Bellator 163 vs CES 39
This Friday will be a huge night in New England MMA. Bellator MMA is back in town at Mohegan Sun Arena with a killer national line-up being broadcast on Spike TV. Just two hours up the road in Plymouth, Massachusetts; CES is joining forces (think Voltron here) with Cage Titans to put on a solid local show being broadcast cross-country on AXS TV. For once; it may be smarter to stay home and perhaps line a couple TVs up so you can view both. Let’s take a look at the fight cards overall, the full fight cards (as posted to Tapology) and my favorite bouts from each show.
There are quite a few recognizable names on this card. The undefeated McGeary defends his title against the very recognizable UFC veteran Phil Davis. Brennan Ward is fighting a durable but very beatable Saad Awad. You’ll also see Marloes Coenen, Paul “Semtex” Daley making their faces seen on the main card. This is one of the most well rounded Bellator cards I can recall. Let’s take a look at a few of the local fights on the card.
- Josh Diekmann vs. Tyler King 265 lbs- This is a banger for sure. King beat Diekmann by UD back in 2012 but I’m willing to bet that this fight doesn’t go the distance. I see this one ending via heelhook by King but there’s always a chance that “Freight Train” knocks King’s head off.
- Blair Tugman vs. W. Smith-Cotito 145 lbs- Tugman earned a weird win over Jay Perrin the last time Bellator came to town in the post-lims. He played a grinding-wrestling style to keep Perrin tied up to avoid damage and simply out-controlled Perrin. Cotitio is coming off a win over a surprisingly tough Elias Leland up at NEF recently and is looking to piggyback that with a finish over Tugman. Cotito is known for being amazing in the gym but not showing up strong enough come game time. Tugman hasn’t changed much in his last few fights and should be a known commodity. This fight will be a good way to tell which of these guys can still make a run at a successful pro career. My money is on Cotito.
- Steve Skrzat vs. Tim Caron 195 lbs- In what was a much anticipated fight between Caron and Mike Zichelle (pulled out due to injury); Steve Skrzat stepped up and saved the day. Skrzat looked decent against Kevin Haley earlier this year (though he lost) but I don’t think he has what it takes to put Caron away. Tim is resilient and should only need to worry about the power punching ability of Skrzat.
- Tom English vs. Chris Foster 145 lb- A couple well known local names here but this should be easy enough to call. Foster looked great against Calvin Kattar a few months ago. English didn’t look to bad in his last outing but he seems to struggle with the better local fighters. Foster is exactly that; a better local fighter. I could always be proven wrong here but I see Foster taking this one fairly easily and getting back to his winning ways.
FULL FIGHT CARD
- Liam McGeary vs. Phil Davis 205 lbs
- Saad Awad vs. Brennan Ward 170 lbs
- Marloes Coenen vs. Talita Nogueira 145 lbs
- Paul Daley vs. Derek Anderson 170 lbs
- Sergei Kharitonov vs. Javy Ayala 265 lbs
- Josh Diekmann vs. Tyler King 265 lbs
- Blair Tugman vs. W. Smith-Cotito 145 lbs
- Mike Zichelle vs. Tim Caron 185 lbs
- Ilya Kotau vs. Carlos Correia 170 lbs
- Sarah Payant vs. Hannah Regina 125 lbs
- Keenan Raymond vs. Kastriot Xhema 170 lbs
- Tom English vs. Chris Foster 145 lbs
- James Boran vs. Vinicius de Jesus 170 lbs
- Ed Ruth vs. Mark Mangiardi 185 lbs
- Tyrell Fortune vs. Cody Miskell 265 lbs
- Neiman Gracie vs. Rudy Bears 170 lbs
Onto the other big show in town. CES and Cage Titans are teaming up to offer a well rounded card chock-full of New England talent. I’m not sure why CES has been joining forces with different shows but hey… who cares? Lets get down to the details on a few of these.
Kevin Haley vs. Mike Rodriguez- I like this bout because of the match up. Haley is a bit bigger and fights brutishly. He seems very simple while in the cage but it also works for him just fine. He’s doing well as of late and a win over the rising star here will solidify his spot as a top 5 type of guy. Rodriguez is a killer. I’ve kept an eye on him (and his dirty triangle) since he was an amateur. This kid has a weird mix of heavy striking and slippery bjj. I give the edge to Rodriguez here but don’t be surprised if Haley bullies his way through this one as well.
Jeremy Davis vs. Peter Barrett 145 lb- Speaking of slippery; here comes Pete Barrett once again. He’s been walking through his opponents and is now 6-0*. See that asterisk? That goes next to a few local guys that haven’t truly proven themselves (in my eyes at least) due to the ease of opponents. All but one of Pete’s opponents have losing records. Jeff Anderson is his first notable win and he’s been on the decline so this fight is important for Pete. His opponent is now 3-0 and coming up from Florida (from what I can tell). He seems decent enough though I didn’t stay up all night doing my homework. I hope to see Pete tested and come out victorious in this one.
Manny Bermudez vs. Saul Almeida 145 lb- We have a known commodity in Almeida here. He is known for putting on some of the weirdest displays of fighting we’ve ever seen. His match with Bruce Boyington was single-handedly the funkiest MMA fight I’ve seen in quite sometime. With that being said; I think Saul will be a great measuring stick for Bermudez. Manny has seemingly walked through his division one-by-one. I thought Rodrigo would be that measuring stick but a quick choke put the vet in the losers bracket and left us with unanswered questions about Bermudez yet still. I think Manny is “next-level” and this fight will let us know for sure. With a win here we should see Bermudez getting a call to the big show in my opinion… especially with a stoppage.
Chuck O’Neil vs. Will Santiago 185 lbs– This is perhaps my favorite fight of the night. Chuck has been a high-end staple of the New England MMA community for a long time now. Will made a huge name for himself a few years ago and then took a couple years off. Hes been crackin’ heads once again and looks better than ever. Getting some training in with Jackson/Wink he’s been preparing for this fight for a while now. This is his shot at showing everyone watching that he really does belong at the top. O’Neil has signs of brilliance quite often and seems to be an unsolvable puzzle for most. Don’t blink.
FULL FIGHT CARD
- Chuck O’Neil vs. Will Santiago 185 lbs
- Jeremy Davis vs. Peter Barrett 145 lbs
- Josh Ricci vs. Remo Cardarelli 125 lbs
- Kevin Haley vs. Mike Rodriguez
- Manny Bermudez vs. Saul Almeida 145 lbs
- Mike Rodriguez vs. Kevin Haley
- Connor Barry vs. Anthony Giacchina 155 lbs
- Micah Terrill vs. Bobby Flynn 170 lbs
- Max Barrett vs. Dan Dubuque
- Z. Fritz-Kill vs. C. Bonar
- Shane Brady vs. Joe Mikolinski