Bellator 113 Fight Breakdown: Marcin Held (-400) vs. Rodrigo Cavalheiro +355)

Marcin Held One of the lightweight tournament quarterfinals at Bellator 113 features Marcin Held vs. Rodrigo Cavalheiro. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Held as a -400 favorite (bet $400 to win $100) while Cavalheiro is a +355 underdog (bet $100 to win $355). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Held at -405 and Cavalheiro at +285, meaning there has been little action on either fighter as the line has tightened. As for myself, I am a little surprised the line on Held hasn’t been driven up a bit more, as I’m picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Held (16-3) is only 22 years old yet already is competing in his 20th pro fight. The Pole is a leg-lock specialist who has scored five victories via destroying his opponents’ lower limbs, and in his last bout he showed he is improving his striking with a one-punch knockout of durable veteran Ryan Healy. 5-2 so far in Bellator, Held was a finalist in last year’s lightweight tourney but lost a close decision to wrestler Dave Jansen in the finale. And if that’s the one flaw in Held’s game, it is his wrestling. But he’s so good on the ground that he can sub someone off his back, and now that we’re seeing improvements in his striking it makes him that much more dangerous overall. I think Held is a guy who can be a star in Bellator, and with a win over Cavalheiro, he’ll get one step closer to winning the tourney and getting his title shot. Cavalheiro (14-2) is a 31-year-old Brazilian who is making his Bellator debut on the strength of a 10-fight win streak. He’s a dangerous striker and has 11 wins via knockout to his credit already, but keep in mind his level of opposition has been rather poor. Still, he is clearly talented on the feet and a 10-fight win streak is no joke. But we haven’t seen enough of his ground game to know if he can defend against Held’s sub attempts, and the fact he has a loss to UFC fighter Ivan Jorge via submission is troublesome. Calvalheiro may very well come into Bellator and be an immediate threat to the title, but I think it’s more likely his first Bellator outing against Held is more of a learning experience for him rather than a showcase performance. If this fight stays standing then Cavalheiro is going to have a very good chance of winning, but Held is one of those fighters who just has what it takes to get fights to the ground despite his lack of wrestling, and I see him getting this one to the ground and tapping out Cavalheiro with one of his patented leg attacks in the first or second round. At -400, the line on Held is too high for a straight bet but perhaps he’s worth putting into a parlay with some UFC fighters. Although Cavalheiro is dangerous, I believe Held has advantages in almost every area of the game and I see him getting his hand raised here. That being said, Held is not a flawless fighter so don’t go crazy laying juice on him, but he should be solid as a part of a two-team parlay this weekend, as far as I’m concerned.

Written by Adam Martin.

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