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Bellator 84 Preview

by Michael Roberts   December 13, 2012 at 3:00PM  |  Views: 2,867
Bellator 84 preview photo

Bellator Season 7 comes to a close this Friday with a heavyweight world title fight and the lightweight tournament championship. Rich Hale and Alexander Volkov square off with heavyweight gold on the line, while ground specialists Dave Jansen and Marcin Held battle for the next title shot at 155 pounds. Bellator 84 goes down from Hammond, Indiana live Friday, December 14 on MTV2 and EPIX2 at 8/7c.

After impressive showings in his first two Bellator appearances, Volkov's hands won't be sneaking up on future opponents. The rangy Russian utilizes his tremendous reach quite well, as his straight and accurate shots saw him completely overwhelm Brett Rogers for three rounds in the quarterfinals. If there was one knock on his debut performance, it was a lack of killer instinct. The Rusfighters Sport Club product put those notions to rest in his follow up effort, finishing off Vinicius Queiroz in the first round with a barrage of punches. The towering 6'7" Volkov faces his stiffest test in Hale.

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While Hale's move to heavyweight may have garnered initial skepticism, his pair of first-round finishes have certainly validated his decision. In two fights combined "Rare Breed" hasn't spent a full round's worth of time in the cage, needing a total of 4:50 to stop Mike Wessel and Season 5 heavyweight tournament finalist Thiago Santos. His last outing was especially impressive, as Hale took the best shots "Big Monster" had to offer, maintained his composure and recovered before pounding out Santos for the comeback victory. With former heavyweight champ Cole Konrad retiring this past September, the winner of the Hale vs. Volkov will be crowned world champion.

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Two of the lightweight division's most talented grapplers meet in the Season 7 tournament championship, as Jansen faces Held. Each favors submissions, but have shown the ability to hang tough on the feet this season. Jansen scored a close split decision over Ricardo Tirloni in a semifinal bout largely contested on the feet, while Held showed improved standup in the opening round against Murad Machaev. Held's semifinal fight looked more like what we've come to expect from the young Polish prospect, as he tangled on the ground with veteran Rich Clementi for one round before securing a gruesome toe-hold in the second and getting the submission win. The winner of Held vs. Jansen will earn their title shot against the winner of the recently announced Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn matchup.

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Before the main card airs live, prelims stream live on bellatorlive.spike.com at 6:30e/3:30p. Felice Herrig and Patricia Vidonic meet in a women's strawweight contest. Cliff Wright and Christian Uflacker battle in an intriguing lightweight bout. Check out the full Bellator 84 card.

Bellator 84 main card is live Friday, December 15 on MTV2 and EPIX2 at 8/7c
Prelims are live on bellatorlive.spike.com at 6:30e/3:30p