Friday, November 30, 2012

Bellator 82 preview: Countdown to Spike TV

My 101st blog – and last one of November – features a significantly less fun topic: Bellator!

Thing is, people should be getting excited about this company. UFC's final leg of the deal with Spike TV runs out at the end of December. So in 32 days, Bellator moves up from MTV2 to its fellow Viacom network, who is famous for bringing the UFC into the limelight.

Bellator will be adding on a reality show (a-la The Ultimate Fighter) and is going to start implementing rematch clauses into title match contracts. That means that only one more champion will ever have to worry about losing the belt and having to go through a full tournament for another crack at the belt.

Bellator's position as No. 2 in the world should be solidified by this, and I'm looking forward to it.

Until then, though, the MTV2 era still has three events left, and the one tonight features the Welterweight Tournament final between Lyman Good and Andrey Koreshkov.

This is the first of three U.S.-Russia clashes in a tournament final. (Actually, Marcin Held in the lightweight final is Polish, so all four finals are U.S vs. an Eastern Euro nation. Hmm...)

So in this East-West clash, we have a former Bellator champion and perennial contender facing off against a 22-year-old, undefeated prospect, who has excellent hand-to-hand combat training.

Koreshkov has a win against Marius Zaromskis, a former champion in Japan, while Good has wins against, well, most every welterweight in Bellator's division.

I would not be surprised if Koreshkov turned out to be the real deal, but I can't pick against someone as established as Good. I'll take him to keep distance, get a few takedowns, and score points on ground-and-pound. In the end, Good by decision.

Rest of the Main Card

160-lb. Catchweight Bout: David Rickels v. Jason Fischer - This is a pretty weak card, all things considered. This feels like a way to show off Rickels' abilities, so I'll take him by submission in Round 1.

Middleweight Bout: Kala Hose v. Doug Marshall - Hose is on a three-fight losing streak. Marshall is a former WEC champion. Who do you think I'll take? Marshall's size alone should be trouble, and I'll take him by KO 2.

Lightweight Bout: Alexander Sarnavskiy v. Tony Hervey - Again, Bellator looks to be showing off the talent who got knocked off early in the tournaments. I'll take the former M-1 Global Eastern European champion (Sarnavskiy) to win by decision.

All things considered, this card isn't very good. But the main event is worth checking out, and the next two cards have multiple good fights. Heck, the finale in two weeks is pretty stacked. So stay tuned to MTV2! (While you can!)

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