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Bellator 144 predictions

Photo via Bellator MMA

Bellator's latest show features a battle for the vacant middleweight title between former champ Halsey and challenger Carvalho. It's largely uncompetitive, but the card also features top prospect Michael 'Venom' Page.

What: Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

When: Friday, the preliminary card starts at 7 p.m. ET on MMA Fighting. The four-fight main card starts on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET.

Brandon Halsey vs. Rafael Carvalho

This should be short and ugly. Carvalho doesn't have much ability on the ground, the precise area where Halsey does. Moreover, Halsey's wrestling and physical brutishness should turn this into takedown, mount, back take, ground and pound or choke. Either way, I'd be surprised if this gets out of the first.

Pick: Halsey

Brennan Ward vs. Dennis Olson

Ward's recklessness can get him caught, but if you step back and honestly assess his abilities, he's got some skills. He's very athletic and strong. He can wrestle off of strikes and puts a ton of pressure on opposition. Against more elite talent, that has its limitations. Against Olson - who is a credible talent, but not elite - it should be more than enough.

Pick: Ward

Goiti Yamauchi vs. Isao Kobayashi

This is the best fight on the card, by a mile. It's very competitive and interesting in terms of where each fighter goes from here. I'm going to take the upset and go with the debuting Kobayashi. Yamauchi has arguably beaten better competition and has better offensive wrestling if he needs it, but Kobayashi is patient while always proactive, is excellent in the pocket and possesses crisp kickboxing. It's his Bellator debut, but I'm betting on his putting on a show.

Pick: Kobayashi

Michael Page vs. Charlie Ontiveros

There's really not much to say about this. Short of some sort of accident, Page should win this handily and quickly. There's a chance he'll get taken down once or twice and stalled out on the fence for a time, but the writing's on the wall here.

Pick: Page

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