Bellator recently announced some of the bouts for the approaching Bellator 223 and also Bellator 224 occasions. Here are the newest struggles, Together with my thoughts on the new matchups below:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rafael Lovato Jr., Bellator 223
Bellator 223 occurs June 22 in SSE Arena 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 was inserted to Bellator 223. Daley (40-17-2) is 5-4 at Bellator and is coming off of a close decision loss to Michael Page with a decision loss to Jon Fitch prior to that. He has not 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 debut. 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 fighting to win his last couple of fights, he must be favored to win this bout.
James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano, Bellator 223
Featherweights James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano will fight Bellator 223. Gallagher (8-1) has a 5-1 record in Bellator and rebounded nicely from his furious KO loss to Ricky Bandejas using a submission win over Stephen Graham his last time out. 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 must still be preferred to win this battle.
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 currently and is coming from consecutive losses to former champ Rafael Carvalho. His final win was a knockout victory over Hisaki Kato back in 2015, and he has a 2-3, 1 NC record in Bellator. Kauppinen (11-4) is just 1-1 in Bellator but he’s coming off of a KO win over Alessio Sakara that was a breakthrough functionality for him. Despite Manhoef’s edge 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 in WinStar Resort Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and the primary event features Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd against Olga Rubin. Budd (12-2) has a perfect 6-0 record in Bellator and hasn’t lost since a submission defeat to Ronda Rousey way back in 2011. She’ll be coming to this battle from a one-year layoff because she hasn’t competed because a TKO win over Talita Nogueira past July, however, Budd is still 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 level of competition has been sub-par, to say the very least. Still, she obtained this name shot because of her perfect album and since there’s no one else worthy of fighting Budd, who will no doubt be a massive favorite to win the battle.
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