With just three events remaining in Season 7 of Bellator Fighting Championships
, the tournament finals officially arrive Friday at Bellator 82. Former world champion Lyman Good meets undefeated Russian knockout artist Andrey Koreshkov in the welterweight tournament championship, with the winner emerging as the next title contender at 170 pounds. Bellator 82
goes down from Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan this Friday, November 30 at 8/7c on MTV2 and EPIX2.
Bellator's inaugural champion Good has looked nothing short of dominant this season, as the New York native has hardly been in a second of trouble through two fights. He followed up a three-round battering of Jim Wallhead in the quarterfinals with yet another one-sided affair against Michail Tsarev in the semifinals, becoming the first to stop the Russian with strikes. Good's size advantage and heavy top game could prove to be game changers against Koreshkov in the finals.
Koreshkov had an uncharacteristic performance in the quarterfinals, as the now 12-0 Russian export was forced to overcome a rare moment of adversity and escape an incredibly tight rear naked choke. It was the first trip to the scorecards for the Rusfighters Sport Club product, who kept his perfect record intact. "Spartan" had a much more emphatic result in the semis, showing impressive speed, accuracy and power with his punches, as he hammered fellow striker Marius Zaromskis in the opening frame. Koreshkov will need a similar effort against Good to secure the tournament victory.
Heavily hyped prospect Alexander Sarnavskiy returns to the Bellator cage hoping to rid the sour taste of his first defeat. "Tiger" received a rude welcome to the U.S. courtesy of veteran Rich Clementi, who thoroughly out grappled and nearly finished then 20-0 Sarnavksiy. The Russian no doubt learned from the experience and his third round performance, where he seemed to find his striking rhythm, showed just a flash of his tremendous upside. He'll meet powerful Detroit native Tony Hervey, who has scored 11 of his 15 wins by knockout and is looking to secure his first three-fight winning streak since 2009.
A pair of heavy hitting middleweights collide, as Doug Marshall squares off with Kala Hose. After starting his career at heavyweight in the WEC, Marshall captured the promotion's light heavyweight title. His power followed him down to middleweight, where he's fought since 2008 and posted three first-round knockouts in five victories. Marshall's chin, however, has failed him in two of his last four outings and could prove problematic against Hose, who has scored knockouts in all seven of his wins. Hose ends a two year hiatus Friday looking to snap a three-fight losing streak and return to the form that saw him open his career 6-1.
Opening the card is a catchweight bout at 160 pounds between David Rickels and Jason Fischer. Undefeated at 4-0, Fischer's moniker "The Finisher" has proved accurate thus far. Both of his Bellator fights saw him completely dominate his opponents and still hunt for the finish in the third round, perhaps best evidenced by his rear naked choke that put Taylor Solomon to sleep with one second to go. Rickels drops down from welterweight coming off of his first career loss, a razor-thin split decision to Season 6 tournament champion Karl Amoussou. The tenacious Rickels is a wiz with triangle chokes and has enough power to change fights in an instant, as displayed by his 22-second knockout of Jordan Smith.
Before the main card airs live on MTV2 and EPIX2, Spike.com presents the Bellator 82 prelims live on bellatorlive.spike.com
. Decorated amateur wrestler Shawn Bunch makes his much-anticipated MMA debut as he battles fellow bantamweight Chad Coon. The master of the armbar Giva Santana returns to the Bellator cage and takes on Brendan Seguin in a middleweight tilt. Once beaten light heavyweight Matt Van Buren is also back under the Bellator banner, as he takes on Michigan native Terry Davinney. Check out the full Bellator 82 fight card.
Bellator 82 main card is live Friday, November 30 at 8/7c on MTV2 and EPIX2
Prelims are live at 6e/3p on bellatorlive.spike.com