Boxing/MMA

MMA Analysis: Bellator 45 Complete Preview and Predictions

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They say that all good things must come to an end and at Bellator 45 that exactly what will happen to the fourth and arguably best season this far for the young promotion. With four exciting tournaments taking place in the season, along with a title fight and several special attraction fights. 

The season though will go out with a bang as the last two tournament finals will take place, with one not only crowning a tournament winner but the promotions first ever light heavyweight champion.

The light heavyweight final will feature Richard Hale of inverted triangle fame taking on Christian M’Pumbu. Hale (17-3-1) opening the tournament with Bellator’s second inverted triangle choke submission against Nik Fekete in the fights opening round. He then took on D.J. Linderman in the semifinals and narrowly escaped with the split decision victory.

M’Pumbu (17-3-1) started the tournament off a little slow but got in the grove in the third round to score the late TKO against his opening round opponent Chris Davis. M’Pumbu looked impressive in the semifinals against Tim Carpenter finishing the fight by fight round TKO. Both of these fighters are very similar on paper but after Saturdays fight one of them will be a champion.

The other tournament final on the card is the featherweight’s Patricio Freire and Daniel Straus battling it out for a shot the Joe Warren and his championship belt. Freire (16-1) has been strong in two fights leading up to the finals, starting off with a third round TKO victory off Georgi Karakhanyan in the quarterfinal round. Next up for Freire was a familiar opponent in Wilson Reis, whom he had already defeated at Bellator 18. The two slugged it out for nearly the full 15 minutes until Freire abruptly ended the fight, handing Reis his first career knockout.

Straus (16-3) has grounded his way through the tournament, blanketing Nazareno Malegarie in the quarterfinals for a unanimous decision victory. He looked to be doing the same against Kenny Foster in the semifinals but was able to grab a guillotine choke in the middle of the third round. Straus loves to grind and will look to do the same against Freire, who will try to keep it standing where he’ll have the advantage. Should Freire get taken down he’ll look to use his submission skills to finish the fight.

Here is the remaining Bellator 45 schedule along with main card predictions.

Main Card

205 lbs. Tournament Championship bout: Richard Hale vs. Christian M’Pumbu – Christian M’Pumbu

145 lbs. Tournament Final bout: Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus – Patricio Freire 

185 lbs. bout: Karl Amoussou vs. Sam Alvey – Karl Amoussou 

140 lbs. bout: Joseph Abercrombie vs. Ben Parpart – Joseph Abercrombie

Local Feature Fights

265 lbs. bout: Shawn Jordan vs. Johnathan Hill

170 lbs. bout: Luis Santos vs. Nicolae Cury

155 lbs. bout: Renê Nazare vs. Kelvin Hackney

185 lbs. bout: Tim Ruberg vs. Michael Fleniken

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