Bellator 72: Main Card Predictions
Bellator returns with its second installment of the summer series, as Tampa's USF Sun Dome plays host to Bellator 72, featuring the summer series tournament and the season six welterweight tournament final.
In the main event, Bryan Baker meets Karl Amoussou for a chance to fight champion Ben Askren. Also on the card is Paul Daley, as well as the light heavyweight tournament semifinals.
Here is a look at the card and the full predictions.
Emanuel Newton vs. Attila Vegh
Leading of the main card is a light heavyweight tournament semifinal for the summer series, as Emanuel Newton meets European powerhouse Attila Vegh.
Newton (18-6-1) is a talented ground fighter, as he has earned seven wins by submissions. He is a powerful fighter with the ability to win this entire tournament.
Newton won his quarterfinal bout against Roy Boughton with a second round rear-naked choke. The outing showed Newton's talent and promise as a potential title contender.
Meanwhile, Vegh (26-4-2) is a very well-rounded fighter looking to continue making his name with Bellator. This shows in his 20 career finishes, nine by knockout and 11 by submission.
Vegh won quickly in the quarterfinals, choking out Zelg Galesic with a rear-naked choke in 60 seconds of the first round.
This will be a chess match of a match, but wrestling will help prevail.
Prediction: Newton def. Vegh via decision
Travis Wiuff vs. Tim Carpenter
The next bout of the night is the other light heavyweight semifinal, as Americans Tim Carpenter and Travis Wiuff square off.
Carpenter (9-1) made the most out of a last-minute opportunity, as he filled in the tournament at last minute. He was able to submit Beau Tribolet with an armbar at the end of the second round.
Four of Carpenter's wins have come by submission and another four by decision. He has proven a tough grappler against his opponents, which has earned him his nine career wins.
On the other hand, Wiuff (67-14, 1 NC) is a long-time veteran of the sport. He has finished 45 of his wins by knockout or submission, showing his well-roundedness in the process.
In the opening round, Wiuff knocked Chris Davis unconscious with brutal strikes in the first round. That followed up his win over the Bellator champion Christian M'Pumbu a couple fights before.
Prediction: Wiuff def. Carpenter via knockout
Marius Zaromskis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf
In their third career meeting, Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis meet after two controversial fights in their first two meetings. The first ended in a quick no contest due to an eye poke, followed by the second fight which ended in Zaromskis' favor, although it was by a questionable doctor stoppage.
Spiritwolf (9-10-1, 1 NC), a cult favorite for his fighting style, is a great striker who has won six times with his hands and feet. He is on a three-fight skid, so a win here is vital for the Native American.
His opponent, Zaromskis, is also a gifted striker with an exciting style. He is on a three-fight winning streak, including a somersault kick knockout of Bruno Carvalho.
Expect a slugfest here, with both men getting in some clean licks. Spiritwolf has a questionable gas tank, so Zaromskis may take advantage of that.
Prediction: Zaromskis def. Spiritwolf via decision
Paul Daley vs. Rudy Bears
The co-main event sees a welterweight star make his debut, as Paul Daley meets journeyman Rudy Bears.
Bears (14-10) is a Bellator and Strikeforce vet with experience against tough talent. He is a finisher who has put away 12 men with strikes and submissions.
His last win came in his latest bout in May, when he submitted Nick Nolte with strikes.
Meanwhile, Daley (29-12-2) was recently released from Strikeforce and is looking to start from scratch. The British striker has put away 20 adversaries with his powerful striking arsenal.
The former Strikeforce title contender lost his last outing against Kazuo Misaki in a close bout, but Daley is still as dangerous as they come. One left hook and it will be lights out for most men.
Prediction: Daley def. Bears via knockout
Bryan Baker vs. Karl Amoussou
The main event will decide the season six winner of the welterweight tournament, as Bryan Baker meets Karl Amoussou.
Baker (18-3) is a former middleweight with incredible power, especially at 170. Eight of his wins have come by knockout, proving how powerful he is.
In his quarterfinal bout, Baker won a split decision over Carlos Alexandre Perreira. He then went on to earn a clear-cut decision over Ben Saunders, which sent him into this finals fight.
Amoussou (15-4-2) is a well-rounded Frenchman, looking to earn a shot against Ben Askren. Twelve of his wins have been finishes, including 8 by submission.
In the quarterfinals, Amoussou choked out Chris Lozano with a rear-naked choke. He then went on to earn a close split decision against David Rickels.
Both men are good strikers with solid ground games. This one will be close.
Prediction: Baker def. Amoussou via decision