Bellator 132 Fight Breakdown: Bubba Jenkins vs. Georgi Karakhanyan

georgi-karakhanyan The co-main event of Bellator 132 is a three-round featherweight bout between Bubba Jenkins and Georgi Karakhanyan. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Jenkins is a -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) while Karakhanyan is a -110 underdog (bet $110 to win $100). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Jenkins at -150 and Karakhanyna at -110, and the early action is on the dog Karakhanyan. This is a difficult fight to predict but I slightly lean towards the veteran Karakhanyan as the underdog. Here’s why. Jenkins (6-1) is one of the top featherweight prospects in Bellator. The 28-year-old American is a high-level wrestler and he’s used his wrestling to win all of his fights so far. Training at American Top Team, Jenkins is constantly improving the other facets of his game and he is working hard to get better at striking, submissions, and in the cardio department. I think he’s still a work in progress, but to his credit he is improving every time we see him step into the cage, so you know he’s putting the work in in the gym. Still, that might not be enough in this fight with Karakhanyan, as Jenkins has shown holes in his game in the past, namely in his striking defence and in his cardio. If he has those things in check, he can potentially outwrestle his opponent here, but it’s hard to say if he’s ready for a guy like Karakhanyan, who represents a massive step up in competition from the guys Jenkins has been fighting so far. Karakhanyan (23-4-1) is one of the most underrated featherweights in MMA. The 29-year-old Russian is returning to Bellator after four years away from the organization. Since leaving Bellator in 2011, Karakhanyan has gone 9-1 with wins over the likes of Lance Palmer to win the WSOF featherweight title, Waylon Lowe, Din Thomas, and Hiroyuki Takaya while competing in promotions such as WSOF, Legacy FC, Tachi Palace Fights, and DREAM. He became a free agent recently and Bellator re-signed him coming off his TKO loss to Rick Glenn where he lost his title last summer. In his prior stint in Bellator, Karakhanyahn went 2-2 with wins over Anthony Leone and Bao Quach and losses to Joe Warren and Patricio Pitbull, two losses that don’t look so bad in hindsight. Karakhanyan is a well-rounded, dangerous fighter. He has excellent submissions (13 career submission wins) and is especially lethal with his guillotine choke — just as Palmer, who he choked out to win the WSOF title. His striking is also quite good although he doesn’t have much power (only four career TKO wins). He has decent wrestling too although he can be planted on his back by a better wrestler. Still, he is a deadly, dangerous finisher and a tough matchup for anyone at 145lbs. Jenkins is a tough fight for anyone because of his elite wrestling ability, but if Karakhanyan can stop the takedowns and keep this standing he can win, and he can win if he catches Jenkins making a mistake on the ground. It’s a really good fight and I’m looking forward to it quite a bit. This is a tough fight to call because while I could see Jenkins laying on top of Karakhanyan for three rounds, I just feel like he has too many holes in his game and a crafty veteran like Karakhanyan can take advantage of them. I feel like Jenkins will control the early goings of the fight with his wrestling, but I think as the fight goes on and he tires he gets caught making a mistake and pays for it with Karakhanyan’s patented guillotine choke. Still, while I do favor Karakhanyan, it’s a hard fight to bet because he could very well be outwrestled for three rounds. So while I do lean Karakhanyan, I think a pass is the right play here. Look for other fights to bet instead.

Written by Adam Martin.

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