Bellator continues to labor along with it’s set of season 6 shows, and I have been critical here and there about the varying quality of the shows. The complete and utter debacle that is Bellator’s Heavyweight division is clearly the most egregious hole in the Bellator game, but several of the cards have been devoid of any name value. With all due repect to Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, who is a decent fighter, his game is so boring and he himself is so devoid of any charisma, that when he fights, I really don’t care. Thankfully, this weekend’s Bellator offering coming to us from Columbus, Ohio looks like their best card of the year on paper. Right now the sportsbooks are offering lines on the Eddie Alvarez-Shinya Aoki main event, but check back this week for lines on the lightweight and middleweight tournament semi finals and more!
First of all, it is very good to see a women’s match between Jessica Eye and Anita Rodriguez on the undercard. The UFC has not really committed to the women’s MMA yet, and their Strikeforce brand is so poorly managed that I believe Bellator dropped the ball. They should have been offering women’s fights, one if not two, on all of their shows.
The lightweight tournament semi finals feature tournament favorite Rick Hawn taking on Lloyd Woodard and Brazilian Thiago Michel facing Brent Weedman. I am going to go out on a limb here and pick Weedman over Michel, looking for a final of Hawn versus Weedman.
In the middleweight semi finals, we have Brian Rogers going against Andreas Spang. The second semi-final is an all passport affair as Maiquel Falcao battles Vyacheslav Vasilevsky. Spang is an intriguing late replacement, however he faces tournament favorite Brian Rogers. ‘Slava’ is probably going to come out of his match with Falcao setting up a finals matchup with Rogers.
But the match everyone is talking about is Alvarez versus Aoki. As we all know, it is a rematch of a match a few years back that Aoki won handily. The line has Alvarez as the favorite. This is Alvarez first time trying to avenge a loss, and beating Aoki would make the case that Alvarez deserves a rematch with champion Pat Curran down the line. I look for an extremely motivated Alvarez to come in looking for the shot at redemption. As always, the tricky Aoki will have a submitters chance, and he already caught Alvarez once. Most people are betting that he can’t, but Aoki is hard to rule out.