Last weekend’s Bellator 110 rolled out some of the group’s biggest stars in King Mo Lawal and Quinton Jackson. Well, this week’s Bellator 111 offering from the Winstar Casino in Thackeville, Oklahoma is a much more non-descript card headlined by Featherweight title holder Eduardo Dantas against late replacement Anthony Leone. The card also features the start of the season’s eight man Heavyweight bracket in a tournament that could play out in many different ways. Let’s look…
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In the main event, Leone is the runner up to a previous tournament, replacing the injured Rafael Silva. As a late replacement, and with a skill disparity between him and his opponent, look for Champion Eduardo Dantas to open up a wide favorite in this fight when the books cook a line.
Progress has been slow for Bellator at Heavyweight, but this is the first tournament in that division that more resembles a fight tournament than the line at Carl’s Jr. Lavar Johnson has dropped three in a row, including his 23 second Bellator debut, but he may be matched up right against fellow slugger Ryan Martinez for this fight. Name recognition aside, Martinez is coming off a Bellator tournament final appearance and his focus should be an advantage against the lazy Johnson, who has shown no signs of stopping his career free-fall.
Another Bellator tournament veteran is Richard Hale, but he faces 9-0 Bulgarian prospect Blagoi Ivanov. As an x-factor, look for Ivanov to be an early favorite to make the tournament finals.
Former champion Alexander Volkov faves veteran Mark Holata in a match that should see the 6’7 Russian be favored by a solid margin.
Peter Graham faces Mighty Mo (not to be confused with King Mo) in a match that should see Mo win big. Graham is a sloppy slugger who is not coming off a good performance against Cheick Kongo, will Mo is a big slugger with KO power.
If the brackets fall this way, the two most talented fighters and the one’s that should be in the finals are Ivanov and Mighty Mo.