Tomorrow night, Bellator returns from its one-week holiday hiatus to bring us Bellator 82 from the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. It’s kind of disappointing that Bellator heads to Central Michigan about a year after I move out of the area. It would have been really nice to make the drive to see the event in person and get turned down when it comes to both requesting press credentials and asking Jade Bryce to go on a date with me.
Nevertheless, the card looks to have some exciting fights, including a main event, tournament finale between Lyman Good and Andrey Koreshkov. Good, of course, was the inaugural Bellator Welterweight Champion, and is looking to get another crack at the man who took the title from him, current champ Ben Askren. Koreshkov, on the other hand, looks to add to his undefeated 12-0 record and join trainer Alexander Shlemenko as a number one contender for a Bellator title.
Koreshkov is quickly garnering a reputation as a knockout artist after a brutal destruction of formerly-feared kickboxer Marius Zaromskis in the semi-finals. Questions remain, however, about how effective he would be if someone is able to consistently put him on his back. That appears to be what Good is going to try to do tomorrow night, as he has made no secret about the possibility for him to test Koreshkov’s ground game:
“He’s a good striker,” Good said. “He’s more of a standup guy. As far as his ground game, that’s where the question comes into play.”
I hope that Good does focus on utilizing a wrestling-based approach. If Koreshkov is able to successfully avoid the takedowns and make it a stand-up battle (where Good is no slouch, either), then the fight has the potential to be an absolute barn-burner. If, on the other hand, Good is able to continuously put Koreshkov on his back with little resistance, it will be for the best that Good is the one advancing to the title shot, because the result would seem to prove that Koreshkov would have had little success against the smothering top game of champ Askren, anyway.
That is the only tournament bout on tap for the card, but there are some other notables fighting as well. For instance, former WEC champion Doug Marshall is taking on Kala Hose. Marshall was in many wars in the blue cage and Hose once fought Mayhem Miller! In addition, Jason Fischer plays the role of “home town fighter” in his bout with David Rickels. Fischer attended Central Michigan University, and will likely have the fans behind him in Mount Pleasant (which is also the home of CMU). Or as they say there, he will be looking to fire up the Chips.
Finally, Alexander Sarnavskiy returns to Bellator for the second time in two months to take on journeyman Tony Hervey in a lightweight bout. Sarnavskiy was 20-0 before being defeated by the journeyman of journeymen, Rich Clementi. Taking a fight this quickly after his first loss is a risky proposition because, although he has a chance at getting revenge on journeymen and otherwise getting back on track, a second straight loss will all but stop any hype he still had to build him up after the loss to Clementi.
All in all, the MTV2 card looks pretty solid. I’m looking forward to it!