This weekend, Dayton, Ohio plays host to Bellator 78 and the continuation of the Season 7 Welterweight Tournament with a pair of semifinal matchups. The main card also will see perennial middleweight contender and knockout artist Brian Rogers enter the cage along with Bellator Featherweight Tournament winner Daniel Straus. Straus won the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament after a string of decisions that culminated in a win against Marlon Sandro. This means Straus is guaranteed a title shot against the winner of Pat Curran and Patricio Freire. Straus has been in this position before, as he was the Bellator Season 4 runner-up and uses his methodical, Division I wrestling style to make his opponents wilt. His opponent Alvin Robinson was once an employee of the UFC and should struggle against Straus’ wrestling game. This match is what it is, a tune-up for Straus, who win or lose will get a featherweight title shot. Straus opened as a huge favorite according to the MMA odds at -500 (bet $500 to win $100) compared to Robinson at +350 (bet $100 to win $350). Next up is a fight that is probably -900 to end up on the highlight reels between former Strikeforce employee Dominique Steele (6-2) and the Ohio native Rogers (9-4). Steele has a solid overall game,and is comfortable everywhere. But, like a jack of all trades, Steele does not have any major strengths in one category. Rogers should be able to do pretty much whatever he wants to Steele before likely finishing the fight in a big way. Both of these guys are big middleweights, and in Bellator we have consistently seen wild finishes and upsets. Rogers opened as a solid favorite at -300 with Steele a +220 underdog. Continuing into the semifinals of the Bellator Season 7 Welterweight Tournament, former Dream champion and head-kick master Marius Zaromskis (19-6-1) takes on the undefeated pupil of Alexander Shlemenko, Andrey Koreshkov (11-0). This looks to be an exciting fight, as both of these men look to finish with their strikes. Zaromskis is renowned for his kickboxing and flashy style while Koreshkov has seven knockouts and three submissions among his 10 wins. Evenly matched on paper, this is a tough matchup for Zaromskis (+185), who has been outgunned on his feet by more aggressive opponents many times before. Koreshkov (-245) will present him with a similar challenge. (click for Koreshkov vs. Zaromskis Tale of the Tape) In the night’s main event, 26-year-old Russian Michail Tsarev (24-2) takes on former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good (13-2). Tsarev’s record may be impressive at first look with three knockouts and 19 submissions, but he has not faced the stiffest competition across the Russian regional circuit. Meanwhile, Good is the real deal despite an up-and-down run since winning the inaugural Bellator welterweight title. He can do just about everything in the cage and should be able to outclass Tsarev in all categories. The oddsmakers expect Good to advance to the final as a huge -500 favorite compared to Tsarev, who opened as a +350 dog. (click for Good vs. Tsarev Tale of the Tape)
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