Bellator 90 Picks: Featherweights Rad Martinez (-210) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (+160)

Bellator-83 Bellator 90 Maverik Center, Salt Lake City, Utah Thursday, February 21, 2013 Featherweight Final: Rad Martinez (-210) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (+160) Fight Breakdown: The finals of last year’s Bellator Season 7 Featherweight Tournament finally takes place as Rad Martinez takes on Shahbulat Shamhalaev. Martinez opened as a -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100), while the comeback on Shamhalaev is +160 (bet $100 to win $160). Martinez (14-2) defeated Wagnney Fabiano and Nazareno Malegerie to make it to the finals of this featherweight tournament. The native of Utah — who will enjoy hometown advantage in this fight — carries into this bout a great wrestling pedigree and one of the biggest hearts in the sport. But he’ll have to take this fight to the ground as soon as he can since his opponent’s standup is lightyears ahead of him on the feet. Martinez can win this fight, but he has to fight smart, and he has to make it a grind. Shamhalaev (11-1) defeated Mike Richman and Cody Bollinger, each by T/KO, to reach the finals of this 145lb tournament. The Russian prospect is a great striker, as he holds four victories by knockout in his career, but he’ll need his wrestling to be up to par in this fight if he’s able to beat Martinez. Shamhalaev needs to keep this fight on the feet, and he needs to look for that one opening that will put Martinez’ lights out. Will he find it, though, is the biggest question. Fight Prediction: Pretty close matchup on paper but ultimately I think it’s going to come down to Martinez’ superior wrestling game. He’s going to be able to take Shamhalaev down and grind him out, earning a featherweight title shot in the process. Adam’s Pick: Rad Martinez via unanimous decision (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: There was a point where Martinez was all the way down to -135, and when he was there I would have recommended a bet on him. However, he’s currently sitting around -175 and at that price, I don’t know if I can recommend a bet on him even though I do think he can grind out a decision win.

Written by Adam Martin.

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