Bellator 106 Bet: Joe Riggs (-210) vs Mike Bronzoulis (+175)

bronzoulis_strike_wheight_1Bellator 106 Date: Long Beach Arena City: Long Beach, CA Welterweight bout: Joe Riggs (-210) vs Mike Bronzoulis (+175) Fight Breakdown: The Bellator 106 main card will feature the finale for the Bellator Fight Master television series. The welterweights competing in the finale are Joe “Diesel” Riggs and Mike “The Greek” Bronzoulis. Riggs is the favorite at -210 ($210), while Bronzoulis is the underdog at +175 ($100 to win $175) at Several Bookmakerss. JOE “DIESEL” RIGGS (39-14-1 NC MMA, 0-1 Bellator) had been riding an impressive five fight winning streak heading into the Bellator Fight Master tournament; all of the wins coming inside the distance. He won his fight to get into the Fight Master house with a heel hook submission and chose to be on Greg Jackson’s team. In his first official fight on the show, Riggs defeated Eric Scanlan via unanimous decision, and moved on to beat Evan Cutts in the quarterfinals, also by decision. In the semifinals, he took a split decision nod over Cole Williams, and now has his eyes on the big prize, as he looks to beat “The Greek.” At only 31 years of age, Riggs is already a veteran of the sport with the fight career of a 45-year old. He competed in UFC for two years, compiling a 4-4 record, with notable victories over Nick Diaz and Chris Lytle. After failing to put a streak together in the Octagon, a first round knockout loss at the hands of Diego Sanchez resulted in his release from the promotion. “Diesel” is a very talented wrestler and a skilled submission artist, owning a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and 16 submission victories. He is a grinder who outwrestles opponents, but he can also be a finisher, as he owns 16 professional MMA victories by tapout and 20 by knockout. Riggs is a well-conditioned athlete who will be able to go the full 15 minutes without gassing. His main weakness in his career has been his mental lapses, as was pointed out on the Fight Master series. Going into this bout, the veteran will be looking to revive his career with an impressive performance. MIKE “THE GREEK” BRONZOULIS (15-5 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) was riding a two fight win streak heading into the Bellator Fight Master series, where he defeated Gareth Joseph by unanimous decision to get in the Fight Master house, and picked Randy Couture as his coach. In his first fight in the house, he defeated Chris Lozano, again by unanimous decision, and moved on the semifinals where he defeated Eric Bradley by a second round comeback TKO. “The Greek” is a very tough fighter who has a lot of heart and possesses an incredible chin. He is a solid striker who has good striking defense, though he has a bad habit of dropping his hands, especially once he starts getting tired. He likes to move forward and put his hands on his opponents. He has some nice kicks and throws heavy leather. He packs a lot of power behind his punches, and the fact that 10 of his 15 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of knockout certainly reflects that sentiment. The 34-year old Greek throws nice kicks, but he will likely avoid kicks against Riggs for the most part, as he does not want to risk increasing his chances of being taken down and losing any rounds by being outwrestled. Bronzoulis will have the advantage on the feet heading into this bout, but he will certainly be at a grappling and cardio disadvantage. Fight Prediction: As long as the fight stays on the feet, Bronzoulis will have the advantage. Riggs will likely be able to get takedowns on him and make it a close fight. Gabe’s Pick: The Greek by KO (sweet chin music/headkick, 0:43 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Mike Bronzoulis +180 for a value play, small to moderate

Written by Gabe Killian

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