By Benjamin Beiker
The Bellator welterweight tournament has a healthy dose of MMA veterans mixed in with newcomers and rising stars. This due likely to the fact that Bellator is trying to pull bigger viewer ratings more than ever since they are on their new channel Spike TV. Unfortunately, for the fight company they lost two of their biggest names when War Machine was sidelined due to an injury, and Paul Daley had his visa pulled after an alleged bar fight. Now, two new people enter the tournament looking for a second chance or their first win.
Marius Zaromskis vs. Brent Weedman
Zaromskis will be looking to go improve upon his last entry into the Bellator welterweight tournament when he was literally knock out of his semifinal bout by eventual winner Andrey Koreshkov. He will take on Weedman who enters his fourth tournament for Bellator where he has had mixed results. Weedman has been knocked out in every round of a tournament so far, but he has not won it entirely. He came close last time, but losing a decision to Rick Hawn. This fight has potential to end on the feet as both fighters have a penchant for knocking their opponents out.
Douglas Lima vs. Michail Tsarev
Douglas Lima is the one man in this tournament to have won it all, but a one sided loss to champion Ben Askren has fans needing to see much improvement before he challenges for the title again. He will face Tsarev who had his 11 fight win streak broken at the hands of former welterweight champion Lyman Good. If this fight stays on the feet it will most likely be Lima’s fight, but is Tsarev can take it to the ground he may be able to use his vaunted grappling to get a win.
Jose Gomes vs. Raul Amaya
What these fighters lack in name value they make up for in experience and potential. Gomes is 32-8 in his career with wins in multiple weight classes. The biggest names he has fought are UFC rising star Erick Silva and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza which shows he can compete with the best, but can he beat them is the real question. Amaya has never won a fight unless he finished the bout, but a loss to Ben Saunders has some questioning his ability to reach the top. We will see if the loss spurred the 26 year-old when he takes on another MMA veteran in Gomes.
Koffi Adzitso vs. Ben Saunders
Saunders returns after a 22-second knockout of Brian Warren showed why everyone should fear his muay thai clinch. Losses to Bryan Baker and Douglas Lima pepper his Bellator career, but he will look to make another run at a tournament final soon. Standing in his way, is Adzitso who is getting his first shot in the big show. He has beat two UFC veterans in his career, but always seems to come up short when it matters. If Adzitso squanders this shot he may never get another so maybe he will try to show how impressive he can be in this bout.
What are your thoughts?