As the tenth Bellator season drags on, the injuries and length of the season have begun to take a toll on quality of the card. The originally expected middleweight tournament final had to be scrapped due to injury and the return of Shahbulat Shamhalaev, who was set to face top prospect Fabricio Guerreiro, was put on ice because of passport issues. The featherweight tournament final, however is still a go.
Will Des Green add his name to the list of top contenders in the Bellator featherweight division or is Daniel Weichel the next to claim a title shot? I answer these questions and more with my predictions for Friday's fights.
What: Bellator 119
Where: Casino Rama, Rama, Ontario, Canada
When: Friday, the four-fight preliminary card starts at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com. The four-fight main card starts on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET.
Daniel Weichel vs. Desmond Green
I've not been impressed with Weichel's cardio at all, although his hand speed, combinations and power are respectably formidable. The problem is, generally speaking, Green is a cautions fighter and therefore, hard to hurt. On top of that, he manages a round clock like a point guard in basketball manages a shot clock. Green is patient and times offense at moments when the probability of success or influencing the judges is higher. That's a tough thing for a good if limited fighter with suspect cardio like Weichel to handle.
Eric Wisely vs. John Alessio
Alessio is the betting favorite here and he might pull it off. I'm not really confident either way. Wisely seems to lose every time he steps up to fight someone with a name, but he's a decent win streak of late. More importantly, I'm seeing really dubious decisions by Alessio more recently. Sure, he's been fighting tougher opposition, but even things like his trademark takedown defense have stumbled. I just don't know what element of his offense is potent at this point while his defense is observably worsening. It's a close fight, but I'll give it to the more proactive guy in Wisely.
Anderson has some decent ability on the ground. Nothing to write home about, but good enough to threaten someone who is the quintessential risk taker in Zaromskis. On the feet, I don't see how 'Whiremare' doesn't win easily and even on the ground, I'd be surprised if he was controlled long enough or outright submitted. Anderson may not go quietly, but I don't see him getting his hand raised.
You always have to be worried in a situation where a fighter has virtually all of their wins by first-round stoppage. In a sport like MMA, that often means they're very good, but also haven't fought anyone of real consequence yet. Fortunately for Butler, he need not fret too much as Rossborough is essentially a journeyman fighter not really on the same level. Butler should finish this one quick and painfully.