Bellator kicks off its Season 6 welterweight tournament on Friday night with four quarterfinal fights that feature a mix of established fighters who have been in the Bellator cage before and some newcomers to the promotion. The Bellator welterweight title will be contested in a week when Ben Askren takes on Douglas Lima, and the welterweight tournament will determinewho gets the next crack at the Askren-Lima winner.
What: Bellator 63
When: Friday, the MTV2-televised card begins at 8 p.m. Eastern on Friday.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Predictions on the four welterweight tournament fights below.
Amoussou is capable of exciting finishes, but he's also capable of disappointing losses, and I think that's what he's going to suffer against Lozano, who has power in his hands and can knock Amoussou out.
Raul Amaya vs. Ben Saunders
Saunders, the UFC veteran who advanced to last season's Bellator welterweight tournament final, shouldn't have any trouble dispatching Amaya, who's 9-0 but has never fought anyone on anywhere near the same level as Saunders.
Rickels has a 9-0 record that includes three wins in Bellator, all by submission. He's dangerous on the ground, but Smith is a well-rounded fighter who should be able to out-strike Rickels on the way to a victory.
Baker has been with Bellator since its first season, but this is his first fight at welterweight after previously fighting exclusively at middleweight. Pereira has a wealth of experience fighting in Brazil, building up a 33-9-1 record, and he's a good enough striker that he'll be a threat to Baker standing. But I see Baker staying out of trouble and taking a decision.