BELLATOR 190 PREDICTIONS
Who’s WINNING .. Who’s LOSING
The Rundown (main card)
In what could be, on paper, Bellator’s weakest card to date, a group of former UFC vets and largely unknown prospects go head to head in the company’s second event in Iowa for this year. The significance of this event in the grand scheme of Bellator or MMA in general is paltry but it’s with these low expectations that this may be one of the more surprisingly entertaining cards of the year, optimistically speaking.
Josh Neer (-145) vs Paul Bradley (+125)
Welterweight (170 lbs)
Why Paul Bradley will win
The “Gentleman” is an NCAA Division I wrestler with 21-6-1 overall in his eight-year MMA career; worth noting is 5 of his 6 losses have come against the upper echelon, the likes of Luke Rockhold and Mike Pierce (twice). Bradley is shaped in the mold of a token American wrestler with serious power in his fists and an apt submission game. Only Rockhold has been able to finish him. Look for the Gentleman to keep the pressure on Neer, try to wrest him to the ground and either finish him or wear him down to a decisive win or TKO.
Why Josh Neer will win
The “Dentist” is a true mixed martial artist in every sense having a background in wrestling, boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He trains under two prominent camps, Cesar Gracie and Miletich Martial Arts. He’s probably most notable for his UFC run where he Only at 31, Neer’s had 50 MMA bouts and won 36 of them, 18 by T/KO and 14 by submission. Neer returns to Bellator having strung together three consecutive wins by finishes and should be riding a hot streak.
This is a striker vs grappler matchup but otherwise Neer and Bradley. They’re both 31 with similar reach (72 in). Neer has the definite experience edge but Bradley has the heavier hands. Both fighters are versatile enough. Bradley is probably more powerful on the inside but Neer’s slick BJJ and experience can help him survive. This is anyone’s fight but Bradley could overpower Neer on the right instances and win on points although I’ll take Neer to outlast Bradley in a hard fought fight.
Josh Neer def. Paul Bradley via split decision
Virgil Zwicker (-125) vs Houston Alexander (+105)
Catchweight (215 lbs)
Why Houston Alexander will win
No one will forget when a Houston Alexander burst into the UFC as an unknown and knocked out Keith Jardine (fresh off his win against the original The Ultimate Fighter winner, Forrest Griffin) in under a minute. Alexander since then has just won half his fights (9 of 18) however. He has 16 wins, 11 by knockout but also has lost half his fights by the same way. Alexander has a glass jaw with stone hands. But so long as he has those hands, he’s a major threat to win a fight every night and usually in spectacular fashion.
Why Virgil Zwicker will win
“Rezdog” Zwicker is a kickboxer who grew up under the tutelage of his brother, who was a Golden Gloves boxer. He won his first eight MMA fights including being the only guy to finish UFC standout, Ovince St. Preux. Since then he’s alternated wins and losses (4-4) against Zuffa-level competition. He’s a versatile striker, finishing 9 of his 12 wins by strikes, seven in the 1st round. Although he’s coming off a loss to Bellator Light Heavyweight title challenger, Linton Vassell he’s looking to come up big for a quick rebound win.
This could really be the Bellator 129 Predictions Fight of the Night if it makes it past one round. Virgil may try not directly engaging Alexander, who is the heavier hitter of the two and use his length to keep the stocky underdog at bay. But Alexander can get reckless and with his poor defense could leave himself open for a KO especially with Zwicker’s striking arsenal. So long as Zwicker doesn’t get careless he should put Alexander away eventually.
Virgil Zwicker def. Houston Alexander via TKO (Rd 2)
André Santos (-155) vs James Terry (+135)
Welterweight (170 lbs)
Why James Terry will win
James “Intensity” Terry is an American Kickboxing Academy and Cung Le fighter with a background in wrestling and kickboxing though he likes to focus on the latter more. Terry is also a Strikeforce vet with a 6-4 record last taking UFC lightweight contender Bobby Green to a split decision. Terry has big power in his fists and should look to end this fight before it hits the mat.
Why André Santos will win
Despite having 45 fights under his belt, “Chatuba” Santos is still an enigma to the general MMA audience (his age isn’t even known). The Brazilian fighter is a BJJ specialist with 22 of his 36 career wins coming via submission – most by a form of choke. He is coming off of a five-fight win streak, all by stoppages and would ride the hot momentum to his Bellator debut.
Another grappler vs striker match; although Terry has some wrestling experience, he has never shown a true propensity at the grappling level of MMA especially not against an experienced BJJ expert in Chatuba. Terry is always a threat to finish his opponents if they get careless but Chatuba will eventually catch Terry in a precarious position to sink in one of his chokes.
André Santos def. James Terry via Submission (Rd 1)
Joe Vedepo (-160) vs Davin Clark (+140)
Middleweight (185 lbs)
Why Davin Clark will win
For Bellator 129 predictions, the newcomer is a product of the American Kickboxing Academy and has a solid striking foundation. Despite having only six pro fights on record, Clark has been competing since 2007 though his last fight came in 2012. Ring rust and big stage jitters may play a factor in Clark’s performance but should he come in at 100% he can surprise most people.
Why Joe Vedepo will win
The American Top Team fighter has been in the MMA game for nearly a decade and has been well-traveled with a brief stint with the UFC. Now on his sixth fight with Bellator (3-2), the wrestler is looking for his third win in a row. Vedepo is primarily a grappler but has shown power in his stand-up like most fighters his build. He can win this fight on or off the mat.
Vedepo’s track record is very spotty but he’s faced the better competition and has more experience. His grappling background could also give him an edge over Clark. However, Vedepo’s striking defense is suspect and Clark has shown ability to finish fights on foot. Clark can finish Vedepo standing but there’s more chance the Doctor grinds him out.
Joe Vedepo def. Davin Clark via TKO (Rd 2)