Bellator returns for the first time in 2017 tonight with Bellator 170 from Ingelwood California live and free on Spike if you live in the US. The headline match features Tito Ortiz squaring off against Chael Sonnen in a light heavyweight match. There are five fights on the main card with another 12 on the prelims. If you’re a fan the price for tickets really isn’t that bad either, as I’m writing this I could get a ticket for $56, that’s less than $4 a fight. I’d pay that.. just saying. As with all of our previews we’re only going to be taking a look at the main card, so here we go.
Derek Anderson (14-2-0) vs. Derek Campos (17-6-0)
It’s a battle of the Dereks in the lightweight division. Anderson is on a two fight win streak, if you wanna call it that, and near as I can tell looks to have a good mixture of striking and submission skills. Campos has also won his last two fights and also seems to have a nice mixture of stand up and grappling. Anderson is 3 years younger and has a 3 inch height advantage. Take your pick on this one. I can’t even find betting odds for this one. My prediction, Derek wins.
Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3-0) s Georgi Karakhanyan (26-6-1)
Featherweight fight. Sanchez is coming off a loss via split decision at Bellator 159 back in July, but he’d won three in a row before that. Karakhanyan has won his last two fights in the first round. He looks pretty well rounded with a lot of his victories (14) coming via submission and he’s recorded 6 knockouts. He’s a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and has been fighting professionally for 5 years longer than Sanchez. Sanchez also looks like he’s more of a submission style fighter, but the majority of his fights have gone to the judges score cards. I’m gonna take experience in this one, if for no other reason than why not.
Brennan Ward (15-4-0) vs. Paul Daley (38-14-2)
Welterweights. Ward is a bit of a bad boy, getting arrested back in July on a number of various charges while drunk. He did win the season nine middleweight tournament and he’s won 5 of his last 6 fights. Daley is a kickboxing specialist who has also won 5 of his last 6, but is coming off a unanimous decision loss back in July. Ward looks to be the more rounded fighter and is five years younger than Daley. If the two decide to stand and trade punches and kicks I’m taking Daley, if Ward can take him to the ground I think he’ll likely win.
Hisaki Kato (6-2-0) vs Ralek Gracie (3-0-0)
Kato is a striker, plain and simple. All of his fights have been won or lost based on his punching power. He’s won his last 2 fights and is 2-1 since signing with Bellator in 2015. On the other side of the coin we have Gracie, yes he’s a member of that Gracie family, which means you know he’s going to be looking to take it to the ground. Gracie’s a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and despite his 3-0 record he’s been active in MMA since 2007. This is another case of if the grappler can get the puncher to the ground he’s gonna beat him. My question is has Gracie ever gone up against someone with Kato’s striking ability, his record makes me think probably now. This looks like it will be a tough debut match for Gracie, but is one of the matches I’m most looking forward to watching.
Chael Sonnen (28-14-1) vs. Tito Ortiz (18-12-1)
This light heavyweight fight is all about name recognition. Let’s be honest, both of these guys are well past whatever prime they might have had. Ortiz is a UFC Hall of Fame member, but he’s also 41 years old and has lost 4 of his last 6 fights dating back to 2011. Sonnen is 39 and will be making his Bellator debut. We haven’t seen him in a fight since he was knocked out by Rashad Evans back at UFC 167 back in 2013. For some reason Bellator just signed him to a multi-fight contract. Sonnen is coming out of retirement, aka his suspension for his second failed drug test is up, and looking for a “big” payday against one of Ballator’s biggest names. I’m gonna take Ortiz in this one if for nothing else the nostalgia factor. He looked pretty ripped in the promo materials Bellator has put out recently, and for my money Sonnen hasn’t been a relavent fighter since 2010.
That’s all I got. Are you gonna watch? I mean it’s free.
Image from bellator.spike.com