Bellator 79 Tale of the Tape: Featherweights Mike Richman (-305) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (+235)

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: Mike Richman (-305) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (+235), Bellator Season 7 Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Location: Casino Rama, Ontario, Canada Time: 8 p.m. (ET) How to watch:, MTV2 TALE OF THE TAPE: THE FAVORITE Mike RichmanName: Mike “The Marine” Richman (-305) MMA Record: 13-1 Bellator Record: 2-0 Age: 27 Nationality: American Height: 5-9 Weight: 145 pounds Style: Boxing/Wrestling Camp: The Academy Strengths: Momentum, toughness, knockout power, diverse striking, submissions Weaknesses: Untested cardio at higher levels of MMA Last 5 Fights: W – Jeremy Spoon (KO), W – Chris Horodecki (KO), W – Morgan Sickinger (UD), W – Christopher Lane (TKO), L – Brian Pearman (SD) Notable Career Wins: Chris Horodecki (KO), Jeremy Spoon (KO) Notable Career Losses: Aaron Wilkinson (UD) *TUF exhibition bout Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Be fast and aggressive on the feet, use size advantage, fight smart by taking it to the ground and exploiting Shamhalaev on the floor if possible TALE OF THE TAPE: THE UNDERDOG Name: Shahbulat “Sha” Shamhalaev (+235) MMA Record: 10-1-1 Bellator Record: 1-0 Age: 29 Nationality: Russian Height: 5-6 Weight: 145 pounds Style: Thai Boxing Camp: Red Fury/Goretz Club Strengths: Striking (former Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Sanshou champion), ground and pound, power Weaknesses: Fight IQ, Defensive BJJ, untested at higher levels of MMA Last 5 Fights: W – Cody Bollinger (TKO), W – Ramazan Sulebanov (N/A), W – Muslim Umaev (N/A), W – Yves Landu (UD), D – Astemir Fakov Notable Career Wins: Cody Bollinger (TKO) Notable Career Losses: Khabib Nurmagomedov (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Counter striking, striking defence, pick his shots, tire out Richman FIGHT BREAKDOWN, PREDICTION, PICK & BET Mike Richman has really started to make a name for himself, as in two Bellator appearances he’s enjoyed spectacular knockouts of Jeremy Spoon and former WEC star Chris Horodecki. Richman, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, is explosive on the feet, with knockout power in both his hands and his feet. On the ground, he’s solid too, with seven submission victories to his credit to go along with five TKO/KOs. He also has a solid wrestling base, and trains at The Academy in Minnesota with UFC fighters Jacob Volkmann and Nik Lentz. He has a ton of momentum behind him and there’s a lot of hype around a fighter who many feel could give Bellator World Featherweight Champion Pat Curran some problems. Shahbulat Shamhalaev is a striker and has won world titles in the disciplines of muay Thai, kickboxing, and Sanshou. He is explosive on his feet with three knockouts among his 10 wins (four other wins he has weren’t credited as TKOs, although it’s possible they were), and his only career loss came to rising UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov via submission. Although not many know his name, Shamhalaev is not to be taken lightly because he is a very skilled standup fighter. And as he showed in his Bellator debut against Cody Bollinger, he has heavy hands and brutal ground and pound. However, he’s not very good guarding against submissions, so it would be smart for Richman to try and take Shamhalaev to the ground and exploit him there. Adam’s Fight Prediction: If Richman was smart, he would try to employ the grind em’ out gameplan his teammates Volkmann and Lentz are known for. However, Richman is extremely confident right now in his standup, and he will definitely stand and bang with Shamhalaev, at least in the early goings of this fight. With his Marine background, you know Richman is very tough, so it’s going to be hard for Shamhalaev to knock him out, although that is possible since he is a good counter-boxer, and Richman is very aggressive and therefore leaves openings. Still, although I do feel that Shamhalaev is being overlooked somewhat in this bout, Richman seems like a serious threat to the other Bellator featherweights right now, and I do feel he should win this fight. I don’t think Shamhalaev can take Richman down, although his background in Sanshou makes me wonder if Richman can even take him down, so with both guys probably standing up and chucking bombs, I think Richman is going to land one at some point and finish off Shamhalaev. Adam’s Pick: Mike Richman (-305) via first-round TKO Adam’s Recommended Play: Although I do like Richman to win this fight, -305 straight according to the MMA odds is quite the price to pay for him. Instead, look to pair him in a parlay with Ryan Ford or Douglas Lima on the undercard.

Written by Adam Martin.

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