Bellator 163 Preview & Predictions

Bellator MMA is going to have a busy schedule in the last two months of the year, with a grand total of seven events in the next eight weeks. Bellator 163 will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight as champion Liam McGeary defends against Phil Davis. Also, Saad Awad takes on Brennan Ward and Sergei Kharitonov will be making his promotional debut against Javy Ayala.

Main Card

Main Event

Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Title Fight

Liam McGeary (11-0-0) (Champion) vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (16-3-0-1NC)

McGeary will be making the second defense of his championship, last defending it against Tito Ortiz at Bellator MMA: Dynamite. Davis earned a title shot by winning a one-night light heavyweight tournament, defeating Emmanuel Newton and Francis Carmont to earn a title shot. McGeary has fought a grand total of eleven times as a pro, with eight of those eleven fights ending in the first round. Davis has also defeated King Mo during his tenure in the promotion and he has not suffered in nearly two years.

Prediction: Davis’s strength is his takedown and wrestling game, but McGeary is amazing at catching people in submissions while on his back. Davis scores a lot of takedowns in this fight, but McGeary eventually catches Davis in a submission late in the fight to keep the title.

Co-Main Event

Bellator MMA Welterweight Division Fight

Saad “Assassin” Awad (19-8-0) vs. “Irish” Brennan Ward (13-4-0)

Awad has won his lone fight at welterweight in Bellator MMA, defeating Evangelista Santos by decision at Bellator 154. Ward has won four of his last five fights, with notable wins coming over Roger Carroll, Dennis Olson and Ken Hasegawa. Awad has primarily fought at lightweight under the Bellator MMA banner, he also holds a win over former lightweight champion Will Brooks. It has been well over four years since Ward last seen one of his fights go to a decision, that fight was a win over Harley Beekman at a CES MMA event.

Prediction: Awad is one of the more dangerous strikers in the promotion, but Ward is a great wrestler and he grinds out the decision with his wrestling game.

Bellator MMA Welterweight Division Fight

Derek “The Barbaric” Anderson (14-2-0) vs. Paul “Semtex” Daley (38-14-2)

Anderson will be moving up to the welterweight division in this fight, his previous fights in the promotion have all come at lightweight. Daley will be looking to rebound from his first loss under the Bellator MMA banner, which came to Douglas Lima at Bellator 158. Anderson also holds a pair of victories over Patricky Freire, who has previously challenged for the lightweight title. Daley will be fighting for the third time in 2016, which is the most active he has been in over three years.

Prediction: Anderson is very good at mixing the takedowns with the striking game, but Daley has pinpoint striking and he knocks out Anderson in the first during a takedown attempt.

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Division Fight

Javy “Eye Candy” Ayala (9-5-0) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (23-5-0)

Ayala has won just one of his last three in the promotion, that lone win has come over Roy Broughton at Bellator 156. Kharitonov will be making his Bellator MMA debut in this fight and he will be doing so on a five fight winning streak. Ayala has won a total of four fights in the promotion and he has not seen a fight go to the judge’s scorecards in over four years. Kharitonov also competed in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, losing to Josh Barnett in the semi-finals.

Prediction: Ayala has a punchers chance to win the fight, but Kharitonov quickly gets him down before finishing him with ground and pound in the first round.

Preliminary Card Quick Picks

Ed Ruth over Dustin Collins-Miles

Tyrell Fortune over Cody Miskell

Neiman Gracie over Rudy Bears

Josh Diekmann over Tyler King

Blair Tugman over Walter Smith-Cotito

Tim Caron over Mike Zichelle

Carlos Correia over Ilya Kotau

Sarah Payant over Hannah Regina

Keenan Raymond over Kastriot Xhema

Chris Foster over Thomas English

Vinicius De Jesus over James Boran

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