Josh "The Punk" Thomson has gone from being a little fish in a huge pond to becoming something of the big tuna. The former UFC veteran has instantly proved himself to be one of best lightweights—if not the best—in the Bellator ranks.
After three straight losses to end his run in the UFC, Thomson made a smashing Bellator debut in September. He defeated the rugged Mike Bronzoulis via submission.
On Friday in the main event of Bellator 147 at San Jose State University, Thomson will attempt to move one step closer to a shot at the 155-pound title when he takes on the talented Pablo Villaseca.
The card will also feature an intriguing featherweight scrap between Daniel Weichel and Georgi Karakhanyan. Here's a look at the main card on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET. The undercard is listed at Bellator.com and can be viewed on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET.
|Bellator 147 Card and Predictions|
|Adam Piccolotti vs. Mario Soto||Lightweight||Piccolotti by TKO|
|Virgil Zwicker vs. Brian Rogers||Light Heavyweight||Zwicker by TKO|
|Patricky Freire vs. Derek Anderson||Lightweight||Anderson by decision|
|Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Daniel Weichel||Featherweight||Weichel by submission|
|Josh Thomson vs. Pablo Villaseca||Lightweight||Thomson by submission|
|Card per Bellator.com, picks by Mazique|
Anderson' Length Will Tame the Pitbull
Derek Anderson will enjoy a five-inch height advantage over Patricky "Pitbull" Freire on Friday. The feisty Brazilian is accustomed to overcoming size advantages, but this one is huge—not to mention Anderson is skilled.
Expect Anderson to utilize his above-average takedown defense and to keep his jabs and leg kicks coming on a regular basis. He'll pick Pitbull apart with his striking and ride it to a unanimous-decision victory.
Weichel Will Stop the Aggressive Karakhanyan
Aggression is usually one of Karakhanyan's best attributes. Against Weichel, it will be his undoing.
Weichel is an excellent counter striker. He'll enjoy a two-inch height advantage in this bout.
He also excels at executing chokes. Five of his last seven wins have come by submission. Each of the submission wins has been via choke.
Karakhanyan is an accomplished grappler in his own right, but Weichel is a little craftier. Whether this fight goes to the ground or stays standing, it would appear Weichel has the advantage. He appeared on MMA Odds Breakers and exuded confidence, as expected:
Despite the fact that Karakhanyan has never lost a professional bout via tapout, a submission win is the call in this one. Weichel is the type of opponent whose game is well-rounded enough to lure Karakhanyan into a trap.
Thomson Is Too Experienced for Villaseca
Thomson's edge over Villaseca isn't just pure experience; it's also experience against top competition. The Punk has faced the best in the weight class throughout his career.
Aside from his lopsided loss to Tony Ferguson in July, Thomson has hung with or beaten most of the elite fighters he's faced. The same cannot be said for Villaseca.
Most of his 11 pro fights have taken place in smaller promotions. His lone loss came to Bobby Cooper in June at Bellator 139. To put it plainly, he has yet to show he can compete on an elite level.
Thomson is on a mission to wear gold. Villaseca simply doesn't have the tools to stop him. The Punk will secure another submission victory to earn a likely title shot.
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