By TXMMA Staff | Cover Photo: Mike Calimbas (MMA Photographer)
Bellator 106 to feature Chandler vs. Alvarez and King Mo vs. Emmanuel Newton Rematches; Mike Bronzoulis vs. Joe Riggs in Fightmaster Finals
LONG BEACH, CA, November 1, 2013 – The Bellator Fighting Championships will be hosting perhaps their most anticipated card ever this Saturday night, November 2nd with Bellator 106 taking place at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA.
The show was originally supposed to feature UFC alums Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson taking on each other in what would have amounted to a legends superfight that would have anchored that planned PPV event but an injury to Ortiz forced a change of plans and the Bellator 106 event will now be airing on the SPIKE network, LIVE in front of a national audience.
The new event features a long awaited rematch in the lightweight division with Michael Chandler taking on Eddie Alvarez for the second time with the lightweight title on the line. These two had themselves an epic fight the first time back in November 2011. That bout won Bellator ‘Fight of the Year’ and was no doubt one of the best in all of MMA all-time. Two years, a few opponents, injuries and contract disputes later and they’ll be going at it again to decide who stands atop the 155 lbs. division.
Also featured on the card in an interim light heavyweight title bout is another rematch with “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal taking on Emanuel Newton for the second time. Newton shocked the world with his spinning backfist KO of King Mo in the Season 8 tournament finale back at Bellator 90. Lawal has been working his back since then and now gets his chance at retribution in this one.
The card will also feature Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus for the featherweight title in the third title bout of the evening while Texas’ own Mike “The Greek” Bronzoulis will look to capture the accolade of Bellator’s first-ever Fightmaster against UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs.
A bantamweight bout pitting Mike Richman against Akop Stepanyan completes the main card on SPIKE TV.
All the action gets underway with the untelevised prelims starting online on SpikeTV.com starting at 7pm EST/4PM Pacific while the main card gets underway on live television just afew hours later at 9PM EST/6PM local.
Bellator 106 – Fight-by-Fight Preview and Predictions
155 lbs.: Michael Chandler (12-0) vs. Eddie Alvarez (24-3) <TITLE>
Michael Chandler is currently on top of the world and is widely considered one of the best in the world in his division and has been so since his first defeat of Eddie Alvarez. The guy has adapted his NCAA wrestling experience to MMA quite nicely and has evolved to be a dangerous knockout striker as well, as he showed with his first round KO of David Rickels back in July
Alvarez is no slouch himself and has great boxing of his own to go along with his ground skills but Chandler is definitely the bigger puncher of the two. It’s also been a year plus since the Philadelphia native (Eddie) last stepped into the cage with that big contractual mess in between so it’s hard to say if he’ll come back a better fighter or one rife with ring rust in his first fight back.
Prediction: Michael Chandler over Eddie Alvarez by submission, RD3
205 lbs.: Emanuel Newton (21-7-1) vs. Muhammed Lawal (11-2) <INTERIM TITLE>
As we started up top this is King Mo’s chance to exact some revenge and he’ll no doubt be focused with his eye on that prize coming into this one.
Truth be told, Emanuel Newton is a little underrated. That’s what he showed in that last one in making his opponent pay for fighting with his hands down. No doubt he’s gained respect from fans and pundits after that one but most of all he probably gained Lawal’s respect and he won’t be playing this around. Mo has significantly better wrestling and can beat him on the mat handedly if that’s what he wants to do. This win is important so we expect him to do whatever it takes to attain it.
Prediction: Mo Lawal over Emanuel Newton by unanimous decision
145 lbs: Pat Curran (19-4) vs. Daniel Straus (21-4) <TITLE>
Pat Curran has been nothing but dominant since winning the 145 lbs. title over Joe Warren back at Bellator 60 and is currently riding a six-fight win streak. He also holds a KO win over Daniel Straus back on the regional circuit in 2009.
While both guys have looked good in this division with Straus also racking up some significant wins, Curran has been the busier fighter of the two and has proved his mettle with wins over Malon Sandro and Patricio Freire to go along with his aforementioned wins. Straus could surprise in what should be an entertaining fight but Pat is definitely the favorite in this one.
Prediction: Pat Curran over Daniel Straus by TKO, RD3
170 lbs.: Joe Riggs (39-14) vs. Mike Bronzoulis (15-5-1) <FIGHTMASTER FINALE>
Mike Bronzoulis was never supposed to make it this far and was looked at as an afterthought after making it onto the inaugural season of Bellator’s Fightmaster reality show. The one thing he did though was keep proving everybody wrong all season long, making it to the finals under the tutelage of Randy “The Natural” Couture.
He’ll be the underdog once again when he takes on gritty UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs, certainly one the fighters in MMA who’s been around the block twice and back. Riggs will be the favorite in this one given his history in the sport and the five-fight win streak he’s currently on in this latest resurgence but Mike may surprise a few people.
A veteran of the Texas fight scene, Mike has been known to be pretty gritty himself and looked as impressive as ever on the show with wins over Chris Lozano, Jason Norwood, and Eric Bradley. Riggs loves to take his fights to the ground and push the pace there but Bronzoulis is one of those guys that’s hard to take and keep down. This is going to be one of those grind-it-out type of fights where the first fighter to break loses. We like that type of fight for “The Greek.”
Watch Bronzoulis prove everybody wrong and win the $100,000 grand prize with a late finish of Riggs this Saturday night.
Don’t say we didn’t tell you so.
Prediction: Mike Bronzoulis over Joe Riggs by KO, RD3
135 lbs.: Mike Richman (15-3) vs. Akop Stepanyan (13-6)
Russian striker Akop Stepanyan goes up against USMC vet Mike Richman in the first fight of the main card. This should be an exciting fight especially considering both guys are coming off losses. They’ve got a lot at stake in this one and should be fighting for their respective MMA futures.
Stepanyan is probably the stronger fighter on their feet but Richman should have the edge of this one goes to the ground. Could go either way but we’ll go with the American for the win.
Prediction: Mike Richman over Akop Stepanyan by TKO, RD2
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