Bellator 115 goes down tonight in Reno, Nevada live and free on Spike TV. In the main event of the evening, former UFC veteran Cheick Kongo takes on undefeated Russian Heavyweight champion, Vitaly Minakov, for the Bellator Heavyweight championship.
The card went through a major reshuffling yesterday as two bouts were removed from the card. Jeremy Kimball, who was scheduled to fight Dan Cramer tonight, failed to make weight for the Middleweight tournament semi-final, and the bout was scratched. Andrey Koreshkov, who was scheduled to fight Sam Oropeza, is battling the flu, and therefore their bout must be rescheduled as well.
Without further ado, here are my picks and predictions for tonight’s Bellator 115 main card.
Johnny Cisneros vs. Mikkel Parlo
Parlo has faced, and beaten, much tougher competition that Johnny Cisneros. Cisneros has power that Parlo needs to be wary of, but I think he should have no trouble at all grinding out a decision win tonight.
Prediction: Mikkel Parlo defeats Johnny Cisneros by Unanimous Decision
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Kelly Anundson
Anundson is making his Bellator debut tonight against Volkan. Kelly trains out of American Top Team, so you have to believe that he is talented. Truth be told, however, there is no safe pick here because we have just not seen enough of either guy. Volkan is undefeated (10-0), including 9 finishes. He won his Bellator debut back in October by TKO, and would not be shocked to see him do it again tonight.
Prediction: Volkan Oezdemir defeats Kelly Anundson by TKO Round 2
Herman Terrado vs. Justin Baesman
Terrado loves winging big bombs in the hopes that one will connect at end the fight. He absolutely has the ability to KO any opponent he faces, but anyone with the ability to slip and counter will have their way with Terrado. Is that guy Justin Baesman? Highly unlikely. Expect Terrado to eventually land a wild haymaker that takes Baesman out.
Prediction: Herman Terrado defeats Justin Baesman by TKO Round 1
Cheick Kongo vs. Vitaly Minakov
I feel like a lot of MMA pundits are writing Kongo off in this fight. It is true that Minakov is a deadly striker, has won 10 fights in a row by finish, and has never been defeated in his career. It is also true that Minakov has not faced anywhere near the competition that Kongo has faced.
Kongo will have to fight smart to win this bout, and he will need to frustrate Minakov by pressuring him on the fence. Kongo has powerful knees in the clinch that could pay big dividends in later rounds in slowing down the Russian. What Kongo can not do is try and strike with Minakov on the outside, because he will likely pay the price. Minakov is fast for a Heavyweight and has ridiculous power in his hands. Kongo has to make this fight dirty, like he is accustomed to do, and I expect him to come out the victor.
Prediction: Cheick Kongo defeats Vitaly Minakov by Unanimous Decision