The Palladium Ballroom at Caesars Atlantic City will host this week's marquee MMA event Friday night. Bellator 68 action begins with the preliminary card streamed on Spike.com at 7:00 p.m. (ET). MTV2 takes over with a live broadcast of the main card an hour later.
Season 6's Featherweight Tournament Final highlights the evening as Marlon Sandro (22-3) goes up against Daniel Straus (19-4), with the winner getting a shot at current BFC featherweight title holder Pat Curran. Both Sandro and Straus have lost at this stage before, setting up an interesting opportunity for both fighters to make up for those defeats.
The oddsmakers like Sandro's chances to redeem himself best with a -155 price and the take-back on Straus at +125.
Since losing to Curran by knockout at Bellator 48 last August, Sandro has reeled off three wins. Two came by submission (Bellator 58 and 60), before a split decision over Alexandre Bezerra at Bellator 64 in April to set up this fight.
Sandro's other two career defeats were by decision, and 10 of the Brazilian's victories have gone to the judges to declare a winner.
Like Sandro, Straus enters the ring on a three fight win streak with his last loss coming by unanimous decision Brazilian Patricio Freire in the Season 4 featherweight finale. All three triumphs were also by unanimous decision. The most recent was at Bellator 65 vs. Mike Corey in the semifinals of this year's feather tourney.
The Season 6 bantamweight tourney semifinal on this card pits Marcos 'Loro' Galvao (11-5-1) against Travis 'T-Train' Marx (19-3). Galvao is the pronounced favorite at -275 with the return on Marx at +215.
Both fighters reached the semis following unanimous decisions in the quarterfinals. Marx got the nod over Masakatsu Ueda at Bellator 64 while Galvao got past Ed West in Bellator 65. Ten of Galvao's 11 wins have come via decision along with three of his five defeats.
Despite what is at stake in the featherweight final and bantam semi, one of the most anticipated fights Friday is a welterweight feature fight between Marius 'The Whitemare' Zaromskis (16-6-1) and Waachiim Spiritwolf (9-9). These two met in a Strikeforce event about 18 months ago, and it ended just a few seconds into the bout on a no-contest when Zaromskis caught Spiritwolf in the eye with a finger.
Just as back then, the oddsmakers like Zaromskis at -345 with Spiritwolf a +275 underdog.
Zaromskis is all out in the ring with a dozen of his 16 wins via knockout or TKO and four of his five losses coming the same way. It will be interesting to see if this fight makes it beyond the first round, one way or another.