After one of Bellator’s best weekends of 2019, they are back at it again this Friday night with a show from Temecula, California at the Pechanga Resort and Casino for number 229.
Last Friday, the promotion was in Dublin, Ireland.
The atmosphere was intense, to say the least, but still friendly.
The Irish fighters, on the other hand, weren’t so friendly with their opponents.
Straight Blast Gym, made famous by the “Notorious” Conor McGregor dominated the night as expected.
The card was split into two shows but in the same 3Arena at different times.
Local, James Gallagher, headlined the UFC Dublin portion of the day and longtime veteran Benson Henderson fought Myles Jury in the main event of Bellator 227.
Bellator truly has to do a better job of clarifying the details of their fight cards.
We shouldn’t have to search more than five times just to find out if the main event is 5 rounds or 3.
Our picks did great on Friday. We went 4-0. Gallagher won fairly easily and quickly with a tight guillotine choke over the journeyman Roman Salazar.
Have a look here.
JUST LIKE THAT!
James Gallagher doesn't even break a sweat!
— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) September 27, 2019
The celebration was more exciting than the fight. It definitely lasted longer too.
Just looking at James, you can see why people say he’s copying McGregor to a T but when you think of how old he is (22) and that he was in the same gym as a teen when Conor was destroying everyone.
Gallagher went on to lead the crowd in an ensemble of “Zombie” originally made famous by The Cranberries of Limerick, Ireland in the 90s.
James was a heavy favorite so this wasn’t a huge win for us but still better than an L.
Working out way back on the card, a heavier favorite Michael “Venom” Page made short work of Richard Kiely with a well-timed flying knee.
Luckily, it didn’t put a crack in the Irishman’s skull as “venom” has been known to do in the past.
Was with Peter Queally, a (+215) underdog. Another close friend and training partner of McGregor, Queally and his opponent Ryan Scope looked evenly matched until it was Scope that dropped Queally with a lead leg high kick.
I think he hit him with mostly foot, so it wasn’t enough to put Peter out. Then the Irishman showed a tremendous amount of heart as the Brit did everything he could to finish him.
What we forget sometimes is that effective offense is more tiring that defense and Scope emptied his tank going for the finish. They then stood up and Queally caught him with a shot soon after and a few blows later, it was a wrap.
As for “Smooth” Henderson, he showed he is in another league than Myles Jury.
The latter just looked like he was in a light sparring match just waiting to get a paycheck.
Terrible fight but easy win for Benson.
Saturday night was the Featherweight Grand Prix Tournament. We went 2-2 losing with a couple of underdogs which didn’t break my heart because all of these fighters are so highly skilled.
The main event was a rematch of Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Machida. Lyoto was a huge underdog, so I went with the value.
Mousasi won a split decision, so I guess the pick wasn’t entirely ill-advised but I still had the Dutchman winning.
As for this week, we only have odds on a couple of fights so let’s go ahead and pick’em the best we can.
Lorenz Larkin is fighting Andrey Koreshkev in the main event this weekend. Both men are great strikers but Andrey might resort to some wrestling to get the edge.
Whether or not that wrestling will work against an incredibly fast and athletic Larkin is yet to be seen.
BetOnline has the odds for us.
Let’s make some picks.
Goiti Yamauchi vs Saad Awad
The Japanese-born fighter currently hailing from the fighting city and hometown of Anderson Silva, Curitiba, Brazil, Goiti Yamauchi comes in as the overwhelming favorite.
Should he be?
At just 5’9” tall, Goiti has a wingspan of 74”. He will need this against the 2-inch taller Saad who is always a threat for the knockout.
Awad has been with the company since Bellator 87 back in early 2013 and is essentially a journeyman. He beats two-thirds of the up and comers and loses to most of the elite fighters on the roster.
He is 11-7 with the organization and following a 4-fight win streak, he has since dropped two in a row including a decision loss to the previously mentioned Benson Henderson.
Yamauchi, (9-3) in Bellator, is coming off of the biggest win of his career when he defeated Featherweight Grand Prix first-round winner Daniel Weichel in a split decision.
Before that, he came up short against the incredibly powerful Michael Chandler.
The tapout is Goiti’s goal every time he steps into the cage and has accomplished said goal 18 times in his career (22-4).
He is expected to get Saad down and finish the fight but a tough veteran who has been around as long as Awad isn’t the best matchup either, someone who can potentially stuff a few takedowns and land some clean blows.
That is all it would take to change the fight.
It has been over 8 years since Awad has lost via submission but Yamauchi’s recent success against superior competition keeps me from pulling the trigger on the underdog.
Andrey Koreshkov vs Lorenz Larkin
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Lorenz Larkin in the gym.
That dude is greased dag’um lightnin’!
It was in 2016 and Larkin was coming off of a win over the now-famous Jorge Masvidal. He was preparing for Neil Magny, a fight he won as well.
Magny is tall and lanky and so am I. I was early to practice that day and his coach asked me if I wanted to “move around” with Lorenz. I was immediately terrified but didn’t think I would be used as fodder either.
For once, move around actually meant move around and he touched me with punches and kicks while I touched the air next to his head a couple of times.
I was happy. They won their fight, and somehow, Larkin ended up in Bellator soon after.
He lost to the current champ Douglas Lima and the ever-dangerous Paul Daley caught him with a punch in the second round.
He has since rattled off two wins, albeit to lesser foes.
Andrey Koreshkov has the same issue as Lorenz and Michael Page among others…
It’s called the Douglas Lima effect. The man might be the #1 welterweight in the world. He’s definitely the best in Bellator.
Andrey has fell victim to Lima twice now and the only other loss of his career was a ground and pound finish by Ben Askren back in 2013.
Look, both of Friday night’s contestants are incredibly athletic and technical strikers. I love their offense, defense, and everything in between on the feet.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Lorenz catches him but I think Koreshkov wins ¾ times these two fight.
There you have it, guys!
That’s the third Bellator fight card in 8 days!
The first two were major hits!
This one has significantly less star power but the main event is tailor-made for the casual fan, the hardcore, and the bettor as well.
I feel pretty confident in Andrey’s chances and I would cap him at (-240), so the (-175) line holds some value.
As for the co-main event, Awad Saad could give the younger man problems with his combination of experience and toughness but I’m still going with the favorite.
You can do a little two-fight parlay if you like for nearly even odds.
Bet 104.00 to make 100.00.
It’s going down Friday night. If you have a date, cool story but if not, you have to at least catch the main event.