For the first time in what seems like months, all of the fighters made weight for tonight’s Bellator 63 card, which airs live on MTV 2. The event kicks off the welterweight tournament. The winner will get a shot at the title, which will be defended by Ben Askren against Douglas Lima later this season.
Karl Amoussou vs. Chris Lozano
Amoussou’s fight against Sam Alvey pretty much wrote the book on him as a fighter. He was clearly the superior fighter and should have been able to hold top position for three rounds. Instead, he was unable to stick to his game plan and lost to a lesser fighter. Lozano is a game fighter who will wade into deep water in order to land some of his power shots. Amoussou might have some success grappling early, but Lozano will finish this fight with a knockout.
Raul Amaya vs. Ben Saunders
Saunders fights are usually pretty easy to break down. If he is not fighting a guy who is a better wrestler or striker, he should look great and pick up the win. Amaya is more of a slick grappler than a power wrestler. Saunder should be able to use his height in the clinch and win the ground battles. Even though Saunders has one of the worst nicknames in MMA, he will be moving on to the next round.
Jordan Smith vs. David Rickels
The weight cut has to be a big concern for Smith. He took this fight on relatively short notice and has fought up as high as light heavyweight. Rickels has a nasty guard game and could easily catch Smith. Even though Smith normally only struggles when faced with guys who can out-wrestle him, this will be a tough one for him. Look for Rickels to be the fresher fighter in the last round and possibly pull out a come from behind win.
Bryan Baker vs. Carlos Alexandre Pereira
Baker was a big middleweight, so he should have a clear size advantage at welterweight. However, his weaknesses as a fighter are still present. He is a slow plodding brawler who often freezes in key moments and gives his opponent a chance to finish the fight. Pereira has bested solid opposition on the Brazilian circuit, but he has never looked the strongest against guys who can wrestle with him. Baker should be able to use his size to own the clinch and do a lot of damage against the cage.