It's a numbers game.
Bellator MMA promotes its first-ever pay-per-view (PPV) event, Bellator 120: "Rampage vs. King Mo," which goes down tonight (Sat., May 17, 2014) at Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
In the main event, Quinton Jackson will finally settle the score against Muhammed Lawal, as both combatants have amassed a tsunami of trash talk ahead of their contest. The victor of the bout will be Bellator Season 10's light heavyweight tournament winner, challenging current champion Emanuel Newton at a later date.
Meanwhile, Michael Chandler takes on Will Brooks in the co-main event for the interim lightweight championship, as "Ill Will" replaces the injured Eddie Alvarez. Also on the PPV card, a heavyweight bout is set between Blagoi Ivanov vs. Alexander Volkov, which will determine who wins the Bellator Season 10 heavyweight tournament.
On paper, it should be a competitive evening of mixed martial arts (MMA) action as we learned pouring through the various statistical breakdowns. Check out some "Rampage vs. King Mo" pre-fight stats below (courtesy of our friends at CompuStrike):
Bellator Season 10 Tournament Final (Main Event)
Quinton Jackson (Two Bellator Fights)
Total Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 41/67 (67 percent), including 17 power strikes
Ground Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 5/5 (100 percent)
Takedown Attempts: 0/0
Takedown Defense: 0/0
You can't discredit Jackson's striking, since it's still a force to be reckoned with. His two Bellator opponents weren't the cream of the crop, yet his numbers still look good and he can use those wins to boost his confidence. You'll also note those fat zeros in the takedown department, which means "Rampage" is completely disinterested in taking the fight down to the mat.
Muhammed Lawal (Six Bellator Fights)
Total Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 374/679 (55 percent), including 116 power strikes
Ground Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 167/223 (75 percent)
Takedown Attempts: 24/41 (59 percent)
Takedown Defense: 2/2 (100 percent)
Lawal's boxing isn't too shabby either, but he may not want to engage too much on the feet. He had trouble against Newton in both fights; therefore, he should stick to his roots if he wants to seal the deal. Looking at his numbers when it comes to ground strikes, he can prove he's the better wrestler by taking his arch nemesis down and landing his shots there. His ground-and-pound is still as good as anyone's, since 45 percent of his landed strikes were on the ground.
Interim Lightweight Championship (Co-Main Event)
Michael Chandler (10 Bellator Fights)
Total Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 567/1095 (52 percent), including 278 power strikes
Leg Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 48/77 (62 percent)
Takedown Attempts: 24/45 (60 percent)
Takedown Defense: 4/5 (80 percent)
The former 155-poubd champion has out landed opponents 567-388 when it comes to his strikes, which means he's more than dangerous on the feet. On top of that, it's astonishing when you look at the volume he throws. Also, his wrestling background is quite apparent when you look at his takedown attempts and his defense. He's going to be a tall order for Brooks when it comes to the grappling exchanges.
Will Brooks (Six Bellator Fights)
Total Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 413/744 (56 percent), including 164 power strikes
Leg Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 62/99 (63 percent)
Takedown Attempts: 25/30 (60 percent)
Takedown Defense: 2/5 (40 percent)
On the contrary, if you look at Brooks' success in the takedown department, there's no doubt "Ill Will" does well for himself there. Plus, he's out landed opponents 413-141 in total strikes, with 301 of those strikes landed on the ground. It's going to be tough for him to take down Chandler and keep him there; however, he's still a threat his opponent should be worried about.
Bellator Season 10 Heavyweight Tournament Final
Blagoi Ivanov (Four Bellator Fights)
Total Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 105/ 195 (54 percent), including 74 power strikes
Ground Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 41/66 (62 percent)
Takedown Attempts: 5/6 (83 percent)
Takedown Defense: 1/2 (50 percent)
His power striking ability sure is impressive, since he comes from a Sambo background. There's no reason for Ivanov to box Volkov later tonight, especially since his takedown record is almost immaculate in his past four fights. Look for him to smother the Russian once he gets a hold of him.
Alexander Volkov (Six Bellator Fights)
Total Strikes Landed vs. Thrown: 288/608 (47 percent), including 166 power strikes
Total Leg Strikes Landed: 64/103 (62 percent)
Takedown Attempts: 2/3 (67 percent)
Takedown Defense: 2/5 (40 percent)
Volkov certainly throws punches in bunches, yet he doesn't connect all the time. What's important here is that he throws with bad intentions, since 166 of those strikes landed are power shots. He's susceptible to being taken down often, though, and it's going to be a nightmare for "Drago" if he can't keep the battle standing against the Bulgarian.
That's a wrap.
Remember: MMAmania.com will deliver full Bellator 120: "Rampage vs. King Mo" play-by-play coverage all night long RIGHT HERE.
See you later!