Bellator 100 Date: September 20, 2013 Arena: Grand Canyon University Arena City: Phoenix, AZ Bantamweight bout: Brandon Bender (+140) vs Travis Marx (-170) Fight Breakdown: On the preliminary card for Bellator 100 is a bantamweight scrap between an undefeated submission ace in Brandon Bender and veteran Travis Marx. Bender is currently the underdog in this match-up at +140 ($100 to win $140), while his opponent Marx is the favorite at -170 ($170 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. BRANDON BENDER (11-0 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) is undefeated coming off a very impressive first round submission win over UFC vet Jared Papazian. It didn’t take long for Bender to close the distance on the Armenian, immediately gluing himself to Papazian’s back. After some struggle from Papazian, Bender kept cool and used his Brazilian jiu-jitsu expertise to stay in the position, sink in a rear naked choke and get the tap, earning the most impressive and notable victory of his 11-fight career. Bender is an extremely talented submission artist and the fact that 10 of his 11 career victories have come by way of submission puts a definite stamp on that sentiment. He loves to choke opponents out; all of his submissions are due to some form of choke. He is also very good at jumping for leg locks and knee bars and is talented in every aspect of the submission game. Bender is dominant from top position, but also extremely dangerous off his back. Opponents do not want to end up with him on the mat, as this California native’s guard is not very inviting. He threatens with constant submission attempts and chances are he will be successful with his initial attempt. While his ground game is exceptional, Bender lacks in the striking department. His striking is generally poor. He has no footwork and awful defense on the feet. That said, he does have a decent chin and is able to stay in fights and take over after being tagged on the feet. Bender has good cardio and will be ready to take on a veteran in Travis Marx for a full 15 minutes of action, should the fight last that long. TRAVIS MARX (20-4 MMA, 2-1 Bellator) is 5-1 is his last 6 fights and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over fellow veteran of the sport, Chase Beebe. The lone loss in his past six aforementioned fights came at the hands of Galvao, who challenged unsuccessfully for Bellator’s bantamweight title earlier this year. The 35-year old veteran is a decent striker who likes to do damage with body kicks. His takedown defense is not great, though he does have solid defense against the cage and when taken down is good at scrambling back to his feet. That said, a talented wrestler will likely be able to take Marx down at will, at any corner of the cage. Marx is a talented jiu-jitsu practitioner who has a very active guard. He is not fun to be on the ground with. This fight was his first bout in a while where Marx did not have his training camp at Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albequrque, NM., and instead has been training in Utah, where he is currently residing due to family emergency. Considering the aforementioned, his conditioning and mental state will be very questionable going into this bout. Fight Prediction: The longer this fight plays out on the feet, the more advantage Marx will have. They are both talented on the mat, so I am expecting some entertaining grappling exchanges, but I give the BJJ advantage to Bender. If this fight makes it to the scorecards, it could be anybody’s fight. Gabe’s Pick: Brandon Bender by Submission (triangle-choke, 3:31 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Brandon Bender +140 to stay undefeated — Beating Travis Marx would mean he is the real deal, and I do believe this kid is the real deal. His striking needs serious improvement but I think he has what it takes to get a sub or if not, edge out a close decision.