Light Heavyweight, Bantamweight Finals at Bellator 73
By: Matty Simo
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Friday’s Bellator 73 MMA event will feature two finals of the 2012 Summer Series, as the bantamweight and light heavyweight tournament champions will be crowned at Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. Heavyweight and light heavyweight feature fights will fill out the main card that will be televised on MTV2 starting at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
The light heavyweight final pits American Travis Wiuff (68-14) against Slovakian Attila Vegh (27-4-2), who will be an underdog for the second straight time. Vegh won a controversial split decision against Emanuel Newton as a +110 underdog at Bellator 72 while Wiuff won a unanimous decision against Tim Carpenter as a solid -265 favorite on the same card.
Both fighters are riding impressive winning streaks, as Wiuff opened as a -175 favorite according to the Don Best odds screen and has won his last six bouts and Vegh (+145) has won each of his past seven.
In the bantamweight final, Luis Nogueira (14-2) will take on Marcos Galvao (12-5-1) in a battle of Brazilians. Nogueira opened as the -200 favorite and has won 10 of his last 11 fights, capped by an impressive third-round knockout of Japanese fighter Hiroshi Nakamura in the semifinals of the Summer Series tournament. His last loss came a year ago to Ed West by unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the bantamweight tournament, but he has since won three in a row. Galvao (+160) beat West via UD in the quarters and had the same result against Travis Marx in the semifinals to advance to this title bout.
Two other fights will comprise the main card, as light heavyweights Matt Van Buren (5-0) and Mike Mucitelli (2-0) square off and heavyweights Ryan Martinez (7-1) and Mike Wessle (11-4) tussle earlier in the night. Van Buren (-140) has won his first two Bellator bouts and is coming off a first-round rear-naked choke submission of Shawn Levesque at Bellator 57 heading into this matchup with Mucitelli (+110).
Martinez (-345) has won his last five fights, including a shocking UD victory against Mark Ellis as a huge +450 dog at ProElite 2. He will be taking on a fellow heavywegight who is just 3-3 in his past six bouts in Wessel (+275), who has rebounded to win three of four following a two-fight skid. Wessel’s last four have all resulted in knockouts while Martinez has won his past two by decision.