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The MMA odds and ends show is usually earmarked for my ideas about the UFC’s brand new bookings, but we can not dismiss Bellator. The Scott Coker-led promotion has shown some notable bouts for the upcoming Bellator 222 card, and below are my initial thoughts on such matchups.
Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida, Bellator 222
Bellator 222 takes place June 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York , New York. The main event is a light heavyweight bout between Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida. Check out my thoughts on this matchup at a previous odds and ends here.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darion Caldwell 2, Bellator 222
Also added to Bellator 222 is a fascinating rematch between RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi and Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell. These two fought RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event, with Horiguchi winning the struggle by third-round submission. Horiguchi (27-2) will soon be making his Bellator introduction here riding a 12-fight win series. He is a perfect 9-0 in RIZIN, also is coming off of a brilliant TKO win over former UFC fighter Ben Nguyen just a couple of weeks ago. Caldwell (13-2) is 10-1 overall in Bellator but hasn’t fought since the loss to Horiguchi from the RIZIN ring. The last time we saw Caldwell at Bellator he pumped out Noah Lahat last summer, and aside from a shocking submission defeat to Joe Taimanglo in 2016 he has looked amazing at the Bellator cage. Still, you need to go together with Horiguchi to acquire this rematch. There is no reason to believe much has changed since the last time these two foughtand I’d anticipate Horiguchi for a big favorite this time around despite the fact he was an underdog first time that these two met.
Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey, Bellator 222
At the same time, a catchweight (175lbs) bout between Dillon Danis and Max Humphrey occurs at Bellator 222. Dannis (1-0) submitted Kyle Walker in his Bellator and MMA debut last April, but will probably be coming off of a 14-month layoff within this bout. Humphrey (3-2) is creating his Bellator debut after losing by knockout to a nobody on the regional arena in his last outing. It’s possible to see what Bellator is hoping to do here by booking this mismatch, and Dannis will be a huge favorite to get the win.
Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie, Bellator 222
We were not sure if Rory MacDonald would be prepared to fight Neiman Gracie, but Bellator made the official announcement that the struggle was on. The Bellator welterweight name is going to be at stake in the semifinals of the Bellator welterweight grand prix. MacDonald (20-5-1) is 2-1-1 overall in Bellator and is coming off of a vast majority attraction to Jon Fitch, having advanced from the tournament because of a rule where the champion advances in case of a draw. MacDonald took quite a bit of damage in the Fitch fight and said afterwards in his post-fight interview he does not possess the drive to hurt his opponents that he did. That’s about, and that makes you wonder if he should be fighting soon. He says he’s ready, but we’ll see. Gracie (9-0) is 7-0 in Bellator and total has completed eight of his ace wins by submission. He’s coming off of a fantastic win over Ed Ruth from the quarterfinals, also is a live puppy here against MacDonald. I anticipate MacDonald to be favored, but I’d take a very long look at Gracie in this one as MacDonald needs to be faded at this time.
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