Five Reasons to Watch Bellator 138

Bellator 138 emanates from the Scottrade Center from St Louis, Missouri on Friday night. Along with two of the biggest names in MMA headlining the evenings card, this event also features a title fight and two former title holders in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. Here’s five reasons to tune into Bellator 138. Legend vs. Internet Sensation  In a fight that was supposed to take place at Elite XC: Heat in October 2008, Kimbo Slice finally meets UFC pioneer Ken Shamrock in the nights main event. While the UFC has continued their dominance as the number one brand in mixed martial arts, Bellator has decided to go an alternative route  putting on these “freak show” fights in an attempt to pull in casual fans. Slice hasn’t competed in MMA since a May 2010 loss to Matt Mitrione – at UFC 113 in Montreal- and turned 41 this past February. Shamrock hasn’t fought since a November 2010 loss to Mike Bourke  at King of the Cage: Platinum and turned 51 in February. Despite both combatants being well past their primes, this is a fun match up that will surely provide the entertainment value you’re looking for.   Featherweight gold up for grabs  Patrico “Pitbull” Freire defends his 145 pound strap for the second time, when he meets Bellator Season 10 tournament winner Daniel Weichel. The 27-year old has won six straight fights and most recently submitted Daniel Straus in the fourth round at Bellator 132.  German fighter Weichel has won seven in a row, including his last fight where he defeated Pat Curran by split decision at Bellator 133. Through his 25- fight career, Freire has never been finished and boasts eight wins by knockout and nine wins by submission. Weichel is the more experienced fighter – having 43 career bouts compared to 25 for Freire – and will have a five inch height and reach advantage. The 30-year old says he’s comfortable anywhere the fight goes and believes he can finish his Brazilian foe. Expect this championship catchup to be closely contested affair and a potential candidate for “Fight of the Night.”   Back on the winning track  Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler looks for his first win since July 2013 when he meets Derek Campos. After starting his MMA career a perfect 12-0, the 29-year old has lost three straight fights to Eddie Alvarez and Will Brooks (twice). Despite being one of Bellator’s biggest stars, Chandler desperately needs a win to revitalize his career.  His opponent Campos has won six of his last seven fights, with his only blemish coming in a knockout loss to Patricky Freiere at Bellator 117. While he’s been hot of late, facing a former champion in Chandler will mark a huge step up in competition for him. Both fighters are comfortable anywhere the fight goes and each are similar physically.  Chandler says he wants to make a statement in this fight and expect the Alliance MMA product to go for a highlight reel finishes he looks to propel back into the 155 pound title picture.   Prospect Watch  Undefeated Henry Corrales makes his anticipated Bellator debut Friday when he meets former featherweight champion Daniel Straus. The 28-year old has won 11 of his 12 career bouts by stoppage and will look to propel himself up the 145 pound ranks by taking out the Season Six featherweight tournament winner. While he’s looked impressive throughout his professional MMA tenure so far, the one thing missing on his resume is a signature victory. Taking out Straus would certainly make a name for himself. The ATT product Straus has alternated between wins and losses in his last three bouts prior to a six fight win streak. He’s coming off a submission loss to Patricio “Pitbull” Friere at Bellator 132, in a fight that he was fairly competitive in before the fight ending finish. While he’s only lost two of his last three fights, this is a must win for Straus as he look to regain momentum by taking out his younger adversary.   Best Kept Secret at 145lbs?  Former UFC fighter Justin Lawrence also makes his promotional debut Friday against Sean Wilson. After his UFC release in 2013, Lawrence has remained undefeated and captured the RFA featherweight title against Mark Dickman at RFA 25 last August. Looking for his first four fight win streak since 2012, he faces Wilson who has a staggering 59 career bouts. Speaking of Wilson he’s 1-3 in his last five fights and doesn’t have a single notable win in his career. Expect this fight to be a showcase for Lawrence, who at 25 years old could emerge as darkhorse in the division.   Here’s the full Bellator 138 lineup Main Card: Kimbo Slice (4-2) vs. Ken Shamrock (28-15-2) Patricio Freire (23-2) vs. Daniel Weichel (35-8) (Featherweight championship matchup) Bobby Lashley (12-2) vs. Dan Charles (9-2) Daniel Straus (23-6) vs. Henry Corrales (12-0) Michael Chandler (12-3) vs. Derek Campos (15-4) Preliminary Card: Miles McDonald (5-4) vs. Dan O’Connor (0-1) Justin Lawrence (7-2) vs. Sean Wilson (34-25) Eric Irvin (9-3) vs. Hugh Pulley (4-2) Luke Nelson (2-1) vs. Malcolm Smith (4-4) Kain Royer (1-1) vs. Enrique Watson (1-0) AJ Siscoe (0-1) vs. Garrett Mueller (1-0) Adam Cella (6-3) vs. Kyle Kurtz (3-0) Justin Guthrie (17-8) vs. Steven Mann (10-1) Chris Heatherly (8-3) vs. Garrett Gross (6-3)

Written by James Lynch

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