Bellator 226 comes to the SAP Center in San Jose, California. This card will be highlighted by a heavyweight title fight, along with the Bellator featherweight Grand Prix. Let’s take a look at the latest MMA Odds while making some predictions.
Bellator 226 Odds, Preview & Expert Picks
Headline FightThe headlining bout of the evening will feature Bellator heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, defending his title against veteran MMA fighter Chieck Kongo. Bader enters the bout with a record of 27-5, with Kongo sporting a 30-10-2 MMA record.
This will be Bader’s first defense of his heavyweight title. Since he left the UFC promotion, Bader has won five straight fights. He has defeated the likes of Fedor Emeliananko, Matt Mitrione, and Phil Davis.
Someone’s winning streak will have to end, as Kongo hasn’t lost a fight in four years. In that four years, Kongo has won eight fights in a row. If Kongo wants to defeat Bader, he will have to use his size advantage, and put his stalling tactics to good use. Kongo will look to get Bader to the ground, and keep him on the mat.
Unfortunately for Kongo, Bader is a very skilled wrestler. If Kongo does get him to the ground, Bader will be able to combat whatever Kongo looks to do. Bader will look to stay on his feet and attack Kongo. Bader will use jabs and will stick and move against the larger Kongo. If Bader sticks to this game plan, he should walk out of San Jose still the champion.
There are eight men still participating in the featherweight Grand Prix. Four men will advance to the semi-finals of the featherweight tournament. Two of the top featherweights will fight each other in the quarterfinals, as Daniel Straus will take on Derek Campos.
Straus enters the match with a 26-8 record, while Campos comes in at 19-9. Straus, the former featherweight champion, has lost two of his last three fights. Campos has also struggled as of late, as he has lost his last three bouts.
These two veterans may have lost a step, but they’ll still put on a great show. Straus will try to take the fight to the mat, as he will want to use his elite wrestling skills to earn the victory over Campos. Campos will look to get inside and use his powerful strikes to floor the former champ.
Another Good OneThe other top fight in the featherweight Grand Prix will have Pat Curran taking on Adam Borics. Curran (23-8) will take on the undefeated Borics (13-0). Curran will look to avoid the knockout power of the young Borics. Curran will use his wrestling background to try to stifle the power game of Borics. Curran will use his experience to his advantage to try to teach the cocky youngster a lesson.
Emmanuel Sanchez will take on Tywan Claxton in the featherweight tournament. Sanchez is a versatile fighter who can brawl or go to the mat. Claxton will use his college wrestling background to try to take the fight to the mat.
The final bout of the Grand Prix will pit Sam Sicilia against Pedro Carvalho. Sicilia has huge knockout power, while Carvalho has a history of taking his fights to the mat and forcing his opponents to submit. If Sicilia can’t hit a knockout blow, look for Carvalho to take the fight to the ground and take care of Sicilia.