Bellator 207 takes place on Friday, October 12, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. UFC alums Matt Mitrione (13-5, 11 KOs) and Ryan Bader (25-5, 11 KOs, 3 SUBs) will face off in the main event in the semi-final round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. The main card airs live on the Paramount Network starting 9 pm ET.
Get ready for two straight nights of Bellator fights, with Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals matchups serving as main events on both cards. Today we’re looking at this Friday’s Bellator 207 in Connecticut, with UFC alums Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader headlining the action.
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Mitrione served as a fringe top-10 heavyweight inside the octagon after a memorable stint on The Ultimate Fighter. Though we mainly remember his weird “Meathead” personality, his knockout power and fast hands made him a respected big man in the division.
Bader was more successful, winning the seventh season of TUF with his power wrestling game. From there, he evolved into a legitimate title contender, going 16-4 inside the octagon before joining Bellator. “Darth” currently holds the promotional light heavyweight belt after beating fellow UFC vet Phil Davis.
Also on the card is a heavyweight tilt between Roy Nelson and Sergei Kharitonov - two bangers with heavy hands. Ex-UFC’er Lorenz Larkin is joining the cast, hoping to bring his Bellator record to .500 against UFC castoff Erick Silva. Kevin Ferguson Jr., the progeny of the late Kimbo Slice, continues his MMA journey against Corey Browning. “Baby Slice” is 2-1 so far in his fledgling career.
All in all, it’s a card that easily rivals most UFC Fight Nights. There are some decent bets to be made with the MMA odds at Betcris.com, and you can check out our picks below. Also, throughout the night, live in-game MMA betting is also available.
Bet on MMA at BetCris
Main Event, Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final
Matt Mitrione +255
Ryan Bader -336
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +175 / -245
Bet on this fight at Betcris
We get why oddsmakers pegged Bader as the favorite to win the tournament. He’s the only guy whose still remotely close to his prime, and the 35-year old is an excellent wrestle-boxer who can knock dudes out or pound them out on the ground. That being said, we see a solid opportunity with Mitrione at the current price.
In all of Bader’s losses, he was rocked and finished. While it’s been a while since he’s been knocked out, there are holes in his defense and he doesn’t tend to recover well after a hard crack. Mitrione is old, but his punching power is still very much intact. With his size, the 40-year old won’t be easy to bring to the ground, which should allow him to keep this fight standing where his hand speed will make a difference.
Don’t get us wrong, Bader’s youth and skillset gives him a better chance at victory, but Mitrione has a better chance than the MMA odds at BetCris imply. We’ll take a small bet on Meathead at his current price.
MMA Odds Pick: Mitrione to win at +250
Co-Main Event, Heavyweight
Roy Nelson -350
Sergei Kharitonov +260
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: Sign in to see UFC odds
Fat guys don’t age well. Fat guys who have been cagefighting for nearly 15 years tend to age horribly. While Nelson’s iron chin hasn’t cracked yet, his mobility and cardio is completely shot. For the past few years, Big Country’s lone strategy has been to walk opponents down and blast them with a big overhand right.
Kharitonov is an old fighter whose pro career dates back nearly 20 years, and he’s slowed down a lot since his prime. But he’s still faster than Nelson. Who isn’t? As the taller guy, the Russian also has a a range advantage over the 6’0” Big Country. As long as he can outmaneuver Nelson, he should be able to get the win.
Play this MMA prop bet at BetCris: Fight goes to decision
Two big, slow guys with solid chins in a three-rounder? Yeah, this should go to the cards.
MMA Odds Pick: Kharitonov to win at +260
It’s a risky play, but the cards stack up in Kharitonov’s favor. As long as he doesn’t panic and run into the overhand right, the 38-year old should be good. Especially at this price.
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