This past Friday night (Nov. 15, 2013), Bellator 108 came to us from the Revel in Atlantic City. The main event featured Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, and as expected, he took out late fill-in Joey Beltran. Rampage scored a stunning knockout in the last second of round one. While the outcome was predictable, Bellator’s plans for ‘Rampage’ in the future are still very hazy. In my opinion, Bellator should cash in now and not count on Tito Ortiz in the future. Ortiz is old, this neck injury can now be called recurring, and even ‘Rampage’ has stated that he has moved on. But this leaves a very light roster at Bellator to provide ‘Rampage’ with competition. The champion, Attila Vegh is always a possibility, but he has been injured and Emmanuel Newton won an Interim title in the meantime. If Bellator signs Newton-Vegh to re-unite the titles, then they may be left scrounging for an opponent for Jackson. For Jackson, it is hard to say if he was truly back in top form. He could be put in to fight King Mo Lawal, though after losing to Newton again, Lawal’s star is at an all-time low. Let’s hope Bellator does not make the mistake of turning to TNA Wrestling to look for an opponent. There are several potential candidates on the roster, led by Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler Kurt Angle who has flirted with MMA through his career. The problem with Angle is he is older than Ortiz, and his neck is even more fragile after multiple breaks. So what Bellator does next with Jackson will be very intersting to watch. One bright spot for Bellator is the new Heavyweight Champion Vitaly Minakov. Minakov rolled through the Bellator Summer Series tournament to earn the shot at fellow countryman Alexander Volkov, and the four-time World Sombo Champion plowed through the Champion to take the belt. At a perfect 13-0, Minakov looks to have the potential to dominate Bellator’s otherwise shallow Heavyweight division. Minakov’s next challenge however, is a very credible fight. At Bellator 107, Cheick Kongo won the Heavyweight tournament to earn the first shot at Minakov. Kongo was workmanlike in winning the tournament, but he was not memorable. Look for Minakov to be favored in the fight with Kongo, as his aggressiveness and finishing instinct will likely be sharpened by the time of his first title defense.
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