Bellator’s hectic schedule is coming to an end for their 8th season with Bellator 94 on March 28th and Bellator 95 on April 4th. The card, broadcasting on SPIKE TV from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida is headlined by the finals of the Lightweight (Saad Awad vs David Rickels) and Light Heavyweight (Mikhail Zayats vs Emanuel Newton).
Right now at the books, Rickels sits favored at -190 over Awad, with the comeback being +150. At this point Awad has impressed with two wins in the tournament, and few recall that he was a late replacement for one of the ‘Pitbull’ Freire brothers. Awad got to the finals with two first round stoppages, and he is 6-0 with 6 stoppages overall since an April 2011 setback for the defunct STRIKEFORCE group. Rickels must feel it is his time to break through and win a tourney, as he is 7-1 overall under the Bellator flag. Rickels benefits from a long fight, where he has a lot of experience.
It is going to be bittersweet for Bellator and SPIKE officials to watch the Lightheavyweight tournament, the tournament which on paper had a finals matchup of Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral taking on King Mo Lawal. Instead, we get Zayats, who made short work of Babalu with a first round TKO, and Newton – who used a spinning back fist to KTFO poster boy Lawal.
The sports books have this as a pick ‘em fight, with Newton getting -115 and Zayats at -125. Both are sluggers who are not afraid to bang, so look for a stand up fight. Should it go to the ground, look for Zayats to be a bit more complete, though the fight won’t likely be on the mat long.
The underdog Awad is worth a look in the evening’s main event for bettors, and I’m leaning towards Zayats over Newton.