Bellator's badly snakebitten card finds a way to solider on Saturday night when top light heavyweights and former amateur wrestling standouts Phil Davis and Mo Lawal battle for a chance at Liam McGeary's belt.
What: Bellator 154: Davis vs. Lawal
Where: SAP Center, San Jose, CA.
When: Friday, the preliminary card starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on MMA Fighting. The five-fight main card starts on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET.
What a tough fight to call. It's really a serious measurement of both fighters' careers. Davis is looking to advance to a title shot in an organization where he's more than highly ranked. Lawal is looking for supremacy is ways he hasn't due to his own losses, illness or career misfortune. Either way, this is a battle of distance. My guess is the wrestling will be nullified here. This will come down to striking. Davis is better at range, but Lawal is better with his power boxing. It's a tough call, but I'll side with the former Strikeforce champ to get it done.
Evangelista Santos vs. Saad Awad
This is a weird call since both fighters are white knuckle, mouth piece biters. It's a reckless game both play. I certainly slept on Santos' chances against Brennan Ward. That said, Awad has nothing if not crazy hand speed and a little bit of pop to back it up. Santos seems like just the sort of guy to oblige him. I'm guessing Awad was booked for the reasons I'm mentioning, but is expected to go down. Perhaps he will. I don't have enormous confidence either way, but forced to make a choice, Awad should win this.
Frankly, I don't know much about either guy, but there's enough reason on tape to presume Fialho has the goods to deliver here.
There are endless ways to measure the tragedy of the death of Jordan Parsons. Perhaps the least important, but relevant to the present conversation is how he'd fare against a prospect like Piccolotti. The truth is, their pairing was going to be a hell of a fight. In the end, Piccolotti should persevere here. I'd have picked Parsons to advance past him, but Wood, while scrappy, is no match for the upstart in Piccolotti.