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Bellator 53 Preview

So Bellator is regularly being overshadowed by Strikeforce and the UFC as of late, but I think this should be a pretty fun card tomorrow.  Ben Saunders and Chris Lozano tend to put on exciting fights, while Ronnie Mann is one of the better featherweights in Bellator.  We also have a fat boy battle tomorrow pitting Ronnie Mann and Kenny Foster.

I should point out that my use of the term “fat boy” is more facetious than anything else, since these guys are professional athletes and I spend most of my time behind a computer screen.  Still, these guys outweigh me by 50-70 pounds in most cases so I think I’m well within my rights.  Also, most of the middle to lower tier heavyweights tend to gas out.  When people aren’t capable of doing their jobs for just 15 minutes, I’m allowed to say what I want.

But right, bottom line, check out Bellator 53.  These welterweight tournament semifinal matches should be pretty good.  Bellator’s welterweights are typically very good, though the two best in Bellator are set to square off in Ben Askren and Jay Hieron.  It’s a pretty big gap from the number two to number three welterweights in Bellator, but these fights could go a long way to figure that out.

Bellator 53 will be live on MTV2 tonight at 9:00 PM EST/8:00 PM CST.  A replay will be shown at 1:00 AM EST/12:00 AM CST.  This is pretty conveniently timed for those who won’t be able to check out UFC 136.  Check the UFC Facebook prelims, watch the Spike TV prelims, then check out Bellator.  Definitely a good night of fights.

Welterweight Tournament Semifinals: Ben Saunders (11-3-2) vs. Luis Santos (50-6-1)

I like the way that Ben Saunders fights.  He’s out there working hard and trying to finish fights, which generally turns out to be very exciting.  He pummeled Matt Lee to gain entry into this tournament and knocked out Chris Cisneros in the opening round.  Luis Santos is very experienced, even if most of his fights have been in Brazil.  He impressively defeated Dan Hornbuckle in the opening round of this tournament.

I think we’ll see a tight decision here and I think Ben Saunders will win it.  I think he’ll push the action and stay active enough to influence the judges in this contest.  Santos has a good chance to finish this fight given 26 (T)KO victories, but Saunders is not an easy guy to finish.  Saunders with the split decision in this one.

Welterweight Tournament Semifinals: Chris Lozano (9-1) vs. Douglas Lima (19-4)

The only thing that crosses my mind is Lozano winning via knockout.  I’m not sure why I’m so settled on this since Douglas Lima is a very good fighter on a nice seven fight winning streak, but I like Lozano a lot in this.  I can’t reasonably explain my decision so I’ll just leave it at this.

Featherweight: Ronnie Mann (20-4-1) vs. Kenny Foster (9-3)

Mann has a lot of victories, though he really lacks that real signature win to define his career.  Kenny Foster has fewer victories and lacks any significant win whatsoever.  He’s lost to the three most notable fighters he’s competed against in Donny Walker, Daniel Straus, and Mackens Semerzier.  I don’t know if Kenny Foster can make this close and I think there’s a good chance he’ll be submitted in this one.

Heavyweight: Thiago Santos (8-1) vs. Josh Burns (6-4)

Thiago Santos seems better at winning than Josh Burns.  I like Santos by submission in the second round…you know, as soon as Josh Burns can barely breathe.

Middleweight: Giva Santana (16-1) vs. Darryl Cobb (5-3)

Catchweight (175 lbs.): A.J. Matthews (4-1) vs. Rudy Bears (13-8)

Light Heavyweight: Myron Dennis (5-0) vs. Raphael Davis (10-2)

Catchweight (157 lbs.): Emanuel Brooks (3-0) vs. Greg Scott (0-0)

Welterweight: Levi Avera (16-9) vs. David Rickels (7-0)

Catchweight (140 lbs.): Zak Laird (5-1) vs. Luis Nogueira (11-2)

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