On Saturday May 17 at the Landers Centers in Southhaven, Mississippi, Bellator will host it’s inaugural pay per view event. The card took a hit with Eddie Alvarez having to withdraw due to injury, so Michael Chandler will now face Will Brooks for the interim lightweight title. MY MMA NEWS columnists George and Eric made their predictions on UFC Fight Night – Brown vs. Silva, with both going 8-5. Here are the predictions for this card.
Brian Hall “The Law” Hall (7-2) vs. Cortez Phelia (1-0)
The opening bout to this card will be a bantamweight battle with an experienced Brian Hall fighting a younger, newer fighter in the pros, Cortez Phelia. Hall has finished all seven of his fights via TKO or submission, with his only two losses coming from decisions. Phelia had a 7-4 amateur record before making his professional debut a successful one in January, winning via submission due to strikes in the opening minute of the first round.
George: Brian Hall via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Brian Hall via TKO Rd. 2
Anthony Lemon (4-4) vs. Codie Shuffield (7-0)
Codie Shuffield has been perfect in his amateur and pro career (4-0 amateur record, 7-0 as a pro). Shuffield has finished six of his seven opponents with only one fight going to a decision. Of those six finishes, four are by submission. Anthony Lemon has lost his last two fights and will look to avoid a third straight loss. He has lost all four fights by submission, and won all four of his fights by TKO or submission.
George: Codie Shuffield via Submission Rd. 1
Eric: Codie Shuffield via DEC
Ben Brewer (6-1) vs. Andy Uhrich (7-3)
Ben Brewer will be making his Bellator FC debut against Bellator veteran Andy Uhrich. Brewer is riding a five fight winning streak while Uhrich’s last fight was a decision loss to Nate Coy. Brewer has a good BJJ game and has five of his six wins by submission.
George: Ben Brewer via Submission Rd. 2
Eric: Andy Uhrich via TKO Rd. 3
Austin Lyons (10-3) vs. Zach “Tunderwood” Underwood (12-5)
A battle in the 145 pound featherweight division. Lyons trains out of Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu and the ground specialist has won seven times by submission.. Underwood won his last fight and he has never been submitted. A win here will make either fighter more relevant in Bellator’s featherweight division.
George: Austin Lyons via DEC.
Eric: Zach Underwood via DEC
Goiti Yamauchi (17-2) vs. Mike “The Marine” Richman (16-4)
Yamauchi has accomplished a lot and is only 21 years old. Yamauchi has 19 professional bouts (winning 13 by submission) and is a BJJ black belt under Fernandinho Viera. Yamauchi had an 11-fight win streak come to an end when he last fought and lost via decision to Will Martinez in Bellator 110. Richman has 14 of his 16 wins by way of TKO (seven) and submission (seven). “The Marine” was a contestant on TUF: Koschek vs GSP and lost in the opening bout to get into the house.
George: Goiti Yamauchi via Submission Rd. 1
Eric: Goiti Yamauchi via Submission Rd. 2
Shahbulat “Assassin” Shamhalaev (12-2-1) vs. Fabricio “Guerreiro” de Assis Costa da Silva (19-3, 1 NC)
Striker vs. grappler as Shamhalaev, a muay thai specialist and black belt in karate, takes on Judo black belt “Guerreiro”. Shamhalaev trains out of Team Bombsquad. His 11-fight unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end when he was submitted by Pat Curran in Bellator 95. “Guerreiro” lost his last fight in Bellator via decision to Patricio Freire.
George: Fabricio “Guerreiro” de Assis Costa da Silva via Submission Rd. 2
Eric: Shahbulat Shamhalaev via DEC
Alexander “Drago” Volkov (21-4) vs. Blago Ivanov (11-0, 1 NC)
A heavyweight battle with a huge height disadvantage, with Volkov at 6’7″ and Ivanov at 5’11”. Ivanov is undefeated and has defeated key fighters such as Lavar Johnson, Ricco Rodriguez, and Kazuyuki Fujita. Ivanov is a black belt in judo and he will want to try and close the gap and take Volkov to the ground in order to take away the huge reach advantage that “Drago” will possess.
George: Alexander Volkov via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Alexander Volkov via TKO Rd 2
Cheick Kongo (20-9) vs. Eric Smith (6-1, 1 NC)
Kongo was one a top competitor for the UFC and will now fight for the fourth time under Bellator (2-1). Smith will be making his Bellator debut, and it could not come against a tougher opponent than Kongo. Smith will want to us his grappling to take the fight to the ground, Kongo has decent take down defense and will have the edge in the striking.
George: Cheick Kongo via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Cheick Kongo via TKO Rd 2
Rick “The Sniper” Rainey (9-2) vs. Michael “Venom” Page (5-0)
Rainey made a successful Bellator debut in April winning in the first round by TKO over Andy Murad. Page has a perfect record with all of his fights ending in the first round (his longest fight was under four minutes). This fight looks like it could end fast and go on a highlight reel.
George: Michael Page via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Rick Rainey via DEC
Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (50-7) vs. Tito “The Huntington Beach Badboy” Ortiz (16-11-1)
Alexander Shlemenko is riding a 13-fight winning streak and is the current Bellator middleweight champion. Shlemenko called out Tito Ortiz which raised many eyebrows since Ortiz is a light heavyweight fighter. When interviewed by MY MMA NEWS about the challenge, Shlemenko said that he heard Ortiz wanted to fight on this pay per view, so Shlemenko was willing to step up a weight class and fight the legend. Ortiz is a UFC hall of famer, one of the most popular fighters in MMA history who was a dominant UFC light heavyweight champion in the early 2000’s. Ortiz’s career has been on a downfall, he is 1-7-1 since December of 2006. This fight will draw fans in due to Ortiz’s name, but can he pull of what many would think is an upset?
George: Alexander Shlemenko via TKO Rd. 2
Eric: Alexander Shlemenko via TKO Rd 2
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (34-11) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (12-3, 1 NC)
Rampage and King Mo have been bickering back and forth for many years, and this war of words will now come into the cage. Both fighters have heavy hands and good wrestling skills. Rampage is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and has fought the best in the business. King Mo will have a big task ahead of him facing an opponent with a large frame like Rampage.
George: Quinton Jackson via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Quinton Jackson via DEC
Michael Chandler (12-1) vs. Will “Ill Will” Brooks (13-1)
With defending lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez withdrawing due to a concussion from training, Will Brooks will step up to face former lightweight champion Michael Chandler. Chandler suffered his first career loss in November when Eddie Alvarez retained the title from him via decision. They trilogy match was one many were looking forward to. Will Brooks is no slouch however, and he is well-worthy as a replacement. Brooks has won four in a row and will look to be crowned the interim lightweight champion until Alvarez returns. This should be a good fight and please the fans.
George: Michael Chandler via DEC.
Eric: Michael Chandler via TKO Rd 4