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Bellator 38 Preview

Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Daniel Gracie (5-2-1) vs. Tim Carpenter (6-0)

Gracie: Cousin to Renzo Gracie, is also an instructor at Renzo’s academy, PRIDE veteran, has expectedly tremendous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, making his Bellator debut, just his second fight since 2006, has defeated Wes Sims, has also drawn with Wes Sims, defeated Martin Wojcik in November 2010.

Carpenter: Won three fights between 2005 and 2007, won three more fights in 2010, has taken three decisions since his 2010 return, defeated Jamal Patterson in his October 2010 Bellator debut.

Remarks: Gracie will be a fan favorite in this tournament and is likely the favorite to win this fight.  Daniel doesn’t have the MMA pedigree of other Gracie fighters, but his 4th degree BJJ black belt shows that his jiu-jitsu is top notch.  Tim Carpenter has previous wins by submission, so he’s capable on the ground, but he’s no Gracie.  I think we’ll see a decision victory for Daniel Gracie tonight, since Carpenter might be able to do just enough to survive the fight.

Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Chris Davis (10-2) vs. Christian M’Pumbu (15-3-1)

Davis: Making his Bellator debut, versatile fighter with 6 knockout and 4 submission victories, only two losses to Jeremy Horn and Vinny Magalhaes, on a three fight winning streak, last defeated Francisco France, not to be confused with the Texas Rangers’ Chris Davis.

M’Pumbu: BJJ practitioner, fights out of Paris, making his Bellator debut, has previously fought for KSW, M-1, and DEEP.  Has previous wins over Marcus Vanttinen and Stefan Struve, last lost to Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, eight career wins by submission, I have no clue how to pronounce his last name.

Remarks: M’Pumbu is a veteran and has a handful of solid wins to his name, which lends to the idea of him being the favorite in this tournament.  What doesn’t help is that he’s French, yuck.  Still, he’s a better fighter than Davis and could get a submission win tonight.

Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Raphael Davis (10-1) vs. D.J. Linderman (8-1)

Davis: Has won nine in a row, very good BJJ, seven wins by submission, has won both of his fights with Bellator, wins over Vinny Magalhaes, Emanuel Newton, and Tony Lopez, has the best MMA nickname – “Noodle.”

Linderman: Normally fights at heavyweight, on a three fight winning streak, making his Bellator debut, called “Da Protege”, unsure who is Linderman’s mentor.

Remarks: Raphael Davis is another favorite in this tournament and has looked good in Bellator thus far.  He has a pretty favorable first fight, as Linderman might not have the ground skills to match Davis.  I expect a submission win from Raphael Davis tonight.

Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Nik Fekete (4-0) vs. Richard Hale (15-3-1)

Fekete: Made his professional debut in 2009, has a win over Strikeforce prospect Ovince St. Preux, has won his last two fights with punches, making his Bellator debut.

Hale: Rage in the Cage veteran, also making his Bellator debut stands at 6’4″, six career KO wins, 7 career submission wins, 2-0 in 2010, lost to Antwain Brit in 2009.

Remarks: Richard Hale is a veteran fighter and has a four inch height advantage over his opponent, but Fekete has made a bit of noise early in his career.  A win over rising star Ovince St. Preux is extremely impressive and might tell us a little bit about Fekete’s potential.  I’ll pick Fekete for the upset victory here, though the experienced Hale could definitely pull out a win.

Heavyweight: William Penn (2-1) vs. Blagoi Ivanov (3-0, 1 NC)

Featherweight: Jimmy Van Horn (2-0) vs. Austin Lyons (5-1)

Catchweight (150 lbs.): Jake Underwood (0-0) vs. Tim Galluzzi (2-0)

Light Heavyweight: Brian Albin (6-4) vs. Cody Donovan (5-1, 1 NC)

Middleweight: Amaechi Oselukwue (0-1) vs. Abe Wilson (2-1)

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