The MMA odds and ends show is generally earmarked for my ideas on the UFC’s brand new reservations, but we can not dismiss Bellator. The Scott Coker-led marketing has revealed some noteworthy bouts for the upcoming Bellator 222 card, and below are my initial 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. Have a look at my ideas on this matchup in 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, with Horiguchi winning the fight by third-round entry. Horiguchi (27-2) will soon be making his Bellator introduction here riding a 12-fight win series. He’s a perfect 9-0 at RIZIN, also is coming off of a dazzling TKO win over former UFC fighter Ben Nguyen just a few weeks ago. Caldwell (13-2) is 10-1 overall in Bellator but hasn’t fought since the reduction to Horiguchi in the RIZIN ring. The last time we saw Caldwell in Bellator he pumped out Noah Lahat past summer, and aside from a shocking submission defeat to Joe Taimanglo in 2016 he has looked amazing at the Bellator cage. Still, you need to go together with Horiguchi to acquire this rematch. There is no reason to think much has changed since the last time these two foughtand I would expect Horiguchi to be a big favorite this time around despite the fact 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 making his Bellator introduction after losing by knockout into a nobody on the regional scene in his final outing. You can see what Bellator is hoping to do here by booking this mismatch, and Dannis will be a huge favorite to get the win.
Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie, Bellator 222
We were not sure if Rory MacDonald will be prepared to fight Neiman Gracie, but Bellator created the official announcement that the fight was on. The Bellator welterweight title will be at stake in the semifinals of this Bellator welterweight grand prix. MacDonald (20-5-1) is 2-1-1 overall in Bellator and is coming from a vast majority attraction to Jon Fitch, using advanced from the tournament because of a rule where the winner advances in the event of a draw. MacDonald took quite a little harm in the Fitch fight and said later in his post-fight interview he doesn’t possess the drive to hurt his opponents that he once did. That’s concerning, and makes you wonder whether he should be fighting soon. He says he is prepared, but we’ll see. Gracie (9-0) is 7-0 in Bellator and total has finished eight of his ace wins by submission. He is coming from a fantastic win over Ed Ruth in the quarterfinals, and is a live dog here against MacDonald. I expect MacDonald to be preferred, but I’d have a very long look at Gracie in this one as MacDonald needs to be faded at this time.
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