Bellator 79 Tale of the Tape: Heavyweights Thiago Santos (-165) vs. Richard Hale (+135)

Tale of the Tape is a brand new addition to, where I will break down in full detail the top two fights on every major UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator card to further expand your knowledge base, so you will have more information at your disposal to make better-informed, winning bets. In future editions, expect detailed FightMetric statistics to be included in the analysis. If you have any suggestions of what other sorts of information you’d like to see included, email me at Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy. — Adam Martin Event: Bellator 79 Matchup: Thiago Santos (-165) vs. Richard Hale (+135), Bellator Season 7 Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Location: Casino Rama, Ontario, Canada Time: 8 p.m. (ET) How to watch:, MTV2 TALE OF THE TAPE: THE FAVORITE Thiago SantosName: Thiago “Big Monster” Santos (-165) MMA Record: 11-1, 1 No-Contest Bellator Record: 3-0, 1 No-Contest Age: 25 Nationality: Brazilian Height: 6-3 Weight: 265 pounds Style: Vale Tudo / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Camp: Top Brother Strengths: Size, strength, knockout power, submissions Weaknesses: Mental lapses, confusion of Unified Rules, has missed weight before Last 5 Fights: W – Eric Prindle (DQ), NC – Eric Prindle (illegal groin kick), W – Neil Grove (SUB), W – Josh Burns (SUB), W – Ubiratan Marinho Lima (DQ) Notable Career Wins: Eric Prindle (DQ), Neil Grove (SUB), Geronimo dos Santos (KO) Notable Career Losses: Alexey Oleinik (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Use size advantage to help get the fight to the ground TALE OF THE TAPE: THE UNDERDOG Name: Richard “Rare Breed” Hale (+135) MMA Record: 20-4-1 Bellator Record: 5-1 Age: 27 Nationality: American Height: 6-4 Weight: 233 pounds Style: BJJ/Boxing Camp: Koncrete Gym Strengths: Heavy hands, speed, submissions Weaknesses: Small for a heavyweight, chin is a concern Last 5 Fights: W – Mike Wessel (TKO), W – Josh Burns (TKO), W – Carlos Flores (KO), L – Christian M’Pumbo (TKO), W – D.J. Linderman (SD) Notable Career Wins: Mike Wessel (TKO), D.J. Linderman (SD), Nik Fekete (SUB) Notable Career Losses: Christian M’Pumbo (TKO), Jimmy Ambriz (KO), Matt Lucas (UD), Antwain Britt (MD) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Use speed and reach advantage to try and outpoint Santos on the feet FIGHT BREAKDOWN, PREDICTION, PICK & BET Thiago Santos was the runner-up in the last season’s Bellator Heavyweight Tournament to Eric Prindle, losing the title on the scales when he missed weight. In the quarterfinals of this season’s Heavyweight Tournament, Santos re-matched Prindle, made weight and won when Prindle delivered a gruesome axe kick to Santos’ testicles, which gave Santos two DQ wins in his last five fights – not to mention the No-Contest when he kicked Prindle in his groin in their first bout – meaning there’s a trend of Santos participating in controversial fights, which is a little concerning. Nicknamed “Big Monster,” Santos is a massive heavyweight who has wicked power in his hands as well as a slick ground game that has seen him score five wins via submission. He is young and physically talented, but it seems like he has mental lapses at times, which is something to watch out for. Richard Hale was the runner-up of Bellator’s first Light Heavyweight Tournament, ultimately losing in the finals via TKO to Christian M’Pumbo. Since then, Hale has collected three victories via knockout, including a TKO of UFC veteran Mike Wessel in his Bellator heavyweight debut after moving up a weight class because the weight cut to 205 became too much for his body to handle. Hale is a tall guy with a long reach, solid boxing, and has a nifty bag of submissions in his bag (check out his inverted triangle choke on Nik Fekete) due in part to the fact that he’s very fast for a heavyweight. However, while he’ll hold the speed advantage over Santos, he’s going to be entering the cage with a near 40-pound weight disadvantage, which, when the skill levels between two MMA fighters are relatively the same, makes a world of difference. Adam’s Fight Prediction: Santos is just too big for Hale. Although Hale will try and use his speed, movement and four-inch reach advantage to pick apart Santos from the outside, I think Santos will be able to get inside at some point and get a clinch or body-lock takedown and go to work on Hale on the ground. Either by ground and pound or a submission, look for Santos to win this fight on the mat and move onto the tournament finals. Adam’s Pick: Thiago Santos (-165) via first-round submission. Adam’s Recommended Play: Take Thiago Santos straight at -165 with the MMA odds. It’s a good price for him.

Written by Adam Martin.

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