It’s an interesting weekend in combat sports as we get fairly solid cards from all three disciplines. Glory returns to the states for a heavyweight tournament, as well as the crowning of a welterweight champion. Bellator gets an interim championship fight as one of its biggest personalities goes after gold again. Plus perhaps the biggest PPV event of the year goes down as Floyd Mayweather Jr. gears up for yet another one sided beatdown of a game challenger.
Since it feels appropriate I’m going to give you predictions on all three cards.
Interim Bantamweight title bout: Joe Warren vs. Rafael Silva
Warren is the guy Bellator really wants to have a title of some sort. He’s got a great pedigree from his wrestling days and has that big, over-sized personality that is made for the camera. There is something hilarious about a guy who weighs 150 pounds at most calling himself the baddest man on the planet, of course, but Warren got an easy track to what we all thought would be a beatdown from Eduardo Dantas. Dantas got hurt and now Silva, who was going to get the winner of Warren/Dantas, instead has been called up on short notice and was given a shot at holding Bellator gold early on.
And he messed that up by not making weight, a very tough thing to do on a couple weeks notice.
Now the interesting thing is that everything about this fight favors Warren. He had ample time to prepare and Silva, who missed weight, can’t win the title. Only Warren can. He’s got all the odds in his favor … and yet this is Bellator, where hilarity often happens. As much as I think it would be interesting to see Bellator promote an interim champion way more than their actual champion … I have a feeling that Rafael Silva pulls off an absolute stomping of Joe Warren.
Prediction: Silva by TKO, round 1
Welterweight semifinal bout: Andrey Koreshkov vs. Justin Baesman
This is a last minute change because Sam Oropeza missed weight. Regardless I think Koreshkov, who most people remember for taking the most one sided title fight loss in Bellator history against Ben Askren, rolls on to the final. I had him favored over Oropeza, as well, and I think he rolls on through to the final.
Bantamweight bout: Marcos Galvao vs. Thomas Vasquez
Galvao is another guy in the MMA world, nothing more, as he has a ton of fights against high level guys … but hasn’t beaten any of them. Vasquez has a great record … but against guys without Wikipedia pages. Look for Galvao to tool him here.
Light Heavyweight bout: Liam McGeary vs. Mike Mucitelli
McGeary and Mucitelli are normally guys you’d call prospects based on their records … if neither weren’t already 30 and up, age wise. Mucitelli has the better camp, the latest Renzo Gracie Team product, but McGeary has the better hands. I think this winds up being a highlight reel knockout to kick off the Spike TV broadcast.
Prediction: McGeary by KO
ShoBox “The Moment” (Mayweather vs. Maidana)
Amir Khan vs. Luis Collazo
Khan’s on a huge card, probably the biggest one of his career, and yet he’s almost an afterthought right now. He was the clear favorite to headline against Floyd … and the fans told Floyd they wanted him … yet he got passed over. It’s kind of funny in only the way combat sports can be, it seems. My gut instinct says that he’s probably been told that if he wins here he’ll get Floyd in September and I think he does enough to cruise to a win. Collazo’s a tough but winnable fight for him.
Prediction – Khan
Adrien Broner vs. Carlos Molina
The only intriguing fight on this card to me is to see how Broner reacts to the first loss of his career. Maidana didn’t just beat him; he knocked him down and kicked his ass all over the ring. Broner has talked the talk leading up to the fight, the same old “Problem” type of persona came out in force during the pre fight presser, but how will he fight?
Molina’s an interesting style matchup for him and I think Broner coasts to a win here regardless … but how much did the Maidana loss mess with his mind? I don’t know … so far it doesn’t look like it but losing that way has changed the fortunes of a lot of fighters. Don’t be surprised if Molina catches him early and makes it closer than it should be.
Prediction – Broner
WBA Welterweight Title – Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana
Let’s be fair; if Maidana wins more than the final round, when Floyd runs away after having secured enough to win in a rout, should be considered a moral victory for him. The fact that this is a high profile fight that’ll cross the million PPV buy mark is a testament to how big of a draw Floyd is, not that this fight will be close. The fact that they’re teasing that this could be “the moment” when Floyd loses means they’re basically acknowledging that the only intrigue is if Floyd (at age 37) finally has lost a step and his plethora of personal problems (many related to the fact that he’s a convicted domestic abuser) are more prominent than this fight tells you everything you need to know.
Floyd’s going to cruise through this without a problem. The one thing Floyd has managed to do throughout his career is be the consummate fighting professional. He’s always in great shape, year round, and arguably could fight on short notice if he absolutely cared to. Floyd, for his big time “money” persona and apparent inability to stop hitting women over the years, is still a professional’s professional and won’t show up to this fight in anything but his normal boxing self. He may be a couple steps slower than he was in 2008 … but he’s still a hundred steps ahead of Maidana.
Prediction – Mayweather by unanimous decision, maybe 120-108
Ben Edwards vs. Errol Zimmerman
Probably the one guaranteed violent as all hell brawl on this card, someone’s getting carried out of Denver after this fight. I like Zimmerman to be the last man standing here.
Prediction – Zimmerman
Anderson “Braddock” Silva vs. Sergey Kharitonov
In the past couple years Braddock Silva hasn’t had a great record on paper … but when you look at his strength of schedule it’s nothing to sneeze at. He’s lost to Daniel Ghita, Gokhan Saki, Badr Hari, Bojansky, et al … so he’s not getting lamped by bums. He’s losing to that upper crust of guys.
Kharitonov has been mixing up MMA and kickboxing since he was tapped by Josh Barnett in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, smashing bums in M-1 level organizations while slowly pursuing a kickboxing career at the same time. Kharitonov could be signed by the UFC right now and he’d arguably be a Top 10 guy there right after. Silva’s better technically but I like Kharitonov’s power a little more.
Prediction – Kharitonov
Pat Barry vs. Zack Mwekassa
Barry returns to Spike TV for his second fight in kickboxing since his retirement from MMA. He seems more motivated than he ever was in MMA, as well, looking in the best shape of his career. Mwekassa has a great record coming from Africa, where he’s got a ton of accolades, but I think Barry’s return to the spotlight is a successful one.
Prediction – Barry
Glory welterweight title – Karapet Karapetyan vs. Marc de Bonte
This feels like a consolation prize more than anything else, with Nieky Holzken originally supposed to be in this bout (and having withdrawn due to injuries) for what should’ve been his coronation on top of the division. Karapetyan vs. Holzken’s a very intriguing matchup later this year and Glory has an easy sell if Karapetyan wins; Holzken already beat him and selling it as a champion looking to avenge a recent loss isn’t all that hard of a sell. Especially considering the fight at Glory 13 was an excellent fight.
That basically leaves de Bonte to play spoiler here and the one thing about Glory cards is there’s always some massive upsets on nearly every card. If there’s a big time upset to be found it’s this fight.
Prediction – de Bonte
Tags: Boxing, Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts