Bellator’s first of three event “Summer Series” kicks off June 22nd with Bellator 71, at the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in Chester, WV. They will follow up the show with another in July and a third in August, as a warm up for their season seven. So far the first show will feature the traditional Bellator 8 man elimination tournament in the lightheavyweight division.
Interested in betting on Bellator? Check out the latest lines for UFC as they come out at BETDSI! Sign up now for an account! Bellator 71 is June 22nd, headlined by a lightheavyweight tournament. Be sure to check back often for the lines!
Below is the lineup, with 7 of the 8 participants included. Just an observation, King Mo would likely be the favorite for this tournament, huh?
Roger Hollett vs. Attila Vegh
Richard Hale vs. Beau Tribolet
Philippe Lins vs. Marcus Vanttinen
Travis Wiuff vs. TBA
Very little in the name of name recognition, except for perhaps veteran Travis Wiuff, who lost his UFC match to Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral way back in 2005 and has roughly 80 fights under his belt.
Wiuff has also fought a great deal of his career at Heavyweight, and is big for the Lightweight division. He is known as a bit of a nomad, fighting often on the independent circuit, and at times is known to rely on his size and strength rather than on technique. Wiuff is by far the most experienced fighter in the tournament, however without knowing more about the competition, and also who he will face in the first round, it is difficult to pick him to win the whole thing. Wiuff does own a win over current Bellator FC champion Christian M’Pumbu in a non title bout in Bellator’s own cage, so Wiuff has to be one of the favorites.
Rich Hale and Roger Hollett are the almost only other fighters in the tournament who have fought in Bellator, as the organization sees to have looked far and wide to find talent to fill this tournament. Hale came in second to M’Pumbu in a Bellator tournament back in 2011.
To round out the tournament, three fighters from Brazil, Finland and Slovakia respectively all are signed up as Philippe Lins, Marcus Vanttinen and Atilla Vegh. Vanttinen has losses to M’Pumbu and to Atilla Vegh on his record, and is 0-1 in Bellator, so despite his experience he is going to be considered a long shot. Vegh has faired very well against mainly eastern European competition. Lins, from Brazil, is a bit light in experience, and he has never fought in the MMA hotbeds of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, staying on smaller shows in other Brazilian cities where the competition gets to be a lot more up and down.
I’m gonna wait to see the odds for these fights before making a pick, though unless there is a surprise entrant, I would be shocked if Wiuff is not installed as the early favorite.