Bellator hosts the semi-finals for their season 7 welterweight tournament plus two more main card feature fights tonight in Dayton, Ohio. They've also put their returning 115-pound women's champion Zoila Gurgel on the preliminary card, but that's another discussion for another time. Here are the predictions for tonight's event.
What: Bellator 78
When: Friday, the MTV2-televised card begins at 8 p.m. Eastern on Friday. However, Spike.com will carry the entire fight card beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Where: The Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm having a hard time seeing how Tsarev's submission prowess is going to give Good any real problems. Short of an aberrant outcome, this is all Good's fight to lose. Everyone is capable of making an tactical errors and Tsarev is nothing if not a submission opportunist. Still, I expect a strong showing from Good.
The hype behind Koreshkov is largely deserved. He is a tactical, devastating striker. But he's got some seasoning to do. More importantly, Zaromskis can be reckless, but showed in the Nordine Taleb fight (as well as a few others) that when he wants to wrestle from the clinch, he can. For as wild as his stand-up game can be, Zaromskis' ground game relies much more heavily on fundamentals. If he can apply sustained pressure - admittedly, easier said than done - and do so in a dimension where he could very well hold a skill advantage (and most certainly an experience advantage against better competition), he can pull off the upset.
Brian Rogers vs. Dominque Steele
Rogers is very exciting and a fearless exchanger in the pocket. That's one of the reasons why he's a fan favorite. That also comes from with defensive liabilities that can and has cost him fights. I'm sure it'll happen again, but I doubt Steele is the guy to do it. Rogers should coast tonight.
Straus might be MMA's most underrated featherweight. He's a super technical, athletic fighter with good experience and a very well-rounded skill set. At times he has gone on autopilot in the second and third rounds. He'll fight, but seemingly without much of an aim. He's supposed to fight Patricio Freire and is taking this fight as a tune-up or stopgap. Robinson isn't a world-beater, but has great jiu-jitsu and some UFC experience under his belt. He's the right kind of opponent for Straus to face in that he'll have to dig up some of his tricks and show off his fundamentals to win. And that's exactly what he'll do.