Bellator 101 Date: September 27, 2013 Arena: Moda Center at Rose Quarter City: Portland, OR Lightweight bout: Will Brooks (-300) vs John Alessio (+250) Fight Breakdown: The opening round of Bellator’s lightweight tournament will see Bellator prospect Will Brooks take on the veteran John Alessio. Brooks is currently the favorite in this bout at -300 ($300 to win $100), while the return on the underdog Alessio is +250 ($100 to win $250) at Several Bookmakerss. WILL BROOKS (10-1 MMA, 2-1 Bellator) will be entering the cage for his second lightweight tournament. The first time around, he defeated Ricardo Tirloni in the opening round and advanced to the quarter-finals to face Saad Awad, losing by knockout at only 43 seconds into the very first round. Brooks blamed himself for the loss, because he was not mentally prepared for the match-up. He bounced back with a third round TKO victory over Chris Leyva at UFC 97, a little under two months ago. He makes a quick turnaround, as he looks to go all the way in the tournament this time, earning him a crack at the winner of Michael Chandler vs Eddie Alvarez re-match. A former high school football star who’s career was cut short due to a knee injury, Brooks is a very explosive athlete. His striking skills are good and ever-improving, as he loves throwing both punches and kicks. He is a wrestler who has the ability to knock you out with a beautiful head kick. Brooks is a talented fighter and is constantly getting better, as he has been training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. Brooks is great on the ground as he is a talented wrestler who has a strong top game and a heavy ground and pound attack. He will be entering this bout looking to make a statement against the veteran. JOHN ALESSIO (34-16-1 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) will be making his Bellator debut and I personally believe he is past his prime. He is a decent wrestler with solid striking skills, but is not really excellent at either. At this point in his career, the 34-year old Canadian cannot defend the offensive wrestling of a talented wrestler, nor can he compete on the feet with a talented striker. He has decent takedowns, and on the feet, fast hands. Alessio is a well-conditioned fighter who trains out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, and always fights with a lot of heart. He is a passionate fighter who loves to please the crowd and also hates losing. After recently being released by the UFC for the third time, Alessio will enter this bout looking to build yet another win streak. Fight Prediction: I see Brooks using his superior wrestling to take Alessio down and ground and pound the tough Canadian for the majority of fifteen minutes. Gabe’s Pick: Will Brooks by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Will Brooks -300 — In my Andreas Stahl article yesterday, I recommended a parlay with him and Brooks. Stahl cashed today and if you tailed, Brooks is the remaining leg.