Another week, another Bellator, another bunch of words by me. Bellator 63 is live this evening from the Mohegan Sun with the Season 6 Welterweight Tournament. Featuring some UFC vets, some Bellator vets, and some newcomers, the main card and preliminary card are both serious business and this will definitely be an awesome night of fights. Plainly put, I can’t wait for the Bellator 63 highlight reel!
As with most Bellator events, not everyone made weight, so.. ..wait, what?!?? Everyone made weight?!?! Okay, I wasn’t expecting that, so let’s get down to business, shall we?
Pete Rogers (0-0) vs. Brandon Fleming (0-0)
Not much is known about these two gentlemen. Through my research, I discovered that Fleming went 2-0 as an amateur with one TKO and one decision, a stat that doesn’t really say anything about his fighting style. I actually couldn’t find ANYTHING on Rogers, so.. I’m going to literally flip a coin and guess that guy will win a decision. Totally scientific stuff here.
Winner – Brandon Fleming defeats Pete Rogers via Unanimous Decision
Ryan Quinn (6-3-1) vs. Marc Stevens (14-6)
Quinn beat Dhiego Lima once, so there’s that. Not much to say when it comes to Quinn other than that. He’s an alright fighter with a limited skill-set, but he’s always improving. The experience advantage goes to Stevens, who competes in his 21st fight. He has nine stoppages in his fourteen wins, so he’s no slouch when he’s locked in the cage. Anything is possible, but, I have the more experienced man taking home his third straight victory.
Winner – Marc Stevens defeats Ryan Quinn via Unanimous Decision
Parker Porter (5-3) vs. Randy Smith (14-10-1)
Porter might not sound like someone you know, but this man has fought both Jon Jones and, most recently, Gabriel Gonzaga. While he wasn’t victorious in either bout, he’s no stranger to tough opposition. On the other side of the cage “The Wolf” hasn’t faced really anyone of note, but he put together some impressive winning streaks in his career. I actually see this fight as being very even, but it’s the inconsistencies in Smith’s game that have me giving the win to Porter.
Winner – Parker Porter defeats Randy Smith via TKO Round 1
Saul Almeida (12-1) vs. Matt Bessette (7-3)
Keep your eyes on Almeida. While he may not be the most exciting fighter, the dude can get it done in the cage. Currently riding a five-fight winning streak, he’ll likely be looking for his sixth straight decision victory tonight. Meanwhile, “The Mangler” Bessette is looking to rebound from a loss to Joey Proctor back in October of last year. With most of his wins coming by submission it could be said that he excels in BJJ though I think the difference here is that Bessette doesn’t particularly have any incredibly strong point in this game, whereas Almeida is a grinder of Jon Fitch proportions. Almeida takes home the win after a fifteen solid, dominant minutes.
Winner – Saul Almeida defeats Matt Bessette via Unanimous Decision
Andrey Koreshkov (8-0) vs. Tiawan Howard (9-8)
Koreshkov is another prospect to watch out for. Undefeated in his career, he has never gone the distance and even holds a victory over Kyacey Uscola. The Russian fighter looks to earn his way into next season’s welterweight tournament with a win or two under the Bellator banner. Howard has struggled to find footing in the MMA world, going 2-5 in his last seven scraps. His skill set has been thwarted by his recklessness, and at 37 he’ll need to keep it together if he wants to make a splash anywhere in the MMA world. Unfortunately for him, the 21-year old Russian should make short work of him, likely with strikes and likely early.
Winner – Andrey Koreshkov defeats Tiawan Howard via TKO Round 1
Dan Cramer (7-3) vs. Jeff Nader (5-4)
Remember Cramer from TUF/UFC? Neither do I, but his first two fights took place there, and he even picked up a victory in his debut. Since then, the decision-friendly fighter has put together six more wins and takes on his sixth opponent in the Bellator cage. “Scary Nickname”, his opponent, can’t quite keep it together, but when he’s on he’s on in a violent way. With all but one win coming by knockout, Nader is always a threat on the feet. This is a rematch of their fight at Bellator 48 in which Nader scored the TKO victory late in the fight. That was the only time Cramer has ever been stopped, and honestly I don’t see lightning striking twice. Perhaps in a few months I’ll be breaking down the rubber match?
Winner – Dan Cramer defeats Jeff Nader via Unanimous Decision
Marianna Kheyfets (5-0) vs. Munah Holland (3-1)
The undefeated “Crushen Russian” Kheyfets finally makes her way to the bigger stage after going 5-0 to open her career. Known for having a pretty serious ground game, Kheyfets has basically had her way with every single fighter that has been put in front of her. Holland beat up Kim Couture. I like her already. With sufficient striking and the ability to dictate where a fight goes, Holland is a heavily underrated fighter and can cause problems for anybody/everybody in the division. I see this fight looking like a standard Kheyfets fight., i.e. a frenetic pace will be displayed and fans will be treated to one hell of a fight. Ultimately, Kheyfets scores the submission victory by, let’s say, Triangle Choke.
Winner – Marianna Kheyfets defeats Munah Holland via Submission Round 3
Bryan Baker (16-3) vs. Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-9-1)
Baker makes the move down to 170 after a successful run at 185. Despite his success, he was unable to overcome Alexander Shlemenko and Vitor Vianna, so he’s coming to bring the pain to the smaller guys. A violent striker, Baker has power, but often gets dragged into a senseless brawl.
Pereira has faced some of the best fighters out there – Thiago Alves, Gleison Tibau, and Siyar Bahadurzada just to name a few. He has 22 knockouts to his credit and is very clearly proficient on the feet. 15-1-1 in his last seventeen fights, it goes without saying that Pereira has earned his way into the Bellator welterweight tournament.
Call me crazy, but I think Baker gets way too excited in this fight. He can win, violently, and if he does so I expect it to be early, but, I think Pereira hurts him, shocks the fans at home, and advances to the next round of the tournament.
Winner – Carlos Alexandre Pereira defeats Bryan Baker via Knockout Round 1
Jordan Smith (17-2-1) vs. David Rickels (9-0)
Oh Smith, look at you! After a ton of fantastic wins, fourteen of which have come within the distance, “Mata Ele” makes his debut on the second (third?) biggest stage in MMA. The well-rounded 27-year old looks to extend his win streak to three with a victory tonight, and he is more than capable of doing so. To be quite honest, he very well may be the dark horse in this tournament.
Looking to play the spoiler, “The Caveman” hopes to score his tenth win in as many fights. Well known for his submission game, Rickels can make anyone tap to his Triangle Choke and has done so in all three of his Bellator fights thus far. Undoubtedly he’ll be looking for another one tonight when he steps into the Bellator cage.
While Rickels has all the potential in the world, Smith is a serious contender. Both of these fighters have serious potential and big futures ahead of them, but I think that at this point Smith just has the better tools to make it happen.
Winner – Jordan Smith defeats David Rickels via TKO Round 3
Raul Amaya (9-0) vs. Ben Saunders (12-4-2)
Finally making his way out of the AOF promotion, Raul Amaya enters the Bellator welterweight tournament as an undefeated fighter. Having never gone the distance, “Smash Mode” loves to put his opponents out whether it be with punches or with chokes.
A UFC veteran and arguably the most notable fighter on the Bellator roster, “Killa B” Saunders was a finalist in the last welterweight tournament, and will be seeking redemption following his heartbreaking loss to Douglas Lima. The vicious striker who has shown an affinity to Eddie Bravo-esque grappling is arguably the tournament favorite and is out to prove way this evening.
Sorry Raul, but this just won’t be your night. “Killa B” will do what he does and that’s find the mark with strike after strike, probably even showing off some of that fantastic ground game he’s begun to display.
Winner – Ben Saunders defeats Raul Amaya via TKO Round 2
Karl Amoussou (13-4-2) vs. Chris Lozano (9-2)
The Frenchman, Amoussou, returns to Bellator in hopes of dishing out damage. With eleven finishes in thirteen victories, he definitely fits the description “Psycho”. Amoussou is a fan favorite due to his love of violence, and oh boy does he bring it!
Oh War Machine, oh War Machine, where for art thou, War Machine? After being forced, legally, to drop out of this fight and the tournament, War Machine has been repalced by Lozano. Lozano is a serious striker with some ridiculous power, and the Cleveland based welterweight plans to make the Frenchman’s stint in this tournament a very, very short one.
Amoussou is good, maybe even great, but the problem is he is only great early in the fight. His gas tank is far more limited than his skill-set. In my opinion, Amoussou wins this fight early but loses if it goes longer than five minutes. Basically it all comes down to whether or not Lozano can survive early and capitalize later on. And, honestly, I think he can.
Winner – Chris Lozano defeats Karl Amoussou via TKO Round 2
Oh the potential for violence! I think I’ve caught the vapors! Someone hold me! As always, the action goes down at 7:00 PM EST on Spike.com before the evening’s highlighted bouts head over to MTV2 (or TheScore.ca in Canada) an hour later. Enjoy the fights!
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC