The finals of the welterweight tournament are tonight in what could very well be one of the best Bellator fight of the year. Tournament standouts Andrey Koreshkov and former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good face off for a shot at Ben Askren's title.
Can Good get another chance to face Askren? Will Koreshkov earn the best victory of his career? I answer these questions and more with predictions for tonight's fights.
What: Bellator 82
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: Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
On paper, this stands out as one of the best fights of season 7. The two tournament favorites with different styles in different portions of their career meet in the finals as they were expected to do. For my money, Koreshkov's striking ability makes him a more imminent danger fighter, but he lacks the experience and overall skill set to deal with Good. Good has better wrestling, much better experience against much tougher fighters and the ability to make Koreshkov fight on terms very unfavorable to him. In a kickboxing bout, it's all Koreshkov. But that's not the game we're in.
Hervey is a journeyman fighter and while I certainly would never suggest he can't win this fight, the reality is that it is highly, highly unlikely. Sarnavskiy should be able to blast through him with ease.
This fight is basically a pick 'em. Both Hose and Marshall are limited fighters who have made a name for themselves as power punchers and/or brawlers. I have to lean ever so slightly towards Marshall if for no other reason than he's been more active and tends to pressure more timid or reactive fighters. But would it surprise me if Hose slept him? Not really.
This is an ultra fun fight. Two aggressive, reasonably well-rounded fighters with strong finishing instincts. The difference between the two is mostly experience, of which Rickels has more and against much better fighters. I like him to win here, but of all the fights with potential upset this one is at the top of the list.