A less than impressive outing last week from the promotion has meant that all eyes are on Bellator 130, as Emanuel Newton defends his Light-Heavyweight world title, at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
Light-Heavyweight Emanuel Newton (c) vs. Linton Vassell
The most dominant champion in Bellator looks to make his second title defence against British fighter Linton Vassell. It would seem that “The Swarm” has gone under the radar of Newton, and not many people expected to BST Northampton fighter to be next in line for a shot at the gold.
Vassell (14-3-1) hasn’t lost since 2010, and is riding a three fight winning streak in the promotion. This includes a win over, Matt Jones, and two rear naked choke victories over Trever Carlson and Virgill Zwicker. He knows he’s the underdog, he knows this is the biggest challenge of his career, however he’s warned Newton, not to count him out.
The champion Newton (24-7-1) is one of Bellator’s top stars, and with the trusty spinning backfist in his arsenal is there anyone that can stop him? With two wins over King Mo, Mikhail Zayats, Attila Végh and most recently Joey Beltran, “The Hardcore Kid” has beaten everyone who has been placed in front of him.
Prediction: Emanuel Newton
Heavyweight Bobby Lashley vs. Karl Etherington
After a pretty lopsided win over Josh Burns at Bellator 123, Lashley faces a much tougher opponent in the undefeated Karl Etherington.
“The Wrecking Machine” hails from Blackpool, England and will be making his Bellator debut against the professional wrestler. Training at the highly regarded Ludus Magnus, Etherington has four knockouts and four submission wins to his name.
It is clear that Bellator are priming Lashley for a future heavyweight title shot, and if he continues like he did against Burns, that could very well be a reality. “The Dominator” trains with a great team at American Top Team, and with six submissions under his belt, it’s likely Lashely will look to take down the Brit.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley
Lightweight Dave Jansen vs. Rick Hawn
Rick Hawn moves back down to lightweight after a good run at Welterweight. Unable to capture the belt from Douglas Lima, Hawn now looks to conquer the 155lb division. His opponent is very dangerous, and with 10 submission wins in his career he presides a serious threat to Hawn.
Hawn is coming off a loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 117, where his corner were forced to throw in the towel. Previous to this, the former Olympic Judoka went on a four fight win streak with wins over Ron Keslar and Karo Parisyan.
Portland’s Jansen is currently undefeated in Bellator, and defeated Marcin Held at Bellator 93 to win the season seven lightweight tournament. Now back from over a year layoff, “The Fugitive” looks to pick up from where he left off on the way to the Lightweight title.
Prediction: Dave Jansen
Women’s Featherweight Marloes Coenen vs. Annalisa Bucci
The women’s featherweight division finally kicks off in Bellator, with former Strikeforce Bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen going toe-to-toe with Italian kickboxer Annalisa Bucci.
The Italian is 2-1 in here last three outings, with her only loss coming to current Cage Warriors bantamweight title contender Pannie Kianzad. Despite her background in kickboxing, Bucci holds more wins in the submission department, with three tapout victories.
Coenen is considered a veteran of the sport, and has competed in Strikeforce, Invicta and Dream. A loss to Cyborg may have derailed her Invicta title hopes however she will look to assert her dominance in Bellator. The Golden Glory fighter owns 15 tapout wins on her resume and is without a doubt one of the best grapplers in the division.
Prediction: Marloes Coenen