Bellator fighting championship kicks off from Atlantic City tonight at 8 PM EST and will air on MTV 2. Let’s take a look at the first two fights of the night. We’ll look at the later two in Part 2.
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Daniel Straus (EVEN) vs. Marlon Sandro (-130)
This should be one of the best fights in this event. Sandro is a slight favorite, and if he wins, he’ll get a shot next at Pat Curran. He’s a great all around fighter and really lacks weaknesses, but still might prefer to keep this one standing, because Sandro wants it on the mat, and Straus is slightly weaker than Sandro there, though he is a great wrestler and grappler in his own right.
Straus’ wrestling is based on top control, because of the great power he has in his hands. This is his second appearance at Bellator, and his last was hardly a success, as he lost a unanimous decision to Patricio Friere in season four.
Sandro will want to keep this standing, because if he can, it is his fight to lose. Straus of course wants it on the ground, but it will be hard to get it there because Sandro is good at avoiding submissions and he’s quick enough to make it very difficult to get a good grip on his body, even when the angling is right. Sandro isn’t a heavy favorite, but he’s good enough to be the favorite, and he’s already looking ahead to Curran most likely. I’m hardly suggesting he should be, but he will win this fight and move on to a much tougher opponent in Curran.
Travis Marx (+195) vs. Marcos Galvao (-250)
Travis Marx comes into this fight with a 19-3 record. He is a great grappler and has good control with his strikes, and he’s also very good at fighting off submission attempts. That will serve him well against Galvao, as Galvao is a good submission fighter and Marx will have to utilize his wrestling skills to the best of his ability.
This fight will likely end up coming down to who can be the best at take downs. They are both pretty even fighters, despite what MMA Oddsmakers have suggested by making Galvao a heavy favorite. In fact, it is after all, Marx who has the better record, but that seems to be ignored here.
Truly, this fight could end up coming down to a decision, because I think both fighters are going to seek to take it to the mat, and make this a long drawn out fight. It’s not that they are poor strikers, by any means, but I believe both Galvao and Marx believe their best advantage is taking the other guy down. It won’t make for an exciting fight. Galvao had no problem taking Ed West down, and Marx should prove to be about a similar challenge. The test will be in evading submission attempts, as Marx has an array of submission moves that have trapped fighters, such as he did with Masakatsu Ueda in his last fight. I’m going with the underdog, Marx in a split decision.