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Bellator has declared a couple of big fights for upcoming battle cards, and I will give my thoughts on those new matchups in the current MMA odds and ends.
Juan Archuleta vs. Ricky Bandejas, Bellator 214
Featherweight competition Juan Archuleta has decided to drop down to bantamweight and he will take on top potential Ricky Bandejas in Bellator 214, which takes place January 26 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Archuleta (21-1) is on a 16-fight win streak and is 3-0 thus far in Bellator together with his most recent victory being a decision win over Jeremy Spoon back in November. Bandejas (11-1) started off his Bellator career with a bang when he pumped out Bellator’s gold boy James Gallagher last summer. He has only lost once in his profession, to UFC vet Nick Pace, and he retains a remarkable triumph over present UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili. That is such a fantastic battle between two fighters on the rise, and it’s not a simple one to select considering both men are incredibly talented and both are riding tons of momentum into this fight. I believe Archuleta is somewhat more solid and recognized, but Bandejas is a exceptional potential . Start looking for a close line with a slight lean towards Archuleta.
Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop 2, Bellator 217
Heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop are place to rematch at Bellator 217, occurring February 16 in Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. Neslon (23-16) is 1-2 so far in Bellator and most recently was knocked out by Sergei Kharitonov within an upset. Nelson previously defeated Cro Cop via TKO back in UFC 137 in 2011. Cro Cop (37-11-2, 1 NC) will be producing his inaugural Bellator debut on the heels of a nine-fight win series, wiht lots of those wins coming from RIZIN. Nelson may have defeated Cro Cop the first time, but based on Cro Cop’s long win streak and Nelson’s diminishing chin I would have to prefer Cro Cop to win the rematch.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Andrey Koreshkov, Bellator 220
An intriguing welterweight bout between strikers Lorenz Larkin and Andrey Koreshkov is set to headline Bellator 200, taking place March 29 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Larkin (20-7, 1 NC) is just 2-2 so much in Bellator, but he is coming off of consecutive wins over Fernando Gonzalez and Ion Pascu. The Pascu fight was supposed to become a welterweight tournament alternate bout, bout Bellator should figure they don’t require a repacement fighter therefore that they gave Larkin this fight against Koreshkov. Despite Larkin becoming a bit of a disappointment so far since registering a big free-agent contract with Bellator, he still possesses knockout power that will consistently make him a threat to beat anyone in the branch. Koreshkov (21-3) is 12-3 overall in Bellator and most recently lost by entry to Douglas Lima in the opening round of the welterweight tournament. His ground game and chin have looked shaky occasionally in Bellator, but like Larkin he’s always a threat to win by knockout. This should be quite a competitive fight but Koreshkov constantly gets enormous admiration from bettors and I figure he wil be a small favorite here.
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