Two of Bellator's biggest stars and most recognizable fighters will be in action at Bellator 110 on Friday at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal have both had very decorated and distinguished MMA careers. The two men may be on a collision course in what would be one of the most hyped bouts in the promotion's history.
Before that can happen, Rampage and King Mo have to take care of business against lesser-known competition on Friday. Here's a look at the card, predictions and viewing information. Just after the table is a breakdown of the primary storylines to watch from the event.
|Bellator 110 from Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. on Spike.com and Spike TV|
|Preliminary Bouts on Spike.com||7 p.m. EST|
|Pat Schultz vs. Dave Roberts||Light Heavyweight||Schultz by KO|
|Jake Smith vs. Rico DiSciullo||Bantamweight||DiSciullo by Decision|
|Chris Birchler vs. Josh Diekman||Heavyweight||Diekman by KO|
|Ryan Quinn vs. Andrew Calandrelli||Lightweight||Quinn by Decision|
|Andrew Fisher vs. Saul Almeida||Featherweight||Fisher by Decision|
|Egidijus Valavicius vs. Atanas Djambazov||Light Heavyweight||Djambazov by Submission|
|Goiti Yamauchi vs. Will Martinez||Featherweight||Yamauchi by Submission|
|Main Card Bouts on Spike TV||9 p.m. EST|
|Daniel Weichel vs. Scott Cleve||Featherweight||Weichel by Decision|
|Mike Richman vs. Desmond Green||Featherweight||Richman by KO|
|Diego Nunes vs. Matt Bessette||Featherweight||Nunes by Decision|
|Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal vs, Mikhail Zayats||Light Heavyweight||Lawal by KO|
|Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Christian M'Pumbu||Light Heavyweight||Jackson by KO|
|Card per Bellator.com, picks by Brian Mazique|
Rampage dispatched Joey Beltran in his first Bellator bout. Beltran was the perfect opponent for Jackson because he wouldn't take him to the ground. Jackson is best when he's standing and trading, and if M'Pumbu goes that route with him, he'll likely meet a similar fate as Beltran.
The 36-year-old former Bellator light heavyweight champion does have some grappling skills, but chances are he won't get an opportunity to display them.
Rampage vs. King Mo needs to happen somewhere down the line, and M'Pumbu isn't good enough to throw things off course.
Riley Kontek of The MMA Corner agrees. He writes:
This fight is just a warmup for Rampage, who Bellator expects to be its champion once this tournament is over. He is bigger, more powerful, more experienced and more skilled than M’Pumbu. Rampage will keep this fight upright, walk M’Pumbu down, nail him with his fists and likely end this fight somewhat early.
Respect for the King
Many don't realize just how much King Mo has accomplished in his MMA career. Because he's never competed in the UFC, he's never garnered the type of major attention that some of his contemporaries have.
He is one of five men to have held the Strikeforce light heavyweight title and he owns wins over Gegard Mousasi, Roger Gracie and Mark Kerr in his career.
On Friday, he'll take on Mikhail Zayats, a Russian submissions specialist. He is a gold medalist in combat sambo from the 2008 Sambo World Championships.
Grappling might be Zayats' best plan of attack, but it won't be easy. Lawal has never been submitted in his career. Once he's able to ensure the fight is decided in the stand up, his power, speed and relentlessness will lead to a stoppage win for him.
Recently, King Mo talked about the prospects of fighting Rampage after the bout with Zayats with Alex Schlinsky of Fan Sided. King Mo said:
"If we fight, there is going to be beef again. Anytime there is money involved there is beef. I ain’t going to be cool with somebody who is trying to take my money. Why should I be cool with him?"
Richman Will Make it Exciting
Can Mike Richman continue his stunning and destructive ways on Friday? The featherweight is equally as dangerous as a striker and submissions fighter. He has seven KOs and seven submissions in his career. He often gets his opponents out of the fight quickly.
Of his 14 finishes, 13 of them came in the very first round. Based on that, his opponent Desmond Green could be in for a short night.
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