As has become one of the overriding themes of Bellator’s tenth season, Bellator 119 will not end up the same card it was originally scheduled to be. Last week we saw Bellator put on an interim bantamweight title bout as champion Eduardo Dantas had to drop out of his fight with Joe Warren. Justin Baesman also stepped in on a day’s notice to replace Sam Oropeza in a welterweight tournament semifinal. This time around, another pair of fights were scratched during the week of the event. Brett Cooper was forced to drop out of his middleweight tournament final with an injury, and Shahbulat Shamhalaev had visa issues which prevented him from competing on the show. In the wake of those two cancellations, Bellator 119 still features one tournament final and a plethora of fighters who could produce some spectacular finishes. Featherweight finalists Desmond Green and Daniel Weichel find themselves at the top of the bill on Friday night, while Canadian Chris Horodecki and former top 10 featherweight Marlon Sandro were set to fill the co-main event slot, but it seems that fight has recently been added to the Bellator 119 casualty list as well. As a result knockout artists Marius Zaromskis and Raphael Butler will get a chance to fight on the Spike TV portion of the card, as will veteran John Alessio. Brian Rogers will serve as the major attraction on the Spike.com undercard stream. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Bellator 119 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET) Featherweight Tournament Final Desmond Green -170 Daniel Weichel +130 Marius Zaromskis -315 Vaughn Anderson +235 Raphael Butler -705 Nick Rossborough +435 John Alessio -175 Eric Wisely +135 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 7pm ET) Brian Rogers -280 Adrian Miles +200 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Green/Weichel isn’t going to go in any record books as the most memorable Bellator tournament final, but Weichel’s style could actually turn this into an interesting bout. Green has the wrestling advantage, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, but something Weichel hasn’t shown off yet in his Bellator tenure is his guard game, which I actually thought was one of his better attributes coming over from Europe. If Green actually takes this to the ground he’s going to be in more trouble than people think. That said, if he manages to grab a rear waistlock and knee Weichel in the thighs for 15 minutes, this fight will be dreadful. If there are props released for this event and you want to play Green, just go for the decision prop instead. (I wrote this before reports came out about the fight being cancelled, so I’m leaving it in here) It’s hard to believe that Chris Horodecki is only 26 years old since he started his IFL career eight years ago. Many people had him slotted in as a future superstar back then, but it just never happened. He hasn’t had a bad career by any means — his only losses have come to Donald Cerrone, Anthony Njokuani, Mike Richman and Ryan Schultz — but at the same time, his best wins remain a pair of controversial decisions over Bart Palaszewski nearly a decade ago. Marlon Sandro has had more recent success, and I enjoyed his reign of terror in Sengoku as much as anyone, but he seems to be well into the tail part of his career at this point. He does have more power than Horodecki and a better submission game, but he appears to have lost a step when it comes to speed and cardio. I lean slightly towards Sandro for a pick in this fight, but find it hard to trust either of these guys with any money. Speaking of fighters who had exciting runs in Japan approximately five years ago, Marius Zaromskis is back after a 16-month layoff to face Vaughn Anderson. After KOing Hayato Sakurai and Jason High with head kicks on the same night, big things were expected of Zaromskis, but he could never capitalize. Part of the reason is that his game wasn’t well-rounded enough, the other part was his chin. I don’t think he’ll have to worry about either against Vaughn Anderson, a man who made a living teaching MMA to students in China and beating up horribly overmatched opposition — remember when Jumabieke Tuerxun was supposed to be THE fighter to come out of China? Anderson fought guys worse than him. Zaromskis hasn’t kicked anybody in the head lately, but I think this could be a good opportunity for him to do so. I normally hate using this kind of logic, but just by looking at the records in the Butler/Rossborough fight you know what Bellator wants to see happen here. Butler is one of the few heavyweight prospects around, and Rossborough is very much a journeyman. Although Rossborough has only been knocked out twice in his career, it hasn’t necessarily taken big hitters to put him away, and I fully expect Butler to do the same. Although some may point to John Alessio being winless in his past four bouts as a sign that the one-time UFC title challenger is at the end of his rope, I disagree. He lost to Mark Bocek, Shane Roller, and Will Brooks with a no contest mixed in as well, but just prior to that he defeated Ryan Healy and Luiz Firmino, two solid scalps. Eric Wisely had an unsuccessful run in the UFC as well, but has rebounded with three consecutive wins. Whoever wins here may have a chance to find themselves in an upcoming tournament, and I do lean slightly towards the overall game of Alessio in this spot. Adrian Miles is a fighter I wasn’t aware of until this fight was made, and while he seems serviceable in several areas (wrestling and clinch striking), I just don’t see him having an advantage over Brian Rogers. We know with Rogers that we’re getting devastating power in the first round and then a vastly reduced output until the end of the fight, but Miles seems to have some of the same gas tank issues himself, so while it’s difficult to have too much confidence in Rogers at a steep price, he should get the job done here, whether it’s in the first round or it has to go all three.
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