Joe Warren and Darrion Caldwell know what is at stake Friday night when they square off inside the cage at Bellator 151.
Warren, a former two-division champion, and Caldwell each want to fight for the Bellator bantamweight title next. The winner will have a strong case for that, once Eduardo Dantas and champion Marcos Galvao finally have their rematch.
Below are predictions for the four Spike TV main card bouts, while winners of the early prelims:
Joe Warren vs. Darrion Caldwell
Both of these fighters come from wrestling backgrounds, but the experience edge is truly in the corner of Warren. The former champion has been tested by some of the best athletes out there, and should be prepared for anything Caldwell offers.
Prediction: Joe Warren via unanimous decision
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Gilbert Smith
Smith, a former Resurrection Fighting Alliance welterweight champion and member of The Ultimate Fighter, gets his shot at a co-main event role right off the bat after agreeing to replace Michael Page. This is no easy test, though, as Gonzalez is on a four-fight win streak and owns 24 career wins.
Prediction: Gilbert Smith via split decision
Bubba Jenkins vs. Goiti Yamauchi
Much like Warren and Caldwell, Jenkins is a former standout college wrestler. Now 10 fights deep into his Bellator run, the featherweight will have quite possibly his biggest fight of his career vs. Yamauchi. The 23-year-old has won three straight and is 5-1 in Bellator.
Prediction: Bubba Jenkins via unanimous decision
Joe Taimanglo vs. Sirwan Kakai
Look for a strong performance out of Kakai in this one, as the 26-year-old is fighting for the first time since his UFC release last year. He split his two Octagon fights overall, while Taimanglo is 2-2 over his last four and 4-2 with Bellator.
Prediction: Sirwan Kakai via first round submission
Prelim Winners: Ray Wood, Steve Garcia, Justin Patterson, Aaron Robertson, Neiman Gracie, Derek Palmer, Stephen Banaszak.