Scott Coker & the Bellator crew is bringing one hell of a fight card August 23 in San Jose California. I raise my hat for this incredible mix of big names and exciting match ups.
Benson Henderson vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire
While I am super excited for this fight, the outcome feels almost certain to me. The two Pitbull brothers are very similar in their style and how they fight, just a 10-pound weight difference separates the two. One of them is better than the other. Hendo already beat up the younger/better brother not too long ago . . . .
Prediction: Henderson by decision
Javy Ayala vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson
I love Big Country but he has lost the last 7 of his 10 fights. That isn’t a good look. To his credit none of those losses were to slouches, most of whom were former or future UFC champs. Good news is he still hasn’t lost that chin and is going up against a slugger in Ayala.
I give Javy credit for looking good against the savvy veteran (Sergei Kharitonov) in his last fight. That brought him to the illustrious record of 10-5, granted 6-2 in Bellator. At 29, he is coming into the prime of his career against a 41-year-old. Ayala has a prime opportunity to beat a big name in the heavyweight division but I think he is too impatient and is going to get caught with a big right hand from Nelson.
Prediction: Roy Nelson by KO in the 2nd round
Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin
Oh my goodness! This fight has the potential of absolute greatness. Both are dynamic strikers with plenty of power. The first round can end in any second. Larkin shows some hints of his karate background with his kicks and will most likely have the advantage with the kicks. Daley will most likely have the boxing advantage. While Lorenz can hit very hard, Paley will have the power advantage going into this fight.
The big factor of this fight will be the range. Can Lorenz come in and out landing big kicks and punches throwing off Daley? Or will Daley get in the pocket and land bombs? Close call but I am leaning towards the first option.
Prediction: Larkin by TKO in the second
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Adam Piccolotti
Adam is putting his undefeated record on the line in his quest for to become the champion. He is very well rounded but has a knack of getting the sub finish. Yamauchi has an incredible grappling game, even off of his back. Despite being 24, Goiti already has 24 fights and winning 21 of them. That is super impressive for someone not even in his prime yet. So I expect Adam to keep this on the feet and mixing in clinch and cage work to win rounds.
Prediction: Piccolotti by decision
Aaron Pico vs. Justin “The Mortal Sin” Linn
So Aaron Pico came into his first professional MMA fights as a highly touted prospect with a fantastic amateur wrestling background with a junior golden gloves championship. He fought a gigantic lightweight, Zach Freeman, and got merked in the first round. He is dropping 10 pounds and trying again.
Justin Linn is no easy match up with a 10-3 record only losing to UFC fighters & a 25 fight veteran at the time. He has finished two fights finished with leg injury TKOs and guillotines. Linn hasn’t gone the easy way until now, comparatively, this should be a walk in the park.
Prediction: Justin Linn by Submission in the second