Bellator 96 aired last night, headlined by the opening rounds of Heavyweight and Lightheavyweight tournaments the latter of which featured King Mo‘s return. The company’s desperation to recycle Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and get him to a final in a tournament against Mo was derailed yet again, as ‘Babalu’ got beat up by Jacob Noe. King Mo did his job however, making short work of Seth Petruzelli and finishing it with one punch. Between Petruzelli and ‘Babalu’ there were more stiffs at Bellator than on “The Walking Dead”.
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At Lightheavyweight, this always was a short concoction to get Mo a pair of wins after he was brutaly KO’d in his Bellator debut. It is the second time Mo and Babalu were put in a tournament together, but for Bellator it doesn’t really matter who Mo faces as long as he wins. Noe looked tough, but he does not have the athleticism to keep up with Mo, unless he finds his button.
The heavyweight division at Bellator has been awful, and it keeps getting worse. Richard Hale, who looked promising in the early rounds of the Heavyweight tournament, has regressed and looked awful two fights in a row now. Hale’s last fight won was against the embarrassment hat is Thiago Santos, and it looks like his suck rubbed off on Hale.
At heavyweight, we have Ryan Martinez taking on Vitaly Minakov in the finals. Take Minakov all the way. Minakov would then earn a shot a Heavyweight Champion Alexander Volkov in what will be an all Russian title bout that really has to leave execs at SPIKE wondering if Bellator has any talent at all that speaks English.
Bellator 97 brings us the finals of these tournaments, and it is scheduled for July 31st in Albuquerque. Look for King Mo’s line to be ridiculous as a favorite, and I expect Minakov to come in as a favorite. The event also features title defenses for 170 champ Ben Askren and 155 lb titlist Michael Chandler, both of whom will be favored and should win.