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Bellator 50 Preview

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hey everybody, Radley Martinez is fighting!  Oh, and eight dudes duke it out to fight for the right to get beaten down by Hector Lombard.

I guess when you’re featured on an ESPN program, you’re instantly more visible than most of the fighters in Bellator.  Still, Rad is getting a lot of hype considering he’s not even on the main card.  Middleweights like Alexander Shlemenko, Bryan Baker, and Sam Alvey will be competing in the quarterfinals of Bellator’s season five middleweight tournament.

The schedule for Bellator is pretty nice this Saturday, as it will air at 7:00 PM EST/6:00 PM CST and at 11:00 PM EST/10:00 PM CST.  This is, of course, to avoid any conflicts with Spike’s live UFC broadcast on Saturday night.  Honestly, I don’t think either card is particularly great, but some of the UFC fights look intriguing?  Here, not so much…

Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Bryan Baker (15-2) vs. Jared Hess (11-2-1)

Baker has a pretty impressive Bellator record at 5-1 with the sole loss to Alexander Shlemenko.  He’s defeated the likes of Jeremy Horn, Joe Riggs, Eric Schambari, and Matt Horwich during his time with the promotion.  Hess has also done pretty well for himself, making it to the finals of Bellator’s inaugural middleweight tournament before losing in the championship match against Hector Lombard.

Jared Hess has strong wrestling while Baker hasn’t really been tested by a lot of good wrestlers, though he does have a loss to Chael Sonnen on his record.  Hess was a state champion wrestler and a Division 2 All-American in college, so he could do enough to control this fight and take the victory.  I just don’t feel confident enough to pick Hess over a guy with so many big wins in the last couple of years.  Baker’s a much more well rounded fighter and I’ll take him to win by TKO in this one.

Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Alexander Shlemenko (40-7, No. 24 MW) vs. Zelg Galesic (10-5)

Alexander Shlemenko has big power.  Zelg Galesic is the last man to have lost to Kazushi Sakuraba.  I think Shlemenko is the clear choice here.

Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Sam Alvey (15-2, 1 NC) vs. Vitor Vianna (10-1-1)

This is probably the toughest fight for me to pick.  Vianna is one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in MMA and he has some very good kickboxing.  Sam Alvey is a goofy white dude whose girlfriend, Chicagoland’s McKey Sullivan, won her season of the America’s Next Top Model reality show.

Personally, I stopped watching ANTM after cycle 10 where plus-sized Whitney injustly won out over girls like Fatima and Anya.  I don’t think the judges ever made the right calls after the first few seasons and they just picked girls to win for the sake of going against the grain.  Nicole in cycle five, Dani in cycle six, and CariDee in cycle seven are good examples of this.  Seriously, that’s three seasons in a row where Tyra and her sheep just chose some plain, boring girls who were clearly inferior.

Oh, uh…Vitor Vianna will win.  I’m a man, grrr.

Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Victor O’Donnell (10-2) vs. Brian Rogers (7-2)

Brian Rogers is a wrestler with some very good striking, while Victor O’Donnell is a submission artist with eight submission wins and a TKO victory over Rafael Natal.  O’Donnell has faced his share of tough competition, including fights against Natal, Costantinos Philippou, and Marcus Vanttinen, while Rogers is fairly untested in his young career.  I’ll take O’Donnell by submission.

Catchweight (140 lbs.): Shah Bobonis (10-7) vs. Marcos da Matta (8-1)

Lightweight: Radley Martinez (9-2) vs. Brian van Hoven (7-3)

Welterweight: Ailton Barbosa (9-2) vs. Ryan Keenan (4-1)

Welterweight: Cristiano Souza (4-0) vs. John Kelly (5-3)

Middleweight: Valdir Araujo (8-2) vs. Brett Cooper (13-7)

Lightweight: Dietter Navarro (0-1) vs. Marcelo Goncalves (1-1)

Lightweight: J.P. Reese (3-1) vs. Martin Brown (2-0)

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