Bellator MMA continues its Season 10 this Friday night (March 14, 2014) LIVE from "The Venue" inside Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.
There all 12 total fights slated to take place at Bellator 112, "Prelims" for which will stream online at Spike.com, beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET, followed by the televised main card starting at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV.
The main event of the evening is worth the cost of admission, featuring the vastly underrated Daniel Straus in his first defense of Bellator's Featherweight world title, taking on former division champion Pat Curran. The supporting cast features match ups from the opening round of the promotion's welterweight tournament, which will suffer from a lack of star-power with both Joe Riggs and War Machine withdrawing because of injuries.
Nonetheless, check out our Bellator 112: "Straus vs. Curran 3" preview and predictions for the Spike TV main card below:
Bellator Featherweight Championship: Daniel Straus (22-4) vs. Pat Curran (19-5)
Notice the lack of hype for Bellator's other championship trilogy? This will mark the third encounter between the two men, but the two first installments haven't been nearly as memorable as Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez.
Pat Curran took the initial encounter on the regional circuit back in 2009, while Straus dominated their recent rematch at Bellator 106, derailing the plans for Bellator's 145-pound strap.
With the series knotted at one apiece, what will the outcome be?
Straus is (8-1) under the Bellator umbrella, achieving his record by using superior wrestling to grind down his opponents. Of his 22 total victories, 14 have come by way of the judges. While his style may not be the most entertaining in mixed martial arts (MMA), he was dominant against the Indiana native last time out.
This fight will come down to how well Curran has evolved since November. Will he be able to avoid the take down and use his power/quickness to disrupt Straus' game plan? Both men have tons to prove and with five rounds to work with, but expect Straus to impose his will and end up fighting Patricio "Pitbull" Friere on May 17, 2014.
Prediction: Daniel Straus via decision
Andrey Koreshkov (14-1) vs. Nah’Shon Burrell (11-3)
Nah'Shon Burrell was originally slated to take on a man who goes by the name of War Machine. But, late last week, Mr. Machine was forced to withdraw from the match and the former Welterweight tournament winner, Koreshkov, was inserted as his replacement.
Koreshkov's got decimated his last time out by ONE Fighting Championship's (ONE FC) Ben Askren, but he is dangerous, with three of his five wins in Bellator's cage coming by way of the finish.
Burrell will look to slow things down, maintain top position and frustrate the aggressive Koreshkov. Burrell is a great striker too, but when it comes down to getting a victory, I think he will look to isolate the glaring hole in Koreshkov's game and implore wrestling to add to his impressive record as of late.
Prediction: Nah'Shon Burrell by decision
Sam Oropeza (10-2) vs. Cristiano Souza (7-0)
Souza was the guy on the inaugural season of "Fight Master" before losing via upset. "Soldier Boy" is undefeated and has shown a streak for finishing his opponents. His last bout took place at Bellator 106, and while he did seem to lose a little bit of steam as the fight went on, he notched a late submission.
Oropeza lies to stand and trade, he will open himself up by doing so and allow Souza to work through the clinch toward a submission. I expect this fight to be quick and fast paced, with both men landing some sort of impressive offense.
With Riggs and War Machine out of the tournament, both of these men stand a greater chance of advancing to the finals. In the end, though, I'm siding with Souza.
Prediction: Cristiano Souza via submission
Jesse Juarez (21-8) vs. Adam McDonough (9-0)
The main card opener pits two men who have yet to fight in a Bellator tournament against each other.
Juarez is best known for defeating The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner Robert Whittaker. He is a well-versed fighter who can earn a victory by any method.
Juarez will face the undefeated McDonough, who looks to make a name for himself live on national television. He prefers ending fights rather than seeing them go the distance, but will face a considerable step up in competition against Juarez.
In the end, I think McDonough stays with the Bellator trend of underdogs pulling off an upset and wins by knockout.
Prediction: Adam McDonough via technical knockout
That's a wrap for now.
Remember that MMAmania will deliver everything you need for Bellator 112, including live results, recaps and updates during and after the show this Friday night.
In addition, keep it locked right here for the official weigh-in results later this afternoon, a stream of the "Prelims" under card bouts on Friday and live blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Spike TV event. And, of course, be sure to leave your Bellator 112 predictions in the comments section below.
See you tomorrow night!