Bellator 133 Opening Odds

Bellator 133To be honest, I miss Bjornator. Sure, the new Strikeator (Spikeforce? Bellaforce?) under Scott Coker’s guidance has given us some entertaining fights (who didn’t enjoy Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef?), but the promotion seems to not have any real direction anymore. The paring down of events was supposed to give us deeper cards, but as both events in 2015 have shown, that’s not really the case. Bellator 133 should have a fun main event, but other than that, does it serve any purpose? If Alexander Shlemenko wins, does anyone see a second bout with Brandon Halsey going much differently? If Melvin Manhoef wins, surely he can’t be put into a title shot after being knocked out against a relative MMA newcomer in Schilling, right? I actually prefer the co-main event on this card, as Pat Curran and Daniel Weichel is an important fight in the promotion’s featherweight division, and it should be fought at a high level. Curran is the more dangerous striker of the two, and both his wrestling and submission games remain underrated. Weichel has a very dangerous submission game of his own, and has greatly improved his striking. This will be Weichel’s first bout since winning the featherweight tournament in May of 2014, while Curran looks to rebound from dropping his title to Patricio Freire in September of last year. Also on the main card, Chris Honeycutt gets to show off his powerful wrestling once again, as the prospect faces unbeaten Clayton McFarlane. A title challenger for Marloes Coenen should also be decided, as Julia Budd takes on Gabrielle Holloway. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Bellator 133 today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– Alexander Shlemenko -180 Melvin Manhoef +140 Pat Curran -270 Daniel Weichel +190 Chris Honeycutt -900 Clayton MacFarlane +500 Julia Budd -705 Gabrielle Holloway +435 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: The main event comes down to one thing: How much punishment can each man take? I think it’s Shlemenko, but Manhoef also delivers a much bigger punch than anyone Shlemenko has faced before (including Hector Lombard). Manhoef has the weaker chin, but Shlemenko’s focus on body attacks early may give Manhoef enough time to sneak something upstairs on the Russian before he begins to fade and gets his own chin cracked. It’s better just to stay away from this one in my eyes, unless the public gets wacky thinking Shlemenko rolls. Daniel Weichel has looked more impressive than I expected him to since coming to Bellator, but I still have to side with Curran here. It’s a long way from Desmond Green to Pat Curran, and the striking advantage Weichel had in that fight (and his tournament fights) won’t exist here. I don’t think he’ll be able to take Curran down either. The problem with Curran, as always, is whether he’ll throw enough volume to make an impression with the judges (should the fight go there). I think Weichel’s active style will force him to, and I like Curran to either clip Weichel’s chin, or win himself a decision. Clayton MacFarlane comes from the much maligned Xplode Fight Series, which means his 4-0 record is mostly useless. Chris Honeycutt comes from a place where people get slammed. A lot. My prediction for this fight is Honeycutt, slam. Honeycutt still needs to develop the other areas of his game, but from very early on in his wrestling career many said he had a wrestling style that would translate well to MMA, and it has beautifully. Not many fighters at 170 have a chance to keep fights standing against Honeycutt should he choose to take them down. I’ll be honest, I’ve seen about 2 minutes of Gabrielle Holloway fights, and given all the other MMA taking place this weekend, I doubt I’ll have a chance to take a look at much more prior to this fight going down. That said, her last fighting weight was 170lbs. That fight was three weeks ago. There’s no way she’s in the type of shape she needs to be in to fight one of the more impressive physical specimens in women’s MMA in Julia Budd.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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