The MMA odds and ends show is usually reserved for my ideas on the UFC’s new reservations, but we can not dismiss Bellator. The Scott Coker-led marketing has shown some noteworthy bouts for the approaching Bellator 222 card, and here are my first thoughts on these matchups.
Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida, Bellator 222
Bellator 222 occurs June 14 in Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The most important event is a light heavyweight bout between Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida. Check out my thoughts on this matchup in a preceding odds and ends here.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darion Caldwell two, Bellator 222
Additionally added to Bellator 222 is an intriguing rematch between RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi and Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell. These two fought RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event, 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’s a perfect 9-0 in RIZIN, and is coming from 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 has not fought since the loss to Horiguchi in the RIZIN ring. The last time we saw Caldwell in Bellator he pumped out Noah Lahat past summer, and besides a shocking submission defeat to Joe Taimanglo in 2016 he’s looked amazing at the Bellator cage. Nevertheless, you have to go together with Horiguchi to acquire this rematch. There’s no reason to believe much has changed since the last time these two fought, and I’d anticipate Horiguchi for a big favorite 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
As well, a catchweight (175lbs) bout between Dillon Danis and Max Humphrey takes place at Bellator 222. Dannis (1-0) filed 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 in the regional arena in his last outing. It’s possible to see 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 made the official announcement that the struggle was on. The Bellator welterweight title is going to be at stake at the semifinals of this Bellator welterweight grand prix. MacDonald (20-5-1) is 2-1-1 overall in Bellator and is coming off of a vast majority attraction to Jon Fitch, having advanced from the tournament because of a rule in which the champion advances in case of a draw. MacDonald took quite a little damage in the Fitch fight and said later in his post-fight interview he doesn’t have the drive to damage his opponents he once did. That is concerning, and that makes you wonder whether he should be fighting so soon. He says he is prepared, but we will see. Gracie (9-0) is 7-0 in Bellator and overall has completed eight of his pro wins by entry. He’s coming off of 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 take a very long look at Gracie in this one as MacDonald needs to be faded at this time.
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