Bellator 120 Main Card Opening Betting Odds

Bellator 120It seems as though this past Saturday had almost as big an impact on Bellator’s upcoming pay-per-view effort as this coming Saturday — the actual night of the fights — will have. Of course, that was when it was announced that Eddie Alvarez was forced out of the main event of Bellator 120 and his trilogy bout with Michael Chandler for the promotion’s lightweight title. Apparently Alvarez suffered a concussion over a week ago in training, and was not able to recover in time to compete. As a result, Will Brooks was bumped up from his fight against Nate Jolly into an interim title bout against Chandler. That also means that a new betting line needs to be set for this new bout. Chandler was already favored approximately 2-to-1 against the much more accomplished Alvarez, so it should stand to reason that he’ll be a bigger favorite over Brooks. The lightweight interim title scrap isn’t the only bout on the card however. The light heavyweight tournament final between Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and ‘King’ Mo Lawal are now the main event of the PPV, and the odds have been out for approximately a month on the fight. Jackson is currently a -270 favorite (bet $270 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while Lawal returns a tidy +230 (bet $100 to win $230) should he emerge victorious. The strangest happening on the Bellator 120 card is almost certainly the light heavyweight bout between the organization’s middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko and former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Even at the Bellator 119 post-fight press conference, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney described the match as a “freakshow,” and it’s hard to argue. The opening two bouts on the card are a striker vs. striker matchup between Michael Page and Ricky Rainey, and a pair of Eastern European heavyweights, Blagoi Ivanov and Alexander Volkov, vying for the tournament championship and a shot at heavyweight titlist Vitaly Minakov. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the Bellator 120 main card odds today at Several Bookmakers. The lines for the Spike TV preliminary card will be released later on this week. ——————– MAIN CARD (PPV, 10pm ET) Light Heavyweight Tournament Final Quinton Jackson -190 Muhammed Lawal +150 Interim Bellator Lightweight Title Michael Chandler -705 Will Brooks +435 Alexander Shlemenko -305 Tito Ortiz +225 Blagoi Ivanov -130 Alexander Volkov -110 Michael Page -260 Ricky Rainey +180 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Bellator received a lot of criticism when it booked Will Brooks vs. Nate Jolly on this PPV card, saying that the fight was pointless, but that was essentially the fight that saved this card. Will Brooks also has a bit of an advantage heading into this bout with Chandler in that he has probably had an eye on both Chandler and Alvarez, while they have been focusing on each other. Still, Chandler should be the superior wrestler here, and his overall MMA game has developed far beyond what Brooks has shown thus far. Unless the former champion suffers a big letdown after the change in opponents, I expect him to put Brooks away with strikes within the first two rounds, and for the line to get bet up accordingly. This fight is just weird. Bjorn Rebney has made the case that it’s intriguing because you don’t know if Tito is going to come out and be able to bully Shlemenko for three rounds. Well, I disagree. I know Tito won’t be able to bully Shlemenko for three rounds because he hasn’t been able to fight hard for three rounds in about a decade. Even if Tito finds some early success, eventually he will slow down and Shlemenko will start ripping punches and kicks to the body, which will likely stop the fight. If offered, Shlemenko inside the distance is the play here, as I wouldn’t be shocked to see Tito tap to strikes rather than just waiting for the ref to step in, and it would be terrible to lose on a (T)KO prop because of that. I would be shocked if there was much money at all coming in on Tito in this fight, despite his massive size advantage. I do think that despite not having faced the same quality of competition as his opponent, Michael Page will defeat Ricky Rainey. Page is taller, longer and a bit more versatile with his striking, and this fight is almost certainly going to take place on the feet. If it hits the ground, neither guy is a particularly big threat, but Page has flashed a bit more of a submission game in his short career, so I give him that edge although I suspect Rainey would be the one attempting to take things to the mat (and likely ending up on top). Even though I lean towards Page, I think the hype on him is a bit silly, and this line will probably become unplayable with parlay action coming in on him. The heavyweight final is actually a half-decent fight as far as heavyweights go, and seems competitive on paper. I haven’t been particularly high on either of these fighters up to this point, but Volkov has definitely impressed me more in this tournament (which is strange, since he fought Mark Holata and Mighty Mo to get to the final). I think that Volkov has made improvements in his takedown defense, and his striking is way ahead of Ivanov’s. Likewise, Ivanov has an advantage on the ground, but I’m not sure if his wrestling is good enough to get it down and keep it there, or if his cardio can hold up for three rounds against someone offering more of a threat than Rich Hale. I do lean Volkov, but as long as this fight stays close to a pick em, I’m passing it. If Ivanov gets enough love from the public, I may come in on Volkov if he hits the +140 range however.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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