Bellator has lined up a decent card by their standards with some high stakes given their talent roster. Cheick Kongo will try to win a title shot against Peter Graham in a contest where it is by no means a given he'll win. There are also two other tournaments finals at bantamweight and middleweight.
Will Kongo get the title shot he's looking for? Does Joe Warren have it in him to make one last run at a title? I answer these questions and more with my predictions for Friday's fights.
What: Bellator 107
Where: WinStar World Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma
When: Friday, the six-fight preliminary card starts at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com. The five-fight main card starts on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET.
Kongo may well lose this fight, but he shouldn't. He should be able to put Graham on the floor where he can use his considerable ground and pound to force a stoppage or do enough damage to make Graham less of a threat on the feet. More recently, Kongo's been very willing to use his wrestling and clinching to perform in just such a way. But if he doesn't? Look out. Graham isn't much in the way of being well rounded, but Kongo doesn't take damage like he used to. The longer this stays standing, the more it favors Graham.
I don't know. Something about this match-up feels off. Marx isn't the wrestler Warren is, but he's the more complete fighter. In the end that may not matter and I do believe Warren is capable of beating Marx, but I think he's going to drop the ball here. Bellator is the place where underdogs go to thrive and surprise. That's the case in MMA generally. It's especially true in their circled cage. I believe Marx is going to be able to fight off the takedown long enough to do damage on the feet and take a decision, stated simply.
I've been picking against Ward this entire time. Therefore, I've been wrong about him every time. The kid appears to be athletic, proactive on offense and finds ways to win. That'll be a tougher order against Parlo, but I'm not overly convinced Parlo can keep the fight standing as he needs to. Ward is a bit of a wild child, but his speed chess style of game is going to be tough for the more methodical Parlo to handle.
Neither of these guys inspire a ton of confidence, but Campos has fought the better opposition of the two and had moments against them where he displayed some noteworthy skills. They're both prone to losing to better submission fighters, but that's not a hugely relevant factor here.