This Thursday, January 24th, from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, Bellator returns with their second show on the SPIKETV network. The broadcast is expected to feature 4 fights, with the main event slot going to welterweight champion Ben Askren‘s title defense against season 6 tournament winner Karl Amoussou. The other big feature of the broadcast is the final lightheavyweight tournament bout featuring ‘King’ Mo Lawal, who is the company’s signature signing.
Look for the odds for this event to start popping up at the sportsbooks in the next twenty four hours or so.
Last week at the final STRIKEFORCE event, we saw their welterweight title change hands when champion Nate Marquardt was unable to get the fight to the ground against feared striker Tarec Saffeidine. Amoussou is likely to need the same strategy as saffeidone of making Askren pay in the stand up department, and keeping it standing. Unfortunately for Amoussou, Askren is an Olympic level wrestler who excels at controlling and bringing the fight to the floor. Askren, who is undefeated is probably heading towards being a 3 to 1 favorite.
In the Light Heavyweight tournament, look for King Mo Lawal to come in a big favorite over Przemyslaw Mysiala. There are several catches to this bout that make it worth watching however. First, Mysiala will be dangerous in that he has little to lose. At Bellator 85, Renato Sobral, a favorite to make the tournament final opposite King Mo, was taken out by tough Russian Mikhail Zayats.
Lawal for his part, is coming off a long suspension for PEDs and is facing high expectations both from Bellator and from the networks behind Bellator. Despite Bellator’s jump to SPIKETV, Mo’s personal expectations may be let down overall, as the WinStar casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma is not going to confuse anyone with the Vegas MGM Grand. Mo is going to feel just how second rate Bellator is right now in the MMA pecking order.
The card also features the entire opening round of the company’s season 8 welterweight tournament, with solid if recycled talent that should make for good fights. We will look at the welterweights in the next blog.