The MMA odds and ends show is generally earmarked for my ideas about the UFC’s new reservations, but we can’t ignore Bellator. The Scott Coker-led marketing has revealed some notable bouts for the approaching Bellator 222 card, and below are my first thoughts on such matchups.
Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida, Bellator 222
Bellator 222 occurs 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 in a preceding odds and ends here.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darion Caldwell 2, Bellator 222
Additionally added to Bellator 222 is an intriguing 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 creating his Bellator introduction here riding a 12-fight win series. He’s a perfect 9-0 at RIZIN, also is coming from a dazzling 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 reduction to Horiguchi in the RIZIN ring. The last time we saw Caldwell at Bellator he pumped out Noah Lahat past summer, and aside from a shocking entry defeat to Joe Taimanglo in 2016 he’s looked amazing in the Bellator cage. Still, you have to go with Horiguchi to win this rematch. There is no reason to believe much has changed since the last time these two foughtand I would anticipate Horiguchi to be a big popular this time around despite the fact he was an underdog the 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 takes place at Bellator 222. Dannis (1-0) filed Kyle Walker in his Bellator and MMA debut last April, but will probably be coming from a 14-month layoff into this bout. Humphrey (3-2) is making his Bellator debut after losing by knockout into a nobody in the regional scene in his last outing. You can view what Bellator is hoping to do here by booking this mismatch, and Dannis will be a big favorite for the win.
Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie, Bellator 222
We were not positive if Rory MacDonald would be prepared to fight Neiman Gracie, but Bellator created the official announcement that the fight was on. The Bellator welterweight name is going to be on the line in the semifinals of this Bellator welterweight grand prix. MacDonald (20-5-1) is 2-1-1 overall in Bellator and is coming from a vast majority draw to Jon Fitch, having advanced in the tournament due to a rule in which the winner advances in case of a draw. MacDonald took quite a little harm in the Fitch struggle and said afterwards in his post-fight interview that he does not possess the drive to hurt his opponents he did. That is about, and makes you wonder whether he needs to be fighting so soon. He says he’s prepared, but we will see. Gracie (9-0) is 7-0 in Bellator and total has completed eight of his pro wins by entry. He’s coming from a great win over Ed Ruth in the quarterfinals, and is a live dog here against MacDonald. I anticipate MacDonald to be favored, but I would have a very long look at Gracie in this one as MacDonald needs to be faded at this time.
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