After missing weight and being stripped of his middleweight title heading into his first scheduled defense, former champion, Brandon Halsey is heading into Bellator 144 on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, looking to prove a point and re-claim the title he never lost. But that task will be easier said than done as Halsey takes on Brazilian knockout artist Rafael Carvalho.

Halsey are Carvalho are two of Bellator’s brightest stars and these dangerous middleweights are looking to send a message on Friday night. Expect to see something special when these two step into the cage.

Striking

Halsey can hold his own on the feet against most strikers, but Carvalho isn’t most strikers. With a significant six inch reach advantage and a well-stocked toolbox, Carvalho is a dangerous matchup for Halsey and the longer this fight stays on the feet the more opportunities Carvalho will have to hand Halsey his first career loss.

Advantage – Carvalho

Grapping

This is where the fight will be won and lost. If Carvalho can avoid the grappling exchanges and stay on his feet, he can win the title. But if Halsey can close the distance and grapple with Carvalho, it will be his fight to lose. Halsey has a solid wrestling pedigree and his functional MMA wrestling is tremendous.

Advantage – Halsey

Submissions

Halsey isn’t a BJJ wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but he does know how to finish on the ground. Carvalho only has one loss on his record – his pro debut – and it just so happens to be a submission loss. Between Halsey’s heavy top game and his ground-and-pound, he should be able to force Carvalho to make a mistake on the ground.

X Factors

Carvalho’s biggest X Factor heading into Bellator 144 has to be his takedown defense. Carvalho has the power and the striking acumen to take Halsey out as long as they are standing. Carvalho is going to need to keep Halsey outside and upright to win this fight.

Halsey’s biggest X Factor heading into Bellator 144 will be his attitude. After missing weight and being stripped of his title, Halsey is angry and that anger has turned into a dangerous motivation. Halsey is going to come in and look to take no prisoners.

Prediction: Halsey via Submission, Round 1

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.