Friday, April 6, 2012

Overoid (er, Overeem) thoughts and Bellator 64 preview

I am really getting tired of fighters putting fights in jeopardy before they even happen.

I wasn't a fan when Nick Diaz didn't show up to a press conference and cost fans the title fight with Georges St. Pierre. I really wasn't a fan when King Mo tested positive during his fight with Lorenz Larkin, nullifying the chance to see the rematch between him and Gegard Mousasi.

And I am absolutely livid at the fact that a match between UFC Heavyweight World Champion Junior Dos Santos and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion (and the nearly unanimous lineal champion) Alistair Overeem may never happen.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission randomly tested multiple fighters after the UFC 146 press conference, Overeem being one of them. And much to everyone's rage, his levels were well above the NSAC limits.

Overeem can request his 'B' sample be tested and can still apply for a license at the end of the month. However, there is a legitimate chance that the NSAC will say no, and the fans will not get to see the heavily anticipated bout.

Dana White has said that regardless of how this goes, there will be a title fight. And it would seem like Frank Mir would be the likely candidate in that circumstance. While I would love to see Mir get another crack at the belt, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.

Mir vs. Cain Velasquez looked like a legitimately exciting bout and would have yielded a true No. 1 contender for the winner of JDS-'Reem. Moreover, the fight between Overeem and Dos Santos would have ended all doubt that the UFC's champion was the best heavyweight in the world.

White may release Overeem if he doesn't get this fight to happen, and I can't argue with the logic behind it. All I can do is hope the NSAC approves Overeem, takes some of his fight purse, and then JDS subsequently annihilates him.

Anyway, there is some good news in that this will be the final week for a while that I only have Bellator fights to pick. (YES! YES! YES!)

It's good timing, too. I went 2-2 last week and could use some UFC to get me energized. I've got five picks this week, so here we go:

Bellator Welterweight Championship Bout: Ben Askren (c) v. Douglas Lima

Most everyone knows Ben Askren as the kid from the Missouri Tigers who won the Division I national title in wrestling. If he wins, he will be known as the 10-0 fighter who has defended his Bellator title twice.

Douglas Lima poses an interesting challenge, though. Lima decimated the tournament competition last season, knocking out the final two opponents he faced.

Lima has a well-rounded game and is a veteran, but I see Askren as a breakout star in the making. I will take Askren to pick up a decision win.

Bellator Featherweight Semifinal: Alexandre Bezerra v. Marlon Sandro

I will say one thing about this card: This is a competitive nightmare. The featherweight semis will be split apart by multiple weeks, which will give the winner of this fight much more recovery time.

The other semi does not even have a scheduled date yet, so this could very well be the favorite to win the whole thing.

Bezerra looked impressive in his quarterfinal bout, but I'm taking Sandro to win here, most likely to win the final, and get a rematch with the now champion Pat Curran.

Sandro by KO (Round 1)

Bellator Bantamweight Quarterfinals

Masakatsu Ueda v. Travis Marx - Marx is mostly a grappler, so I expect Ueda's heavy wrestling background to be the big factor here. Ueda by decision.

Rodrigo Lima v. Hiroshi Nakamura - Nakamura, while good, almost never finishes fights. Not much is known about Lima besides that he's one of the Noguiera's boys. That's good enough for me. Lima by KO in Round 2.


Chris Horodecki v. Mike Richman - Richman could really use this win to cement himself as a rising star in MMA. That said, Horodecki is a true veteran who needs to come back from his draw a few months back. I'll take Horodecki by decision.

Tune in next week when I'll have some actual UFC to preview!

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