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Bellator 155 predictions

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator gets right back to work after their tent-pole event with a show in the land of potatoes. The card features a middleweight title fight, a contenders bout at featherweight and even a women's featherweight contest.

What: Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Monhoef

Where: CenturyLink Arena, Boise, Idaho

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

Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef

With his punching power, Manhoef can win virtually any fight at any time. If he blasted Carvalho out in the first or second round, could anyone really claim that'd be a surprising outcome? That said, Manhoef a) doesn't take damage like he used to and b) Carvalho has his own kickboxing skills. He's not what Manhoef was, but he might be good enough to match what he is, at least long enough to mix up the rest of his game with it. If Carvalho avoids obvious trouble and plays his distancing correctly, this is a manageable task.

Pick: Carvalho

Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan

This is a super close call. Karakhanyan has an excellent guillotine and finishes quickly. He's got good takedown defense as well, plus plenty of veteran experience against top talent. What I question, though, is his ability to remain consistent over the course of a fight. There's still an open question about whether Curran suffered some kind of irreparable damage from the grind of Bjorn Rebney's tournaments, but he did have a nice, hard-fought win over Emmanuel Sanchez. For that reason, I'll side with the former Bellator champ, but this is a tough, tough call.

Pick: Curran

Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai

Sakai isn't exactly a 'threat' in the way most heavyweights are. He's talented and is a threat in the abstract sense of him forcing opposition to lose bouts because of his talent. However, he doesn't necessarily pose an immediate risks. He's not a super heavy puncher or an amazing wrestler or much of anything except a decent jack of all trades. Charles is a little more hot or cold. He was controlled by Bobby Lashley and blasted out on the feet by Might Mo, but he's tough and strong. If Sakai isn't careful, he'll give away a round or more. But Sakai's strength is making sure fights take place on his terms, slow and long and, frankly, a bit boring. But like it or not, boring wins.

Pick: Sakai

Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley

This is a slugfest between two fighters who still pack a punch, but wear the damage of that style of fighting after many years competing. It's a bit of a coin flip. Beltran is the quicker, more accurate puncher of the two, so I'll side with him, but don't blink. Anything is possible here.

Pick: Beltran

Marloes Coenen vs. Alexis Dufresne

Dufresne came in badly overweight. Even if that wasn't the case, I'd favor Coenen as she's just more talented. What this tells me is Dufresne either didn't prepare properly or is injured and hiding it. That's not going to help her, so I'm expecting something of a rout here by the Dutchwoman.

Pick: Coenen

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