Mann Talk – Bellator 41 Predictions

A wise man once said, “there are three certainties in life: death, taxes and Saturday night Bellator cards on MTV2.” The promotion steams on with their fourth season. Bellator 41, which takes place at the Cocopah Resort in Yuma, Ariz., features a pair of champions in non-title fights and the semifinals of the featherweight tournament.

Joe Warren vs. Marcos Galvao
This fight is the perfect example of my Bellator-non-title-fights conspiracy theory. The theory is, the promotion actively looks for fighters with less than stellar chins. Despite being known mostly for being starched in back-to-back WEC fights, Galvao is a solid positional grappler. The problem for him is this fight will only be on the ground if he is on his back. On the feet, Warren hits with bone crushing power, and we have already addressed Galvao’s ability to take punishment.
Pick = Joe Warren
Film Study: Marcos Galvao vs. Masakatsu Ueda

Zach Makovsky vs. Chad Robichaux
In a complete contradiction to my conspiracy theory, Bellator has matched their bantamweight champion with an undefeated fighter. Despite his gaudy 11-0 record, Robichaux is mostly a straight grappler. If he can get the fight to the ground, he has has a chance. However, Makovsky’s well-rounded game will be the story of this fight. He should be able to stay on his feet and run game on Robichaux. I will not lie. Part of me is rooting for Robichaux, because I want to see how the promotion will handle a champion losing in a non-title fight.
Pick = Zach Makovsky
Film Study: Chad Robichaux vs. Urabe Kenji (2008 Mundials)

Bellator Featherweight Tournament Semifinal
Patricio Freire vs. Wilson Reis
I do wonder why Bellator has matched these two up in back-to-back tournaments. In last year’s tournament, Freire defeated Reis and it was not really that close. Reis is a quality grappler, but he is not going to be able to lace a submission on “Pitbull.” On the feet, this fight is a simple mismatch. Look for Freire to move on to the finals of a second-straight bracket.
Pick = Patricio Freire
Film Study: Patricio Freire vs. Georgi Karakhanyan

Bellator Featherweight Tournament Semifinal
Kenny Foster vs. Daniel Straus
In the first round of the tournament, Foster was able to take advantage of Eric Larkin’s inexperience, blitz him and catch him in a guillotine choke. Straus has improved significantly over the course of his short career, and this must be, at least partially, due to the fact that he has fought 18 times in two years. Look for Straus to have the advantage on the feet and take over in the later rounds.
Pick = Daniel Straus
Film Study: Daniel Straus vs. Mike Baskis
Reading List: Josh Cross’ interview with Daniel Straus

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