Bellator 219: “Awad vs. Girtz” airs tomorrow night time (Fri., March 29, 2019) from Pechanga On line casino & Resort in Temecula, California. In a yr already laden with Bellator MMA playing cards, this one hopes to face out by letting two Lightweights recognized for his or her knockout energy come to blows in a important occasion the place something lower than a warfare would disappoint.
Let’s break it down:
155 lbs.: Saad Awad vs. Brandon Girtz
Saad Awad (23-10) was handed his first misplaced in 4 fights by Benson Henderson at Bellator 208. There’s no disgrace in dropping to a former World Excessive Cagefighting (WEC) and Final Preventing Championship (UFC) world champion, so hats off to Awad for taking “Bendo” the gap. Earlier to that half of his win streak had come through type of knockout, which is barely above his total win proportion (10 of 23, 43 p.c) by identical. He’s well-known for his bionic left hand, which hits individuals so exhausting that he repeatedly breaks the bones in it. Even once they put a metal plate in it to bolster the bones he bent that, too.
Brandon Girtz (15-Eight) could not have the knockout proportion of Awad (Three of 15, 20 p.c), however he’s no much less afraid to get right into a cellphone sales space and let knuckles fly. Although he misplaced a bloody trilogy struggle with Derek Campos, the efficiency solidified him as a fan favourite and earned him many extra future dates with Bellator MMA. When Lorenz Larkin withdrew from this card’s unique important occasion with an damage, Girtz is precisely the sort of man Scott Coker would name on quick discover to save lots of the primary occasion.
Being a fan favourite and a promoter’s dream doesn’t essentially equate to amassing a win bonus, although. Girtz has dropped 4 of his final 5 bouts and is in severe hazard of creating that 5 of six. He stands 5’7” with a 67-inch attain, whereas Awad dwarfs him at 5’11” with a 73.5-inch attain. Awad has competed at a Catchweight of 165 and gained, whereas Girtz has accomplished so at 174 and misplaced, so the daunting numbers simply maintain piling up towards him. He’s a simple man to love, however that’s simply not sufficient motive to provide him the nod.
Remaining prediction: Saad Awad wins through third spherical knockout
155 lbs.: Daniel Straus vs. Shane Kruchten
Can former Featherweight champion Daniel Straus (25-Eight) snap a two-fight dropping streak by transferring as much as Light-weight? Will Shane Kruchten (12-Four) be capable to rebound after a loss a couple of yr in the past to a devastating physique blow? These are the questions and listed below are your solutions. First, it’s exhausting to look at Straus struggle now and never assume one thing is lacking — one thing he had overwhelmed out of him by “Pitbull” of their fourth struggle. He has struggled to regain the poise and flash the talent followers who thought-about him the “uncrowned champion” noticed in his first two fights with Freire. Perhaps that lengthy wrestle zapped his motivation as soon as he misplaced his hard-won title.
It’s a lot tougher to get a learn on Kruchten, although, as a man who at the moment averages one struggle each two years. “The Warfare Rhino” is properly rounded with three knockouts, six submissions and three selections in his 12 wins, however he’s additionally extremely inconsistent in dropping 50 p.c of his final 4 fights. He began his profession winless (Zero-2) earlier than occurring an 11-fight win streak, which makes Kruchten much more of a puzzle and never much less. Why did he ascend up the ladder solely to lose his World Collection Of Preventing (WSOF) debut? Choosing a winner of this struggle is like choosing the lesser of two evils. Although Straus has had a protracted highway again from a debilitating accident that just about ended his fight sports activities profession, Kruchten at all times appears to take the “L” when he’s beneath the brightest highlight, and the co-main occasion is fairly brilliant.
Remaining prediction: Daniel Straus wins a unanimous choice
170 lbs.: Andrey Koreshkov vs. Michael Jasper
The withdrawal of Lorenz Larkin from this card left “Spartan” Andrey Koreshkov (21-Three) with out an opponent till Michael Jasper (13-Four) stepped as much as make his promotional debut. The Elite MMA-trained fighter from Camarillo, Calif., is on a little bit of a roll with three straight wins, together with two technical knockout finishes — remarkably each with three seconds left to go within the spherical. That reality alone tells me that Jasper is a harmful fighter, significantly when he has his opponent harm, and that he’s not afraid to barrel full steam forward and empty his reserves going for a end. 9 of 13 wins (69 p.c) come by knockout so his monitor report appears to again that up.
With regards to knockouts, although, they don’t get rather more harmful on this weight class than Koreshkov save for his private Kryptonite of “Phenom” Douglas Lima. Though his win proportion by knockout is barely decrease (12 of 21, 57 p.c) he’s accomplished it towards increased ranges of competitors. Living proof — ask Chidi Njokuani the way it felt when Koreshkov was doing the “banging” as a substitute of vice-versa. As a pupil of “Storm” Alexander Shlemenko his hanging is fluid, dynamic and versatile. He assaults from all angles and surprises opponents with surprising kicks and elbows. It’s possible you’ll assume you’re protected 10 ft away till he prices with a flying knee and also you’re left wanting up on the lights.
Talking of Lima, this struggle is an opportunity for Koreshkov to avenge his newest loss and get again into title rivalry. Though Koreshkov holds a small peak benefit of 1 inch, he really provides up the attain on this struggle at 74 inches as Jasper is available in at 76.5 inches. Because the previous saying goes, although, “it’s not the size, however how you utilize it.” Okay, that’s not likely the previous saying, however let’s not be as crude as Colby Covington right here. The purpose is that Koreshkov can eat up the gap by reducing angles, stress Jasper backward, then catch him at an opportunistic second. He’s additionally obtained youth on his aspect at 28, whereas Jasper is a late bloomer within the sport at 35. Jasper is as they are saying “a reside underdog” in that he has the device set and pedigree to attain an upset, however after a full coaching camp getting ready for a extra harmful fighter in Larkin I’m not apprehensive about Koreshkov’s probabilities right here.
Remaining prediction: Andrey Koreshkov wins through first spherical technical knockout
185 lbs.: Joe Schilling vs. Keith Berry
“Sew ‘Em Up” Joe Schilling (Three-5) is the prototypical “reside by the sword, die by the sword” kickboxer-turned combined martial artist, and his middling report displays it. Fortunately for him he’s going through equally struggling competitors in Keith Berry (15-14-1, 1 NC) — a person who has not recorded a single win since June 2013 in six straight bouts. It’s as much as Schilling to benefit from that scenario and show the sort of hanging accuracy and ferocity he did on the Bellator 210’s “Prelims” undercard. The very fact he’s being moved as much as the printed portion towards such a beatable opponent largely telegraphs what you possibly can count on from this struggle.
Remaining prediction: Joe Schilling wins through knockout
That’s a wrap!
MMAmania.com will ship protection of Bellator 219 tomorrow with a important card on Paramount Community at 9 p.m. ET and DAZN fights beginning at 7 p.m. ET. To take a look at the most recent Bellator MMA-related information and notes be sure you hit up our complete information archive proper right here.
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