Bellator 74: Main Card Predictions

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

Bellator 74: Main Card Predictions

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    Bellator kicks off its seventh season this weekend, as Bellator 74 rolls your way. The card will feature the quarterfinals of the welterweight tournament. 

    In the tournament will be Russians Michail Tsarev and Andrey Koreshkov; Canadian Nordine Taleb; Brit Jim Wallhead; Lithuanian Marius Zaromskis; and Americans Jordan Smith, Tim Welch and Lyman Good.

    Here are the main card predictions of Bellator 74.

Nordine Taleb vs. Marius Zaromskis

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    The opening fight of the welterweight tournament will be between Canadian Nordine Taleb and Lithuanian Marius Zaromskis.

    Zaromskis is a Dream and Strikeforce veteran who is known for his dynamic striking. He is the owner of 13 career knockouts, including a somersault kick of Bruno Carvalho in November of last year.

    Taleb is also a good striker, owning five knockouts in eight wins. His most notable stoppage from strikes came against UFC veteran Pete Sell last year.

    This will be a striking affair, but the experience and better all-around skill that Zaromskis has will carry him to victory.

    Prediction: Zaromskis def. Taleb via decision

Jordan Smith vs. Andrey Koreshkov

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    Next up, Ultimate Fighter veteran Jordan Smith will meet Russian prospect Andrey Koreshkov in the tournament.

    Koreshkov is 10-0 in his career thus far, with seven knockouts and three submissions. He has knocked out Tiawan Howard and Derrick Krantz in Bellator already, as well as TUF veteran Kyacey Uscola before signing with the company.

    At 17-3-1, Smith is the much more experienced fighter here. He owns 14 stoppage victories (six knockouts, eight submissions), including over big-fight veterans Bristol Marunde, Nick Rossborough and Gustavo Machado.

    Koreshkov's stand up is lethal and will carry him to victory.

    Prediction: Koreshkov def. Smith via knockout

Michail Tsarev vs. Tim Welch

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    In the third of four welterweight quarterfinals, Russian prospect Michail Tsarev will meet American-born Tim Welch.

    Tsarev is 23-2 in his career, with 18 wins coming by submission. His most recent win came over Kyacey Uscola via triangle choke, which shows his submission ability.

    Welch is well-rounded and owns a 9-3 record, with four wins by knockout and five by submission. He has one-punch knockout power and can end the fight ay anytime.

    I think Tsarev's ground game will be too much, though, and he will tap him out.

    Prediction: Tsarev def. Welch

Jim Wallhead vs. Lyman Good

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    The main event of the evening and the final quarterfinal bout will be between former champion Lyman Good and Britain's own Jim Wallhead.

    Wallhead is one of the top 170-pounders outside of the UFC at 23-6. He has great judo and solid striking, and he owns notable wins over Frank Trigg (split decision), Joey Villasenor (knockout) and Che Mills (unanimous decision).

    Good, meanwhile, has been with Bellator from the beginning and has a 12-2 professional record. This includes a 13-second wrecking of LaVon Maynard and a unanimous decision over Chris Lozano.

    This should be a good fight, but I see Wallhead winning a decision over Good.

    Prediction: Wallhead def. Good via decision