In the main event of Bellator 157: Dynamite 2, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Satoshi Ishii. The former UFC light heavyweight champion’s career seems to be winding down and Bellator has granted his persistent request to not be matched against wrestlers. With that being said, if Ishii is to have any chance in this fight, he will need to employ a wrestling based strategy.
When he is at his best, Ishii control opponents with a heavy top game and works for submissions. However, his striking has not really progressed and he susceptible to knockouts. All of his losses since his MMA debut have come via knockout. “Rampage” might be on the decline as a fighter, but he still sets up his power punches very well and lands hard.
Ishii was once considered a potential savior for the Japanese MMA scene. It has not really worked out that way. He has never been ranked higher than #25 on Fight Matrix and has struggled against higher level competition. This would be his biggest win to date.
Michael Chandler goes back to the beginning
In 2011, Chandler defeated Patricky Freire to win Bellator’s season-four lightweight tournament. In the process he earned a title shot and went on to upset Eddie Alvarez for the belt. With Will Brooks gone from the promotion, Chandler will need a victory over Freire to get another shot at the belt.
Matt Mitrione, welcome to Bellator
“Meathead” will fight outside the UFC for the first time in his career. After beginning his run with a 9-3 record, Mitrione is coming off back-to-back losses. He is a big favorite here for good reason. Carl Seumanutafa has only fought twice since 2014 and his biggest win is over Bellator undercard brawler Javy Ayala.
Bellator’s search for female star continues
Clearly, Bellator is trying to find the next big female star. Some of the biggest stars in the women’s game such as Gina Carano, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Cris “Cyborg” Santos got their start in Scott Coker’s Strikeforce. Rebecca Ruth was originally brought in as an opponent for Lena Ovchynnikova, but she showed veteran poise and took the upset. Now, Ruth gets a second chance to play spoiler against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane who holds an undefeated 3-0 record and has been at the front of promotion for this event.
Macfarlane went viral for knocking out a “soccer mom”
Raymond Daniels back in MMA?
The dynamic striker will return for his second bout for the newly formed Bellator Kickboxing promotion. When Daniels joined the promotion, some fans wondered if the fighter would give MMA another chance. He fought for Coker under the Strikeforce banner in 2008. He fell via second-round submission to solid veteran Jeremiah Metcalf. Considering the gulf of MMA experience between the two Daniels did not look that bad. However, he never returned to the sport.
Justin Lawrence and Isao Kobayashi battle to regain top prospect status
Lawrence seemed like a can’t miss prospect coming off his season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” However, he was bounced from the promotion after going 1-2. He signed with Bellator last year. In his debut, Lawrence scored a first-round knockout over Sean Wilson. However, in his next outing he dropped a split decision to Emmanuel Sanchez.
Kobayashi graduated from the Pancrase ranks with victories over UFC veteran Will Chope, former Shooto champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue, former ONE champion Koji Oishi and former Sengoku champion Marlon Sandro. However, in his Bellator debut Kobayashi was dominated and submitted at the hands of Goiti Yamauchi.
Fight Forecast is a recurring series at StrikeScore that provides a stats based preview of upcoming events. The following uses Fight Matrix rankings, peak rank, Tapology user votes, betting odds and Rankings Momentum.
In this case, the period used 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. Tapology scores are also as of June 24 at 1:15 p.m. EST. Bettings odds are from 5Dimes via BestFightOdds.com as of June 24 at 1:15 p.m. EST.