Today, Israel’s Mediterranean coastline city of Tel Aviv will play host to Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima 2. The main event of the evening will see a welterweight title fight rematch between current king Andrey Koreshkov and the man from which he took the the crown, Douglas Lima. Bellator 164 can be seen this Friday (Tape Delay), on Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET with the prelims streaming online.
Main Card: Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET
Andrey Koreshkov (19-1 MMA; 10-1 Bellator) vs. Douglas Lima (27-6 MMA; 9-2 Bellator): Welterweight Tittle
The first time these two terrifying strikers waged war with one another was back at Bellator 140 in the summer of 2015. Their initial title entanglement lasted the entire 25 minutes, and in the end, saw Andrey Koreshkov take the Bellator welterweight crown from Douglas Lima via Unanimous Decision.
Since winning Bellator’s welterweight world title, Andrey Koreshkov has gone on to successfully defend that belt against former UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson, in a rather lopsided affair (50-45 x3), at Bellator 153 this past April.
As the protege of Bellator’s former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, will Andrey “Spartan” Koreshkov continue to build upon his well rounded ways and add to his 6-fight winning streak by besting Douglas Lima for the second time?
After dropping his first Bellator title match to Ben Askren in 2012, Douglas Lima went on a metaphorical killing spree by dispatching 5-straight contenders, including Ben Saunders and Rick Hawn, to capture Bellator welterweight gold.
After relinquishing his crown to Andrey Koreshkov, and taking about a year off to rehab a knee injury, Douglas Lima had somewhat of a return to form with a hard-hitting assault of Paul Daley at Bellator 158 this past July. Although the bout went the distance, Douglas Lima was able to drop Daley with strikes and came awfully close to finishing the Brit in the opening round.
With a nagging knee injury seemingly in his rear-view mirror and with a confident outing against a dangerous striker in Daley, will Douglas Lima be able to implement/execute a different strategy then the one before to recapture his welterweight title?
Noad Lahat (9-2 MMA; Bellator Debut) vs. Scott Cleve (15-5 MMA; 2-2 Bellator): Featherweight
Israel’s own Noad Lahat will be returning to his homeland for his promotional debut for the Viacom brand of MMA. Lahat is coming off of a 2-2 stint inside of the UFC where he won 2 decisions and lost twice via flying knee. With a fresh start in a new organization and the chance to fight once again on familiar soil, will the BJJ black belt Noad Lahat prove to be a serious threat for the other Bellator featherweights to keep a close watch on?
Looking to spoil the homecoming for Noad Lahat will be the 20-fight veteran Scott Cleve. A deeper pool of experience from which to pull from will be the x-factor for Cleve as he will look to work his strikes, behind his jab, and even exploit any takedown opportunities that may appear. Having wins over familiar names like Abel Trujillo and Derek Campos, will Scott Cleve welcome Noad Lahat into Bellator in the worst of ways?
Georgi Karakhanyan (25-6-1 MMA; 4-4 Bellator) vs. Kirill Medvedovsky (7-2 MMA; Bellator Debut): Featherweight
Amidst a 1-3 rough patch dating back to June of 2014, Georgi Karakhanyan was in need of a big win in a hurry, and boy, is that what he got. It took the submission specialist in Karakhanyan a mere 53 seconds to knock Bubba Jenkins clean out with a monstrous right hand at Bellator 160 back in August of this year. With another emphatic finish, Georgi Karakhanyan will solidify himself as one of Bellator’s elites atop the featherweight division.
Bellator newcomer Kirill Medvedovsky will have somewhat of a home game for his promotional debut as the Ukranian born fighter trains out of Netanya, Israel. The 23 year-old Medvedovsky will look to draw upon the crowd’s support as the youthful up-and-comer will be taking on a 32-fight veteran in Georgi Karakhanyan. Can Medvedovsky put himself on the MMA map with a game performance against a dangerous player like Georgi Karakhanyan?
Lena Ovchynnikova 10-4 MMA; 0-1 Bellator) vs. Karla Benitez (13-9-1-1 MMA; Bellator Debut): (W) Flyweight
It was a bit of a rough debut under the Bellator banner for Lena Ovchynnikova as she dropped a unanimous decision to Rebecca Ruth at Bellator 150. Look for Lena Ochynnikova to pull from her Ukrainian kickboxing experience to try and out-strike her opponent Karla Benitez to find the win column under the Bellator promotion and find her place among the woman’s flyweights.
Venezuela’s Karla Benitez has fought in 10 different countries over the course of her 24-fight career as she heads to Israel to raise the total to 11. Having yet to taste defeat by way of knockout, expect Benitez to want to put the Ukranian kickboxer, Lena Ochynnikova, on her back where she is less experienced. Which one of these female warriors will rise up in the rankings in Bellator’s flyweight division?