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Bellator 135 preview, predictions for 'Warren vs. Galvao' main card on Spike TV

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After a one month layoff, Bellator MMA returns with "Warren vs. Galvao" from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Joe Warren defends his bantamweight title against Marcos Galvao, a man he last faced (and beat) back in 2011.

Joe Warren vs. Marcos Galvao on March 27th in Thackerville.
Joe Warren vs. Marcos Galvao on March 27th in Thackerville.
Bellator MMA

Have you had enough time to recharge following the "British Invasion" of Bellator MMA last month?

Well then good news everyone! It's time for Bellator 135: "Warren vs. Galvao" live from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

The card takes place Friday, March 27th, 2015 live on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET, with prelims starting approximately two hours earlier on Spike.com. The main event features a rematch of a fight that last took place in 2011, when Joe Warren received a controversial unanimous decision over Marcos Galvao.

The match was an "experiment" for then-featherweight champion Warren to see if he could compete for (and possibly hold) titles in two weight classes simultaneously. The judges may have given him hope that night, but subsequent knockout losses cost Warren his title and forced him to hit the reset button.

Since that time, Warren has gone on a five-fight win streak, winning the interim bantamweight title at Bellator 118, then unifying it with Eduardo Dantas' belt at Bellator 128. Galvao is six out of his last seven though, with his only loss in that time coming to the former champion Dantas.

Check out our full preview for the Bellator 135 main card below:

145 lbs.: Joe Warren (12-3) vs. Marcos Galvao (16-6-1)

For Marcos Galvao, this fight is all about redemption, not just for what may have been a bad decision the last time he faced Warren, but for being knocked out in the second round in his last title shot. Galvao is a rarity among elite Brazilian fighters -- not a single win by submission as a pro. In fact, Galvao is a grinder - he's gone to a decision in 75-percent of his wins (12 out of 16). The other 25-percent of the time his strikes have led to a referee's stoppage.

In an eerie bit of coincidence, Joe Warren's statistics are virtually the same, with 75-percent of his wins (eight out of 12) coming via the way of decision. It's a little more expected given Warren is a decorated Greco-Roman wrestler dating back to his high school and University of Michigan days, and he's got a trophy case full of medals to show for it. The self-declared "Baddest Man on the Planet" only cares about one trophy these days though, his bantamweight title.

The most significant change since the last time these two men fought is that Warren's ground game has improved, to the point he's going to be able to fend off submission attempts (although Galvao's odds of getting one seem low) and surprise a few people with a submission of his own. Galvao's game has to be stuff the takedowns, get his own, and lay in some ground and pound, a strategy that should have worked the LAST time they fought. The key difference may simply be that over five rounds, Warren is the man who won't fade because he's got the cardio to outlast anyone.

Final prediction: Joe Warren retains the bantamweight title via unanimous decision.

145 lbs.: LC Davis (22-6) vs. Hideo Tokoro (32-27-2)

A late injury to Mike "The Marine" Richman forced a huge change to this card, eliminating a possible No. 1 contender's match between Richman and former champion Eduardo Dantas. In its place is a fight that may have contender's implications for Davis, undefeated in both of his Bellator bouts, a man who feels he has yet to even show Bellator MMA the best of his abilities. He gets that opportunity now in the night's co-main event.

Hideo Tokoro is not to be taken lightly though. The 60+ fight veteran may be best known in his native Japan, but his only other fight in the United States to date was a first round submission of Brad "One Punch" Pickett. Tokoro may be inconsistent but his ground game is deadly, with almost 60-percent of his wins coming via submission (18 out of 32).

Davis has a natural wrestling advantage dating back to his Missouri Valley days, but four of six losses came via decision, which means a great striker could outpoint him in a war. Fortunately for him Tokoro is not that man, being knocked out twice as much as he knocks his opponents out. Davis can beat him standing or grappling and has stopping power in his hands AND his feet (eight out of 22 by knockout).

Final prediction: LC Davis wins via second round knockout.

205 lbs.: Francis Carmont (22-10) vs. Guilherme Viana (6-1)

If you remember Viana, you remember that he tried out for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Brazil 3 as a heavyweight and lost his qualifying fight to get on the show to "Shoe Face." The show didn't define his career though, as he has taken two additional wins to improve to 6-1 since.

He may not be fighting heavy any more but he LANDS heavy, getting the TKO 67-percent of the time in victory. He's facing a former UFC fighter who has been on an incredible backslide, losing three fights in a row and being sent packing with punch from Thales Leites.

I expect the same here.

Final prediction: Guilherme Viana wins via first round TKO.

155 lbs: Dakota Cochrane (18-7) vs. Ryan Couture (9-3)

For Dakota Cochrane, this fight is his second chance to impress in Bellator, having been thrown to the wolves (or if you prefer "Tiger") in his Bellator debut on short notice. This time he gets a full camp and a regional bout, traveling from Omaha, Nebraska to Thackerville, Oklahoma to face Ryan Couture.

Couture has already impressed in his Bellator debut, submitting Tom Bagnasco in the first round. Both men are excellent grapplers, and Couture picks up 55-percent of his wins via submission, with Cochrane winning by tap 38-percent of the time. They are fairly evenly matched everywhere other than in pro fight experience, but Couture's got his legendary father in his corner and the shoulder chip to go with it.

Final prediction: Ryan Couture wins via unanimous decision.

That's a wrap!

MMAmania.com will deliver live coverage of Bellator 135: "Warren vs. Galvao" on Friday night (March 27), with the first fight streaming live online at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the televised portion of Bellator 135 which airs live on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET.

See you then!