The Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix gets underway in Hawaii at Bellator 278 with the Wild Card fight between Jornel Lugo (8-0) and Danny Sabatello (11-1). We also get to see Enrique Barzola (17-5-2) vs Nikita Mikhailov (9-1) as well. This tournament will decide the new Bantamweight Champion, and the winner gets the 1 million dollar bonus!
For Jornel Lugo and Danny Sabatello this is a huge opportunity because they are only in the tournament due to other qualified opponents dropping out from injury. For either one a shot at 1 million dollars at this point in their careers is absolutely massive. I am somewhat biased in this particular contest because we have had Jornel Lugo on the show before, and I am a fan of his fighting ability. He is by far the more well rounded fighter, and has more ways to win. This fight will be a test for the undefeated Lugo because Danny Sabatello is a dedicated wrestler and will attempt to force Lugo to fight his fight.
I interviewed Jornel Lugo last week and this is what he had to say about his upcoming fight with Danny Sabatello.
Obviously Jornel Lugo doesn't have much respect for Danny Sabatello. I understand his confidence because Jornel Lugo hasn't really been in serious trouble against any of his previous opponents. Danny Sabatello is sure to take him down in this fight, and may try to frustrate him a bit by just choosing to control him on the ground. Against tougher skilled opponents Sabatello won't deal much damage but instead choose to win Rounds by maintaining top position. I believe Jornel will have to utilize quick scrambling, and Submissions from his back in order to get this fight back to standing positions where he is the far superior fighter.
Nikita Mikhailov gets UFC veteran Enrique Barzola from American Kickboxing Academy. Barzola's best years are behind him but he is still dangerous anywhere. I like Mikhailov to dictate where this fight takes place and to use his movement to confuse Barzola. This should be a close fight, and I expect it to go the distance but I believe Nikita Mikhailov will get his hand raised in the end.
It's quite likely that both of these fights go the
distance, and that's a bet I might actually make. For
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