Ready for some semi-intriguing MMA action? I say this because nine days after an obscure yet electrifying UFC Fight Night, and six days after an odd Bellator card in London that was broadcast via tape delay, we have a Bellator and UFC card this week that, well, leave something to be had.
There’s only four bouts on slate for tonight’s main card, as opposed to the usual five on recent Bellator cards, and half of them will now be catch weight bouts. But, it promises to be a fairly enjoyable time, with some known names springled on it. At the very least, the card should be a decent appetizer for tomorrow’s UFC card. Without further ado, here are my picks for tonight’s main card.
Main card (9/8c, Spike TV)
Daniel Weichel(36-9) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (13-2)
A pivotal Featherweight tilt kicks off the main card, as a pair of fighters battle to get closer to a potential title shot. Sanchez has gone 5-1 in Bellator, with five of those bouts going the distance, including three straight wins via split decision.
As for Weichel, he clearly has the experience advantage. He’s got three times as many fights to his credit, and ten more finish victories than Sanchez has total fights. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has 21 wins via submission, and five knockout wins to boot. I think that if he can take this to the ground, he’ll be able to up his Bellator record to 6-1. Prediction: Weichel via submission, round 2.
Bruna Vargas vs. Emily Ducote (2-1)
Big ups to Bellator for paying heed to women’s MMA again. Tonight’s women’s bout is a Flyweight fixture between, well, regional competitors. Ducote has been a pro for less than a year, and all three of her fights have gone the distance. Vargas debuted in 2014, but this is her first fight since April 2014. I guess I’ll have to pick Ducote, if for no reason than potential ring rust for her opponent. Prediction: Ducote via decision.
Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 2NC) vs. David Rickels (17-4, 1NC)
Remember Melvin Guillard? The guy who was known for fighting reckless, yet constantly put forth entertaining performances? Yeah, his star has crashed completely over the years, and a loss tonight would eradicate whatever ounces of hype are left to his name. He’s 3-8 with a no contest in his last 12 fights, including three straight losses. Ih, and he missed weight too, so that’s great.
Rickels has been far from great lately, going 3-3 with a no contest since starting his career 14-1. But, I still think he has enough left in the tank to win this one. It’s no gimme for Rickels, and a Guillard win should shock no one. But, I think Rickels will pull through. Prediction: Rickels via decision.
Darrion Caldwell (9-0) vs. Joe Taimanglo (22-6-1)
In the main event of the evening, a pair of Featherweights eill partake in what will essentially be a title eliminator bout. Caldwell is 6-0 in Bellator, with four of those wins coming via submission, with his last two coming against former Bellator champion Joe Warren and star wrestler Shawn Bunch. Taimanglo has 11 submission wins to his credit, and a 5-2 Bellator record. I’ll pick Caldwell to win a decision here, but anything can happen. Prediction: Caldwell via decision.