After a week off, Bellator returns to the Spike TV airwaves this evening. On the preliminary card, the Bellator debut of British sensation Michael Page is in store. On the main card, the season 7 lightweight tournament final will finally be settled, there's a heavyweight bout and the Bellator debut of UFC veteran Marcus Davis.
What: Bellator 93
When: Thursday, the Spike TV-televised card begins at 10 p.m. Eastern on Friday. However, Spike.com will carry the preliminary fight card beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Where: The Androscoggin Bank Colisee, Lewiston, Maine
Held is a very beatable fighter...for the right kind of fighter. If you have good takedown defense and can create separation easily or defend submissions in transition with strikes, you're home free. Held is young and may add other dimensions to his game, but for now it's kamikaze submission hunting of his opponents' legs. Jansen is a good wrestler, very good scrambler and competent enough on the feet (not to mention experienced) to be able to deal with Held's particular form of attacks. This is his fight to lose.
Martinez is a serviceable heavyweight for Bellator's purposes and even has a win over the famed wrestling standout Mark Ellis. He is a strong puncher and a modestly well-rounded fighter. If Wiuiff isn't careful throughout the bout, he can easily be put away. All things being equal, that shouldn't happen. Wiuff should be able to capture the takedown enough to control the fight, right? I have my doubts. Wiuff is hugely experienced and not cutting weight, but the guy is on a two-fight losing streak and doesn't have the same explosions on his takedowns. I think that grueling schedule of fighting and travel makes him too unreliable to count on his wrestling. I'll take the unlikely upset here.
UFC vetean Davis has taken a ton of abuse in his career, so one never really can be sure just how much more he can take and still hang on to win bouts even where he's cruising. He's a much more technical striker and all-around better fighter than Spiritwolf, but always brawl a boxer, they say. Despite some reservations, I'm going to lean Davis. I think he'll be able to manage the fight at the appropriate distance or even on the ground. Never count out Spiritwolf's ability to throw a wrench into the plans, however.