www.fightlockdown.com

Go Back   FightLockdown.com MMA Forum > Mixed Martial Arts > General MMA Discussion
Reload this Page Bellator 66 Preview

General MMA Discussion Discuss all things AFFLICTION, STRIKE FORCE. DREAM, WEC, SHOOTO, PRIDE, Sengoku, Boxing, etc. here!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-20-2012, 01:24 AM   #1
Brad.Taschuk
tazmma
 
Brad.Taschuk's Avatar
 
Default Bellator 66 Preview

Quote:
The first round of the tournaments are through, so to celebrate the occasion Bellator has put together their best card of the season. Unfortunately for them, the UFC is putting on some little fight this weekend as well, so the Lightweight superfight, semi-finals and Middleweight semi-finals will be overshadowed and hardly heard about. Still, thatís no reason we canít take a look at an intriguing fight between two top 15 Lightweights.


The big attraction on this card is Shinya Aoki (+230) coming over to Bellator to take another shot against a top North American 155er in Eddie Alvarez (-270). Aokiís last foray into a cage in North America didnít fare so well, as he was dominated by Gilbert Melendez across five rounds. Since this fight has been talked about since Alvarez cemented his status as a top 155er in Bellator after losing to Aoki in 2008. Iíve had a similar thought on this fight for the past few years now, and that is the surprising narrative that exists from their first bout. People seem to think because Aoki won by submission in 90 seconds that he was the one who dragged the fight to the ground, when it was actually Alvarez who threw Aoki and haphazardly tried to stand up from half guard, leaving his leg on a silver platter for Aoki. Earlier in the round, Alvarez sprawled all over a shot by Aoki as well. I see no reason that a far more developed Alvarez would be unable to keep the fight standing this time around, and similar to Melendez punishing Aoki on the feet. Alvarez does have the power to finish Aoki, but I think a lot of this fight will take place either at an extreme distance, or with Shinya trying to convince Eddie to come down to the ground, so it will end up going to decision. After that, Alvarez will be primed to make his escape to the UFC as a top 10 Lightweight coming off a win over one of the more accomplished 155ers of this generation.


In action that will have an impact moving forward, we will be treated to four semifinals in the Middleweight and Lightweight divisions. At 185, highlight reel waiting to happen Brian Rogers (-360) gets a late replacement opponent in Andreas Spang (+300). Spang is primarily a striker, despite having 3 of 7 wins by submission. Spangís style should make for a fun fight with Rogers, but I still favour Rogers heavily as the more dynamic striker (although the video below will show Spang doesnít lack power), but also because if he does run in to any trouble on the feet, Spang still shows a disconcerting lack of wrestling and grappling skills (also shown by the video below, and in his only career loss in an MFC bout to Ali Mokdad).


The other Middleweight semi-final pits my pre-tournament pick of Maiquel Falcao (-140) against Russian prospect Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (+120). It was fun to watch Vasilevskyís boxing and striking from top position absolutely dismantle Victor OíDonnell in the first round of the tournament, but at the same time I see that reliance on boxing being his undoing in this fight. He showed a blatant disregard for defending any leg kicks thrown at him by OíDonnell, and if he does the same against a much more devastating kicker in Maiquel Falcao, he wonít have any legs to get behind his punches by the second and third rounds. Even if Vasilevsky simply wasnít concerned with OíDonnellís kicking offence, checking leg kicks is more reflex than skill that fighters turn on and off. As such, I donít expect that tendency to change in this bout, and it will make a huge difference in terms of keeping the fight at Falcaoís pace and range, as well as taking away the threat of Vasilevskyís takedowns and leading to another decision victory for the former UFC fighter.


In the Lightweight division, I have two picks that advanced from the first round, and I expect those two fighters to meet in the tournament final. Both happen to be former Welterweight fighters who just dropped to 155 prior to this tournament, and both looked good in their debuts at the new weight. First, Rick Hawn (-300) takes on the surprising Lloyd Woodard (+250), who knocked off Patricky Freire in a fantastic fight earlier this year. As positive as Woodardís performance was, he still showed that he needs lots of work, leaving gaping holes on defence both striking and grappling, and showing that his cardio isnít spectacular. The lacklustre defense is the bigger concern in this one, as Hawn has shown the ability to make opponents pay for leaving their chins exposed. Woodardís highly aggressive style could give Hawn some problems early on, but as the fight wears on Hawn will distance himself, that is unless he lands a hard shot earlier in the fight.


The other semi-final sees Brent Weedman (-260) taking on Thiago Michel (+220). Iíll be honest in saying that I wasnít impressed in the slightest by Michel in his victory over Rene Nazare. His saving grace in this bout is that Weedman is the Bellator equivalent of Martin Kampmann, a guy who has skills everywhere, but simply fights to his own detriment much of the time. Even still, Weedman isnít going to be overwhelmed on the feet like Nazare was, and he will be worlds ahead of Michel on the mat. I see this fight hitting the ground at some point in this fight, at which time the disparity in grappling skills will become quite apparent as Weedman notches his second submission victory in this tournament.


My Picks

Eddie Alvarez def. Shinya Aoki via Unanimous Decision
Brian Rogers def. Andreas Spang via 1st Round T/KO
Maiquel Falcao def. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky via Unanimous Decision
Rick Hawn def. Lloyd Woodard via 3rd Round T/KO
Brent Weedman def. Thiago Michel via 1st Round Submission
http://www.fightlockdown.com/article...i_alvarez.html

http://tazmma.wordpress.com/2012/04/...or-66-preview/

Thoughts?
__________________




I think there's an art to dropping a man with a clean punch, and then kicking his head through the goalposts of life

tazmma

MJB '89-'11 - RIP
Brad.Taschuk is offline   Share topic on Facebook!
Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 01:52 AM   #2
vikingpride
The Bet Is Over!
 
vikingpride's Avatar
 
Default

Good read, but i think it's worth noting that prior to that fight vs Gil Aoki wasn't training in a cage. And since that fight he has been doing some training in the cage. And while it doesn't seem like a huge factor it was obvious Gil was using that cage to his advantage by stuffing Aoki up against it and really limiting alot of what he does.

Also Aoki has been training at Evolve and white his striking still isn't good. It's much improved, and to a point where he's not totally useless on his feet. As you said i think Aoki will try to spend alot of time at distance, but i think Aoki will throw a ton of kicks. Since he obviously doesn't want to trade punches with Eddie, and has no fear of being taken down.
__________________

vikingpride is offline   Share topic on Facebook!
Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 02:24 AM   #3
e-thug
Mr. Untouchable
 
e-thug's Avatar
 
Default

Its ashame this card is happening on this weekend, It's one of those cards ya wish it could've been by itself to take in all the glory.

I cant disagree with any of your picks TBH.....I'm also drunk right now so giving reason to agree with you seems pointless at this stage.

All the underdogs thoroughly deserve to be underdogs.
__________________




"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall."
e-thug is offline   Share topic on Facebook!
Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
vikingpride
The Bet Is Over!
 
vikingpride's Avatar
 
Default

I just want to clarify that i think Eddie probably wins, but the fact that he's a near 3-1 favorite is ridiculous.
__________________

vikingpride is offline   Share topic on Facebook!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Plazzman Designs
Dedicated to the memory of Matt Bishel (MJB23) 89-11'
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Ad Management by RedTyger
vBCredits v1.4 Copyright ©2007 - 2008, PixelFX Studios
Fightlockdown.com 2009-2012Ad Management plugin by RedTyger

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBCredits v1.4 Copyright ©2007 - 2008, PixelFX Studios
Fightlockdown.com 2009-2012Ad Management plugin by RedTyger