MMA fans, Bellator is back again! And even though the past week has been chock full of notable MMA events, this card is worth a watch.
The story of the card is Welterweights. Every single fight is a Welterweight matchup, barring the co-main event, which will now take place at a Catchweight just two pounds above the Welterweight limit. Two of the promotion’s best, Douglas Lima and Andrei Koreshkov, will vie for Lima’s Welterweight crown. Longtime MMA showman Paul Daley, as well as former Middleweight challenger Brennan Ward, and rising phenom Michael Page will participate on tonight’s card.
I won’t lie, most of these fights come across as squash matches. However, this is Bellator, a promotion where shocking upsets take place in bunches. So, the night won’t necessarily go as predictably as many fans will tend to believe.
Main card (9/8c, Spike TV)
Michael Page (7-0) vs. Rudy Bears (16-13)
The first fight on the main card should be a blitzing entertainer. It should also go in Page’s favor. The Brit is an exciting finisher, possessing a forth dan black belt in Kickboxing, and has ended six of his seven fights in the opening round. Rudy Bears is no joke, but the journeyman is sadly past his prime. He has been finished eleven times in his career, and this should be one of, if not his final fight. I see Venom taking this one handily. Prediction: Page via tko, round 1.
Chris Honeycutt (6-0) vs. Paul Bradley (22-6, 1NC)
While the main card’s opening bout seems to be quite one-sided, such won’t necessarily be the case in the next one. Paul Bradley is a former Strikeforce and UFC fighter, who got cut from the latter promotion way too soon. The wrestler has the ability to finish, having done so on 14 occasions. However, each of his five career Bellator and UFC fights have gone the distance.
While Honeycutt is an even more decorated wrestler, he is not a decision guy at all. He is more of a knockout artist than anything, having ended four fights in that manner. However, I believe he’s a bit overmatched in this one, and I see the veteran coming away with the victory. Prediction: Bradley via unanimous decision.
Brennan Ward (10-3) vs. Roger Carroll (16-11)
Finishers. That’s that’s the best way to describe the two combatants in the main card’s middle tilt. Carroll is a veteran, who has ended 15 of his victories via submission. Meanwhile, Ward has finished nine of his ten wins, mostly via knockout. That said, Carroll has only been knocked out once. And while I’d love to see the Irishman get the upset on short notice here, Ward will likely knock him out by the mid-point of round 2. Prediction: Ward via tko, round 2.
Paul Daley (26-13) vs. Dennis Olson (14-8)
Daley is a braggadocio knockout artist, having pulled off the feat 26 times. , but a finisher nonetheless. Dennis Olson has pulled off nine submission wins, but has been knocked out three times. On top of that, Olson took this fight on short notice. This one should end quickly. Prediction: Daley via tko, round 1.
Bellator Welterweight Championship: (c) Douglas Lima (26-5) vs. Andrei Koreshkov (17-1)
Oh boy, it’s time to address the main event of the evening! This is a fight that Bellator fans have been salivating about for quite some time, and the moment is almost here!
Both men are absolute killers. Koreshkov is one of the best Hand-to-hand combat practitioners in the world, and has won ten of his fights via knockout, and his lone loss came against human blanket Ben Askren. He has since reeled off four straight wins, including a scintillating flying knee knockout of Justin Baesman.
Meanwhile, Lima is a straight up killer. He has 12 knockout wins, as well as eleven submissions. If a fight goes the distance, he’s a meager 3-3. Otherwise, he’s 23-2. The last time he won a decision was against former WSOF champion Steve Carl back in 2011, and his last seven wins have come via finish. His only loss in the last six years came against, go figure, human blanket Ben Askren. With him out of the picture, this division is fun again!
As good as Koreshkov is, Lima is simply better. He’s better on the feet, and better on the ground. Koreshkov can win this, and the two will engage in an epic battle. However, in the end, I see Lima pulling away with a late finish, adding yet another successful title defense to his resume. Prediction: Lima via tko/submission, late round 4.