Middleweight bout: Brian Rogers (-145) vs Mikkel Parlo (+125)
Fight Breakdown: The Bellator 98 main card presents a middleweight bout between two heavy handed strikers when six time Bellator veteran Brian Rogers squares off against Denmark’s 23 year old Mikkel Parlo. Rogers is currently a slight favorite at -145 (bet $145 to win $100), while Parlo is the slight underdog at +125 (bet $100 to win $125) at Several Bookmakerss.
BRIAN ROGERS (10-5 MMA, 3-3 Bellator) is coming off a Unanimous Decision loss to Dan Cramer at Bellator 89 six months ago. Rogers is a former football player who possesses great speed and cardio. He moves fast for a middleweight, especially with his hands, as he likes to get quick powerful shots in that often stun opponents. Rogers has excellent stand up skills, he has been training in Karate since childhood, before graduating to other forms of mixed martial arts. Brian Rogers has great takedown defense, but not the greatest chin. His chin usually holds up, but he’s been put away twice before. Alexander Shlemenko and Andreas Spang both knocked him out. That should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as Shlemenko and Spang are two of the most fierce strikers in the Bellator middleweight division. Rogers may be able to stop Parlo, but I doubt it. I think his best shot at walking away with a win here is to simply outpoint Parlo en route to a Decision. He needs to use more technique and move away from brawling tactics MIKKEL PARLO (9-1 MMA, 1-1 Bellator) is a talented striker from Denmark making his third appearance inside the Bellator cage as he goes up against one of the most feared knockout artists in the middleweight division. Parlo is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Sultan Aliev at Bellator 89 six months ago, the same card Brian Rogers last fought on. Parlo has terrific stand up skills. He throws heavy leather and picks good shots. He puts together some nice combinations, as well. Mikkel Parlo prefers to keep the fight on the feet, and his takedown defense is very solid. Parlo is without a doubt a finisher and knockout artist in his own right, as eight of his nine career victories have come inside the distance, and eight of them being by TKO/KO. He has been training hard for this bout and I believe his gas tank will be more than good enough for a fifteen minute war.
Fight Prediction: Parlo has a good chin; he definitely has that advantage over Rogers going into this fight. His good chin makes him more comfortable to stand and trade, knowing he can’t be knocked out. He goes into fights feeling the only way to lose is to get submitted. His grappling skills are not bad at all, he just feels a talented submission artist could tap him, and that’s likely his only way to lose a fight. That is not a worry with Rogers, though, as Rogers also prefers to stand and trade. They’re both talented strikers but if someone is getting knocked out in this fight, I think more often than not, it will be Brian Rogers. If it makes it to the scorecards, it really could be anybody’s fight. Probably a Split 29-28. Considering that, plus Parlo having a superior chin; I think Parlo should be the slight favorite going into this bout.
Gabe’s Pick: Mikkel Parlo by KO (punch, 1:14 round 1)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Mikkel Parlo +125