On Friday, May 15, 2015, Bellator MMA returns to action for Bellator 137: Halsey vs. Grove live at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif.

In the main event of the evening, newly crowned Bellator middleweight champion Brandon Halsey will look to defend his title for the first time against crafty veteran Kendall Grove. Still undefeated in his MMA career, Halsey is coming off of an impressive submission victory over long time Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko. Grove on the other hand is coming off of a solid second round submission victory over former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu.

While this matchup is a little surprising, considering Grove is only 2-1 in Bellator, he is an interesting matchup for Halsey. Halsey has a lot of physical tools and ability, but no one has truly been able to put him in any real danger in the cage; perhaps Grove can.

Striking

Neither fighter is really known for their technical striking ability, but Grove has always had a strong clinch game. At 6’6”, Grove’s height is a real weapon in the Thai clinch and his knees are vicious. The problem is even though he has great reach, he doesn’t know how to put it to use on the outside. That inability makes it easier for shorter fighters to get inside and hurt him.

Advantage: Halsey

Grappling

Grove is a BJJ black belt and his grappling is solid, but because his guard is so good he has neglected to develop his takedown defense. Against a former wrestler of Halsey’s caliber, that is going to be a problem. On top, Halsey is suffocating and opportunistic.

Advantage: Halsey

Submissions

Halsey is no slouch on the ground, but Grove should have an advantage in the submission game. His long limbs allow him to hit submissions from positions other fighters simply can’t and his guard is extremely active.

Advantage: Grove

X-Factors

Grove’s biggest X-factor in this fight will be his ability to utilize his length. This is something Grove has struggled with over the course of his career, but with an eight inch reach advantage, if Grove can be the once dictating the distance, he has a great shot at pulling the upset.

Halsey’s biggest X Factor in this fight will be his ability to close the distance. Grove has been knocked out six times in his career and if Halsey can get inside, he can put Da Spyder to sleep.

Prediction: Halsey via second round TKO/KO

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.