Yesterday’s Bellator 74 Season 7 opener went down in Atlantic City, New Jersey and featured the opening round of a welterweight tournament. Three of the four advancing fighters are Eastern Europeans who will all need translators. Much respect to the Euro fighters, they are tough, aggressive and deserve their wins, but it doesn’t matter and isn’t fair to the fighters, the language barriers will limit Bellator marketing. Here is a quick look at the tournament….
I was wrong about Lyman Good, or I was wrong about Jim Wallhead or more likely both. I am still skeptical about some of Good’s earlier fights and his experience, but likely a lot of Wallhead’s bouts in England were complete trash as well. I saw the fight described on a website as ‘clinch heavy’. Good must think ‘Cyborg’ (his nickname) is defined as ‘hugging machine’, but he did win the fight, Wallhead had nothing. Regardless, I am going to be picking against Good for the rest of the tournament.
Somewhat surprisingly, Marius Zaromskis versus Nordine Taleb went to a decision, however I was correct in reading that Zaromskis would be able to work his game against the inexperienced and at times wild Taleb. He dropped his bigger foe twice and showed his grit.
Andrei Koreshkov remained undefeated but was forced to work in his match with Jordan Smith.
Koreshov’s teammate Michail Tsarev took out Tim Welsh by submission. Tsarev also had to work, which made for another entertaining match from the Russians.
This is a tournament nightmare however, and it remains to be seen how Bellator handles this. Basically, the teammates should fight now, with the finals on the line. If you give them a chance, there is always the possibility that they agree to split the tournament money on the side, and that would lead to a work in the finals. Not saying the Russians would do it, but it behooves Bellator to not allow the possibility.
That said, it will be Zaromskis and Good in the semis, with the two Russians on the othe rend of the bracket.