Bellator 83 Tale of the Tape: Featherweights Rad Martinez (-170) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (+140)

Event: Bellator 83 Matchup: Rad Martinez (-170) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (+130), Bellator Season 7 Featherweight Tournament Final Location: Atlantic City, NJ Time: 8 p.m. (ET) How to watch:, MTV2 Rad MartinezTALE OF THE TAPE: THE FAVORITE Name: Rad Martinez MMA Record: 14-2 Bellator Record: 4-0 Age: 25 Nationality: American Height: 5-6 Weight: 145 pounds Style: Wrestling Camp: Victory MMA Strengths: Wrestling, will to win, heart, power Weaknesses: Finishing ability, no submission game Last 5 Fights: W – Wagnney Fabiano (UD), W – Nazareno Malegerie (UD), W – Douglas Frey (TKO), W – Greg McFarland (TKO), W – Brian Van Hoven (UD) Notable Career Wins: Wagnney Fabiano (UD), Nazareno Malegerie (UD), Joe Brammer (TKO) Notable Career Losses: Brian Cobb (SUB), Travis Marx (UD) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Take the fight to the ground TALE OF THE TAPE: THE UNDERDOG Name: Shahbulat “Sha” Shamhalaev MMA Record: 11-1-1 Bellator Record: 2-0 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, knockout power Weaknesses: Fight IQ, Defensive BJJ, untested at higher levels of MMA Last 5 Fights: W – Mike Richman (KO), W – Cody Bollinger (TKO), W – Ramazan Sulebanov (N/A), W – Muslim Umaev (N/A), W – Yves Landu (UD) Notable Career Wins: Mike Richman (KO), Cody Bollinger (TKO) Notable Career Losses: Khabib Nurmagomedov (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Look for openings on the feet, go for the knockout FIGHT BREAKDOWN, PREDICTION, PICK & BET A title shot is up for grabs as featherweights Rad Martinez and Shahbulat Shamhalaev clash in the finals of the Bellator Season 7 Featherweight Tournament. Martinez defeated Wagnney Fabiano and Nazareno Malagerie to get to the finals, and he seems to be that grinding type of fighter that does enough in all three aspects of the game in order to win fights. Going up against Shamhalaev, look for Martinez’s gameplan to be to take this fight to the ground. Shamhalaev is a striker, and he showed in his last fight against Mike Richman that he has ridiculous power in his hands as he scored a brutal knockout against the former Marine. He also TKOed Cody Bollinger in the quarterfinals, so clearly this guy is lethal with his strikes. But is he well-versed enough in the other facets of the game to go the full 15 minutes with Martinez? We’ll have to wait and find out, but my guess is he’s going to have a hard time stopping Martinez’s takedowns. Adam’s Prediction: Rad Martinez will get the takedowns and outwrestle Shabulat Shamhalaev en route to winning a decision. Adam’s Pick: Rad Martinez (-170) via unanimous decision (click for latest MMA odds). Adam’s Play: I like Martinez here, but he’s not a lock by any means.

Written by Adam Martin.

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