On Thrusday October 21st at the Philadelphia Liacouras Center Bellator 33: Alvarez vs. Huerta will take place. The co-main event of the evening will have Lyman Good putting his Welterweight title on the line against two-time NCAA National Champion wrestler Ben Askren. Here is MMA For Real's preview of the fight:
Record: 10-0 overall, 3-0 Bellator
Key wins: Omar de la Cruz (Bellator 11)
Key losses: None
How he got here: Growing up in Spainsh Harlem, Good was picked to be a part of Bellator's first season. At the time Bellator had a broadcast deal with ESPN Deportes'. Fighting in the Welterweight division, Good seemed like a fighter Bellator could push to their audience. The Tiger Schulman product put together three straight victories to become Bellator's first Welterweight title holder. Since wining the title back in June of 09' Bellator has not given any fights to showcase their Welterweight champion.
How he gets it done: Good has relied on his powerful wrestling skill to lauch himself into the Bellator cage. Since then he has still used his wrestling, but has been much more aggressive. In his run as tournament champion, Good used a nice high guard to avoid submissions and punish opponents with his ground and pound. He has slowing been developing his striking game and I wonder how much he has improved in over a year. Lyman Good is 10-0 and a very dangerous fighter.
X-Factor: Lyman Good has to be mistake free in this fight. He can't be overaggressive and he can't commit to much on his punches. Since he haven't fought in over a year his timing is going to be a little off. He needs to adjust properly to catch Askren standing. If Askren gets intop position, Good will have to pick his spots and explode out of Askren's control. The key for Good is to be pacenit
Record: 6-0 overall, 3-0 Bellator
Key wins: Dan Hornbuckle (Bellator 22)
Key losses: None
How he got here: A two-time NCAA National Champion at 174 pounds, Askren made the plunge into MMA in Febuary of 09'. Askren quickly demolished his oposition on the local circuit and was selected to be apart of Bellator's stacked Welterweight tournament in season two. Askren controversially submitted Ryan Thomas in the opening round. In the second round he was ready to face UK fighter Jim Wallhead. Unfortunately for Wallhead the volcanic ash clould prevented him from reaching the states. So Bellator booked the re-match between Askren and Thomas. Askren controled the fight the entire time. Askren would then face Dan Hornbuckle in the finals. Easily Askren's toughest test, Hornbuckle threatened Askren very little in the fight. Askren won $100,000 dollars that night and a shot at Lyman Good.
How he gets it done: Askren has controlled all his opponents to date with his superior grappling. Askren has a great base, which allows him to control his opponents so well. His excellent base also helps him from being swept. Askren is an Olympic level wrestler, so it is no secret what he wants to do. With Askren improving so quickly, opponents will have to be weary of his submission game.
X-Factor: Can Askren's technique overcome Good's power? If Askren gets stuck in the clinch what will he do to get out of the position? If Askren's gas is good (Something that has never been a problem) He should be able to impose his will and continuously attack Good.
Bottom line: Good's biggest strength as a fighter is his ability to wrestle. Unfortunately for Good he is facing a two-time champion at the highest collegiate level. Askren is a much better grappler, he controls where this fight takes place. Askren should be able to takedown Good and dominate him positionally. Goodis not a stiff by any means he should provide trouble for Askren early, but the year long lay-off hurts him. If Good can somehow keep the fight standing he should be able to bust up Askren a bit. I can't pick against Askren though, his superior grappling skills should be enough to get him a win at Bellator 33. I got Ben Askren getting a submission in round 4 and capturing the Bellator Welterweight belt.
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