As the great Canadian warrior/poet Harold Howard once said, “If you’re coming on, then come on!” Well, Bellator is “coming on” MTV2 on Saturday night, and their debut on the network is most certainly “coming on”. We may or may not get to see champ Zoila Frausto in a non-title bout, and perhaps the inevitable bloodbath between Waachiim Spiritwolf and Jaime Jara will remain unaired, but what is in store for sure are the quarterfinal match-ups of this season’s welterweight tournament – a field that includes the likes of ex-champ Lyman Good, IFL champ Jay Heiron, and judo thrill-machine Rick Hawn. So hold onto your hats, ‘cause here comes some BFC 35 predictions.
- Lyman Good vs. Chris Lozano – As evidenced by his destruction of Yoshiyuki Yoshida at BFC 31, Lozano is great at two things: striking and striking. Good, meanwhile, has proven to be great at both striking and grappling. That little tidbit, coupled with his unparalleled conditioning, means Good is going to smash Lozano so badly the ring doctors are going to need a broom and a dustpan to get Lozano out of the cage.
- Jay Hieron vs. Anthony Lapsley – Sometimes, if a fighter is too good or too boring, they’ll fall between the cracks, unable to make it in the “big show” yet dominant everywhere else. This is the story with Hieron (accent on the “too good” and “too boring” part), who has smoked opponents like carelessly-dealt marijuana in such promotions as Strikeforce, Affliction and the IFL (his only two trips into the Octagon ended with losses). This Xtreme Couture staple is pretty damn good at pounding people into oblivion – so good, actually, that the word on the street is that Anthony Lapsley’s management is already lining him up fights elsewhere for when Bellator sends him packing. Hieron by TKO destruction.
- Rick Hawn vs. Jim Wallhead – Hey, do you like judo? Hawn and Wallhead sure do, and they’ve made a name for themselves by wearing judo gis everywhere they go and shouting “ippon!” whenever they enter a room. Okay, not really. They just have strong backgrounds in the Japanese art – although as an adult Olympic team member, Hawn is the more accomplished of the pair. Watch for him to toss Wallhead on his head once or twice and snag a win via TKO.
- Brent Weedman vs. Dan Hornbuckle – Last season’s 170-pound tournament had two pervading questions hanging over it when it began, the first being if wrestling demigod Ben Askren was going to steamroll his way to the top, and the second being if Dan Hornbuckle could stop him. Hornbuckle couldn’t, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he’s a bad dude who clobbered the likes of Akihiro Gono and Nick Thompson before hooking up with Bellator. Weedman, though tough and very capable wherever the fight goes, is simply overmatched in this one. Expect him to tap to Hornbuckle’s patented “Cherokee Armbar of Doom”.