Bellator continues their yo-yo between bouts that are simply fun, and bouts that are relevant. This week we get the latter, as top 10 bantamweight in the world, Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas returns to action for just the second time in 2014 against interim champ Joe Warren. Both men have been plagued with concussion issues in the past, and it’s hard to say whether it’s more troubling with the defensively deficient Warren, or the 25-year-old Dantas. Luckily, this fight is moving forward after being postponed on short-notice earlier in the year. The matchup itself is intriguing, as despite Dantas’ excellent skills both standing and on the ground, takedown defense seems to be his one weakness. He lost the first round to Anthony Leone back in March, and Warren is a more accomplished and effective wrestler than Leone. If Warren is able to get takedowns repeatedly and grind out the young Brazilian, he could earn himself a Bellator title in a second weight class. However, if this stays on the feet for a prolonged period of time, Dantas has the far superior stand up game, and Warren’s strategy on the feet has seemingly been to block as many strikes as possible with his head. In the co-main event, Bellator has their own prospect from across the Atlantic who is drawing attention for his striking prowess. Michael Page isn’t the self-promoter that Conor McGregor is, but his striking is comparably devastating. All of his bouts have ended within the first round thus far in his career, but he takes on his toughest challenge to date in Nah-Shon Burrell. Burrell’s experience facing another talented striker in Stephen Thompson could see him drag this bout into the later rounds, but would also make another quick stoppage from Page all the more impressive. Also on the main card is a catchweight bout between the returning Alexander Sarnavskiy and late replacement Dakota Cochrane. Sarnavskiy was originally tapped to face John Gunderson, but his retirement forced a change to Derek Campos (who pulled out in the week leading up to the fight with an injury) before Cochrane stepped up for the bout. Rounding out the Spike TV portion of the card is a middleweight scrap featuring UFC veteran Bubba McDaniel and Argentine prospect Emiliano Sordi. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for Bellator 128 today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET) Bellator Bantamweight Title Eduardo Dantas -350 Joe Warren +250 Michael Page -385 Nah-Shon Burrell +265 Alexander Sarnavskiy -505 Dakota Cochrane +335 Bubba McDaniel -245 Emiliano Sordi +175 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: SPIKEForce is in full effect on this card. Just as it used to be back in Coker’s old promotion, favorites seem like they’re set to roll here. I imagine there will be a lot of people making a “square” parlay with 3 — or more, depending on how much they trust someone like Bubba McDaniel — of the faves on this card, and honestly I may end up doing the same. While Joe Warren may be able to take Eduardo Dantas down fairly easily, I just think five rounds is way too long for him to go without getting caught by something either on the feet or on the ground. Dantas is more skilled wherever this fight goes, and doesn’t have the same type of cardio issues that plagued Rafael Silva when Warren picked up his interim title. There are a variety of ways in which Dantas can finish Warren, and the baddest man on the planet’s porous defense could see any of them coming to fruition. This is a smart booking decision by Bellator. They know they could have something in Michael Page, but they also know he’s not ready for the top of their welterweight division yet (particularly any solid wrestlers he may come across). Nah-Shon Burrell is a perfectly serviceable fighter, but he was unable to take down a far more limited Stephen Thompson, and I believe Page is even more dangerous on the feet. I wouldn’t be shocked if Page gets a finish as quickly as Andrey Koreshkov did, but the Brit also seems to be relaxing in the cage and taking his time, so we could get a couple minutes of feeling out before the finish comes as well. Dakota Cochrane does his best work with his wrestling game, and that’s historically been the only flaw in the game of ‘Tiger’ (well, that and his fight IQ), but I don’t see this going well for Cochrane at all. He’s about a month removed from being knocked out by Christos Giagos in a fight that could have earned him a UFC shot, and is taking this fight on extremely short notice. The former could put him in a letdown spot here, and the latter could have him simply unprepared. The combination does not bode well. Sarnavskiy will be the better striker and submission grappler and will likely stop Cochrane once his gas tank starts to fade a bit. The one fight people may leave out for betting purposes is the McDaniel/Sordi bout due to a lack of faith in Bubba and a lack of familiarity with Sordi, but the UFC vet should win comfortably here. Sordi hasn’t fought in nearly a year and is making his North American debut, two red flags. He also has a typically unimpressive South American record, with the caveat that when he has stepped up in competition (if you can call someone like Kleber Silva a step up in competition) he has faltered. McDaniel has issues against fighters who can really press the issue against him with good technical skills, but Sordi isn’t that fighter and Bubba should be superior in virtually every area.