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 153. 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 April 21 at 1:30 PM EST.
Benson Henderson Decline?
Naturally UFC president Dana White did not have very flattering things about Henderson on his way out the door. His exact words were, "He’s a former world champion who’s ranked No. 15 now. We’re looking for top-5 guys, guys that are going from 15 to 1, not the other way around."
As his -30 Rankings Momentum shows, Henderson has declined in terms of rankings. However, he does still appear to be a viable contender in two weight classes and a great signing for Bellator. Andrey Koreshkov will not be a walk in the park. If Henderson can pull out the victory, it will be a sign that he is back on the right path in his career. It is interesting to note, that Henderson's StrikeScore numbers have somewhat declined since his move up to welterweight. His scores against Brandon Thatch (153) and Jorge Masvidal (130) are well below his UFC average of 247.
Tough road for Henry Corrales
Patricio Freire's original opponent fell out o the fight well less than two weeks to go. Corrales took the fight on short notice. It will most likely be a struggle. Since signing with Bellator, Corrales has faced his two toughest opponents to date, Daniel Straus and Emmanuel Sanchez, and neither fight has been pretty. Corrales opened as a +260 underdog and the line keeps going up.
Brennan Ward continues to make the case
It seems like after every fight, Ward is convinced that he has done enough to earn a title shot. Unfortunately, he is not the one who decides these thing. He will likely face the winner of the main event for the belt next if he gets past "Cyborg." Santos earned his peak ranking in 2010 after defeating Dream champion Marius Zaromskis. Since that win, he has gone 2-3 with his only victories coming against Elton Rodrigues and Artenas Young. Ward is a justifiable favorite.
Clearly Bellator would like to build around Michael "Venom" Page. During his run in the promotion he has scored averaged a knockout every for six minutes of fight time. Jeremie Holloway is likely not on this level, but he will get his chance.
Chris Honeycutt has been forced to the preliminary card after falling to Paul Bradley in a battle of NCAA Division I All-Americans. He gets a chance at redemption here as he faces Matt Secor. Bellator originally signed Secor as an opponent for Honeycutt's coach Josh Koscheck.