Tomorrow night, Bellator kicks off it’s 7th season of tournaments in Atlantic City, NJ with Bellator 74. Though obviously we are joking that Bellator President Bjorn Rebney engages in human trafficking, more than 50 percent of the competitors are from Europe, with half of them coming from the eastern European countries. There is little name recognition in the tournament besides re-tread Lyman Good and former DREAM champion Marius Zaromskis, but the tournament could turn out to be very explosive. Latest reports are that everyone made weight and is ready to go.
In the tournament’s opening match, Bellator veteran Lyman Good is favored better than 2 to 1 over Britian’s Jim Wallhead. At 23-6, Wallhead is a virtual unknown in the United States, while Good has featured prominently in several Bellator tournaments over the years and is a former champion. Wallhead is aon a 10-1 run, with some solid names on his hit list, including UFC fighter Che Mills, former UFC title contender Frank Trigg and hardcore veteran Joey Villasenor.
Both men own losses to Bellator standout Rick Hawn, but the early part of Good’s career was fighting on a show associated with his dojo, which inevitably leads to favorable matchmaking. I don’t trust his experience level, and give a considerable advantage to Wallhead in that department.
Another interesting bout on the card is a striker’s delight, as aggressive newcomer Nordine Taleb takes on rugged veteran Marius Zaromskis. Taleb is slightly favored at the books, but the experience advantage Zaromskis has is vast. The former DREAM champion is likely to see Taleb’s aggressive style as sloppy, as he has a tendency to charge forward and to drop his defenses. Taleb, who for the purposes of identification represents Canada, does have brutal KO power, but Zaromskis has seen it all before.
With Bellator sticking to their tournament formula, it is fair to point out the lack of depth they have – Andrey Koreshov and Mikhail Tsarev are both teammates from Russia, and they are the favorites in the other two tournament matches. The teammate vs teammate scenario is one that should be avoided. Should they both win, they should be matched in the semi finals, since having an all RusFight finals just looks bad.