Once again, Bellator’s venture in to the pay-per-view market hasn’t gone as swimmingly as they would have hoped, with their lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez withdrawing through injury ahead of his highly anticipated rubber match with Michael Chandler, but at least this show is still going ahead. That’s something, right?
Anyway, I could wax lyrical about the intricacies and importance of the Rampage-King Mo match-up, or the very real possibility that Tito Ortiz could make it to the cage in one piece, but I’m here for the prelims, baby.
So let’s get cracking.
Cheick Kongo vs. Eric Smith – 265lbs.
I’m not too sure who approved this form of match-making, but I do not know how this one came to be. Kongo unsuccessfully challenged for the Bellator Heavyweight Championship in his last fight, while Smith hasn’t won a fight since 2009. This is stupid.
Way too big a step up for Smith, and a pretty insulting drop in competition for Kongo. Kongo takes Smith out with ease.
Prediction – Kongo via KO/TKO
Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Fabrício Guerreiro – 145lbs.
With the scheduled lightweight bout of Patricky Freire vs. Marcin Held nixed as a result of an injury sustained to Freire, Shamhalaev and Guerreiro will take their place on the prelims, having had their own bout delayed from Bellator 119 after Shamhalaev ran in to visa issues.
Shamhalaev is a legit threat to all but the very best that the Bellator featherweight division has to offer, and with his stellar background in Muay Thai, has the ability to end a fight in an instance. Shamhalaev’s only two losses have come via submission, and Guerreiro does hold a BJJ black belt, as well as 12 submission victories to his name. That being said, I expect Shamhalaev to blow Guerreiro away on the feet before Guerreiro can get this one to the mat.
Prediction – Shamhalaev via KO/TKO
Mike Richman vs. Goiti Yamauchi – 145lbs.
Both Richman and Yamauchi fell at the first hurdle of the latest Bellator featherweight tournament, suffering defeats in the quarter-finals to Desmond Green (Richman) and Will Martinez (Yamauchi) respectively.
Richman will hold an advantage over Yamauchi on the feet, but not enough to make too much of an impact. Yamauchi gets this to the ground and works his superior ground game to conclusion.
Prediction – Yamauchi via submission
Tags: Bellator, Bellator 120, Cheick Kongo, Mixed Martial Arts