Bellator's season 10 continues this Friday night (May 9, 2014) as the promotion returns to Canada for Bellator 119: "Weichel vs. Green."
This will be the last free event of the season on Spike TV before the inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) debut next week and it takes place at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada. The card was shaken up a little bit due to Brett Cooper's injury, which forced him to pull out of his middleweight tournament final against Brandon Halsey. A fight between Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Fabricio Guerreiro was also canceled due to the latter's withdrawal.
The main event will now be the featherweight tournament final, pitting Daniel Weichel against Desmond Green. "The Weasel" is currently on a four-fight winning streak, while "The Predator" is 3-1 in his Bellator career.
In the co-main event, former DREAM and Strikeforce veteran Marius Zaromskis tries to snap a two-fight losing skid as he battles Vaughn Anderson.
Also on the card, the heavyweights clash as Raphael Butler faces Nick Rossborough and opening up the Spike TV broadcast will be John Alessio against Eric Wisely.
Check out our full preview and predictions below:
Featherweight tournament final: Daniel Weichel vs. Desmond Green
This fight is arguably the toughest to call on the whole card when trying to predict a winner.
Weichel is a talented athlete who hasn't tasted defeat yet in the Bellator cage. His opponent is a fine prospect who's had a string of impressive performances in the organization, out-muscling his opponents when finding victory.
"The Predator" isn't easy to catch, whether you're aiming to take him down or get the best of him with strikes. "The Weasel" has a good ground game himself, yet I think the advantage goes to Green. He usually changes levels superbly and I expect him to work the takedowns during the latter half of the fight.
The German isn't usually impatient in his bouts, since he's calm when finding openings on the feet, but I think Green's speed is going to frustrate him and tire him out if he's chasing him down repeatedly.
Both fighters are pretty durable and hard to put away, so this fight will probably go all three rounds. If Weichel gets too committed with his boxing and doesn't even attempt to take the Buffalo-based fighter down, it's going to be a long night for him.
I think Green grinds him out and books his place to fight the winner of Pat Curran vs. Patricio Pitbull. It could take a while until we see him in a title fight, knowing how Bellator operates.
Final prediction: Green def. Weichel by unanimous decision
Welterweight feature fight: Marius Zaromskis vs. Vaughn Anderson
How the mighty have fallen.
Zaromskis used to be a killer, simply put. He was an ultra talented kickboxer who emerged on the scene when he nearly decapitated Hayato Sakurai and Jason High with head kicks at DREAM 10 to become the promotion's first welterweight champion. He had huge success in Japan, but he couldn't quite get it together in North America -- losing to Nick Diaz, Evangelista Santos and Jordan Mein shortly after. His Bellator record currently stands at 3-2, although he's had bad luck as of late, suffering a knockout against Andrey Koreshkov and losing by decision to Brent Weedman.
It's been almost a year and a half since his last Bellator fight and even though Vaughn Anderson hasn't fought in a while either (losing to War Machine last September), I think we could see an upset here.
It's obvious the Lithuanian is the more talented fighter and many pundits will have "Blud" on the losing end of the odds, but if Anderson nails him with a good shot or somehow surprises his opponent by taking advantage of his eagerness to engage in a kickboxing match, he may just pull it off on Canadian soil.
It's definitely not a popular decision, but sometimes, you got to go with your gut. Plus, how can the layoff not affect the former DREAM champion?
Prediction: Anderson def. Zaromskis by technical knockout
Heavyweight feature fight: Raphael Butler vs. Nick Rossborough
Ah, yes ... the Bellator heavyweight fight, which are quickly becoming the equivalent of a gas station brawl between two overweight grandmothers you'd see on World Star Hip Hop.
In all fairness, some end pretty quickly and quite savagely, and it's best to assume Butler will tear Rossborough apart in no time.
"The Silencer" has done just that in his career thus far, stopping six opponents by knockout and submitting the other two. He's also 3-0 in his Bellator tenure. "Leatherface" has participated in his fair share of scraps, but he hasn't really won against anyone relevant in his 23 wins (except for maybe a triangle choke over Chris Camozzi in 2008).
The Minnesota-based fighter is only two years younger than Rossborough, so it's not like this is an example of the young stud besting the aging slugger, although it should still be over in about a round. Maybe it rolls on with both of these combatants moving like slugs; however, the knockout should be there for the four-time Bellator veteran.
Final prediction: Butler def. Rossborough by knockout
Catchweight feature fight: John Alessio vs. Eric Wisely
I'm not too keen on calling a fighter a "journeyman," but if you must associate the term with a particular combatant, then Alessio is your guy.
The well-traveled Canadian has fought for UFC, PRIDE, WEC, King of The Cage (KOTC) and Pancrase in his career. The dude even fought Pat Miletich in a losing effort 14 years ago. He hasn't been stopped since Siyar Bahadurzada torched him in the first round almost three years ago, but he still hasn't found a way to win in his past four fights (which includes a "No Contest").
Fans will remember Wisely best for being on the receiving end of a gross calf slicer courtesy of Charles Oliveira over two years ago at UFC on FOX 2. He holds a victory in his lone Bellator bout in March against Donnie Bell.
I'm going to have to go with experience in this one, since "The Natural" has been around the block with over 50 professional fights under his belt. It would be smart for Alessio to take this fight to the ground, since he should be able to control the younger fighter in the grappling exchanges.
Getting into a striking match could entice him, yet it's better to outclass than to risk it, even if it's not going to please everyone. "Little Lee" does have a good submission game, but I think Alessio could really have his way with him if he plays his cards right.
Prediction: Alessio def. Wisely by unanimous decision
That's a wrap.
Keep it locked right here for complete blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Spike TV main card on Friday night.
See you then!