Bellator helps to close out a hectic couple of MMA-filled weeks when Bellator 140 comes to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. All five of the main-card fights, including the top-billed title bout, take place in the welterweight division.
Welterweight champion Douglas Lima defends his belt for the first time after almost a year on the shelf. Lima was expected to fight at Bellator 134 in February before an injury took him out of his title fight with Paul Daley. Now, Lima gets a different opponent. He’ll go up against Andrey Koreshkov. Koreshkov has only been beaten by former champion Ben Askren.
Oddly enough, Daley will also fight on this card, but not for the championship. He will look to once again solidify a title shot against Lima when he faces off against Dennis Olson. Brennan Ward also takes part in the main-card fracas as he faces Roger Carroll, who steps in on short notice for Gavin Sterritt. Outside of veterans Daley and Ward, Bellator is bringing two of its welterweight prospects to the card. Chris Honeycutt faces MMA veteran Paul Bradley, and Michael Page also will take center stage to display his striking against veteran Rudy Bears.
The preliminary card action begins on Bellator.com and Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET. The main card airs live on Spike starting at 9 p.m. ET.
WW Championship: Douglas Lima (26-5) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (17-1)
The headlining championship tilt between Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov is definitely the closest fight on the main card.
Lima has been a strong presence for Bellator, where he has compiled an 8-1 record. Lima’s lone loss came against former welterweight champ Ben Askren. There is no shame in losing to Askren, who was extremely dominant in his reign with Bellator and who has continued his dominance under the ONE Championship banner. Lima is the last guy to go the distance with Askren.
Lima is coming off an injury that has sidelined him for a year since he won the title. The 27-year-old was expected to face Paul Daley at Bellator 134, but he was injured in training leading up to the fight. His long layoff could be a factor in this contest.
Lima is a product of American Top Team, so his corner will be a good one backing him up against Koreshkov. His time spent training with one of the better gyms should also help alleviate some of the problems of him coming back after a year-long layoff. Lima brings a lot of tools to this fight. He has hit his stride lately, knocking out his opponents in his last five fights since the loss to Askren. He will most likely look to stand with Koreshkov and seek to add another knockout to his resume.
Koreshkov is certainly a harder opponent to face than Daley, though. He, too, is a dangerous striker, having notched 10 knockout victories. The 24-year-old is also riding a four-fight winning streak since his own loss to Askren. Koreshkov, who has a background in pankration, might be a little bit more well rounded on the ground. He could look to bring this fight to the ground or work from the clinch if he so chooses. Koreshkov will also enjoy a three-inch reach advantage over Lima and could look to keep Lima on the outside, though he’ll have to be careful to avoid becoming another Lima knockout victim.
This is one of the few times where the challenger gets the nod to win a Bellator title fight. This is as close to a toss-up as it comes in Bellator. Koreshkov is probably just a bit craftier than Lima, and that’ll be enough to allow the Russian to leave with the belt.
WW: Chris Honeycutt (6-0) vs. Paul Bradley (22-6)
Chris Honeycutt is one of Bellator’s top welterweight prospects. The 26-year-old has yet to taste defeat in his professional career. He already has two victories inside the Bellator cage, including a third-round TKO finish of Clayton MacFarlane in his last fight at Bellator 133.
Honeycutt’s skills come in the form of his All-American wrestling. If he can get his opponent to the ground, he will do so and display utter control. Despite being a wrestler, Honeycutt is not content to ride out the fight for a decision win. He has only seen the scorecards once, although he did come pretty close to going the distance against MacFarlane before he was able to get the stoppage with under a minute left in the third round.
It would be surprising if Honeycutt tries to do anything but use his wrestling to dominate the fight, but his opponent, Paul Bradley, is a veteran and should be a tough out for him. Bradley has fought in Strikeforce and the UFC, but he has a 1-3 combined record with those two promotions. Bradley also beat Karl Amoussou, another guy that Bellator could have used to bolster its ranks, at Bellator 104. The 32-year-old isn’t newcomer to the underdog role.
Bradley has some wrestling of his own that makes this fight the most interesting of the non-title contests. Honeycutt has yet to be tested against a veteran or somebody who can possibly counter his wrestling like Bradley can.
Despite what Bradley brings to the cage, Honeycutt will get a decision victory. He is a tough wrestler and should be able to get the takedown throughout the fight to sway the judges in his favor. If he can’t get the takedown, however, it could be a long night for Honeycutt.
WW: Michael Page (7-0) vs. Rudy Bears (16-13)
Michael Page is another promising up-and-comer for Bellator on this card of welterweights. He was originally slated to fight at the Bellator 134 “British Invasion” event earlier this year, but he pulled out due to an injury. The 28-year-old hasn’t fought since October, and the nine months out of the cage could leave Page with a little ring rust.
Page is a flashy striker who wants to keep this fight on the feet at all costs. Five of his seven victories have come by knockout. He had some trouble with Nah-Shon Burrell in his last fight. Page’s biggest struggles come in the wrestling department, and he is getting a veteran in Rudy Bears who could look to exploit his ground game.
Bears has fought numerous times before in the Bellator cage, but he has lost his last three fights in the promotion. The 36-year-old is currently riding a two-fight winning streak and picked up a submission victory in his last fight.
Page should win this fight. Bellator wouldn’t feed somebody who has such an unorthodox and flashy striking style as Page to somebody who could easily derail him. Page will probably be able to lure Bears into a striking battle and emerge with a knockout.
WW: Brennan Ward (10-3) vs. Roger Carroll (16-11)
Brennan Ward returns to action after his submission victory over Curtis Millender at Bellator 134 in February. The victory brought an end to a two-fight skid for Ward.
Ward has some power in his hands and a good ground game to complement it. The 27-year-old will most likely look to use the clinch to set up the takedown and seek to unleash a ground-and-pound assault. Ward has seven victories by knockout and could even look to submit his opponent like he did with Millender in his last fight.
This will be Roger Carroll’s first stint in Bellator, but not his first fight against a quality opponent. Carroll has faced the likes of UFC veterans Clint Hester, Uriah Hall and Dhiego Lima. He only recorded one win — an armbar victory over Hester five years ago — among those three fights. Carroll has a knack for choking out his opponents. He has 15 victories by way of submission and only one wasn’t a choke. This could conceivably give Ward more hesitation in going for a takedown. Carroll could counter with a guillotine or even threaten off the bottom with a triangle choke.
Ward is going to take this one. Carroll is a veteran, sure, and probably has an experience edge, but Ward, a former middleweight title challenger, is a pretty good fighter in the Bellator ranks. Ward has shown class before and should be able to do it again. It’ll be a clinch, a takedown and then a TKO victory for Ward.
WW: Paul Daley (36-13-2) vs. Dennis Olson (14-8)
This is possibly the easiest pick of the main card. Paul Daley has a fan-friendly striking game that will undoubtedly make for a great fight here. It’s odd, though, how Daley went from a scheduled title fight with Lima at Bellator 134 fizzing out when Lima was forced to pull out with an injury, to fighting on the same card with Lima but against separate opponents. It’s a mystery.
There really isn’t much to explain here. Daley is going to do what he always does and look for the knockout. It’s how he’s scored 26 of his wins. There are three things you can be sure of in life: death, taxes and Daley going for the knockout. If Daley doesn’t look to keep this on the feet and bludgeon his opponent, all bets are off as to how the fight plays out.
Dennis Olson will be Daley’s dance partner, but it’s debatable just how much of a willing participant he will be in the striking department. Olson has nine victories by submission, and he has faced some decent fighters before, like Rick Hawn and John Howard. It should be noted that Olson lost both of those fights. If Olson doesn’t try to take this one to the ground and try to choke out Daley, it’d be a huge surprise.
Daley will get the knockout. The only item up for debate is the round in which this fight ends.
Preliminary Card Predictions
WW: Josh Neer (36-14) vs. Matt Secor (6-2)
Neer by unanimous decision
WW: Ilya Kotau (0-0) vs. Nicholas Sergiacomi (1-0)
Kotau by unanimous decision
HW: Parker Porter (5-4) vs. Eric Bedard (6-5)
Bedard by first round TKO
FlyW: Billy Giovanella (8-3) vs. Remo Cardarelli (4-2)
Giovanella by third round TKO
LW: Dean Hancock (1-0) vs. Alex Dunworth (2-1)
Hancock by unanimous decision
Women’s StrawW: Kaline Medeiros (4-4) vs. Sarah Payant (1-0)
Medeiros by unanimous decision
LW: Waylon Lowe (15-6) vs. Ryan Quinn (10-5-1)
Lowe by unanimous decision
BW: Blair Tugman (7-5) vs. Rodrigo Almeida (12-2)
Almeida by third round submission
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