While the shows are less frequent, the action in the Bellator cage is no less potent in this Summer Series of fights. While the title scene in Bellator has been gummed up with injuries and setbacks, the tournament format is still rolling along, with the finals for Bantamweight and Light Heavyweight being decided at this Friday’s Bellator 73. So, whet your appetite for MMA with my breakdown of the fights this Friday and cheer on these quality MMA fighters.
Luis Nogueira vs. Marcos Galvao: Two men who have seen ups and downs inside the Bellator promotion will fight for the tournament title, as Luis Nogueira faces Marcos Galvao. Luis Nogueira comes into this bout as a much improved fighter, having looked a bit too green in his tournament debut against Ed West, but having hit the gym and made his takedown defense nearly air tight in the last year. Marcos Galvao has never had a lack of skill with his world championship BJJ, but has never been the smartest fighter on the block either. Having applied some much-needed battle smarts in this latest tournament run, Galvao has worked his game plan and looked great in the process. This is a tough fight for both men, as Nogueira brings the classic muay thai skills to keep Galvao in check, while Nogueira’s wrestling-based takedown defense might not hold up against the judo/BJJ stylings of Galvao. With a chance at Eduardo Dantas and his belt at the end of the road, it’ll be interesting to see who makes the most profound improvement and walks away the victor in this match.
Travis “Diesel” Wiuff vs. Attila Vegh: The no-nonsense American wrestler, Travis Wiuff has faced a myriad of styles in the cage, but gets something all-together new with the karate stylings of Attila Vegh. Wiuff hasn’t made many fans in his run inside the Bellator cage, but it’s hard to argue with results, as Wiuff has been grinding away on the best 205lbers the promotion has. On the other side of the bracket, Vegh hasn’t been as impressive as his resume implied, but the powerful puncher has held his own against stiff competition. Wiuff is easily the toughest match-up for Vegh stylistically, but you can never count out someone with a hard accurate punch in this game.
Ryan Martinez vs. Mike “The Juggarnaut” Wessel: One of the better prospects Bellator has picked up in the upper weight classes, Ryan Martinez makes his promotional debut, taking on hardened veteran Mike Wessel. Martinez made some waves fighting in ProElite when he handed NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion Mark Ellis a convincing decision loss, and will look to bring his unique athletic talent into the stateside promotion. Wessel has been active for many years in the UFC/TUF as well as taking the odd fight locally. While time isn’t exactly on Wessel’s side here, his incredible strength and grizzled fighter savvy make him a suitable opponent for the young buck in Martinez. It’s a classic case of old lion vs. young lion, and could be the best fight on the card.
The Bellator 73 main card is rounded out with a light heavyweight bout between Mike Mucitelli and Matt Van Buren. Bellator 73 takes place this Friday from the Harrah’s Tunica Casino in Tunica Resort, MS.