Although an injury to Bellator’s bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas forced him to drop out of his scheduled title defense with Joe Warren, the organization recovered swiftly and made what could even be considered a more interesting bout. Rafael Silva will step in on short notice to take on Warren for the interim bantamweight title. While most had favored Dantas to win in impressive fashion over Warren, the bout with Silva seems much more closely contested, and the betting line should reflect that. While Warren should still have a wrestling advantage and won’t have to worry about the dynamic guard of Dantas, Silva is more imposing physically and there is always a danger with Warren’s chin. The card also features this season’s second welterweight tournament semifinal, the rescheduled bout between Andrey Koreshkov and Sam Oropeza, which should turn into a fun striking battle. Former tournament champion Marcos Galvao is back in the Bellator cage as well taking on 7-0 prospect Thomas Vasquez. A pair of interesting light heavyweights kick off the main card, as Liam McGeary and Mike Mucitelli — both 6-0 — bring their contrasting styles to the cage. McGeary is one of the tallest 205ers around, and uses that length effectively to hurt opponents with strikes, while also having a surprising ability to find armbars. Mucitelli is far more of a grappler, and if he’s able to get McGeary to the mat it will be interesting to see how the Brit copes. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Bellator 118 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET) Bellator Interim Bantamweight Title Joe Warren -155 Rafael Silva +115 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Andrey Koreshkov -505 Sam Oropeza +335 Marcos Galvao -555 Thomas Vasquez +365 Liam McGeary -210 Mike Mucitelli +160 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: The main event is very intriguing to me. If Silva had a full camp, I’d feel pretty comfortable siding with him. Silva will be the bigger fighter and did an excellent job outwrestling Anthony Leone. Warren is certainly a higher calibre of wrestler, but I think Silva being the bigger fighter will negate some of that wrestling. On the feet Silva has an advantage, so if he can keep there I actually like him to win this fight. I expect both Koreshkov and Galvao to end up as parlay legs for many people, and I think both lines are steep but warranted. Maybe if a little action comes in the other way I’ll join in on the parlay action, but at this price these two are passes. The opening bout is another one where I could see an upset. Mucitelli’s strength is in his grappling, and even though McGeary trains in the US, it’s hard for me to shake the perception of the Brit being unable to wrestle effectively. McGeary wins if it stays on the feet, Mucitelli wins on the ground, and I think there’s an equal chance of either happening. Given the price, I’ve got to side with the dog.
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