Bellator is back with the 2nd event of their 9th season: Bellator 100: Lima vs. Saunders 2 from Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona tonight live at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV. The card features a rematch between Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders in the final round of the season 8 tournament as well as the season 9 Welterweight tournament quarterfinals. UFC vet Matt Riddle was to have fought in the tourny tonight but cracked a rib and had to bow out. He’s been replaced by Ron Keslar against Luis Melo, Jr.
The prelims will be streamed live on Spike.com and we’ll have the stream embedded so you can watch them right here at Bloody Elbow.
Main Card (Spike TV)
Welterweight Douglas Lima vs. Ben Saunders
Bloody Elbow’s own Saunders (16-5-2) will be looking to get his revenge on Lima (24-5) who KO’d him in the finals of the season 5 tournament at Bellator 57 back in 2011. Lima went on to get handled by champ Ben Askren in his title shot.
Lima is the better striker at range and will be looking to put his big right hand upside Saunders’ skull once again. Saunders should be able to use his height advantage to good effect if he can get the fight to the clinch where his formidable Muay Thai skills can be brought to bear.
Either way the winner will be hoping that Ben Askren signs with the UFC so they can have a shot at wearing Bellator gold.
Prediction: I gotta say “Let’s Mutherfukers” and pick Ben Saunders by KO.
Welterweight War Machine vs. Vaughn Anderson
The notorious War Machine (nee Jon Koppenhaver) is 13-4 and finally making his first appearance in a Bellator tournament bout. Anderson (16-1) will be looking to spoil his party. Anderson is 35 and despite his gaudy record, will be making a huge jump in competition against Ultimate Fighter veteran Koppenhaver.
Prediction: War Machine by TKO in the 1st round.
Welterweight Luis Melo Jr. vs. Ron Keslar
The 32-year-old Melo (29-11) should be thanking his lucky stars Matt Riddle had to bow out. Keslar (9-3) is formidable in his own right, but Riddle would have been a prohibitive favorite.
Prediction Melo by decision.
Welterweight Brent Weedman vs. Justin Baesman
Weedman (21-8) is entering his 5th Bellator tournament. The furthest he’s ever gotten was the finals in the Lightweight division. Baesman (14-3) is making his promotional debut.
I expect Baesman to be overmatched against Weedman who knows his way around a Bellator tournament.
Prediction: Weedman by decision.
Welterweight Rick Hawn vs. Herman Terrado
Judoka Hawn (15-2) returns to the 170lb tournament following his crushing loss to Lightweight champ Michael Chandler at Bellator 85. Since then he’s demolished UFC veteran Karo Parisyan. Terrado (11-2) is making his promotional debut.
Terrado’s six-fight win streak won’t mean much to the formidable Hawn who will look to land with his huge right hand and might get off some judo throws if Terrado tries clinching with him.
Prediction: Hawn by KO
Preliminary Card (Spike.com)
Lightweight Bubba Jenkins vs. Larue Burley
Jenkins (4-0) is by far the biggest prospect on the card. A former NCAA division 1 national wrestling champ, Jenkins has the skills and work habits to make a title run. Look for him to impose his raw but powerful striking game on Burley (2-0).
Heavyweight Siala-Mou Siliga vs. Dan Charles
Light Heavyweight Liam McGeary vs. Beau Tribolet
Light Heavyweight Clifford Starks vs. Joe Yager
Welterweight Johnny Buck vs. Adam McDonough
Bantamweight Travis Marx vs. Brandon Bender
Lightweight Efrain Escudero vs. Zack Surdyka
And here’s former Ultimate Fighter winner Efain Escudero here to remind everyone what happens when they think they can coast in MMA. He’s gone 1-4 since his last Bellator appearance at Bellator 55, including a brief one fight return to the UFC where he lost to Jacob Volkmann. I’m picking him to beat Surdyka but won’t be shocked if he loses.
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