Bellator 64: MJ's Picks & Parlays
If you missed Bellator 63, you only hurt yourself. From a quick knockout victory by my underdog pick Rickels to the hard-fought victory by UFC vet Ben Saunders, it delivered. How it is that over 1 million viewers tuned in to see the one lackluster fight on The Ultimate Fighter and Bellator didn't break the 200k mark is beyond me. My fingers are crossed that come 2013 we'll start to see a shift as Bellator will be aired on Spike. It's a shame that world-class talent and phenomenal cards are being passed over for 45 minutes of fluff and then just one live fight. The stand out performance of the night saw the re-emergence of Karl Amoussou and my only bad pick of the night with the tremendous bludgeoning and then RNC win over Lozano. I seriously underestimated Amoussou's resolve to finish. He was aggressive and as focused as I've seen a fighter in a long time. The Psycho lived up to his nickname and reminded me of a young Vanderlei Silva coming in to punish his opponent and finish quickly.
Bellator 64 is another solid card featuring a Welterweight Title Fight, 2 Bantamweight Quarterfinal match ups and one Semifinal match up from the Featherweight tournament.
So, with that said, here we go . . .
MJ's Picks for Bellator 64:
Douglas Lima VS. Ben Askren (Welterweight Title)
With finishes over Ben Saunders, Ryan Ford and Terry Martin, I have to go with "The Phenom", Douglas Lima. He has some serious potential to be a one day UFC title contender and this fight will put him one step closer to accomplishing a UFC run. Ben Askren has yet to face someone with the power Lima posses and I just don't see him holding Lima down for five rounds without getting caught. Lima via TKO.
Alexandre Bezerra VS. Marlon Sandro (Featherweight Semifinal)
This is a very tough fight to call with the young finisher Bezerra coming in to face a top ten Featherweight in Marlon Sandro. Prior to Marlon being finished by Pat Curran, he had only lost two close decisions to Hatsu Hioki and Michiro Omigawa in a career spanning over 8 years. I'm expecting Bezerra to come looking for the quick finish. If Sandro can stay composed as usual and use his experience to weather a potential storm, he should come out the victor. Sandro by decision.
Travis Marx VS. Masakatsu Ueda (Bantamweight Quarterfinal)
Ueda has a clear advantage in the level of competition he's faced compared to Marx and with wins over Rumino Sato, Royler Gracie and next weeks title challenger Dantas, I don't see Marx getting past him. If Ueda can avoid Marx's submission game, he should cruise to a unanimous decision and the Semifinal Round of the Tournament. Ueda by decision.
Rodrigo Lima VS. Hiroshi Nakamura (Bantamweight Quarterfinal)
Fighting out of Team Nogueira, Rodrigo Lima is undefeated at 10-0. He's a finishing machine and with Nakamura being more of a decision grinder, I see Lima finding a way to end this early. Lima by finish any way he wants.
Be sure to tune in to MTV2 Friday night for another exciting Bellator Card. The Askren VS. Lima fight alone is enough of a reason to watch Bellator live while you DVR this weeks episode of TUF.
There were no betting lines up for Bellator 64, so until next time . . .
MJ on MMA