Bellator 93 Betting Preview

Jansen HeldLive on Spike TV and comes Bellator 93, live from Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. This event was originally scheduled to hold both the lightweight tournament finals and the welterweight finals in a rematch between Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima, but Lima broke his hand on Bryan Baker’s skull at Bellator 90, so the fight will take place at an undetermined event in the future. Instead we have the season 7 lightweight tournament finals, two feature fights on Spike, and a special look at the stateside debut of striking phenom Michael Page. The night’s main event is the oft-delayed season 7 lightweight tournament final between Dave Jansen (18-2) and Marcin Held (15-2). As he has the last two times this fight was scheduled, Jansen opened as a favorite at -125 (bet $125 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers. The return on Held is -115 (bet $115 to win $100). This match has been postponed twice already, which has only given Jansen time to bone up on his submission defense, particularly when it comes to leglocks. Held has eight submissions, and impressed many with his toehold win over Rich Clementi in the semifinals at Bellator 81. Jansen will have to keep the slick Held away from him and off his back by using his superior wrestling and his own submission game. Jansen has 11 submission wins to display next to Held’s eight, which may mean we are in store for a brilliant game of chess on the mat, or both men will test their stand up against one another. Just like their previous encounters, the public has moved the line in Jansen’s favor, as he now sits at -160, putting Held at +120. In a featured heavyweight fight, 2012 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament runner-up Travis Wiuff (68-16-1) opened as a -175 favorite. He’s on the second two or more loss streak of his career, and wants to get back into the win column against Ryan Martinez (8-2), who came in as a +135 underdog. Martinez has strong hands and a wrestling base, but is still quite raw. He can stop the takedown fairly well in the first round, but as the fight wears on, he loses his strength. It should be added that he does have a lot of heart, and will persevere even if he does get tired. Wiuff is a veteran of the sport who won’t be flustered by anything at this point. Look for fireworks from these two to start the fight, as both probably feel like their best strength is standing. Wiuff has 23 KOs to his name through his 85 fights, and Martinez can throw strong leather. Wiuff has loads more experience, so if he’s in trouble, he may look to bring the fight to the ground using his own wrestling and submission game. Money has come in on Wiuff since the opener, and he now sits at -230 to Martinez’s +170. Kicking off the Spike Broadcast is an exciting fight between former UFC stalwart Marcus Davis (21-9) and Waachiim Spiritwolf (9-11-1). Davis opened as a solid -300 favorite, with the comeback on Spiritwolf +220. Spiritwolf is a guy who will stand in the pocket and bang for fifteen minutes if you let him, and Marcus Davis will more than likely oblige him. Davis is extremely comfortable on the feet, despite only a 29% knockout rate with six (T)KOs in his career. Davis has gone 4-1 since being ousted by the UFC after a UFC 125 KO loss to Jeremy Stephens, with his sole loss coming from a Chuck O’Neil split-decision. Spiritwolf has spent the better part of the last three years fighting Marius Zaromskis. Their first meeting ended in a disappointing no contest, then they fought twice more under the Bellator banner, with Waachiim losing via doctor’s stoppage and decision. Since that strange trilogy, Spiritwolf has dropped two more decisions on the independent circuit, bringing him to 1-6-1 over his last eight fights. Although that is an ugly record, Spiritwolf does have a puncher’s chance here, and shockingly, the public has moved the line in his direction as Spiritwolf is now only a +175 underdog, and Davis’ line has dropped to -245. If you haven’t heard of 3-0 Michael Page, now is the time to look up some of his performances on Youtube (if you are prepared to have your jaw hit the floor). Michael Page is quite frankly the closest fighter to a videogame character outside of Anthony Pettis or Anderson Silva. In fact, his home country of the United Kingdom have already dubbed him their Anderson Silva, even at 3-0. All of this seems like a lot of hype for a guy who has faced less than stellar competition in his short career, but there hasn’t been this much excitement around a predominant striker making his way through the MMA ranks in a very, very long time. The big questions of course, with any striker or to further generalize, any UK fighter, is how they will do both stating and working off their back? With that said, even at 4-3, Page’s opponent, Ryan Sanders, may prove troublesome for the kickboxer. Sanders has won all of his fights via submission, two in less than a minute into the fight, so if he closes the distance fast, this could be interesting.

Written by Jason Nawara

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