Bellator 115 Opening Betting Odds

Bellator 115This Friday, Bellator puts on their fifth consecutive card with a title fight as a headliner when Cheick Kongo takes on reigning champion Vitaly Minakov for the organization’s heavyweight belt. The event will also see a middleweight join Brett Cooper in this season’s tournament final, and half of the welterweight final will be determined as well. Kongo was released from the UFC after a tepid decision victory over Shawn Jordan was bookended by a pair of first round KO losses to Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt. His overall run in the UFC had to be considered something of a success however, as he went 11-6-1 in the promotion during a seven year run. Minakov looks to retain both his belt and his unblemished professional record against his biggest test. Coming out of the Fight Nights Team in Russia — which has developed current UFC fighters Ali Bagautinov and Gasan Umalatov as well — Minakov breezed through the 2013 Summer Series tournament, winning both his bouts by TKO and following that up by capturing the title against Alexander Volkov with another stoppage via strikes last November. The co-main event features the odds on favorite to win the welterweight tournament, which would be his second tournament victory, Andrey Koreshkov as he takes on Sam Oropeza. Both men impressed in their quarterfinal bouts with first round TKOs and hope to make easy work of their opponents here to come into the final as healthy as possible. Speaking of tournament finals, the winner of Dan Cramer and Jeremy Kimball will meet Brett Cooper for the season ten middleweight tournament title. For Cramer, it would be a shot at redemption as he was on his way to winning a decision over Cooper back in March 2013 before an amazing comeback put an end to that. Kimball was moved into this bout just two weeks ago as a replacement for Doug Marshall, and looks to put in a better performance than his last tournament appearance, where he was bounced in the opening round. Opening up the main card for Bellator 115 is a bit of a bounce back fight for last season’s middleweight tournament runner-up, Mikkel Parlo. He takes on Johnny Cisneros, who has dropped two of his last three bouts on the regional circuit. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting lines for these four main card bouts at Bellato 115 today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET) Vitaly Minakov -285 Cheick Kongo +205 Andrey Koreshkov -425 Sam Oropeza +305 Dan Cramer -215 Jeremy Kimball +165 Mikkel Parlo -900 Johnny Cisneros +500 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Pretty clear favorites in all these fights, and it’s hard to argue with any of them, although I could see the main event being closer than public sentiment has it. If Kongo doesn’t get caught early I can see him making this bout competitive, but Minakov has dispatched of all of his opponents with such ease that the public is likely going to be backing him regardless. Remember though, over the past five years, Kongo has won all of his bouts except those against fighters currently ranked in the top 10 in the UFC’s heavyweight division. If you believe Minakov is already that good — or has that kind of ceiling — by all means play him, but I’m avoiding the favorite here. Oropeza actually brings a decent look to Koreshkov, as another rangy striker. I think the difference here is the variety in Koreshkov’s game though. He mixes in kicks and knees much better than Oropeza (who prefers his hands). Koreshkov can also take this to the ground without much worry if he wants to get away from the striking or seal a round. Well at least Jeremy Kimball will be able to say he made it to a Bellator tournament semifinal (and no it doesn’t matter than this is only a four-man tournament), but I can’t see him going any further. Even though Cramer is known for going to decisions, I actually see him getting a stoppage in this one after he wears Kimball out with his typical grinding style. Finally, Bellator wants to get Parlo back on his feet and into the win column against Johnny Cisneros. Parlo is a compact fighter, but has good technique with his striking and is a solid wrestler as well. He’ll be able to put either skill to use against Cisneros, who is a wild brawler that gets hit a lot. I suppose he could catch Parlo with something, but I highly doubt it, and expect people will be asking why these guys got matched up if this fight goes any significant length of time.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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