Bellator 116 Play: Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (-130) vs Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (+110)

ufc-on-fox-6Bellator 116 Date: April 11, 2014 Arena: Pechanga Resort Hotel & Casino City: Temecula, CA Light Heavyweight bout: Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (-130) vs Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (+110) Fight Breakdown: Getting the action started for the Bellator 116 main card will be a light heavyweight contest between a pair of former UFC fighters, when Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko takes on Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran. The Russian is currently a slight favorite in this bout at -130 ($130 to win $100), while the Mexican is barely an underdog at +110 ($100 to win $110) at Several Bookmakerss. Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (27-7 MMA, 1-0 Bellator) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over fellow veteran Houston Alexander at Bellator 99 seven months ago. It was a successful promotional debut for the Belarusian, who told MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg that this fight versus Joey Beltran will in fact be his last. Looking retirement dead in the eye, I believe Matyushenko will give it his all on Friday night in an effort to go out on a high note. The former UFC light heavyweight was released by the promotion after suffering back to back losses to top contenders Alexander Gustaffson and Ryan Bader. His release was a bit of a shock to many MMA fans, considering his only loss came against the biggest names in the division, including the champion Jon “Bones” Jones. Many viewed him as a “gatekeeper” in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Matyushenko is a talented wrestler who possesses great takedowns. His top control is excellent; he likes to keep opponents down and beat on them. “The Janitor” has decent boxing skills, and possesses power in his hands. In fact, his last two wins in the UFC came by way of knockout; one of them against Jason Brilz at only 20 seconds into the fight. Even at 43 years of age, the Russian has great conditioning and will be able to go all three rounds against another fellow veteran in Beltran. Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (14-10-1 NC MMA, 0-1 Bellator) was unsuccessful in his Bellator debut, dropping a first round knockout loss to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. It was the second knockout loss of Beltran’s professional mixed martial arts career, the first coming against “Big” Lavar Johnson, who just so happens to be fighting in the main event on this very Bellator card. In dire need of a win, I think Beltran will show up looking to send the Russian out with a bang, as he himself stated in an interview with MMAOB’s Frank Trigg. “The Mexicutioner” is a solid boxer with a great chin who is always willing to take two just to land one. He is powerful, and does a good job of controlling his opponents, especially against the cage. He can hold them either down on the mat or against the cage and pepper them with shots, especially since he has more of a power advantage at 205 than he did at heavyweight. He used to weigh in at the maximum 260lbs for the heavyweight division, but now meets the limit for the light heavyweight division. The 32 year old is well-versed in the submission game, as he owns a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. That said, he certainly prefers to keep his fights on the feet and always looks to put his opponents away. In fact, 11 of his 14 career victories come by way of knockout. On top of everything, he has tremendous cardio and is capable of going hard for all 15 minutes of action. Gabe’s Prediction: To put it simply, I think “The Janitor” will implement his superior wrestling en route to a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I believe he will get his hand raised on Friday night, and enter retirement on a high note. Gabe’s Call: “The Janitor” by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Vladimir Matyushenko (-130) 3.64u to win 2.8u

Written by Gabe Killian

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