Bellator 103 Bet: Joe Taimanglo (+415) vs Justin Wilcox (-525)

TaimangloBellator 103 Date: October 11, 2013 Arena: Kansas Star Arena City: Mulvane, Kansas Featherweight bout: Joe Taimanglo (+415) vs Justin Wilcox (-525) Fight Breakdown: The semifinals for Bellator’s featherweight tournament will feature a battle between two fighters who display a lot of heart, when Guam native Joe Taimanglo steps into the Bellator cage against Strikeforce veteran Justin Wilcox. Taimanglo is the underdog at +350 ($100 to win $350), while Wilcox is the favorite at -530 ($530 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. JOE TAIMANGLO (19-4 MMA, 2-0 Bellator) is a Guam born fighter currently residing in Chula Vista, CA, as he enjoys a 10 fight win streak. He fights with an agressive style, always moving forward, pushing the pace, and putting the pressure on his opponents. Taimanglo has great power and is very athletic. He moves fast and always stays effective. He is very quick on the feet, and also on the mat. He works powerful takedowns and does serious damage in the ground and pound, courtesy of his vicious elbows. The Guam native is very slick on the ground and has a very good jiu-jitsu game, as 11 of his 19 wins come by way of submission. He packs a lot of power in his punches and has the ability to get the job done on the feet. He is not afraid of being taken down, either, as his defensive submission game is as impressive as the offensive. He remains active from his guard, not allowing his opponents to get much off on him. Taimanglo is a well-conditioned fighter and I expect him to be ready for a three round war on his way to a shot at the Bellator 145 title. JUSTIN WILCOX (16-5-1 NC MMA, 1-0 Bellator) is coming off a second round rear naked choke submission victory over the Armenian Akop Stepanyan at Bellator 99 just under one month ago. Stepanyan dominated the fight on the feet and did serious damage to Wilcox until the moment the fight hit the mat, where Wilcox immediately pounced on Stepanyan’s back and secured the choke. The Armenian refused to tap and went to sleep, resulting in a technical submission. He took the fight against Stepanyan on short notice and it was his debut at featherweight. Most would say it’s not a good idea to make a drop in weight class on such short notice, but “The Silverback” pulled it off, and came out on top. Wilcox is a wrestler training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, and at featherweight, he will have a significant size advantage heading into this bout against Taimanglo. The American generally has decent cardio, although he is very muscular. He has solid wrestling skills, but his striking is not very good, although it is improving. Wilcox looks to make it 2-0 as a featherweight on his way to a title shot. Fight Prediction: I doubt Wilcox is fully healed from all the damage he received from Stepanyan, so that should be taken into consideration. I think Taimanglo will be able to take full advantage of any weakness Wilcox may display. Wilcox will be the bigger, stronger fighter and will have the wrestling advantage, but I think Taimanglo is better everywhere else. As long as he can avoid getting outwrestled, I think he has a real chance of getting the upset here. Gabe’s Pick: Joe Taimanglo by TKO (strikes, 2:04 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: A moderate value play on Joe Taimanglo +415 and a small to moderate play on Over 1.5 rounds -175

Written by Gabe Killian

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