Bellator 81 Tale of the Tape: Lightweights Rich Clementi (-215) vs. Marcin Held (+165)

Event: Bellator 81 Matchup: Rich Clementi (-215) vs. Marcin Held (+165), Bellator Season 7 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Location: Kingston, R.I. Time: 8 p.m. (ET) How to watch:, MTV2 TALE OF THE TAPE: THE FAVORITE Rich ClementiName: Rich Clementi MMA Record: 46-21 Bellator Record: 2-0 Age: 36 Nationality: American Height: 5-9 Weight: 155 pounds Style: Submissions Camp: Team Voodoo Strengths: Tons of experience, submission savvy, very durable, a true veteran of the sport, big for weight class Weaknesses: Submission defense, age, no knockout wins in six years Last 5 Fights: W – Alexander Sarnavskiy (UD), W – Robert Washington (SUB), W – Derek Campos (SUB), L – Chris Clements (TKO), W – Ronnie Rogers (SUB) Notable Career Wins: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (SUB), Eddie Yagin (TKO), Melvin Guillard (SUB), Sam Stout (SD), Terry Etim (UD) Notable Career Losses: Gray Maynard (UD), Gleison Tibau (UD), Shinya Aoki (SUB), Reza Madadi (UD), Yves Edwards (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Use veteran experience, be sneaky on the ground, try to outwork Held TALE OF THE TAPE: THE UNDERDOG Name: Marcin Held MMA Record: 13-2 Bellator Record: 3-1 Age: 20 Nationality: Polish Height: 5-9 Weight: 155 pounds Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Camp: Bastion Tychy/London Shootfighters Strengths: Submissions, youth, tough Weaknesses: Inexperience against high-level competition, little knockout power Last 5 Fights: W – Murad Machaev (UD), W – Derrick Kennington (SUB), W – Phillipe Nover (SD), W – Kaleo Kwan (SUB), L – Michael Chandler (SUB) Notable Career Wins: Phillipe Nover (SD) Notable Career Losses: Michael Chandler (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Use speed, take risks, be aggressive FIGHT BREAKDOWN, PREDICTION, PICK & BET Bellator’s Season 7 Lightweight Tournament semifinals take place at Bellator 81, and the main event of the evening will see veteran Rich Clementi fight youngster Marcin Held for a spot in the finals. Clementi is coming off a huge upset win over top Russian prospect Alexander Sarnavskiy and looks to be turning back the clock as he’s picked up three straight wins. The 36-year-old UFC veteran has been in the cage with the likes of Shinya Aoki, Anthony Johnson and Gray Maynard, meaning he’s been there and done that. He’s an excellent grappler who holds 27 of his 45 wins by submission, is tough and durable, and seems to be really finding his second wind under the Bellator banner, where he has a 2-0 record. Held is 16 years younger at only 20 and already has 14 wins in his career, including seven submissions and a close decision nod over former UFC fighter Phillipe Nover. He’s a tough little out, but his last fight against unknown Murad Machaev was pretty close, although he did end up getting the judges’ nod. Still, he really hasn’t fought anyone of note outside of Nover and Bellator World Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler, who submitted him via an arm triangle. Held is going to be smaller than Clementi in this fight and he needs to take risks, mix it up on the feet, and go for submissions any time he sees an opening if he’s going to upset the veteran. Adam’s Fight Prediction: Marcin Held possesses nothing Rich Clementi hasn’t seen before. It’s possible Held could grab a submission on Clementi, who has poor sub defense, but it’s more likely that Clementi is able to do enough on the feet and maybe even out-grapple Held en route to a decision or perhaps even a late submission himself. Adam’s Pick: Rich Clementi (-215) via decision (click for updated MMA odds). Adam’s Recommended Play: I like Rich Clementi, but -215 is a little steep. Observe line movement for this one.

Written by Adam Martin.

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