Bellator and GLORY will combine for a hybrid night of fights later tonight (Sat., Sept. 19, 2015) at Bellator 142: "Dynamite 1" inside SAP Center in San Jose, California.
The Spike TV-televised card will be headlined by the Light Heavyweight title fight between current champion, Liam McGeary and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star, Tito Ortiz. In addition, there will be a one-night, four-man tournament also in the 205-pound division. The semifinal match ups feature Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Linton Vassel and Phil Davis vs. Emanuel Newton.
On the GLORY side of things there will be three kickboxing matches. The vacant GLORY Light Heavyweight title will be up for grabs between Zack Mwekassa and Saulo Cavalari. Mwekassa lost to Cavalari in the GLORY 18 tournament final back in Nov. 2014. Since then Mwekassa scored a first-round knockout victory over Carlos Brooks at GLORY 22. Cavalari, meanwhile, earned a split decision over Artem Vahkitov at GLORY 20 in April.
Also on the kickboxing bill is a fight between Bellator Welterweight veterans Paul Daley and Fernando Gonzalez. Daley has a 20-3 record as a kickboxer. In his last kickboxing action, Daley earned a unanimous decision over Mohammad Ghaedibardeh in a superfight on the K-1 World Max Tournament Final card in Oct. 2014. Gonzalez has been competing in mixed martial arts (MMA), but has fought in Muay Thai in the past, winning a WBC national title in 2011.
Lastly, there will be a women's fight between Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez and Hadley Griffith. Taylor-Melendez holds a 2-1 professional record and is returning to action after being out of action for a few years. Griffith, who fights in MMA, will be making her professional kickboxing debut.
Let's take a closer look at the aforementioned kickboxing match ups:
Zack Mwekassa (13-2-0, 3-1 GLORY) vs. Saulo Cavalari (31-2-0, 5-1 GLORY)
Both fighters possess a ton of power and both love to press forward and attack. Cavalari, 26, got the better of Mwekassa in the GLORY 18 tournament final, catching the Congolese powerhouse with a well-timed head kick in the third round for the victory. Mwekassa, 31, has a great step-in jab and knockout power in each of his hands. He rocked Cavalari a few times in their first contest, but wasn't able to capitalize. The Brazilian has solid boxing, a great overhand right and has the definitive edge in the kicking department. I have a feeling things will be playing out differently this time around and Mwekassa will connect with a flurry for the knockout to win the title.
Prediction: Mwekassa via knockout in round two
Paul Daley (20-3) vs. Ferando Gonzalez (N/A)
Daley, 32, has the experience advantage in the kickboxing department, having more than 20 professional fights under his belt with plenty of knockouts. Gonzalez, 32, has a WBC Muay Thai national title on his resume, but has mostly fought in MMA throughout his career. The English Welterweight has a good overall game, but it's his left hook that is his most deadly weapon. On the other side, Gonzalez has good boxing skills. He is a southpaw, but will at times square up and switch stances to find a better angle before returning back to his preferred stance. Gonzalez has good power, but not quite as explosive as Daley's. I see Gonzalez being a tough out for Daley and holding his own. Daley will land more and will get him in trouble a few times, but won't finish the scrappy Californian.
Prediction: Daley via unanimous decision
Kerri Anne Taylor-Melendez (2-1) vs. Hadley Griffith (0-0)
This women's bout will take place at 120 pounds. Taylor-Melendez, 31, is returning to action after a hiatus from competition and will soon compete in MMA competition as well. Griffith, 36, is making her professional kickboxing debut and holds a 1-4 record in MMA. Griffith has a definitive height advantage at 5' 11" compared to the 5' 6" Taylor-Melendez, but that is about all she has over her. Taylor-Melendez is quick on her feet, throws pretty-good combinations and has excellent knees from the clinch. Griffith doesn't fight long despite her tall and lanky build, and is at times flat footed and slow to react or counter. I'm not sure Taylor-Melendez has the power to drop her or put or away -- unless it's with knees -- but I suspect she will tune Griffith up over the course of three rounds for the decisive decision win.
Prediction: Taylor-Melendez via unanimous decision
MMAmania.com will deliver live coverage of Bellator 142: "Dynamite 1" later this evening, with kickboxing and MMA coverage throughout the evening followed by Spike TV fights at 9 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest GLORY-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.