Bellator Fighting Championships returns to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT for Bellator 62, which features the start of the promotion's season six welterweight tournament.
Opening round matchups include "TUF" alumnus Ben Saunders against undefeated Art of Fighting product Raul Amaya, three-time Bellator participant David Rickels taking on Victory MMA's Jordan Smith, middleweight tournament standout Bryan Baker making his 170 lb debut against Shooto South America champ Carlos Alexandre Pereira, and Karl Amoussou facing Chris Lozano in the main event.
Here’s a preview of the main card and a breakdown of each fight, which can be seen in its entirety after the jump.
The fight: Amoussou enters his first Bellato tournament having split his two promotional appearances. After falling to Sam Alvey via split decision, Amoussou rebounded to stop Jesus Martinez via first-round strikes in his last outing in November. Lozano hopes that his third Bellator welterweight tournament is the charm, having fallen in the semifinals in his previous tries.
What to look for: Both fighters have extremely aggressive styles and a serious clash should develop in this one. Amoussou is the more technical and polished fighter of the two but its hard to count out Lozano's explosiveness, regardless of him giving up a big-time edge in experience.
The fight: Saunders might his way to the finals of Bellator's last welterweight tournament before suffering a rough knockout loss to winner Douglas Lima. He will look to get back on track against Amaya, winner of all nine of his pro bouts to date, which have also all taken under the Florida-based Art of Fighting banner.
What to look for: Like his counterpart in Saunders, Amaya also looks to bring a well-rounded game to the table. He has finished all of his opponents, three with strikes and six by submission. It will be interesting to see how he responds to such a big jump up in competition with Saunders across the cage.
The fight: After winning all but two of his career appearances, Smith will finally get a chance to shine on a big stage against a fellow prospect in Rickels, who has been victorous in his three Bellator prelim fights, winning all three via triangle choke.
What to look for: Smith's only two losses have come to a pair of UFC vets, so he should be able to handle the adversity of moving up to the Bellator stage without a problem. Rickels has been brought along well by the Bellator brass and his slick ground game will clash well with Smith's tendency to stand and trade.
The fight: Despite having a solid stint as a middleweight, Baker has opted to make the drop down to welterweight. His first opponent in his new weight class will be Pereira, a longtime Brazilian journeyman who has fought the likes of Thiago Alves, Gleison Tibau and Siyar Bahadurzada.
What to look for: 22 of Pereira's 33 wins have come by KO or TKO, so his gameplan will be obvious from the get-go. While Baker has shown himself to be a potent striker, he may be keen to use his powerful wrestling base to try and control where the fight takes place.