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Bellator 140: Lima vs. Koreshkov preview

Preview Bellator 140 here, featuring a quality card with a Welterweight world title fight plus Paul Daley and Michael Venom Page.

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Friday night is almost upon us, and on Spike that (sometimes) means Friday Night Lights Out, their boxing/kickboxing/MMA night of programming. This Friday, it's time for Bellator to take center stage with Bellator: Lima vs. Koreshkov (or Bellator 140 if you are old school and absolutely must call it by its number, even though Bellator pretty much never does). Bellator airs this Friday night, July 17, live on Spike TV with a fight time of 9:00 p.m. ET.

A few quick notes here: interestingly, this entire main card takes place at 170 pounds, with an all Welterweight night. I'm actually kind of looking forward to that - will be fun to think about where the division goes after seeing all this talent featured on the same night. Note that there are 5 main card fights instead of the usual Bellator 4. Finally, this show marks the debut of new Bellator play-by-play man Sean Grande, best known for his work with the Boston Celtics. Grande takes the place of Sean Wheelock and will be partnered with Jimmy Smith. We'll see how it goes, but I have to say - I liked Wheelock and his chemistry with Smith, so Grande has a tough act to follow.

Let's see what the main card has in store for us tonight.

Welterweight Title: Douglas Lima (26-5 MMA; 8-1 Bellator) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (17-1 MMA; 8-1 Bellator)

OK I admit it - I'm really pumped for this fight. It's sort of Bellator's version of Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald, as you have two hard nosed strikers who are going to go in there and throw down. Champion Lima has been pretty fantastic for quite some time - he's currently on a 14-1 streak, with that only loss coming against Ben Askren. After Askren left the company, Lima claimed the vacant title with a win over Rick Hawn. He's a fierce striker with an excellent Muay Thai background. Challenger Koreshkov is a two time Bellator tournament winner whose only loss comes against (say it with me folks) Ben Askren. Koreshkov is also a striker, but a bit more wild and unpredictable than Lima.

One interesting factor here is that both men come in off year long layoffs. Not quite sure what to make of that. But this is clearly a great stylistic fight, and one where you can expect a serious striking war. In that war, I find the champion to hit just a bit harder, take a shot just a bit better, so will look for him to wear down Koreshkov and win the war of attrition.

Prediction: Douglas Lima by late KO

Paul Daley (36-13-2 MMA; 2-0 Bellator) vs. Dennis Olson (14-8 MMA; 0-1 Bellator)

Paul Semtex Daley is a perfect fighter for Bellator right now. Popular, with an exciting style, Semtex will bring the energy to his fights. Recent years have seen him hopping between organizations, including a surprisingly successful run in kickboxing. This is clearly a showcase fight for Daley, as he takes on Olson, currently on a 3-5 skid. Of course, as I type that, it's hard not to be reminded of the last Bellator show where a "showcase" fight for kickboxer Joe Schilling ended up with Schilling out cold on the canvas, but I don't see the more submission minded Olson having such success against Daley. The big question - will Daley's old rival and new Bellator signee Josh Koscheck be in attendance? Quick note: Olson missed weight, coming in at 173 lbs.

Prediction: Paul Daley by KO round 1

Brennan Ward (10-3 MMA; 6-3 Bellator) vs. Roger Carroll (16-11 MMA; Bellator Debut)

As is the trend on this particular card, this is another showcase fight - this time for former Bellator Middleweight title challenger Ward. Ward has spent most of his career in Bellator, and has done well for himself, but a pair of losses in 2014 sent him down a division to Welterweight. He's 1-0 at 170 so far, and looks to keep that going here. There is a lot of interesting talent in Bellator's Welterweight division (much of it on this show) so if Ward can look good in a win - and I suspect he can against the thoroughly unremarkable Carroll - he could have a big fight up next time.

Prediction: Brennan Ward by submission

Paul Bradley (22-6 MMA; 2-1 Bellator) vs. Chris Honeycutt (6-0 MMA; 2-0 Bellator)

Bradley is a nine year veteran with the kind of experience that you absolutely should not sleep on. He was in TUF season 7, somewhat famously having to leave the competition due to a contagious skin condition. He made his debut in the UFC in 2011 and was 11-2 at the time (losses to Luke Rockhold and Mike Pierce) but went 0-2 and was released. He comes in here off a win over the super tough Josh Neer. Honeycutt clearly lacks the experience of his opponent, but has looked quite good in Bellator so far. He is an NCAA Division I All-American who brings in a lot of hype, and Bradley is the perfect kind of veteran test for him. I love these kinds of fights, as we get to see where an intriguing rising prospect stands in a close, hard to pick fight (toughest fight to pick outside of the main in my eyes). I think he passes the test.

Prediction: Chris Honeycutt by decision

Michael Page (7-0 MMA; 3-0 Bellator) vs. Rudy Bears (16-13 MMA; 2-5 Bellator)

Another showcase fight kicks off the show - this time for the undefeated MVP, Michael Venom Page. Page is a decorated kickboxer who came into MMA with a pile of hype behind him, and so far, he's lived up to it, showing some flashy technique to keep that undefeated record going. His last fight was his toughest, as UFC and Strikeforce veteran Nah-Shon Burrell took Page to a decision, but MVP still got the job done. Here, he's up against the well travelled Bears, who has fought all over the place in his career. Bears started off a strong and interesting prospect with a 10-3 record, but he's a not so hot 6-10 since. At this point, he's what pro wrestling calls "enhancement talent", here to be a punching bag on which Page can do his thing.

Prediction: Michael Page by KO

Join us tonight, here at Bloody Elbow for live coverage of Bellator: Lima vs. Koreshkov.