Bellator 126 invades the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona for a huge night of fights, headlined by a Middleweight championship bout as Alexander Shlemenko defends his gold against Bellator Season 10 tournament winner Brandon Halsey.
Middleweight: Alexander Shlemenko (c) vs. Brandon Halsey – Russia’s Shlemenko takes on the season 10 tournament winner, the undefeated Brandon Halsey in the evening’s main event. Shlemenko is coming off a shock submission loss to Tito Ortiz at Bellator 120 in a non-title Light-Heavyweight fight. Halsey is 7-0 with five of those wins coming under the Bellator banner, which includes victories over Joe Pacheco and Brett Cooper in last season’s tournament.
Both men have good wrestling abilities, however Shlemenko holds the advantage in the stand-up department, with 29 of his 50 wins coming by knockout.
Prediction: Alexander Shlemenko
Lightweight Season 10 Tournament Finale: Patricky Freire vs. Marcin Held – A heated tournament final sees a clash between Brazil’s Paticky Freire and Poland’s Marcin Held. Freire’s path to the final saw him knock out both David Rickels and Derek Campos. Opponent, Marc Held has had arguably the more impressive tournament run, tapping out both Rodrigo Cavalheiro and Derek Anderson in the first and second rounds respectively.
Freire holds the finishing power on the feet, however Held has a deadly, deadly submission game, which could hold the key to the fight.
Prediction: Marcin Hold
Featherweight: Thiago Meller vs. Bubba Jenkins – A feature fight between Brazil’s Thiago Meller and Germany’s Bubba Jenkins adds to the already deep Featherweight division.
The submission ace Meller is riding a five fight win streak, with two submission and two TKO victories. His most notable win came to Chris Saunders Samurai MMA Pro 4 by decision. Jenkins holds five Bellator appearance,s with a 90% win ratio. An impressive first round TKO of Poppies Martinez has shown he is a potential star.
This fight is the classic grappler vs striker match up, however if Jenkins can utilise his NCAA Division 1 wrestling experience to keep the fight standing, he could take the win.
Prediction: Bubba Jenkins
Bantamweight : Mike Richman vs. Ed West – The Marine takes on Wild, as Bellator veteran Mike Richman Arizona’s own Ed West. Neither men have managed to chalk up inspiring form during their Bellator careers, however with high finishing rates, it is certain to be a war.
Richman has seven wins by submission, with the same amount by knockout. Whereas, West holds only one knockout, compared to an impressive grappling game with nine submission victories. Both fighters in the past have struggled against grinding fighters, and with both men in that category, it could be a stale mate in Arizona.
Prediction: Ed West