It is hard to believe that Bellator is putting on the best card this weekend with UFC have two. Going down Friday November 19 in San Jose. Be sure to tune in on Spike TV at 6pm PST.
Michael Chandler (c) vs. Benson “Smooth” Henderson
This is a pretty interesting showdown for the Bellator strap that will definitely prove who is the best lightweight out of the UFC right now. Both are very well rounded with a ton of championship experience.
Michael Chandler has a strong wrestling background and proven to be the better finisher of the two with only two of his win coming by decision. In his last two fights his striking looked the best it has ever looked! Michael needs to stay patient looking for the opening as Ben is a tough guy to finish.
After getting denied by the now former welterweight champ in his Bellator debut, he has dropped to his natural weight class and dispatched Patricio Freire to earn a title fight. Also with a wrestling background, Henderson also grew up doing traditional martial arts and does grappling competitions as often as possible between fights.
I give Chandler the power. Cardio is a wash. Ben should be the slicker grappler. Henderson is great striking on the outside with Chandler getting the upper hand on the inside. This should come down to who imposes their will more.
Prediction: Chandler by decision
Michael “Venom” Page vs. Fernando Gonzalez
How high is Page’s ceiling? Every fight he gets a slightly better opponent and has yet to disappoint with a perfect 11-0 record. Gonsalvez is the most experienced and well rounded opponent he has every gone up against. The finish of his last fight was one of the most brutal finishes in the sport. He kneed his opponent to the head as he is coming in for a takedown so hard it made a knee sized indent in his skull! Given his kickboxing background, he is probably the best striking in Bellator.
Fernando will have to do much better at closing the distance and getting this to the ground then MVPs previous 11 opponents. He has tons of experience (38 fights) plus trains at Team Quest with the like of Dan Henderson. He has been given no easy fights since Bellator signed him but has inexplicably won them all. Can he continue that trend?
Prediction: Page by KO second round
Linton “The Swarm” Vassell vs. Francis “Limitless” Carmont
The battle to find out who is the better foreign black guy in the Bellator light heavyweight division. Linton has a great record of 16-5 facing lesser opposition. Francis has a 25-11 record fight against much better fights in the UFC for most of his career.
Both are pretty well rounded and over 30 years old. I haven’t seen anything from Vassell that make me think he will get this win. Francis is the much more proven fighter with a WAY better camp, Tristar MMA. I don’t usually go for the French on anything but why not.
Prediction: Carmont by decision
Adam Piccolotti vs. Brandon Girtz
Adam has a perfect 8-0 record and after four fights on the BEllator undercard, he finally gets the call up to the big show. As one would expect, this is a big step up in competition. He is a tenacious grappler that is very young and hungry and continues to show improvement in every fight.
Brandon has a very similar grappling heavy style with 8 of his 14 wins coming via submission. H has a ton more experience with 10 more fights than Adam has. Girtz will need to look to that experience to get the win.
This winner is going to be the one who wins the scrambles and keeps the better positions.
Prediction: Brandon by decision
Keri Anne Melendez vs. Sheila Padilla
Not much is known about both of these fighters. The wife of Gilbert Melendez, former Strikeforce champ and current UFC fighter, is making her pro MMA debut. She has some pro kickboxing experience with a 3-1 record.
Sheila has a whopping 2 professional fights and thank goodness she won both. Too bad they were decisions so that doesn’t tell me much.
Prediction: Mrs. Melendez by TKO in the second