Bellator 115 Main Card Preview for ‘Minakov vs Kongo’ Event Tonight (April 4) on Spike TV

Bellator 115Reno, Nevada plays host to a Bellator card that has changed drastically in the last 24 hours, which has led this poor writer to re-doing most of this breakdown, but that’s okay – this is the life we chose, and it’s one we must trod through for you and for Bellator.

This card lost a middleweight semifinal between the tough Dan Cramer and late-replacement Jeremy Kimball after Kimball couldn’t make weight, and Koreshkov vs. Oropeza was scrapped after Koreshkov was unable to weigh-in due to illness.
The main event remains intact, with Cheick Kongo (20-8-2) challenging Vitaly Minakov (13-0) for the Bellator heavyweight title. It seems like Bellator brought in Kongo to stand and bang, and he has obliged them somewhat, in his two Bellator fights, knocking out Mark Godbeer and decisioning Peter Graham, while Minakov has finished every fight but one. This has the potential to be an exciting fight, but Cheick has every ability to close the distance and work his underrated takedown game, smothering Minakov. That is, of course, unless Minakov touches his chin with his fierce striking. Minakov has won his last seven fights via strikes, and while the Frenchman is a competent striker, Minakov is better than him, and is much fresher. The longer the fight goes, the more it goes in the UFC veteran’s favor, but who knows if it will go long? Both men have the ability to finish this early.
Next we get a catchweight feature fight at 195 pounds, as Johnny Cisneros (8-2) takes on Mikkel Parlo (11-2). This, simply put, should be a brawl. Both men wade into their opponents and make fights ugly, and this one could be real ugly. Parlo has a decent Bellator record, with his big win coming over Brian Rogers at Bellator 98, while Cisneros is making his debut in earnest. This is the most Bellator fight on the card if you know what I mean, and while Parlo has every advantage and should absolutely walk away with this one, Bellator has a knack for weird underdogs winning. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but weirder things have gone down.
Moving up from the undercard is Volkan Oezdemir (10-0) fighting Kelly Anundson (6-2). Kelly is an up and comer fighting our of American Top Team, while Oezdemir trains out of his home country of Sweden. Oezdemir has the size advantage, and is a damn solid striker, but Anundson is by far the better wrestler. If the fight stays on the feet, Oezdemir has every reason to knock out the newcomer. He’s won his last 7 fights via knockout, has only seen the judges once, and subbed or knocked out the rest of his opponents, while Anundson has a knack for grinding his opponents into a submission. Interesting stylistic fight here, with the advantage going to the Swede.
In a welterweight feature fight, we have Herman Terrado (11-3) facing Justin Baesman (14-4) in what should be an exciting matchup for the Spike airwaves. Terrado lost his last fight, his Bellator debut, to the tough Rick Hawn. While there’s no shame in that, he needs to take advantage of the bright lights he’s under. Terrado was 2-0 in Strikeforce with a TKO and a Submission respectively. He has talent, and is a well-rounded fighter. Baesman is a hard-hitting striker who lost his Bellator debut against Brent Weedman, so there’s a fairly common theme here for both of these two – they haven’t defeated good competition. Four out of 5 of Baesman’s last wins have come via split-decision, which is worrisome. When he’s on, he has heavy hands and a good, solid ground game. Their records look the same, but Terrado seems more talented on tape, with more of a killer instinct.

Written by Jason Nawara

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