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Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen main card preview

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Here is everything you need to know about the Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen main card from The Forum in Los Angeles, California.

Bellator MMA is headed to The Forum in Los Angeles, California this Saturday for Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen. The main event on the evening will be Tito Ortiz in his final professional MMA fight taking on Chael Sonnen, who will be making his promotional debut. The co-main event on the evening will be Paul “Semtex” Daley taking on “Irish” Brennan Ward in a fight that promises to produce fireworks. Bellator 170 can be seen this Saturday night, live on Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. EST/PST, with the prelims streaming online. This preview covers all of the main card fights except the main event, which will have its own post.

Main Card: Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET

Paul Daley (38-14-2 MMA; 4-1 Bellator) vs. Brennan Ward (14-4 MMA; 9-4 Bellator): Welterweight

Paul “Semtex” Daley was a stones throw away from a world title shot before dropping a unanimous decision, at Bellator 158 in London, to the man who would go on to recapture his welterweight belt, Douglas Lima. Daley was slated to take on an aggressive up and comer in Derek Anderson at Bellator 163 in November of 2016, but the Brit was withdrawn from competition following a ‘difficult weight cut.’ Paul Daley is a proven finisher as 30 of his 38 wins have ended inside of the distance, and he will be taking on another killer in Brennan Ward, who has been involved in 15-straight finishes. Will Paul Daley pull from his veteran savvy to overcome his less experienced opponent and move himself back into the win column?

The 14-4 Brennan Ward went the distance in his 3rd professional fight, but has not done so since. That 2012 decision win was also the first and last time that Ward has ever seen a 3rd round. Ward possesses big power in both his left hand and his right hand, but will his gameplan be to bang it out against a world class striker? We have seen Brennan Ward have fits with proven veterans such as Cyborg Santos, Tamdan McCrory, and Alexander Shlemenko, but will this be the time that Ward puts it all together to topple a big name?

Ralek Gracie (3-0 MMA; Bellator Debut) vs. Hisaki Kato (7-2 MMA; 2-1 Bellator): Middleweight

Ralek Gracie, the grandson of Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Helio Gracie, is set to make his Bellator debut following a 6.5 year layoff from professional MMA competition. Among his 3 pro fights, you will find 2 first round armbars, and a unanimous decision victory over MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba. Gracie possesses submission skills for days, however his striking aptitude still remains in question, especially when facing a proven knockout artist in Hisaki Kato. Will Ralek Gracie make a triumphed return to MMA and remain undefeated?

Hisaki Kato flung himself into the combat sports spotlight with a sensational superman punch KO of Joe Schilling at Bellator 139, back in June of 2015. After falling short in a barn burner with Melvin Manhoef, Kato went on to secure 2 first round knockouts in MMA, plus a spinning backfist thumping of Joe Schilling, for the second time, in a Bellator Kickboxing bout. Since Kato vs. Gracie is your classic case of striker vs. grappler, who do you think will have the edge?

Georgi Karakhanyan (26-6-1 MMA; 5-4 Bellator) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3 MMA; 5-2 Bellator): Featherweight

Georgi Karakhanyan has finished his last 2 opponents inside of 1 round; Bubba Jenkins with a monstrous overhand right at Bellator 160 and Kirill Medvedovsky by way of ground and pound at Bellator 164. Although he has slumped 2 foes in a row with his hands, “Insane” Karakhanyan is more known for his wicked ground game, mostly his ability to strangle, as 14 of his 20 finishes have come by way of submission. It should be noted that Karakhanyan’s last 2 weigh-ins were 149.5 lbs. and 149.0 lbs, both catchweight tilts, as this match with Emmanuel Sanchez will be in the featherweight division. Can Karakhanyan continue with the consistency to catapult himself into title contention?

Under the Bellator banner, Roufusport product Emmanuel Sanchez has shown off some fundamentally sound striking abilities combined with an unabashed willingness to dive for positions at the drop of a hat. Sanchez is on the heels of a split decision loss to title challenger Daniel Weichel at Bellator 159 as he looks to avoid back to back losses for the first time in his professional career. Sanchez’ previous 4 bouts have all resulted in a split decision, earning the nod in 3 of them, which is indicative of how competitive his tilts turn out regardless of opponent’s experience level. Should we expect another tightly contested war from Emmanuel Sanchez, or will this be the event in which he makes a statement?

Derek Campos (17-6 MMA; 6-4 Bellator) vs. Derek Anderson (14-2 MMA; 5-2 Bellator): Lightweight

Derek Campos is in search of his third consecutive win in hopes of rising to title contention in Bellator’s lightweight division. Campos has shown an unwavering thirst to tilt his head off of the center line and throw with extremely bad intentions, see his fight with Melvin Guillard for details. We have also witnessed Campos show the ability to make adjustments mid-fight, by holstering his haymakers and changing levels to take the fight to ground, as seen his last fight against Djamil Chan at Bellator 161. Will Derek Campos look to stand and bang with the rangy Derek Anderson, or will he look to utilize his wrestling in an offensive manner?

Derek Anderson has been terrorizing Bellator’s lightweight division since he defeated Patricky Freire, the first time, back in 2013. Anderson is known for his long strikes coupled with a uncanny ability to constantly move forward. Having ended 11 of his 14 victims, 5 knockouts and 6 submissions, Anderson is looking to add one more finish to his record before potentially moving up to the welterweight division. With both Campos and Anderson wanting to come forward, this might be a classic case of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. There can be only one Derek; Campos or Anderson?

Prelims: Streaming online

Chinzo Machida vs. Jamar Ocampo

Jack May vs. Dave Cryer

Henry Corrales vs. Cody Bollinger

Kevin Casey vs. Keith Berry

Guilherme Bomba vs. John Mercurio

Gabriel Green vs. Jalin Turner

Christian Gonzalez vs. Daniel Rodriguez

Jacob Rosales vs. Ian Butler

Johnny Cisneros vs. Curtis Millender

Mike Segura vs. Tommy Aaron

Rob Gooch vs. James Barnes

Demarcus Brown vs. Alex Soto

Colleen Schneider vs. Chrissie Daniels