Friday, March 16, 2012

Bellator 61 preview (TUF thoughts coming soon)

Yeah, so everyone knows, I can't really give a lot of thoughts on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter until I see how the live format affects the weekly madness.

That said, I'll give my thoughts on the premiere. I felt that the live fights made for a far more interesting format for the play-in fights, and the one-round style kept it from dragging.

However, keeping the fights at two rounds and simply splitting the premiere into two nights might have been a better call. No real damage, though.

Now as to Bellator, I went 5-1 last week, absolutely owning at picks, but now I have another challenge. There is not a title fight on this card, so I have to double dip into their undercard until TUF starts releasing who fights weekly, which may or may not happen.

Well, here are my picks:

Bellator Middleweight tournament

Maiquiel Falcao v. Norman Paraisy

Falcao should be able to handle himself in this one, especially with his BJJ black belt. Moreover, his UFC experience will do him good. I'll take him by Round 2 submission.

Vitor Vianna v. Brian Rogers
I am going to go with Rogers by decision here. I see him being able to control the pace and force the fight through the full 15 minutes. More to the point, he has to want redemption after falling in last year's semis.

Rest of the tournament
Vyacheslav Vasilevsky v. Victor O'Donnell - Vasilevsky by KO Round 3. His stand-up will catch O'Donnell by surprise, who will be trying to avoid the sambo and judo the Russian holds.

Giva Santana v. Bruno Santos - Santana by submission in Round 2. Just a little more experience here.

165 lb Catchweight: Brent Taylor v. Josh Quayhagen - Not going to lie here. For the first time I am picking with no info whatsoever. I'll say Taylor by decision. Pick at your own peril.

Middleweights: Trey Houston v. Jeremiah Riggs - I'll go with Riggs in this fight by KO in Round 1. Riggs showed me something at the Strikeforce Challengers card he was on, and he's been on a winning streak as of late.

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