Bellator’s “Like Water” promo has been updated. Can you spot the difference?* VidProps: BellatorMMA/YouTube
Bellator’s fifth season middleweight tournament gets underway tomorrow night, with live broadcasts on MTV2 and EPIX covering all the main card action. With some stiff competition from the UFC and the WBC, there may be considerably fewer eyeballs on the bouts in Hollywood, Florida, but don’t tell these guys. There’s going to be some action. Go back and read the preview if you’ve forgotten anyone, and let’s run down the CagePotato picks for the evening.
The question here is “who is tougher?” When you start talking about Hess and Baker’s tenacity and endurance, you quickly leave the realm of realism and hyperbole takes over, but believe us: these two guys are harder than gypsy bare knuckle brawlers on PCP. With past health problems behind them, expect to see improved versions of both fighters. We cannot bring ourselves to call this one.
You want a kickboxing match with a high probability of head kicks and spinning back elbows? These guys have you covered. Expect Shlemenko to take this via centrifugal assault.
There are fighters who got their nicknames because they rhyme, or because they look like a celebrity, or because they sound badass. Sam Alvey just smiles a lot. He smiles when his opponent is introduced. He smiles when he’s walking through punches. He smiled quite a bit picking up a split decision win over Karl Amoussou in May. Vitor Vianna will be looking to wipe that smile off his face, and if the head BJJ instructor at Wand Fight Team takes the fight to the mat, Alvey is going to be in real trouble. We got Vianna by submission.
Cincinnati vs Cleveland grudge match alert! Victor O’Donnell may have most of his victories via sub, but he demonstrated some serious striking power in his (unsuccessful) bid on The Ultimate Fighter, breaking Chris Camozzi’s jaw in their elimination bout. Brian Rogers knows a thing or two about busting up a guy’s grill, with six straight KO/TKO victories. Unless O’Donnell has tightened up his defensive boxing skills, he’s going to have trouble dealing with Rogers’ speed and power.
Remember, you can also catch the prelims streaming live on Spike.com, including the Bellator debut of Rad Martinez, whom ESPN profiled back in July. Poor Brian van Hoven won’t have anyone cheering for him.
Radley Martinez vs Brian van Hoven
Ailton Barbosa vs Ryan Keenan
Brett Cooper vs Valdir Araujo
Cristiano Souza vs John Kelly
J.P. Reese vs Martin Brown
Dietter Navarro vs Marcelo Goncalves
Shah Bobonis vs Marcos da Matta
*They took out Ricco Rodriguez.