Bellator 66, scheduled for April 20th in Cleveland, Ohio not only will feature the highly anticipated rematch between Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez, it will also feature the semi finals of Bellator’s Lightweight and Middleweight tournament. One of the Lightweight bouts is jumping to the forefront as a potential barnburner, as wrestler Rick Hawn will be taking on Lloyd Woodard in a match of two men that impressed in the opening round. Both men are 12-1 in their MMA careers, and both arrived there from very different paths. It will make for a very interesting match come April 20th.
Look for the odds for this fight and the whole Lightweight tournament to pop up at http://www.betdsi.com/live-lines/martial-arts/mma-bellator in the coming days.
Woodard got a lot of attention after he took out tournament favorite Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire, submitting the BJJ black belt with a kimura in the second round after engaging in a crowd pleasing slugfest. Woodard, a proud Montana native, wants to be the famous famous fighter from that state since Stanley Ketchel (read up on him if your not familiar, now that is a story!).
Hawn will bring his Olympic judo background to the fight, while Woodard is more of a brawler who has only in recent years embraced training for MMA seriously.
Woodard is going to want to keep his distance and make this a striking match with Hawn. I don’t think he wants to get in close, where Hawn will almost certainly throw him, and though Woodard submitted Freire in the opening round and he has a fair number of submissions to his credit, I don’t think he wants to ground fight with Hawn.
Hawn on the other hand, has displayed solid striking, but it does not take away his bread and butter, takedowns and groundfighting. This match will be decided by who can impose his will on their opponent, making the fight happen where they want.
The other bracket sees Thiago Michel take on Brent Weedman. This is a hard one to pick, as Michel the Brazilian has maintained a good record against relatively unknown competition, and Weedman is the most experienced of the competitors in the tournament.
I’m going to look for a Hawn-Weedman final on this one, but I would not be surprised if Woodard and Michel break thru – it’s that close in the Bellator Lightweight tournament.