Normally for UFC events, StrikeScoreMMA.com puts together a Fight Forecast. The preview shows the fighter's StrikeScore, betting odds, fantasy stats and so on. However, there are not fantasy numbers, striking stats are not available and betting odds come out extremely late if at all. So, using Fight Matrix numbers, we have come up with the following Fight Forecast for Bellator 152. The table below shows the fighter's current ranking, Rankings Momentum, peak ranking and the date of the quarter in which the fighter had their peak ranking.
In this case, the period use for Rankings Momentum was 7/1/2014 to 4/1/2016. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. Betting odds are from 5Dimes as of 11:15 AM EST.
Main Eventers with something to prove
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire has not won back-to-back fights since 2014, which coincides with his Fight Matrix rankings peak. A second loss to Derek Anderson really hurt his stock in the lightweight division, but he got back on track with a win over Ryan Couture.
Across the cage, Kevin Souza will make his Bellator debut on late notice. Souza became a free agent after the UFC did not renew his original four-fight contract with the promotion. During his time in the UFC, he went 3-1 and won the striking battle in all four contests.
Legionarius fights on home soil for the first time since 2005
Alessio Sakara left the UFC after four-straight losses. He is the furthest from his peak ranking on the card and the only one with negative Rankings Momentum. Sakara finally got back on track at Final Fight Championships 19 with a first-round stoppage over Dib Akil.
Coker’s search for next women’s star
During his career as a promoter, Scott Coker deserves partial credit for finding three of the biggest female MMA stars ever: Gina Carano, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey. Now with Bellator, he has begun the search again. Anastasia Yankova will make her Bellator debut with a 2-0 record after mostly competing in muay Thai and kickboxing. Her opponent Anjela Pink will be making her professional debut. Tapology has her amateur record at 1-1 while MixedMartialArts.com has it at 1-4. This will be about as close to a “gimmie fight” as there is in MMA for Yankova.
Coming from a striking background, she will still need to improve her ground skill. As you can see in her MMA debut, she needs the work. Luckily Coker has proven time and time again that he is a promoter willing to assist a fighter’s development or rehabilitation.
Growth of Italian MMA
Daniele Miceli and Daniele Scatizzi kick off the main card of the first Bellator event in Italy. In a few weeks, they will both be back for Venator 3, which features Rousimar Palhares, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Luke Barnatt, Sokoudjou, Matt Hamill, Karl Amoussou, Che Mills and Cody McKenzie.