Bellator has a “huge” card for us going down January 21 in Inglewood, California. In typical fashion, Bellator has some good names but terrible match ups. The prelims have some high-profile names you can watch for free on spike.com prior to the main card.
Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen
Thank God this is Tito’s last fight! From 2000-2002 Tito was a dominate UFC Light heavyweight champion. He made one last run for UFC gold and lost to Chuck Liddell for the second time and was never the same. He is 3-7-1 since then. He plays a good heel but isn’t even the best heel in this fight! His body has continuous injuries that he will love to tell the press once he losses. Once he is retired, he should have plenty more time to support Trump’s initiative to build a wall stopping other Mexicans from getting in the US . . .
Making his Bellator debut, Chael is going to be the slightly younger fighter with WAY less wear and tear on his body. I give Chael the advantage wherever this fight goes. Not sure how much running a submission grappling events translated to his grappling skills but it probably isn’t hurting him.
Unless Tito is juicing to the gills, because he his retiring anyways and this is Bellator, expect Chael to walk all over Tito.
Prediction: Chael by Submission in the third
Paul Daley vs. Brennan Ward
A heavy hitting striker, Daley needs a win to stay relevant in the Bellator welterweight title picture. He just lost in a title contender fight to the current champ, Douglas Lima. No shame in a decision loss to the division’s best right now. Paul will want to stay conservative to find the opening and put Ward’s lights out.
Brennan was the winner of the Bellator Middleweight season 9 tournament. Ward is a bit of a berserker utilizing his wrestling and power to overwhelm his opponents. Minus one odd submission loss to Evangelista Santos, Ward has looks great at this division.
Prediction: Daley by TKO in the first
Ralek Gracie vs. Hisaki Kato
A true throwback fight of a striker versus a grappler. Ralek is from the famous Gracie family and brings the classic Gracie grappling style to the Bellator cage.
Kato is now infamous for KTFO Joe Schilling, twice. Those were pretty brutal as well finishes. He has shown the ability to take advantages of the small opening on while striking to end the show. He has been given some toss-up matches so it will be interesting to see if he can keep a submission artist off of him long enough to land some big punches.
Prediction: Ralek by submission in the first
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Emmanuel Sanchez
This feels like an odd match up right now since Georgi is on a two fight win streak and Emmanuel just lost.
Georgi is trying to rebuild his name after losing Pat Curran and Daniel Weichel in back to back bouts. Karakhanyan is the better finisher of the two wherever this fight goes.
Sanchez’s last 4 fights have all ended by split decision. He is a well-rounded fighter training out of Roufusport in Milwaukee. He is a slightly better grappler than a striker but not amazing anywhere. Just barely good enough to beat his last few opponents according to the judges.
Prediction: Karakhanyan by TKO in the second
Free Spike.com Prelims
Chinzo Machida vs. Jamar Ocampo
Prediction: Machida by KO in the first
Henry Corrales vs. Cody Bollinger
Prediction: Corrales by decision
Kevin Casey vs. Keith Berry
Not a huge fan of Kevin Casey but Keith is a journeyman at best and a warm body at worst with his 15-13-1 record.
Prediction: Kevin by decision