The MMA odds and ends series is generally earmarked for my thoughts on the UFC’s brand new reservations, but we can not ignore Bellator. The Scott Coker-led promotion has shown some noteworthy bouts for the upcoming Bellator 222 card, and below are my initial thoughts on such matchups.
Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida, Bellator 222
Bellator 222 takes place June 14 in Madison Square Garden in New York , New York. The most important event is a light heavyweight bout between Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida. Have a look at my ideas on this matchup at a preceding odds and ends here.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darion Caldwell two, Bellator 222
Also added to Bellator 222 is a fascinating rematch between RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi and Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell. These two fought RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event, together with Horiguchi winning the struggle by third-round entry. Horiguchi (27-2) will be making his Bellator debut here riding a 12-fight win series. He is a perfect 9-0 at RIZIN, and is coming off of a dazzling TKO win over former UFC fighter Ben Nguyen only a few weeks ago. Caldwell (13-2) is 10-1 overall in Bellator but hasn’t fought since the reduction to Horiguchi from the RIZIN ring. The last time we watched Caldwell in Bellator he pumped out Noah Lahat past summer, and aside from a shocking entry defeat to Joe Taimanglo in 2016 he has looked amazing in the Bellator cage. Still, you have to go together with Horiguchi to win this rematch. There is no reason to think much has changed since the last time these two foughtand I would expect Horiguchi for a sizeable popular this time around despite the fact that he was an underdog the first time that these two met.
Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey, Bellator 222
At the same time, a catchweight (175lbs) bout between Dillon Danis and Max Humphrey occurs at Bellator 222. Dannis (1-0) submitted Kyle Walker in his Bellator and MMA debut last April, but will be coming from a 14-month layoff into this bout. Humphrey (3-2) is creating his Bellator introduction after losing by knockout to a nobody on the regional arena in his last outing. You can view what Bellator is hoping to do here by reserving this mismatch, and Dannis will be a huge favorite for the win.
Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie, Bellator 222
We were not positive if Rory MacDonald will be prepared to fight Neiman Gracie, but Bellator created the official announcement that the struggle was on. The Bellator welterweight title is going to be at stake at the semifinals of the Bellator welterweight grand prix. MacDonald (20-5-1) is 2-1-1 complete in Bellator and is coming off of a majority draw to Jon Fitch, using advanced in the tournament because of a rule in which the winner advances in case of a draw. MacDonald took quite a bit of harm in the Fitch fight and stated later in his post-fight interview that he does not possess the drive to hurt his opponents that he did. That is about, and that makes you wonder whether he needs to be fighting soon. He says he is ready, but we’ll see. Gracie (9-0) is 7-0 in Bellator and overall has finished eight of his ace wins by submission. He’s coming from a great win over Ed Ruth in the quarterfinals, and is a live puppy here against MacDonald. I anticipate MacDonald to be favored, but I would have a long look at Gracie in this one as MacDonald needs to be faded at this time.
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