This Friday, Bellator will be putting on their second show in as many weeks, as Bellator 143 goes back to the organization’s more familiar format for a card from Hidalgo, Texas. Former featherweight and bantamweight champion Joe Warren will begin his quest to get to a third title belt with the promotion, as he takes on L.C. Davis in the main event. A pair of UFC veterans square off in the co-main event as TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove takes on former heavyweight Joey Beltran in a match that is surprisingly relevant for the Bellator middleweight division in 2015. Beyond that, there aren’t a whole lot of recognizable names on the card. Ryan Couture fights on the undercard, while Darrion Caldwell and Shawn Bunch engage in a battle of high-level wrestlers. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the four main card fights of Bellator 143 today, as well as four undercard bouts at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET)
——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 6:30pm ET)
——————– Brad’s Analysis: I’m going to have a harder and harder time backing Joe Warren in any fight. It’s rare for any bantamweight — not to mention one who has taken some big beatings like Warren — to be successful at age 38. Warren does seem to keep in excellent shape, so he’s still looked good in the majority of his fights, but as he starts to lose a step his already bad defense will get worse, and his questionable chin won’t hold up. Will this fight be an example of that? I’m not sure, but I’m certainly not willing to lay the price on Warren to find out. I’m not sure what I find more amusing, Joey Beltran and Kendall Grove separately headlining main events recently for Bellator, or the two of them combined being the co-main event on this card. Either way, I think this fight comes down to Beltran making Grove uncomfortable with forward pressure. I think Grove is actually the more technical striker, and is far better as a submission artist, but I don’t expect Beltran to give him any room to breathe. Perhaps because of Grove’s chin Beltran can get him out of there, but even if that doesn’t happen I foresee his volume and aggression scoring him a decision. The Sanchez/Corrales fight is the toughest to call on this card for me. Both men took massive steps up in competition in their last outings, and were soundly defeated. Now they each face a fighter who is on their level, and we see where they truly stand. I think Corrales has the better resume, and his style will force some mistakes out of Sanchez, who hasn’t really had to deal with aggressive opponents too much. I’m picking Corrales based on how I think their styles will interact, but I really have no idea on this one, so I’m staying away from such a close line. Ewerton Teixeira is probably the one dog I’m willing to take a shot on at these opening numbers. For starters, it’s heavyweight and Vinicius Quieroz has a bad chin. Teixeira is the much more talented striker of the two, but offers absolutely nothing on the ground or in the wrestling game. If Quieroz wants this fight on the ground, he’ll get it there and tap Teixeira quickly, but Quieroz hasn’t wrestled a ton in his MMA career, so I’m banking on this staying on the feet and the superior kickboxer finding success. On the prelims, Ryan Couture will submit Nick Gonzalez in short order, Chase Gormley will outpoint Dan Charles on the feet and on the ground, and Darrion Caldwell will show that not all wrestlers are created equally when he runs through Shawn Bunch. The only real intrigue on the undercard (aside from seeing another example of just how good Caldwell is), is between Brazilians John Teixeira and Gleristone Santos. Santos was highly touted when he got signed to Titan, and despite a 2-0 record in the organization, failed to impress as many thought he would. Teixeira has already made his mark in Bellator, with wins over Fabricio Guerreiro and Scott Cleve, and I think he manages to use his grappling to sneak this one out as well. It will be competitive, but I like Teixeira’s ability to pull out close fights, and I’m thinking that the hype on Santos might flip this line.