Bellator 135 hosts a rematch four years in the making as Bantamweight Champion, Joe Warren, “The Baddest Man on the Planet” defends his new belt against Marcos Galvao. The two initially met at Bellator 41 at a catchweight bout, which saw Warren emerge victorious in a decision. Co-headlining the event is versatile brawler, L.C. Davis welcoming longtime MMA vet, Hideo Tokoro to Bellator in a fight that likely won’t see the final bell. Former UFC middleweight contender, Francis Carmont debuts against fellow hard-hitting newcomer, Guilherme Viana in a light heavyweight bout. And finalizing the main card is a lightweight scrap between veterans, Dakota Cochrane and Ryan Couture. This is the Bellator 135 Main Card Preview:
Joe Warren (C) (-220) vs Marcos Galvao (+184)
Bellator Bantamweight Championship (135 lbs)
Last time Warren and Galvao fought, the Brazilian took Warren to the brink and lost a very narrow decision. Since then, both fighters have grown a lot more significantly, Warren. The highly decorated wrestler has developed his striking since but still prefers to take it to the mat where he relentlessly looks for takedowns and controls his opponent.
Galvao is not too different as the third-degree BJJ black belt also likes to use his grappling to put his opponent on their back wear he prefers to ground and pound as opposed to look for subs. Striking-wise, both fighters also have bad chins but Warren’s boxing is better though Galvao hits with more power though not much accuracy. This fight is likely a test of wills and which fighter will be able to push their gameplan on the other.
Tough fight; both fighters definitely mirror each other in a sense but the x-factor is Warren’s ability to push the pace and keep it going for five whole rounds. He has the “will” and has improved more significantly especially on the stand-up. It’s very possible Galvao catches him and finishes him early but Warren has come back from adversity repeatedly and he could likely do the same to pull out a tough five-round win.
Prediction: Joe Warren def. Marcos Galvao via Unanimous Decision to retain the Bellator Bantamweight Championship
L.C. Davis (-306) vs Hideo Tokoro (+252)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs)
Davis and Tokoro present a very interesting match as Davis’s strengths are Tokoro’s weaknesses and Tokoro’s one great strength could be Davis’s kryptonite. Davis was a former WEC fighter who is primarily a brawler who has some pretty effective wrestling if he chooses to use it. He’s the more powerful and athletic fighter and has the better chin overall. Tokoro is an old-timer dating way back to 2000 and has fought some big MMA names such as Royce Gracie and Caol Uno. He has some very good grappling and BJJ skills and most of his wins have come via submission (18 out of 32).
This is Davis’s fight to lose. If the American uses his wrestling defensively and keeps the fight standing, he’ll likely knock out Tokoro whose chin is terrible. Tokoro’s one way to victory is to capitalize on a mistake Davis could make on the mat and submit him, which is also possible but ultimately the prior scenario is more likely. Davis by face bashing is the pick.
Prediction: L.C. Davis def. Hideo Tokoro via TKO (Round 2)
Francis Carmont (-306) vs Guilherme Viana (+250)
Light Heavyweight Bout (205 lbs)
Carmont was unceremoniously cut from the UFC after losing three in a row though it’s worth noting those losses have come against the top-15 in the division. The Frenchman likes to primarily take the fight to the mat where he has used his strength, size and positioning to control his opponents and wear them down usually towards an uninspiring decision victory. He is however also capable of fighting on his feet with a nifty kickboxing. Viana competed in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 but failed to make it into the house. He’s won all his fights via stoppage thanks to his aggressive hard-hitting style coupled with some solid wrestling and ground and pound.
Viana has an outside chance to upset Carmont as he hits hard and Carmont’s chin is not the best. However, he is facing a big step-up in competition and fighting a high-level grinder in Carmont. Both their cardios are questionable but look for Carmont to utilize his superior ground game to control Viana and maybe even submit him late in the fight after he wears him down.
Prediction: Francis Carmont def. Guilherme Viana via Unanimous Decision
Ryan Couture (-114) vs Dakota Cochrane (-106)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)
Pick’em fight at its finest; both Couture and Cochrane represent the mold of MMA fighter who is not particularly excellent in one skill but good enough to be considered well-rounded though both men are initially grapplers for the most part. Couture gets the edge in that department because Cochrane can be inconsistent and has struggled against opponents with particularly decent BJJ while Couture has more sound fundamentals.
If the fight stays on its feet, Cochrane is wilder and Couture is more poised though neither fighter has a significant advantage. The fight likely ends on the mat and Couture out-grapple Cochrane and maybe catch him in a submission if and when Cochrane fouls up.