Light Heavyweight Bout: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1)
Nolan Howell: Whatever bit of the fight analyst in me wants to pick Chael Sonnen because he clearly has the wrestling and possibly power submission game to defeat this incarnation of Wanderlei Silva. However, the skeptic in me believes Sonnen is done and has become a big-money, superfight jobber that knows the score before he gets the paycheck. Given that, I see him unable to get it to the ground early after Silva clips him and it is all over from there. Wanderlei Silva by first-round TKO.
Luke Irwin: Wanderlei hasn’t fought in over four years. Four fucking years. His last fight was on Fuel, remember Fuel? Sure, Wanderlei has a violent, violent, history that can end people, it’s been four fucking years. Chael can at least keep him down for a fight. Sonnen via UD.
Heavyweight Bout: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
Nolan: Given how Fedor performed against Fabio Maldonado, I’m inclined to say Mitrione drops him and leaves him laying flat. I do think Fedor gets dropped, but Mitrione’s poor submission game costs him as he gets too eager to get the finish and we get perhaps the final Fedor moment. Fedor Emelianenko by first-round submission.
Luke: Fedor is certainly not Fedor, anymore. He was gifted a decision over Fabio Maldanado in Russia, and Mitrione has heavy hands and can move a little better than Fabio. I still think it goes the distance and the cards get weird. Emelianenko via SD.
Bellator Lightweight Championship: Michael Chandler (c) (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)
Nolan: Champion’s showcase. Michael Chandler by first-round KO.
Luke: I am an unabashed Mike Chandler mark, and he’s one of my favorite, if not my favorite fighters to watch. In typical Chandler fashion, I think he gets as well as he gives, but somehow grits it out. Chandler via R4 TKO.
Bellator Welterweight Championship: Douglas Lima (c) (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5)
Nolan: Larkin will trouble Lima with his unorthodox game and strength, but I think Lima is superior in just about every aspect here. It may get ugly at times, but the cleaner technician should prevail here. Douglas Lima by unanimous decision.
Luke: Man, these two are inconsistent, but entertaining. I guess I can say that about Bellator in total. Regardless, I see this one going the distance, with neither guy pulling the nuclear lever and playing it mostly safe. Lima via SD.
Lightweight Bout: Aaron Pico (0-0) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)
Nolan: Pico passes his first test. Aaron Pico by unanimous decision.
Luke: Surprised they’re giving Pico such a live body in Freeman, but I think he rolls here, fairly easily. Pico via R2 TKO.
Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship: Phil Davis (c) (17-3) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)
Nolan: Bader edged Davis last time out. If this fight stays on the feet, I think Bader takes it again as Davis has never really put his game together impressively. However, I think Davis will be able to use his wrestling and trouble Bader that way. Davis squeaks it out in an ugly affair. Phil Davis by split decision.
Luke: I think this is all Phil here, he looks great, his game is rounding out, and Bader’s chin is made out of Jenga blocks, these days. Davis via R3 TKO.
Featherweight Bout: Chinzo Machida (5-2) vs. James Gallagher (6-0)
Nolan: It is a Machida on a TV appetizer for the pay-per-view. You are going to give him someone he can karate all over. Chinzo Machida by first-round TKO.
Luke: Oh, c’mon now, Chinzo. Give this wannabe clod a roundhouse to the jaw. I think Machida is going to throw some shit Gallagher hasn’t seen and derail his Fisher Price train. Machida via R1 TKO.