Bellator’s first pay-per-view takes place on the second of November and where the main card has been filled the preliminary card still has a number of slots to fill.
Today, Bellator MMA announced the addition of featherweights Akop Stepanyan & Mike Richman to the preliminary card, which will air live on SPIKE TV.
This is yet another solid match that has been added to an ever improving card.
Stepanyan is a relentless Russian who possesses amazing stand-up skills and is as tough as they come. He sports a 13 & 6 record, with 7 of his wins coming by way of KO or TKO and has an overall finishing rate of 69%.
If you missed his last outing and loss at Bellator 99 in September, then you missed an incredible demonstration of technique and skill. In the bout, “Sniper” owned Justin Wilcox on the feet and had it not been for the error of being taken down in a scramble and chocked out, surely he would have won the fight. However and although he didn’t, make no mistake about it, this Russian can fight and is very exciting in his performances.
Across the cage from him will be Mike Richman. “The Marine” sports a 15 & 3 record, with an impressive and well balanced finishing rate of 87%; 6 KO’s & 7 submissions. Richman is a very good stand-up fighter, who relies primarily on his foot work and boxing. He is very mobile and in great shape. He’s both good on the feet and the mat, but in this match he’ll probably want to avoid the Sniper’s stand-up game and move the fight to the ground. As four of Stepanyan’s six losses have come by way of submission and his stand-up is as formidable as it is, this would seem to be the wise plan. Perhaps even more so, when we consider that the one stoppage on Richman's record is a KO; Shahbulat Shamhalaev, November of last year. Conversely, Stepanyan has never been stopped on his feet.
All things considered, Bellator is putting together a solid night of fights and one that is sure to entertain the paying crowd.
If there is a single regret about this card it’s that Bellator didn’t put it on SPIKE for free. That would have made for a spectacular night of MMA of TV.