Bellator ends it’s 2 event ‘Summer Series’ tonight in New Mexico with a card packed with Bellator’s best talent from wall to wall. The event is headlined by two title defenses as Michael Chandler defends his Lightweight belt against David Rickels and Welterweight titlist Ben Askren faces off against Andrey Koreshkov. Also on the card are the finals of the Lightheavyweight and Heavyweight 4 man tournaments Bellator based their ‘Summer Series’ on. Unlike most Bellator cards which can usually be counted on to have several matches with competitive lines, right now on fight day, most of the lines up at the books indicate squash matches.
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As expected, Ben Askren (-435) is a big favorite over the relatively unknown Koreshkov (+335), but Koreshkov has some hype of his own and at least managed to keep the line that close. Incredibly, the Askren fight is not the biggest spread out there on this card!
Michael Chandler, who appears poised to be the flag bearer for the company after inking a fresh 8 fight deal, is a (-1000) favorite over David Rickels (+600). Rickels is not a bad little fighter, and probably deserves a closer line, but at the end of the day, things are going to have to get weird for Chandler to not have his hand raised.
King Mo is also at (-1000) over Jacob Noe (+600) in the finals of the abbreviated 4 man tournament Bellator ran during it’s ‘Summer Series’. Bellator and Bjorn want King Mo, no they need King Mo to win so badly! Dana White caught a lot of flack for just handing Ronda Rousey the women’s Bantamweight title, but I am surprised Bjorn has not tried to one up Dana by taking the belt from current holder Atilla Vegh and just handing it to King Mo.
In the heavyweight tournament, hot Russian prospect Vitaly Minakov is (-310) to Ryan Martinez’ (+250). Minakov’s style brings that cold blooded efficiency that the top Russian fighters all tend to have in boatloads.
Interestingly, the two most naturally talented fighters on the card are probably Minakov and Askren, both of whom have the closest line. Michael Chandler is in the running, and King Mo has that glass head of his. Especially with Mo, the underdog may deserve consideration in that fight.