Bellator recently announced some of the bouts for the approaching Bellator 223 and also Bellator 224 events. Here are the newest struggles, Together with my thoughts on the new matchups under:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rafael Lovato Jr., Bellator 223
Bellator 223 occurs June 22 in SSE Stadium in London, England, and the main event sees Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi taking on Rafael Lovato Jr.. Read my thoughts on this struggle in a previous edition of the MMA odds and endings.
Paul Daley vs. Erick Silva, Bellator 223
An intriguing welterweight bout between Paul Daley and Erick Silva has been added to Bellator 223. Daley (40-17-2) is currently 5-4 in Bellator and is coming off of a close decision loss to Michael Page using a decision loss to Jon Fitch prior to that. He hasn’t won since a KO win over Lorenz Larkin in September 2017. Silva (20-10, 1 NC) is 0-1 in Bellator, having lost by decision to Yaroslav Amosov within his promotional introduction. His last win came in July 2018 over Nick Barnes in LFA. Though Silva has a puncher’s chance, he’s a shell of his former self, and despite Daley struggling to win his last couple of fights, he must be chosen to win this bout.
James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano, Bellator 223
Featherweights James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano will struggle Bellator 223. Gallagher (8-1) has a 5-1 record in Bellator and rebounded well from his furious KO loss to Ricky Bandejas with a submission win over Stephen Graham his out time. Labiano (12-6) is 2-2 overall in Bellator and is coming off of a TKO win over Justin Smitley. Even though Gallagher is overrated, he should still be favored to win this fight.
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kent Kauppinen, Bellator 223
Middleweights Melvin Manhoef and Kent Kauppinen also fulfill at Bellator 223. Manhoef (30-14-1, two NC) is currently 42-years-old now and is coming from successive losses to former champ Rafael Carvalho. His last win was a knockout victory over Hisaki Kato back in 2015, and he has a 2-3, 1 NC album in Bellator. Kauppinen (11-4) is only 1-1 in Bellator but he is coming from a KO win over Alessio Sakara that was a breakthrough functionality for him. Despite Manhoef’s advantage in experience, you have to favor the younger and more durable fighter here in Kauppinen.
Julia Budd vs. Olga Rubin, Bellator 224
And finally, Bellator 224 occurs July 12 at WinStar Resort Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and the primary event features Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd contrary to Olga Rubin. Budd (12-2) has a perfect 6-0 record in Bellator and hasn’t lost since a entry defeat to Ronda Rousey way back in 2011. She will be coming to this fight off of a one-year layoff because she hasn’t competed because a TKO win over Talita Nogueira past July, however, Budd remains one of the most formidable women’s featherweights in the world irrespective of any layoff. Rubin (6-0) is 4-0 in Bellator, though her degree of competition has been sub-par, to say the least. However, she received this title shot because of her perfect record and since there’s no one else worthy of battling Budd, that will no doubt be a huge favorite to win the fight.
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