The main event of Bellator 188 was originally supposed to be a battle between Patricio Freire and Daniel Weichel for the Bellator Featherweight Championship, However, Freire announced that he would be unable to compete this weekend after suffering from multiple injuries. So, Israel’s Noad Lahat will compete against Jeremiah Labiano in what should be a fascinating contest for the fans at Bellator 188 in Israel.
Please note: the best odds for Bellator 188 can be found at Bet365 this weekend.
Height: 5’9″ (175cm)
Reach: 69.0″ (175cm)
33-year-old Noad Lahat will be competing in front of his fans in Israel for the second time in 12 months under the Bellator promotion. After submitting his first two opponents at Bellator, he went on to lose to Henry Corrales at Bellator 182 and his hot streak came to a sudden ending. Lahat is a veteran of the two major promotions in the United States and managed a 2-2 record during his time in the UFC.
Height: 5’9″ (175cm)
Despite a 2-1 record in Bellator as well, Jeremiah Labiano is likely to enter this one as the betting underdog. Labiano is a submission grappling fighter with plenty of experience in jiu-jitsu. However, he has been unable to secure a submission since November 2013. More recently, Labiano has been grinding out victories and his most recent bout saw him defeat Stephen Cervantes for the vacant Conquer FC Featherweight Championship.
This fight is certainly an interesting one to break down.
Both Lahat and Labiano are talented grapplers. Lahat enters this with a second-degree black belt in Judo and a black belt in jiu-jitsu, while he will be up against the black belt skills of Labiano.
Lahat has shown to be an explosive and powerful grappler in the early stages of contests, but seemingly fatigues easily. By round two, his explosiveness diminishes and he loses his competitive advantage inside the Bellator cage. Without his strength and power to back up his exceptional technique, his capabilities decrease dramatically and this is why opponents have been able to better him via decision.
On the other hand, Labiano is recently competed for five rounds and was just training for the biggest fight of his life against James Gallagher. If you think that Lahat is motivated because the Israeli fans are supporting him, you should also consider Labiano’s intense motivation to score a win after losing his chance to compete against Gallagher in Dublin, Ireland.
Labiano’s real concern in this fight, however, is his ability to defend strikes. He can sometimes be a little flat-footed and bring his hands back slowly and that’s something that Lahat can definitely make him pay for.
Noad Lahat will have a fiery crowd behind him in Israel that could help carry him to an early victory, but there is also the chance that Labiano survives the early storm and outworks or submits his opponent late in the contest.
Prediction: Jeremiah Labiano by decision
Noad Lahat vs. Jeremiah Labiano
Jeremiah Labiano to Win
Thursday, November 16 – 2:00pm ET / 7:00pm GMT
Odds: +350 – Bet365