Bellator 93: Jansen vs. Held full fight preview

March 20, 2013


Bellator 93: Jansen vs. Held full fight preview

John Boldrick  – After a small late season break  Bellator returns to the air for Bellator 93: Jansen vs. Held. The event, airing on Spike TV on March 21, emanates from the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. It will be the promotions first trip to The Pine Tree State, as it continues to grow and reach new areas.

The evening’s card sees a mixture of homegrown talent as well as former UFC and Strikeforce fighters. Originally, the event was to be headlined by this season’s welterweight tournament final between Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders. That fight has been moved to this summer, as Lima broke his hand in his last fight against Bryan Baker.

Fear not, as this card is still headlined by a tournament final, only now, it’s in the lightweight division. Dave Jansen steps into the cage with Marcin Held to see who will be crowned season seven’s tournament winner and receive the next shot at champion Michael Chandler.

33 year-old Jansen enters the cage on resurgence. After opening his career 13-0, Jansen took a big step up in competition and entered the WEC. Despite winning his first fight, Jansen proceeded to drop his final two appearances, one against current UFC featherweight Ricardo Lamas.

It’s all smiles now as since his WEC time, Jansen has gone 5-0 in Bellator.  To get to the finals, Jansen submitted Magomed Saaddulaev by guillotine choke in the third round of their Bellator 77 fight. A month later, he took a split decision from Ricardo Tirloni to put himself one win away.

11 of Jansen’s 19 career wins have come via submission, so look for Jansen to try and get the tap here. He’s also won by sub in three of his last five fights.

His opponent, Held, will be looking to finally fight. This matchup was originally scheduled for last December, however due to state gambling regulations, Held was not allowed to enter the arena (being 20 years old). Held turned 21 on January 18 and is now set to finally have his fight.

Young in age, Held is older in experience. It’s his second go around in the lightweight tournament. He first participated in season four, where he was eliminated in the quarter finals by current champ Chandler. This time around, he beat Murad Machaev at Bellator 77 before submitting UFC veteran Rich Clementi.

Much like Jansen, three of his last five victories have been by submission. This one might be a ground battle pitting youthfulness versus experience.

In the co-main event, Diesel returns to the cage. A veteran of 84 pro fights, Travis Wiuff must feel like he should be champion. Brought in to face light-heavyweight champ Christian M’Pumbu in a non title super fight at Bellator 55, Wiuff actually pulled out the victory. In other promotions, that would mean an automatic title shot. Not Bellator.

Wiuff was put into the 2012 summer series tournament. After a KO over Chris Davis and a decision win over Tim Carpenter, Wiuff faced off with dangerous Slovak Attila Vegh. Vegh got the better of Wiuff that night, knocking him out in 25 seconds. Now that Vegh is champion, look for Wiuff to be out for revenge and a title stop. Bellator 93 is the first stop on the road.

Opposing him from across the cage will be two time Bellator veteran Ryan Martinez. Martinez is perhaps best known for defeating former NCAA division 1 heavyweight champ Mark Ellis in Pro Elite. Martinez was actually supposed to compete in the finals of a tournament to crown the promotions first heavyweight champ, before they ceased operations.

Martinez has since found a new home. So far in his BFC career, he has gone 1-1. He lost his debut to Mike Wessel but followed it up by defeating Manny Lara at Bellator 75. Here, Martinez drops a weight class as he looks to impress with a win over a veteran and make a case for a spot in the next light heavyweight tournament.

At one point in time, it seemed like Brett Rogers was on top of the world. He was 10-0, had just defeated Andrei Arlovski. He was seen as the next big thing in heavyweight MMA. Fast forward and most of that is gone. At 2-5 in his past seven, this could be make or break. The days of facing Fedor and Overeem  are over, as Rogers has seemingly found a home in Bellator. He’s 1-1 for the promotion, but looked sluggish in a loss to Alexander Volkov. At 32 years of age, this may be The Grim’s last shot on the big stage.

He’s got a tough assignment, as Rogers faces off with former U.S. solider Eric Prindle. Prindle is a former tournament winner, although it came under dubious circumstances. The American Solider originally met Thiago Santos in their season five heavyweight tournament finale. A groin kick less than 90 seconds in sent the match to a no contest. The two were to rematch; however Santos missed weight, giving Prindle the tournament win.

His title fight didn’t go as planned though. Cole Konrad submitted Prindle in exactly one minute to retain the title. Last time out, Prindle again met Santos looking to settle the score. This time it was Prindle catching Santos low. Unfortunately for Prindle, the fight was ruled a DQ win for his opponent.

This one should be a hard hitting affair. Prindle has four of seven wins via KO, while Rogers has notched 10 of 12 victories with the method. The winner could be matched up with Santos to see who gets in the next heavyweight tournament for a shot at the vacant belt.

Leading off the card is a battle of two big show veterans. Life has been pretty good for Marcus Davis since leaving the UFC. He’s gone back up to his “normal” weight class at 170 and is 4-1 since being cut. His lone loss came to Ultimate Fighter 13 contestant Chuck O’Neil. Here, Davis looks to fight in his home state (not Ireland) and pick up the win in his Bellator debut. It’s interesting to note that three of Davis’s last four wins are by way of decision. Prior, Davis only had three decision wins in his previous 17 victories.

He faces off with a man who always brings it, Waachim Spiritwolf. While he record may not be overly impressive (9-11), the 37 year-old always comes to fight. Spiritwolf has lost four in a row (including two against Marius Zaromskis) but should be underestimated. His last win was over two years ago in Bellator, but that just adds fuel to the fire for Spiritwolf. With six of his nine wins coming by way of (T) KO, look for Spiritwolf to try and keep the fight on the feet. Since he’s facing a former pro boxer in Davis, it shouldn’t be a problem.


Main Card for Bellator 93

Dave Jansen vs. Marcin Held- Lightweight tournament final

Ryan Martinez vs. Travis Wiuff

Eric Prindle vs. Brett Rogers

Marcus Davis vs. Waachim Spiritwolf



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