A tournament that was hit by a massive injury bug, the Welterweights Bellator managed to cobble together will compete for the $100,000 tournament championship beginning at Friday’s Bellator 112. Our main event is a rubber match that absolutely no one asked for, as Daniel Straus faces Pat Curran in an immediate rematch of a non-competitive fight.
Do I sound a bit jaded about this whole thing? Yup. Am I still going to watch it? Yup again. Let’s check out how Bellator 112 should play out.
Daniel Straus vs Pat Curran: With Straus having executed a perfect game plan against Curran to gain the Featherweight strap, Curran will now step over the two challengers-in-waiting and gain an immediate rematch for a fight he wasn’t even close to winning. When dealing with rematches, one must look at the last match and see the give and take to understand what can be different with the intimate knowledge each man will gain.
Like the last match, Curran’s main issue will be dealing with Straus’ physicality and use of movement, darting in and out of range while being a force in the clinch phase. Curran’s weapons to deal with this are his counter punching skills and his guillotine, both of which came up short last time out. It’s a matter of Curran needing a finish here and having all of his outs to win come off of counters due to Straus’ ability to dictate the pace of the match through size and speed. Don’t expect a different outcome from last time, as Curran works off the counter but Straus imposes his will just the same, grinding out another decision win.
Nah-Shon Burrell vs Andrey Koreshkov: A former UFC fighter, Burrell will hop into the Bellator welterweight tournament and lock horns with Koreshkov in a make or break fight. Burrell is a case of someone who went far with natural ability, but has found himself lacking on a world stage populated by superior skilled opponents. Koreshkov is exactly the kind of fighter that’s given Burrell fits in his UFC time, and I don’t see much having changed. Koreshkov has bricks for hands and should score consistently on Burrell, finally scoring the KO early in the second round.
Paul Bradley vs Nathan Coy: A Welterweight tourney fight stuck on the undercard, Paul Bradley will face Nathan Coy in a rematch from their early days of fighting. Bradley surprised a lot of people with his win over Karl Amoussou last time out, showing that being a simple wrestler can still win fights in the modern era. Having previously come out on top against Coy by split decision, he’ll look to repeat the feat, though may find Coy is a different fighter these days. I like Coy’s pure pressure approach and how he’s channeled his old man strength into thumping ground and pound, but he’ll have his hands full in the wrestling phases of the fight. This comes down to preparation, and Bradley has never looked good on short notice, giving Coy an out to edge him late, winning by TKO or close decision.
Check out the complete lineup for Bellator 112:
Main Card: (Spike TV, 6pm PT / 9pm ET)
145 lbs. Title Fight: Daniel Straus vs. Pat Curran
170 lbs. Tournament opening Round: Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Andrey Koreshkov
170 lbs. Tournament opening Round: Cristiano Souza vs. Sam Oropeza
170 lbs. Tournament opening Round: Jesse Juarez vs. Adam McDonough
Preliminary Card: (Spike.com, 4pm PT / 7 pm ET)
170 lbs. Tournament opening Round: Paul Bradley vs. Nathan Coy
A.J. Matthews vs. Belal Muhammad
Lloyd Carter vs. Diego Marlon
Darrion Caldwell vs. Lance Surma
Derek Loffer vs. Bobby Reardanz
Jason Guida vs. Anthony Gomez
Erick Correa vs. Daniel James