Tale of the Tape is a brand new addition to MMAOddsbreaker.com, where I will break down in full detail the top two fights on every major UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator card to further expand your knowledge base, so you will have more information at your disposal to make better-informed, winning bets. In future editions, expect detailed FightMetric statistics to be included in the analysis. If you have any suggestions of what other sorts of information you’d like to see included, email me at [email protected]. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy. — Adam Martin Event: Bellator 78 Matchup: Lyman Good (-500) vs. Michail Tsarev (+350), Bellator Season 7 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, OH Time: 8 p.m. (ET) How to watch: Spike.com, MTV2
TALE OF THE TAPE: THE FAVORITE
Name: Lyman “Cyborg” Good (-500) MMA Record: 13-2 Bellator FC Record: 6-2 Age: 27 Nationality: American Height: 6-0 Weight: 170 pounds Style: Karate/Ground and Pound Camp: Team Tiger Schulman
Strengths: Championship Experience in Bellator, Size, Toughness, Knockout Power, Good At Fighting Off His Back Weaknesses: Takedown Defence, Injuries Last 5 Fights: W – Jim Wallhead (UD), W – LeVon Maynard (KO), L – Rick Hawn (SD), W – Chris Lozano (UD), L – Ben Askren (UD) Notable Career Wins: Jim Wallhead (UD), Chris Lozano (UD) Notable Career Losses: Ben Askren (UD), Rick Hawn (SD) Notable Career Achievements: First-ever Bellator Welterweight Champion (zero successful title defences) Keys to Victory: Stop the takedown, use size to control the fight, use the cage
TALE OF THE TAPE: THE UNDERDOG
Name: Michael “The Lonely Wolf” Tsarev (+350) MMA Record: 24-2 Bellator Record: 1-0 Age: 26 Nationality: Russian Height: 5-11 Weight: 170 pounds Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Camp: RusFighters Sport Club
Strengths: Offensive BJJ (19 wins via submission), Improving Striking (two of three career T/KOs coming in last five bouts) Weaknesses: Submission Defence (both career losses via submission) Last 5 Fights: W – Tim Welch (SUB), W – Kyacey Uscola (SUB), W – Rasul Magamedov (SUB), W – Deyan Topakski (KO), W – Abdulsupyan Alikhanov (TKO) Notable Career Wins: Kyacey Uscola (SUB) Notable Career Losses: None Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Get The takedown ASAP, don’t let Good bully him, be wild
FIGHT BREAKDOWN, PREDICTION, PICK & BET
Fight Breakdown: This Bellator Season 7 Welterweight Tournament semifinal fight between Lyman Good and Michail Tsarev will see the winner get the chance to compete for the Bellator Season 7 Welterweight Tournament title and a cheque for $100,000 against the winner of Marius Zaromkis vs. Andrey Koreshkov. Good decisioned Jim Wallhead to get this far in the tournament, while Tsarev submitted Tim Welch. Good is the former Bellator World Welterweight Champion, so he knows what it takes to get his hand raised three times in three months and win a Bellator tournament. However, successfully running the gauntlet of Bellator has taken its toll on him, as he was out for a period of time last year with a hamstring injury, and has competed only five times in the last three years. He is under a lot of pressure to win not only this fight, but this tournament, as the Bellator welterweight division is becoming stacked, and he could get lost in the shuffle with another early semifinal exit. Tsarev, on the other hand, is a hungry young fighter who really has nothing to lose in this fight, which makes him extremely dangerous. He has also been very active (seven fights in the last two years) in his seven-year career (he actually started his MMA career a few weeks before the “veteran” Good), so it will be interesting to see if activity and cage time will have any effect on this bout’s outcome. Good is a very big 170-pounder and needs to use his size to bully the smaller Tsarev around the cage. He needs to make his presence as a Bellator staple known right off the bat, and make sure that Tsarev knows he’s in Good’s cage, not the other way around. If he can keep the fight standing, he has a good chance to throw his power shots at Tsarev, and while Good likely has an advantage on the feet, especially because of his knockout power, don’t sleep on Tsarev, who, while wild, looks to be improving in the striking department with two of his three career knockouts coming in his last five bouts. He also likes to finish fights quick, as 19 of his fights (17 of wins and two of his losses) have ended in the first round. If this fight hits the ground, then Tsarev will be at a huge advantage, as 19 of his 23 wins have come via submission. Good, on the other hand, lost his Bellator world championship to Ben Askren because he was smothered on the ground. Against Tsarev, a guy who is constantly looking to pass guard or go for the back, that can only mean trouble, which is why Good needs to do everything he can to keep this fight standing, just like he did against judoka Jim Wallhead in his last outing. Fight Prediction: The fight will be decided by the takedown. If Michail Tsarev is able to get Lyman Good to the mat, then he’ll have a good chance to submit him. However, it must be remembered that Good has only been taken down by Rick Hawn and Ben Askren, who are both very high-level grapplers. If this fight stays standing, expect Good to try and look for Tsarev’s chin, and if that’s not working, make it a dirty brawl by pushing him up against the cage. Also look for him to look to drag this fight into deep waters, as he’s proven he has the cardio to go the distance time and time again while Tsarev hasn’t. Good needs to make sure he doesn’t find himself in a grappling contest with Tsarev, as that can only end up badly for him, although it must be noted Good is by far the most talented opponent Tsarev’s ever fought. Adam’s Pick: Lyman Good (-500) via unanimous decision Adam’s Recommended Play: While I do favor Good due to his size, toughness and Bellator cage experience, I am not 100 percent confident he can stop the takedown and -500 is way too hefty of a price tag for him. Instead, strongly consider taking a look at Tsarev, who opened at +350, especially if he moves into the +400 range, as there may be some value in that line when you think about how well Russian prospects have been performing in the Bellator cage this season. In this particular instance, my recommended play is DOG OR PASS.
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