There’s just something about Denis Kang that seems to make him vulnerable to silly submissions. He stuck his head right into the triangle Mousassi caught him in last year, and tonight he ended up getting caught in a submission from Alan … freaking … Belcher.
It wasn’t like Kang wasn’t being cautious enough. Actually, moving towards the end of the second round I was feeling like he was showing Belcher way too much respect. He was holding back, refusing to engage, and relying on his wrestling too much even though he was winning the exchanges on the feet.
On the ground, Kang had all the tools at the start of the fight but as Belcher managed to escape a few submissions by a hair, Denis seems like he lost confidence in what he was doing. So halfway through the fight he seemed lost as to what to do on the ground AND on the feet.
So the result of all this was Belcher catching Kang in a choke as Kang shot in, tapping him. Afterwards, Belcher seemed pretty pleased with himself considering Kang practically earned a 10-8 round in the first. I’d say past a few ineffectual kicks, that choke at the end was the only good thing Belcher got off in the entire fight. So to hear him say afterwards that he’s at the top of the division now … pretty amusing.
What happens with Kang next? I’m sure he’ll be back but what’s next for him depends on him and not his opponents. You aren’t going to find many dudes who are more tailor made for you than Belcher was for Kang, and Kang had the fight and simply choked and lost it. This isn’t the first time he’s been stuck in a bit of a skid (he’s now 3-3 since 2007), so let’s hope he gets his head back into the place where he knows he kicks ass, and is able to pull the trigger.