Worldwide MMA Preview – Bellator, One FC, Titan FC

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We have MMA action from Bellator and Titan FC in America this week as well as ONE Championship’s first foray into Myanmar (Burma)

Bellator will be presenting fight fans with an all welterweight main card on Friday night in Connecticut. The main event will be a title fight between Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov. Both men fell short in attempts to win this title from Ben Askren but with Askren now out of the picture in Bellator their welterweight division is wide open. Lima is a two time Bellator tournament winner and captured the vacant title in last fight against Rick Hawn.

Lima’s 26-5 record is split with 12 wins by knockout and 11 by submission which proves he is dangerous in both phases of a fight but he has looked like more of a knockout artist in recent fights with his last seven victories coming by way of TKO/KO. The 17-1 Koreshkov also favours a stand up engagement and gained this title shot with a victory over Adam McDonough in Bellator’s last welterweight tournament. This is one of the best welterweight fights that can be made outside of the UFC right now and it should be an entertaining battle.

In the co-main event Paul “Semtex” Daley fights journeyman Dennis Olsen. Daley will be familiar to most MMA fights in some way. Whether it is his release from the UFC for hitting Josh Koscheck after the bell or the numerous exciting fights and finishes throughout his career. It seems like Daley has been around forever and he has compiled a 36-13-2 record in his long career. A victory here will set him up to challenge the winner of the main event. No disrespect to Olsen but this seems like an epic mismatch and a case of Bellator looking to add another KO to Daley’s already impressive highlight reel before he gets a title fight.

Bellator 140 also features some exciting prospects which Bellator is keen to show off. First, Michael “Venom” Page will look to expand on his 7-0 record against Rudy Bears. Page is an exciting and unorthodox striker who has amassed considerable hype in his short time in the sport. He was taken to a decision for the first time in his career in his last outing but he should deliver an explosive finish this time out.

Another unbeaten prospect Chris Honeycutt will make his third appearance for Bellator against Paul Bradley. Bradley is a former UFC fighter and he has a respectable 22-6 record so it should be a good test for the young Honeycutt. The matchmaking on this card is quite suspect, I imagine fans would rather see tougher match-ups for Michael Page and particularly Paul Daley but Bellator are in the business of building stars and sometimes they need showcase match-ups to propel their popularity.

Asia’s ONE Championship will present a card from Myanmar. This show is typical of ONE’s ventures into new markets in south east Asia and it is much weaker than the cards promoted from their main markets of Singapore and Philippines. This card is populated with debuting local fighters but Myanmar is home to a style of fighting similar to Muay Thai called Lethwei so it will be intriguing to see these athletes try their hand at MMA.

The main event features a particularly intriguing fight; ONE’s bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will defend his belt against Finnish fighter Toni Tauru. Fernandes is one of the finest bantamweight fighters outside of the UFC and the submission specialist has been dominant in the promotion. In Tauru he has a legitimate contender to his throne. Tauru won the vacant Cage Warriors bantamweight title in his last fight and he also possesses a capable submission game so I expect this to be an exciting ground battle.

On Saturday night, Titan FC will make their UFC Fight Pass debut with an incredibly stacked card that features four title fights. The main event lightweight bout between Pat Healy and Mike Ricci had to be cancelled when Ricci suffered a hand injury but luckily Marcus Edwards stepped up to replace him. Healy is a Strikeforce and UFC veteran and was released from the UFC following a run of decision defeats. He has won two straight since his release from the promotion and he could find himself back in the promotion with a few more impressive performances.

Kurt Holobaugh and Andre Harrison will contest the featherweight title. Holobaugh is the current champion having defeated Des Green in his last fight and has been on a good un since being released from the UFC following a decision loss to Steven Siler. Harrison has built up a 9-0 record against good regional opposition in Ring of Combat and Titan and a victory here could really put him on the map.

Welshman Brett Johns will defend his bantamweight title for the first time against Anthony Gutierrez. Johns had a successful run in Cage Warriors and captured the Titan crown in his first fight in America. He is one of the most promising young British fighters right now which his 11-0 record reflects. Gutierrez is an exciting young fighter himself who has a 6-1 record. A failed weight cut ended his stint on TUF 18 but two years on he is ready to make another attempt at reaching the UFC.

In the first title fight of the night flyweights Tim Elliott and Iliarde Santos will fight for the vacant Titan flyweight title. Elliott is fresh off a disappointing run in the UFC with three consecutive defeats spelling the end of his time with the promotion. Santos also had a disappointing tenure with the UFC but he has won two straight since leaving.

Away from the title fights, MMA legend Jose Landi-Jons will compete in America for the first time in over a decade against Tyler Stinson. “Pele” has an MMA record dating back to the mid-nineties which now sits at 29-15. He has competed for Pride and Cage Rage amongst others in his illustrious career and this may be one of the last times we see the 41 year old.