Balagan has the edge in experience - let's see if he can make that count tonight.

182 cm
30
195 lbs
14 - 10 - 1
186 cm
27
204 lbs
5 - 4 - 0
Good wrestling
Basic striking
Cardio machine
Excellent grappler
Excellent boxer
Good gas tank

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-



Ladies and gentlemen. This fight is 3 rounds, in the middleweight division.
Introducing the fighter to my left, fighting out of the red corner.
With a record of 14 wins, 10 losses and 1 draws, fighting out of Los Angeles, Arkady Balagan!
And introducing the fighter to my right, fighting out of the blue corner.
With a record of 5 wins, 4 losses and 0 draws, fighting out of Los Angeles, Don Johnson!
The judges for this bout are Yves DeLean, Steve Smith and Robert Douchet.



The bell rings for round one and we are underway!
Johnson throws an off balance right hand

and Balagan counters with a shoot takedown. Johnson fights it but they end up in guard.
Balagan working from the guard for now, landing some ground and pound.
Balagan with a flurry of punches that miss.
Balagan with a couple of shots to the head there. Not particularly brutal.
The fighters are pressed up against the cage, both looking to find a bit of space to work.
Johnson controlling Balagan's posture.
Johnson utilising some decent striking defenses from the guard, preventing the ground and pound.
Johnson is pulling down on Balagan's head. It's preventing any offense from Balagan, at least for the moment.
Balagan stopping the sweep attempt from Johnson.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.
Balagan throwing strikes from guard but Johnson blocks nicely.
Balagan works over Johnson with some ground and pound from guard.
Johnson wants to sweep but no luck.
Johnson working a defensive guard here.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Balagan trying to control the position from guard on top but Johnson is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
Balagan postures up in Johnson's guard and throws a big left but Johnson blocks it.
Balagan trying to control the position from guard on top but Johnson is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
Johnson tries to land a sweep but no joy.
Johnson has his hands on Balagan's head, controlling the position.
Johnson trying to keep a closed guard but Balagan is proving a slippery customer.
Balagan postures up in Johnson's guard and throws a big left but Johnson blocks it.
Balagan postures up in Johnson's guard and throws a big left but Johnson blocks it.
Balagan connects with a couple of short punches.
Balagan content to strike from guard, landing some decent shots.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
Balagan lands a nice shot whilst sitting in his opponent's guard.
Balagan with a flurry of punches that miss.
Johnson tries to land a sweep but no joy.
Johnson controls Balagan momentarily but Balagan frees himself.
Balagan trying to land body shots but he keeps hitting the mat.
Johnson lands a beautiful sweep and he's now moved into his opponent's guard.

Johnson looking to pass the guard.
Johnson wants to control from the top but Balagan keeps moving.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Balagan wants to sweep but no luck.
Balagan is pulling down on Johnson's head to control his posture.
Johnson trying to control but Balagan is working from the bottom.
Johnson passes Balagan's left leg - he's now in half guard.
Balagan holds on for dear life, maintaining half guard for now.
The referee calls for the fighters to work.
The ref warns both fighters not to hold the cage as they work up against the meshing.
Johnson looking to pass the half guard. Not this time.

Johnson is sneakily working for an arm triangle but Balagan sees it coming and defends easily.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
The crowd are getting on the fighters' backs, as the pace has dropped off in the last minute or so.
Balagan is trying to maintain the position but Johnson is very close to passing his half guard.
Johnson tries to pass to full mount but Balagan defends it.
Balagan is looking to control Johnson's leg but it's slowly edging free. Can Balagan avoid being mounted?
The referee is pacing around the two fighters - he looks like he's thinking about a standup.
Johnson trying to control the action but Balagan is working from the bottom.

The referee decides to stand the fighters back up.
Balagan ducks under an overhand right and circles away with a smile on his face.

Excellent takedown into side control there by Balagan.
Balagan throwing strikes but Johnson manages to buck up and roll into a nice reversal - now he's on top in side control!
The crowd thankful this round is nearly over.

Johnson is trying to land an Americana. He has the arm isolated but Balagan is keeping cool and he's avoided the danger for now.

Johnson goes for an armbar here - this could be all over! But no, Balagan has escaped beautifully and is now on top in side control! Oh, that's unlucky for Johnson but great work by Balagan.
And that’s the end of the round – the fighters go back to their corners.

Arkady Balagan dominated that round.
That's time! Back to the action!



Johnson decides to change it up a bit and drives through with a nice takedown into half guard.
Balagan is pressing down on Johnson's left leg trying to get back to full guard. He's managed it.
Johnson with a nice head shot there.
Johnson tries to free his leg and advance position but Balagan is retaining full guard.
Johnson sitting in guard, not really doing much.
Johnson looking to sit in guard and control but Balagan gets the butterfly guard and sweeps. He's now in the guard on the top.

Johnson is working an open guard here, looking to improve his position. No doubt that will leave him open to counters but at least he's being more offensive.
We've had a slow start to the round here - hopefully the action picks up.
Johnson looking to control.
Balagan working some strikes from top position.
There's a bit of a scramble here and now Johnson is on top in guard.

Johnson advances to half guard.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Balagan is doing well to control the position and prevent Johnson from advancing to side control.
Balagan moves his hips nicely and gets into full guard.
Johnson looking to pass the guard.
Arkady Balagan overall seems to be getting the better of the ground position in the fight so far.
Balagan is pulling down on Johnson's head. It's preventing any offense from Johnson, at least for the moment.
Johnson wants to pass the guard but Balagan is keeping the position.
Balagan keeping moving, preventing Johnson from controlling successfully.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
There's not a lot going on here and the crowd are letting the fighters know they're not willing to tolerate a lack of action.
Balagan can't do much from the bottom at the moment, as Johnson controls the pace.
Johnson looking to pass the guard.
Johnson is still trying to improve position.
Johnson keeps trying to improve his position.
Balagan is working from a closed guard but he's struggling to control his opponent.
Balagan throwing strikes off his back to little effect.
Balagan keeping full guard, as Johnson tries to pass.

The referee has stepped in and called for a break in the action. We'll restart on the feet.
Johnson works Balagan's body with a nice hook.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Balagan slips a straight right by Johnson.
Balagan tries to counter with a takedown but Johnson is quick to defend against it.

Balagan looking for a takedown here - he's got it.
Johnson looking to hit a scissor sweep but Balagan is one step ahead there.
Balagan is looking to work some ground and pound but Johnson has wrist control.
Balagan working in close now, lands a nice elbow to the side of Johnson's head.
Balagan connects with a couple of short punches.
Balagan keeps in close for a moment and lands a decent shot to the side of Johnson's head.
There's a bit of a scramble here and now Johnson is on top in guard.

Balagan keeping moving, preventing Johnson from controlling successfully.
Balagan working a defensive guard here.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
Johnson wants to control from the top but Balagan keeps moving.
Johnson is looking to advance position but Balagan has hit a scissor sweep - now he's on top in mount!

Johnson regains half guard.
This has been an exciting period of action!
Balagan is scoring with some nice ground and pound from the dominant position.
Johnson blocking the ground and pound attempt from Balagan.
The crowd thankful this round is nearly over.
Johnson wants to control but Balagan is keeping busy.
Balagan throwing shots but Johnson is blocking nicely.
And that’s the end of the round – the fighters go back to their corners.

That was a close second round but I would say that Arkady Balagan will probably get the nod.
That's the end of the interval. I'm sure that seemed a lot quicker than a minute for our two fighters! Back to the action. Let's get this one finished - here comes the final round!


Balagan uses good footwork to avoid the strikes from Johnson.
Johnson keeping a good distance there, avoiding the body shot.
Johnson throws a two punch combo that lands nicely.

Balagan gets the takedown into side control.
Johnson parries the strikes from Balagan easily there. Balagan is wary of posturing up too much because it might enable Johnson to escape.

Balagan swings around for an armbar but Johnson sees it coming a mile off and turns beautifully into Balagan's guard.
Johnson tries to free his leg and advance position but Balagan is retaining full guard.
Johnson is looking to pass into half guard but Balagan pushes him away with his feet and jumps on top - now Balagan is in guard.

We've seen a great period of action over the last minute or so - credit to both fighters for going all out!

Balagan drops back looking for a leg! Johnson is in trouble here! The fighters roll with the hold and Johnson manages to kick Balagan off! Balagan jumps back into Johnson's guard.
Balagan is looking to work some ground and pound but Johnson has wrist control.
Johnson is avoiding any damage by keeping wrist control.
Johnson is trying to keep Balagan in close.

That's one minute gone in the round.
Balagan preventing the sweep.
Balagan is sitting in guard, working some ground and pound.
Balagan stands up and looks to throw the legs aside to pass to side control. Johnson swivels though and keeps the full guard.
Balagan throwing elbows and punches but not connecting, as Johnson works some decent striking defense from the bottom.
Balagan trying to control the position from guard on top but Johnson is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
Johnson avoiding any damage from the ground and pound.
Johnson has control of Balagan's left arm, preventing Balagan from doing any damage.
Johnson trying to keep a closed guard but Balagan is proving a slippery customer.

That's two minutes gone in the round.
Well. There's a bit of a lull in the action here and the crowd are starting to get restless.
Johnson controlling Balagan's posture.
Balagan throws a big elbow that misses.
Johnson wants to sweep here but Balagan controlling him for the moment.

The referee decides to stand the fighters back up.
Johnson jabbing away but nothing is landing.
Balagan moves out of range as Johnson strikes.
It looked like Balagan was trying to counter with a body shot coming off that last attack from Johnson.

Balagan drops down and drives through with a powerful takedown into guard.
Johnson keeping moving, preventing Balagan from controlling successfully.
Balagan keeps in close for a moment and lands a decent shot to the side of Johnson's head.

That's three minutes gone in the round.
Balagan postures up and lands a big shot to Johnson's brow.
Balagan trying to control the position from guard on top but Johnson is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
Balagan throws a big elbow that misses.
Johnson working the defensive guard well to avoid strikes from Balagan.
Johnson pulls Balagan in close to his closed guard and prevents Balagan from doing any damage or advancing position.
Balagan trying to control the position from guard on top but Johnson is wriggling around, looking for whatever he can.
Balagan keeps in close for a moment and lands a decent shot to the side of Johnson's head.
Balagan throwing shots from guard but he's hitting more mat than opponent.
Balagan stands and throws Johnson's legs to the side, diving into side control.
Balagan throws an elbow but Johnson slips to the side and avoids it well.

That's four minutes gone in the round.
Balagan scores with punches from side control.
Johnson avoids any damage from the ground and pound of Balagan.
Balagan connects with a decent looking elbow from side control that caused Johnson some visible discomfort.
Arkady Balagan is fighting for a decision here - he's started to take the cautious approach.
The strikes coming from Balagan are missing the target in this wave of attacks.
Balagan working the ground and pound but Johnson is defending the strikes.
Balagan landing a few strikes.

Balagan working hard here to secure a kimura but he's not really in the right position for it.
Johnson manages to land a sweep and he's now on top! Lovely Jiu Jitsu!
Don Johnson has stepped it up - he knows he needs a finish here!
Johnson trying to control the action but Balagan is working from the bottom.

And that's the end of the fight!
Arkady Balagan showed his dominance in that final round.
Well I reckon that's a shut out for Balagan, winning every round. Will the judges agree? They are the ones who matter, even if they are often depressingly incompetent. Over to the ring announcer for the scorecards.

Ladies and gentlemen, after 3 rounds of action, we go to the scorecards for a decision.
Judge Yves DeLean scores the fight 30:27
Judge Steve Smith scores the fight 30:27
Judge Robert Douchet scores the fight 29:28

In favor of your winner, by unanimous decision... Arkady Balagan!

A victorious Arkady Balagan thanked his army of followers in his post fight interview, telling people to make sure they follow him on Twitter.
In defeat, Don Johnson stepped up to the mic, saying 'It never happens this way when I'm on TV.'.
S C
A
G S C
B
G S C G energy
A | B
hype
A | B
pop
A | B
mgr
A | B
FIGHT
RATING
39%
 
 
 
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