The eve of #Bellator268 🔥
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 15, 2021
Fight 13 Main Event: Vadim Nemkov vs Julius Anglickas
A Light heavyweight Title Bout
The new champion Nemkov has defeated the former champion Bader and the #2 contender Phil Davis twice. The rising star Julius Anglickas has a string of finishes leading up to his title attempt, but has failed to beat anyone else in the top five, he’s skipping straight to the title shot against the champ.
Fighting out of Stary Oskol, Russia 👊🇷🇺
The Light-Heavyweight champion has a plethora of epic finishes in the Bellator cage.
Get your @VadimNemkov fix ahead of #Bellator268 this Saturday live on @SHOsports.#BellatorLHWGP pic.twitter.com/f5woBf6aPu
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 15, 2021
Alex Polizzi is Julius’s only win inside the top ten title contenders, and his last three fights went to decision.
Tale of the Tape
|Fighter||Vadim Nemkov||Julius Anglickas|
|Odds, Per Dollar Wager||-549, $0.18||+425, $4.25|
|Odds Last Fight||-170 Win||-900 Win|
|Over/Under 4 ½ Rounds||O +110||U -150|
Vadim is a strong favorite, with youth, experience and finishing percentage advantage over Julius. Julius is taller and appears to have an unreported reach advantage.
Should I bet on Vadim Nemkov?
Nemkov’s rise to the title was sudden, taking out Ryan Bader with a head kick just last year. Since joining Bellator he’s been undefeated, finishing six opponents in eight fights, twice going to a decision with Phil Davis.
Vadim Nemkov’s Losses
Nemkov lost to Karl Albrektsson at RIZIN in 2016. Karl is now ranked number ten at Bellator after a loss to Phil Davis. He also took a loss to UFC contender Jiri Prochazka at RIZIN in 2015 via corner retirement. It was an interesting loss, because he hadn’t taken much damage and was winning the fight. He was simply too exhausted to continue after the RIZIN ten minute first round, saying that his heart felt strange. His Phil Davis fight showed significant slowing by round three.
Nemkov evolved significantly since that time, having only gone pro in 2013.
Nemkov’s Striking and Throwing Power
Nemkov has knocked out Lins and Bader with what seemed like clipping strikes. He doesn’t need a cumulation of strikes to finish a bout, though he did score a leg kick TKO over McGeary. He threw Phil Davis in the clinch with ease, lifting him overhead and slamming him to the canvas. He’s 90% on takedown attempts at Bellator.
Nemkov’s Submission Game
Nemkov’s submission game was dangerous enough to stop Bader from committing to any significant ground and pound. He finished Rafael C arvalho in 2019 with a second round RNC.
Julius’s one professional loss is via submission, and the ground game may play a significant factor.
Should I Bet on Julius Anglickas?
Anglickas is a strong grappler and always has been. He’s capable of stretching fights out into the late rounds, and that should be his strategy coming into Saturday night.
His ground and pound has always been high quality, but his striking was unrefined as recent as December 2018. Anglickas is stiff on the feet and has little head movement to speak of. Anglickas has had a significant size and strength advantage over the majority of opponent’s, an advantage he won’t have over Nemkov.
Julius Anglickas Striking
Anglickas has a clench game, and his muay thai style knees aren’t bad, but ultimately he’s looking to set up his double leg at all times. His boxing against Young and Milliard was slow and lackluster. He did do some interesting things like catch kicks and follow with a strike vs Young, but it’s far too rudimentary for Nemkov.
Julius wanted to use the Young fight to prove he could fight standing and show off some improved boxing. He bullied Young around the cage and won the fight hands down. However, even in the highlights he rarely lands any strikes. Young blocks the majority of Julius’s strikes, or Julius simply misses all on his own.
Can Anglickas out Wrestle Nemkov?
Anglickas shoots his blast double with his head tilted down. I’ll expect Nemkov to look for the guillotine as he did against Jiri in 2016. Nemkov couldn’t defend Bader’s double, but used his submission game to get the fight back to standing position.
The conditioning of Nemkov is a concern, and in later rounds I could see Anglickas winning via lay and pray strategy. Get the takedown, tie up the opponent, wait for the ref to stand it up.
Anglickas will need to push the pace to carry this out, and if he brings the striking he showed against Young to Nemkov, we’ll be in for a short fight.
My Final Pick for Nemkov vs Anglickas
I firmly believe in a Nemkov win. If you have other fights that a parlay makes more sense for, throw the Nemkov victory onto your ticket. He’s a legend in the making, and I think he’ll beat Corey Anderson and any other title contender easily.
Fight 12: Ryan Bader vs Corey Anderson
A Light Heavyweight Bout
Bader is the former champion, recently losing his long reigning title to Nemkov. Corey Anderson is the #4 contender vying for his first shot at Bellator gold after exiting the UFC in 2020.
Tale of the Tape
|Fighter||Ryan Bader||Corey Anderson|
|Odds Last Fight||–290 Win||-178 WIn|
|Over/Under 2 ½ Rounds||O -105||U-125|
This is Bader’s first fight as the underdog since hsi lost to Phil Davis in 2015. Anderson has the age, height, and reach advantages. Bader has more wins and a slightly better finishing percentage.
Note the over/under prop on this bout is near even, and for good reason. Anderson and Bader have a mix of finishes and decision over their last five fights each.
Should I Bet on Ryan Bader?
Bader’s held on to the light heavyweight title with his only challenge being Phil Davis for some time, winning in 2017 and defending it only three times in four years until he lost it to Nemkov. His fights at heavyweight were much higher profile, defeating Fedor and Mitrione over the last three years.
Bader has power but lacks finesse in his stand up. He knocked out an aging Fedor Emiliananko with a jab. He’s survived off excellent wrestling, ground striking, and conditioning. I’d say the former champ did a good job of gaming the division and making a career out of holding the belt while only fighting one of the current top ten light heavyweight contenders.
Ryan Bader’s Losses
Ryan won his last fight as a favorite to Lyoto Machida, an equally aged champion. Before that he lost his belt to Vadim Nemkov in a two-round struggle for position before Nemkov slept him with a head kick that lead to Bader absorbing dozens of punches.
He hadn’t lost in Bellator until that fight. His UFC career included losses to Anthony Johnson, Glover Teixeira, Lyoto Machida, Tito Ortiz, and Jon Jones. He was guillotine choked twice and finished with strikes three times. He’s all but solved his susceptibility ot guillotine chokes, and Anderson isn’t interested in catching submissions.
The strikers he lost to threw heavy shots often, focused on staying off their backs, and were unafraid of moving forward. This describes Corey Anderson in almost any fight.
Should I Bet on Corey Anderson?
Corey’s a takedown artist who focus on volume of takedwons. He proved he had standing knockout power against Johnny Walker in 201. His finishes inside Bellator have been by ground strikes, but in his defense both of his opponents were technical strikers Melvin Manhoef and Yagshimuradov.
Melvin has twenty-five MMA knockouts that came in the first round, and Anderson’s ability to manage that range was a big win, with Melvin getting up after three of Anderson’s takedowns.
Corey Anderson’s MMA Losses
All five of Anderson’s losses came by way of strikes, outside of split decision loss to Mauricio Rua. Jimmy Manua and OSP wrote the blueprint for how a fighter like Bader could beat Corey using defensive wrestling and striking up and down the body. Corey has trouble dealing with a mix of leg kicks and strikes.
Does Corey Anderson’s Age Matter?
I do believe that Bader is outside of his prime. He lost to Glover in 2013 via knockout and Corey beat Glover in 2018, making the title contender look old and slow. My only caveat is that Bellator seems to let athletes use PED’s more readily than the UFC and that can keep a fighter’s career going for longer. It’s something everyone should consider when betting on Bellator or ONE.
My Final Pick for Anderson vs Bader
Bader is fully capable of a finish, and we’ve seen Anderson’s chin get tested time and again. With this fight, I’m looking at fighter value, how much is the moneyline payout and will it be less in future bouts. Corey Anderson pays $0.50 per dollar wagered, and I believe he’ll be in Bellator for much longer than Bader. I see an Anderson win as most likely.
Fight 11: Benson Henderson vs Brent Primus
A Lightweight Bout
It’s good to see former title contender Benson Henderson dropping back down to lightweight after a brutal Welterweight two fight losing streak. Primus was a promising contender who lost his last two straight. One fighter will be back in the win column with another continuing their skid.
Tale of the Tape
|Fighter||Benson Henderson||Brent Primus|
|Odds Last Fight||+160 Loss||+185 Loss|
|Over/Under 2 ½ Rounds||-250||+175|
Primus has a mild youth and height advantage. He has a better finishing percentage among wins but has twenty-six less fights than the veteran Benson Henderson.
Should I Bet on Benson Henderson?
A bet on the favorite Henderson pays out $0.80 per dollar wagered. He’s on a losing streak in a heavier weight class, fighting killers like Michael Chandler. At lightweight, Henderson walked away from a two fight win streak over Jorge Masvidal and Brandon Thatch in 2015. He’s never been submitted in MMA, and has all the tools Michael Chandler used to win the decision over Primus in 2018.
Benson Henderson’s Striking
Henderson’s kicks and flashy style have been his moniker since the days of WEC back in 2012. Benson’s clench fighting is top notch and blends well with his front headlock/guillotine submission game.
He’s had no trouble outsriking the majority of opponents, from Clay Guida to Myles Jury. He’s struggled with finishing higher-level fighters, unable to get any TKO victories in his last twenty fights. Benson’s five TKO victories come from an injury to Patricio Pitbull and his early career, prior to WEC.
As a result, he gets ran over by heavy strikers like Chandler and Cowboy Cerrone.
Benson Henderson’s Losses
His last fight with Jason Jackson in 2020 was a tough decision loss for Benson. He came in a +160 underdog and wa unable to capitalize on any clinch fighting or ground fighting despite taking Jackson down and winning the back position twice. Jackson jabbed at Benson from the outside and picked at Benson for three rounds, overpowering him in grappling exchanges.
Should I Bet on Brent Primus?
Primus took a knockout loss to Michael Chandler, surviving more of Chalder’s knockout punches than most contenders. After watching the kind of punishment Primus can take, I’m convinced there is no way Benson will win via TKO.
Primus has three submission and stoppage victories inside Bellator, including his win over Michael Chandler in their 2017 match-up.
Brent Primus’s Losses
Brent has losses to Chandler and Islam Mamedov in Bellator. The majority of his fights have been finishes and primus continues to improve despite being an active amateur fighter stretching back to 2005.
The split decision loss to Islam was bad for Primus’s career, and I had him winning the bout clearly.
Brent Primus and Benson Henderson Sytle Matchup
Primus is willing to exchange. He took heavy shots from Santos in order to make his way into grappling exchanges. Benson can’t hope to wear out Primus, because he’s made a career out of grinding out fighters with higher striking accumen and catching late finishes.
Henderson’s performances have been fading and Primus’s have been improving. I see that as the most important factor.
My Final Pick for Henderson vs Primus
Henderson will come out with a similar intensity as with Jackson, but he’ll have to be more careful about giving up submission opportunities. In professional grappling, Benson has only won one bout, losing his last three. Primus went the distance with one of the best grapplers on the planet earlier this year in Craig Jones.
Fight 10: Henry Corrales vs Vladyslav Parubchenko
A Featherweight Bout
The opening bout on the main card features two finishers at featherweight. Corralles is coming off a loss that makes him 6-6 for Bellator over six years. Vladyslav lost his Bellator debut and hopes to turn it around in his second showing.
Tale of the Tape
|Fighter||Henry Corrales||Vladyslav Parubchenko|
|Over/Under 2 ½ Rounds||O -175||U +130|
Vlad has the finishing percentage advantage and is seven years younger than Henry. Henry has more KO victories and does sport more standing striking finishing power.
Should I Bet on Vladyslav or Corrales?
Vladyslav is a submission-focused fighter with a majority of submission finishes. The trouble is, he’s fought mostly no-name fighters and even faced the same regional opponents three times in one year.
Henry Corrales has been submitted multiple times, especially in his switch from smaller organizations to fighting for Bellator. He seems to have cleaned up his BJJ game, but a submission-oriented fighter could still be a problem for him. His last fight against Johnny Campbell ended via submission, but Campbell used more than grappling to make the win happen.
Vladyslav’s wrestling is decent, but I’m worried that he’s not athletic enough to hang with Corrales. Corrales is physical and will offer some challenges that Vlad hasn’t seen from his local Ukrainian MMA scene.
My Final Pick for Corrales vs Parubchenko
Despite Vlad’s shortcomings, he’s the kind of fighter built to face Corrales. Henry needs to spend time rebuilding his submission game. It’s not something he could have done in the five months since his last submission loss, totaling three submission losses in Bellator alone.
Bellator 268 Wrap Up
There are a dozen great Bellator fights Saturday night, with the prelims airing on Youtube. If you don’t want to buy the show, but you still want to bet on a fighter and watch them in action.
For more Bellator action and a closer look at the fighters you’re betting on, check out the open workouts.
There were some tense moments at the #Bellator268 open workouts. 👀
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 14, 2021