If you are not amped for this weekend’s Bellator MMA and Glory Kickboxing hybrid show then something is terribly wrong with you. Not only will fans be treated to an excellent night of MMA fights, but they will also get to indulge in several fierce kickboxing bouts; including a bout for the vacant Glory light heavyweight title.

Between the Bellator light heavyweight title fight, the Glory light heavyweight title fight and the Bellator MMA debut of lightweight standout, Josh Thompson, this event features a little something for everyone. While those bouts are all well and good the real reason to tune into Bellator 142: Dynamite 1 on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, will be to watch the one-night, four-man light heavyweight tournament.

The tournament will feature four of the top light heavyweights and the winner of the tournament will get the next shot at the Bellator light heavyweight title. Due to California regulations limited the amount of rounds fights can fight in an evening the first round of the tournament will feature two five minute rounds while the final will be the standard three five minute rounds.

Round 1, Bout 1 – Muhammed Lawal vs. Linton Vassell

In the tournament’s first bout of the evening former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, Lawal, will take on former Bellator title challenger Vassell. A phenomenal amateur wrestler with knockout power in his hands, Lawal has a dangerous skill set, but he has always been underwhelming against stiff competition. Vassell on the other hand 10-1 since 2011 with his only loss coming to former Bellator champion Emanuel Newton.

On paper, Lawal has faced better competition over the course of his career but at the same time Vassell is the more complete fighter. If Lawal sticks to the basics and utilizes his wrestling, he should have no problem grinding Vassell out and moving on to the final.

Prediction – Lawal via decision

Round 1, Bout 2 – Emanuel Newton vs. Phil Davis

In the tournament’s second bout, former Bellator champion, Newton, will battle it out with former UFC standout Davis. Already holding impressive wins over both Vassell and Lawal Newton should be extrememly confident heading in to Saturday. The former champion’s career started off underwhelming, but since 2010, Newton is 13-2 with several highlight finishes to his credit.

But as good as Newton has been, he may be in over his head against Davis. A former four-time NCAA Division I All-American and the 2008 National Champion Davis is one of the most gifted athletes in MMA today. His length combined with his speed and strength has made him one of the best grapplers the light heavyweight division has seen; but he still struggles with the striking game.

Newton has a lot of tools and he is sneaky good on the feet, but Davis has seen much better. This fight
is going to the ground and Newton is going to be dominated there.

Prediction – Davis via submission

Tournament Final – Muhammed Lawal vs. Phil Davis

Based on the first round matchups, it seems very likely that Lawal and Davis are on a collision course for the final. That is either going to make for a really entertaining bout or a real snoozefest as both fighters have exciting skills, but a lot of lackluster bouts under their belts as well.

Considering both men have excellent wrestling backgrounds, expect this one to be won and lost on the feet. Davis has improved over the years, but his striking is still robotic and rudimentary and that will be his downfall. Lawal may not be the most technical striker in the game today, but he is much more fluid and his power is real. Lawal should be able to neutralize Davis’ wrestling and pick him apart on the feet.

Prediction – Lawal via decision

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.