Bellator has announced two or three big fights for upcoming battle cards, and I’ll present my thoughts on these new matchups in the current MMA odds and ends.
Juan Archuleta vs. Ricky Bandejas, Bellator 214
Featherweight contender Juan Archuleta has opted to drop down to bantamweight and he’ll take on top prospect Ricky Bandejas in Bellator 214, which takes place January 26 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Archuleta (21-1) is really on a 16-fight win streak and is 3-0 thus far in Bellator with his most recent victory being a choice win over Jeremy Spoon back in November. Bandejas (11-1) started his Bellator career with a bang when he pumped out Bellator’s gold boy James Gallagher this past summer. He has only lost once in his profession, to UFC vet Nick Pace, and he retains a notable win over present UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili. That is such a good battle between two fighters on the upswing, and it is not an easy one to select considering both men are extremely gifted and both are riding a great deal of momentum into this battle. I believe Archuleta is a bit more strong and recognized, but Bandejas is a special potential himself. Start looking for a near line with a slight lean towards Archuleta.
Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop 2, Bellator 217
Heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop are place to rematch at Bellator 217, occurring February 16 at Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. Neslon (23-16) is 1-2 so much in Bellator and most recently was pumped out by Sergei Kharitonov in an upset. Nelson formerly defeated Cro Cop via TKO back in UFC 137 in 2011. Cro Cop (37-11-2, 1 NC) will soon be producing his inaugural Bellator introduction on the insides of a nine-fight win streak, wiht lots of those wins coming from RIZIN. Nelson may have beaten Cro Cop the very first time, but according to Cro Cop’s long win streak and Nelson’s diminishing chin I’d have to favor Cro Cop to win the rematch.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Andrey Koreshkov, Bellator 220
An exciting welterweight bout between strikers Lorenz Larkin and Andrey Koreshkov is set to headline Bellator 200, occurring March 29 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Larkin (20-7, 1 NC) is just 2-2 so much in Bellator, but he is coming off of successive wins over Fernando Gonzalez and Ion Pascu. The Pascu battle was likely to become a welterweight tournament alternative bout, bout Bellator should figure they don’t require a repacement fighter therefore they gave Larkin this fight against Koreshkov. Despite Larkin becoming a bit of a disappointment so much since signing a large free-agent contract with Bellator, he still possesses knockout power that will always make him a threat to beat anybody in the branch. Koreshkov (21-3) is 12-3 overall in Bellator and many recently lost by submission to Douglas Lima in the opening round of the welterweight tournament. His ground game and chin have looked shaky at times at Bellator, but like Larkin he’s always a threat to win by knockout. This should be quite a competitive fight but Koreshkov constantly gets massive admiration from bettors and I guess he be a small favorite here.
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