Three Title Fights Were Earned at Tonight’s Bellator 107

| November 8, 2013 | 11:04 pm | Reply

Bellator 107 boxThree tournaments finished and three title fights are now on the horizon, as Bellator 107 tied up a slew of loose ends in their ninth season. There was a lot to take in during the tournaments and we got plenty of intel on these fighters, so let’s look at what we learned tonight, as it’ll shape their title hopes in the future.

Brennan Ward: A replacement fighter that took full advantage of his fortuitous situation, Ward fought a cerebral battle with Mikkel Parlo and took that tournament final home. Ward showed a great sense of his opponent’s movement, keeping himself outside of range and dictating exchanges off of his fast entry.  While he won few of the initial exchanges, Ward began to time Parlo and work around his opponent’s looping shots, landing a crisp jab that laid Parlo’s eye open and wore him down. The final sequence, set up off of a crushing jab that dropped Parlo, was beautiful in terms of the balance between ferocity and composure. The only criticism I had of Ward was that he didn’t think through his takedowns once his overhook throw wasn’t working. Granted, that’s exactly the kind of move I thought he’d put Parlo down with myself, but he found no success with it or his double legs. A bit more clinch work and chaining takedowns could have seen him put the fight down earlier, though you can hardly argue with success here.

Joe Warren: A former title holder at 145lbs, Warren was placed in a short tournament to jockey for the Bantamweight title shot, taking on Travis Marx. Warren has surprisingly shown improvement over the last year, where as he was previously proud of just being a little meat grinder. Now armed with a better overall boxing game and a bit less reckless offense on top, Warren has shown he can chew up just about anyone the division has. It’s Warren’s KO power that shined through the most here, as Marx isn’t one to fall easily, and the knee Warren landed was a crushing blow as well as a signal to the rest of the division.

Cheick Kongo: Bellator’s Heavyweight division has always been its weakest, but this tournament produced something almost as bad as Prindle by allowing Kongo to gain a title shot. On paper, this is a fight Kongo should have cruised through, having a nine-inch reach and a ground game far superior to his opponent, allowing him to control the outside as well as the inside. Mentally though, Kongo was fearful from the very beginning, pulling his chin back at the slightest movement and wheeling away from his slowly moving foe for much of the first round. After a bit of warming up, Kongo was firing on all cylinders, but he fights as a man defeated, and has a bleak future in this sport in his career’s twilight years. The body is there, the skills are sharp, but the mind is no longer willing.

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Category: Bellator, Featured, MMA

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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