Michael Bisping may have lost his middleweight strap less than three weeks ago, but The Count will return to action immediately against a top middleweight contender. Jon Litterine has the breakdown.
Fantasy AnalysisSmith will head into this middleweight bout having won his last three fights, including a Round 3 victory against Hector Lombard in September via TKO (punches). Prior to that, he also rallied to beat Andrew Sanchez and defeated Elvis Mutapcic within the past 12 months and holds a career record of 28-12. On the flip side, Santos is also riding a three-fight win streak, and recently overwhelmed Jack Hermansson in Brazil just a month ago.
Fantasy AnalysisSantos and Smith will meet up for a middleweight clash with both fighters riding a wave of momentum. For Santos, he recently defeated Jack Hermansson in late October via TKO (punches) and bested Gerald Meerschaert and Jack Marshman during this calendar year. On the other side, Smith is coming off a hard-fought victory against Hector Lombard in Pittsburgh in September, and also enters with a three-fight win streak.
Fantasy AnalysisRickels is stepping in on short notice to face Piccolotti after Derek Anderson was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an undisclosed injury. The 29-year-old fighter is in the midst of a three-match unbeaten streak and has only lost one of his last six fights -- which came against former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. His opponent, Piccolotti, owns an overall record of 9-1 in professional fights but is coming off his first career loss (a first-round submission to Goiti Yamauchi).
Fantasy AnalysisPiccolotti was originally scheduled to face Derek Anderson before an undisclosed injury forced Anderson to withdraw. He'll now go against a fighter in Rickels who is in the midst of a three-fight winning streak and has won five of his last six bouts, with his one loss coming to former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. Piccolotti is looking to bounce back from his first career loss -- a first-round submission to Goiti Yamauchi.
Fantasy AnalysisAnderson was originally set to take on Piccolotti in a catchweight bout next month, but was forced to withdraw after sustaining an undisclosed injury. It's still unclear how long Anderson will be sidelined with the issue. In the meantime, Dave Rickels -- a Bellator fighter since 2011 -- is set to fight in his place.
Fantasy AnalysisSanders will now look to get back on track against Soukhamthath instead of Caraway, after his defeat to Iuri Alcantara in March. The loss was the first of Sanders' career, and was also a tough one to swallow, as he was in complete control until going down via submission (kneebar) in Round 2 at UFC 209 in early March. On the other side of the arena, Soukhamthath is trying to earn his first UFC victory following a pair of defeats to Alejandro Perez and Albert Morales earlier this year.
Fighters Who May Be Returning Soon