Bellator's Season 6 lightweight tournament begins on Friday night with four quarterfinal fights which will serve as a first step toward identifying a top contender for champion Michael Chandler. We'll predict the winners of the Bellator 62 card (which will not include Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos because Santos failed to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit) right here.
What: Bellator 62
When: Friday, the MTV2 televised card begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Where: Laredo Energy Arena, Laredo, Texas
Predictions on the four tournament fights below.
Patricky "Pitbull" Freire vs. Lloyd Woodard
Freire is the biggest favorite in any of the quarterfinal fights and has to be considered the favorite to win the whole tournament. Woodard is a solid fighter with an 11-1 record, and his only loss is to Chandler, the Bellator champion. But he's not on Freire's level as a striker and is likely to get finished.
Hawn is a former judo Olympian who didn't take up MMA professionally until he was 32 years old, but he's become a very impressive fighter in a short time. Hawn's only loss came by split decision to Jay Hieron in last year's Bellator welterweight tournament final, and now he's moving down to lightweight where he should have a strength advantage over almost everyone he faces. Terloni is no joke: He's 14-1 and has only lost to UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. But I think Hawn can control him and win a decision.
Nazare is an outstanding Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner who's a threat to submit anyone. Michel is purely a striker; he has a 9-2 record with nine wins by knockout or TKO and two losses by submission. In this grappler vs. striker matchup, I'm going with the grappler.
Weedman was in both of last year's two Bellator welterweight and is on a two-fight losing streak with losses in both of them. But at lightweight he'll have a decisive power advantage over Ambrose and should be able to knock him out with punches.