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Bellator 42 Predictions

For the second consecutive Saturday night, Bellator has the mixed martial arts spotlight to itself, as Bellator 42 is the weekend's only major MMA card. The big question facing Bellator is whether the match-ups they've put together will result in the kind of exciting card that will get fans buzzing, and create a little momentum for the promotion heading into the home stretch of its fourth season.

Bellator 42 took a hit when Paul Buentello suffered an injury and had to pull out of his fight with Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad, so whatever attention this card can garner will come from the semifinals of the light heavyweight tournament, and the promotional debut of Ronnie Mann.

Here are the basics on Saturday night's card:

What: Bellator 42

Where: Lucky Star Casino, Concho, Oklahoma

When: Saturday, the MTV2 broadcast starts at 9 PM ET.

Predictions on the three main card fights below.

Richard Hale vs. D.J. Linderman
Although Bellator's light heavyweight tournament is devoid of household names, Hale made a name for himself with an incredible inverted triangle choke submission in his first-round tournament fight. That was the highlight of the year so far for Bellator, and the promotion would love to see Hale emerge as a star. I don't know if stardom is in Hale's future, but I do think he's crafty enough to beat Linderman, who advanced to the tournament semifinals by defeating Raphael Davis.
Pick: Hale

Tim Carpenter vs. Christian M'Pumbu
In the other light heavyweight semifinal, I like Carpenter to remain undefeated and beat M'Pumbu. Carpenter won a split decision over Daniel Gracie in the first round of the tournament, and I expect him to take another decision here.
Pick: Carpenter

Ronnie Mann vs. Josh Arocho
The British Mann, whose Bellator debut was delayed because of visa issues, is the reigning Shark Fights featherweight champion and was a good pickup for Bellator. Mann is 18-2-1 in his professional MMA career, has an excellent submission game and has a lot of interesting fights ahead of him in Bellator's talented featherweight division. Arocho, however, has a 6-9 professional record and isn't in Mann's class. I expect this fight to end quickly, with Arocho tapping out.
Pick: Mann

Jerod Spoon vs. Luiz Alberto Nogueira
Spoon is on a five-fight winning streak, but the 26-year-old Nogueira has a 10-1 record and is one of Brazil's best bantamweights, and I like him to beat Spoon by TKO.
Pick: Nogueira

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