Bellator brings their cage to Oklahoma two weeks after one of their tent pole events and some major announcements. This card is obviously a step down from that and features a decided lack of relevant fights, but the action should be good nonetheless. I’ll provide a (very) brief preview and some predictions for tonight’s event.
The prelims kick off at 6:45pmPT /3:45pm PT here on Bloody Elbow, and the main card airs on Spike TV at 9pm ET.
Hisaki Kato vs. Melvin Manhoef
Scott Coker loves Manhoef, so it’s no surprise that he’s still fighting in main events. Manhoef believes he can still make a run at the middleweight title in Bellator, which seems like a huge stretch. He’s in here against Kato, who made his name by starching Joe Schilling a few months ago (not long after Schilling iced Manhoef). Manhoef brings power and pretty much nothing else now – his chin is shot. Kato’s no world champ either, but he should be able to exploit Melvin’s dodgy chin at least.
Prediction: Hisaki Kato by KO, round 1
Bubba Jenkins vs. Jordan Parsons
Jenkins is someone that Bellator badly wants to become a contender, but losing to Georgi Karakhanyan was a huge setback for him. You’d think they’d be rebuilding him by giving him showcase fights, but Parsons is definitely not that guy. In fact, he could quite easily beat Jenkins here if he can stay off his back. At +210, he’s probably the best bet on the card.
Prediction: Jordan Parsons by TKO, round 2
Chidi Njokuani vs. Ricky Rainey
This will likely be a striking battle, and Njokuani should have the advantage. Rainey needs to not fight at range, and back Njokuani up on the regular to have a shot. I don’t see that happening.
Prediction: Chidi Njokuani by decision
Derek Campos vs. Brandon Girtz
Why these two are rematching is beyond me. Campos beat Girtz by decision back in 2013. He’s coming off of getting starched by Michael Chandler, while Girtz beat totally shot Melvin Guillard in his last fight. I’ll lean towards Campos winning again, even though he’s the underdog.
Prediction: Derek Campos by decision
Houston Alexander vs. Guilherme Viana
Yes folks, Houston Alexander still graces main cards of the second biggest MMA promotion of the world at the ripe old age of 43. He has lost both of his fights this year and was KO’d in the last one. Viana is a whole lot bigger than him. I don’t see this ending well for Houston.
Prediction: Guilherme Viana by KO, round 1
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