NHL hockey news will have to take a back seat to mixed martial arts on Friday night as Bellator 62 will go off in Laredo, Texas, but the main event has been scrapped for a rematch that many were anticipating.
A 5dimes review of the heavyweight bout between Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle had Santos as a huge favorite in the second meeting between the two, as the first was ruled a no contest after Santos kicked Prindle in the groin 1:24 into the first round of their fight in November. The two were supposed to fight earlier this month, but Prindle had the flu, so it was postponed another week while Prindle recovered. But ahead of Friday’s matchup in Texas, Santos weighed in at over 277 pounds, which is more than the 265-pound limit and as a result, Prindle was named the winner of the Bellator heavyweight tournament. March Madness betting players would compare this to a team forfeiting on the night of the national-championship game, and it’s a shame because Santos was forecasted to run over Prindle. The two could meet down the line, however.
But there is still the lightweight tournament for sharps that work with sportsbook software as the first four matches of the tourney will take place. J.J. Ambrose is a +225 underdog against Brent Weedman at -265, while Rick Hawk is favored at -175 against Ricardo Tirloni at +155, Rene Naraze is favored at -160 against Thiago Michel at +140 and finally, Patricky Freire is favored at -360 against Lloyd Woodard at +300. The 155-pound fighters now have the spotlight to themselves, so expect them to raise their game on Friday night for Bellator.
There is also the “Ultimate Fighter: Live” tonight, and the headlining match features Cristiano Marcello against Justin Lawrence. Marcello represents the team of Urijah Faber, while Lawrence will fight for bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, and Lawrence is rated as a -250 favorite against Marcello, who comes in at +210. Marcello could be a dangerous underdog as he is a fourth-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has a little extra motivation as he had to submit Jared Carlsten just to get into the house, while Lawrence is only 21 and just started MMA training in 2007. He has three professional fights under his belt, while Marcello is a veteran and the head jiu-jitsu coach at Chute Boxe, which has been the home of such legendary fighters as Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and other great Brazilian MMA fighters. There could be an upset brewing, so you would do well to jump on an undervalued Marcello on Friday night in your sports betting sitesbook.