Bellator 101 Bet: Joe Warren (-580) vs Nick Kirk (+440)
Date: September 27, 2013
Arena: Moda Center at Rose Quarter
City: Portland, Oregon
Bantamweight bout: Joe Warren (-580) vs Nick Kirk (+440)
Fight Breakdown: The main event for Bellator 101 is a bout between Joe Warren and Nick Kirk in the opening round of the promotion's bantamweight tournament. Warren is currently the favorite at -580 ($580 to win $100), while the return on the underdog Kirk is +440 ($100 to win $440) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks.
JOE WARREN (8-3 MMA, 6-2 Bellator) is finally cleared to fight, after his previously scheduled bout with Kirk was postponed. The postponement is rumored to be due to a knockout Warren received while sparring. He did not have a good chin to start with and now it is a serious concern. His poor chin combined with his lack of striking defense could be a recipe for disaster. Warren is a well-conditioned fighter who splits his training time at Team Quest and Team Rhino Sports. He is a gifted Greco-Roman wrestler who has the ability to take opponents down whenever he pleases. Warren is a grinder who loves going for the double leg takedown and, on the feet, he always looks to land his favorite punch, the overhand right.
NICK KIRK (10-2 MMA, 0-2 Bellator) is making his third Bellator appearance and desperately looking for his first win. The Minnesota native has poor striking defense and gets tagged fairly easily. He starts off fights by striking until he senses he is losing the battle on the feet, at which point he decides to mix things up and go for takedowns. While ranked the number one bantamweight in Minnesota, I don't think Kirk is Bellator-caliber. He is well-conditioned and generally a decent fighter but his only chance at defeating Warren would be to land a knockout, and I don't think he has that kind of power in his hands.
Fight Prediction: I expect Warren to take Kirk down and beat him up for fifteen minutes, if not get a TKO stoppage.
Gabe's Pick: Joe Warren by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Gabe's Recommended Play: Joe Warren -580 for a moderate play, as I think he should be -1400. The rumored knockout is what took him down from -1000 to -580 since they were last scheduled to fight. That little fluke rewards us with a much better line on Warren, and I'm taking advantage of the value. I like him in a round robin with Brooks and Coy, and a parlay with all three.
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