Your Exclusive Bellator Previews and Bets

Get all of the best Bellator MMA previews and bets from Gugabe Picks on the Betfair Hub.

With a proven track record, Gugabe Picks will be providing his exclusive Bellator predictions for selected cards.

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Fedor Emelianeko V Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson

In the spirit of full disclosure, honesty and the season. I’ll confess that I don’t want to be picking Rampage to win this fight. Fedor was my first love as a Mixed Martial Artist, stays in the top 5 fighters of all time in my opinion despite all the evidence to the contrary and the sport’s development, and was spectacular in his day.

Sadly, it is no longer his day. He’s been rocked, rattled, shook-up, sat down and clattered by just about every semi-stiff punch that’s come his way in the last half a decade. Rampage, whilst lazy, fat and shambolic, doesn’t have the issue involved with that. He’s been finished infrequently in his career, just once by Jon Jones in a late submission, and he still packs some pop on the come forward.

As a result, I just don’t really understand a favorite price for Fedor. It’s hard to have absolute confidence in Rampage due to his layoff and lack of motivation, but when I heard this fight was announced my immediate kneejerk was to assume that Rampage would, if not running away with it, would be taking it at a brisk jog. The most likely result for this fight is a sad one.

Prediction

Rampage by first round KO

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 3u Rampage @ 2.15

Soren Bak v Terry Brazier

It’s hard to be profoundly confident in either side here, but I’m expecting a grappling match that’ll be a lot closer than the current $3.20 on Terry Brazier implies.

Both fighters are fairly raw talents with grappling focuses to their games, but Bak’s coming in with the greater notoriety due to beating fellow noodly Eurograppler Paddy Pimblett on the UK circuit. I don’t rate Pimblett especially highly (aside from his haircut), and thus I feel that there’s really no great reason to have these two priced so far apart.

I’d consider Bak to have a more functional wrestling game and better top-man tendencies, but I also expect a fairly noodly exchange of positions and submissions in what’ll be a closely contested three-rounder.

Pimblett had him in deep trouble in the first round with a rear-naked choke and positional domination before the cardio and soul fell out of his body en-route to a wide decision loss.

Brazier’s just as functional in the grappling as Pimblett despite not taking the same maiming at the hands of the hairdressers as Paddy, and I trust his cardio a bit more.

Prediction

Brazier by Submission R1

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 1 unit on Terry Brazier $3.20

Rory MacDonald v Neiman Gracie

Rory MacDonald looked flat last time out against Jon Fitch though Fitch is experiencing a career renaissance and to put out a sub-par performance against a world-class grinder like him is not unusual.

Neiman Gracie beat an ultra-raw Ed Ruth, who is a pure wrestling threat, in his last bout six months ago but Canadian Psycho has elite striking and is more than capable with his submission and takedown defence.

MacDonald comfortably beat Demian Maia, who is both a better wrestler and a bigger submission threat than Neiman. He’ll be able to rinse and repeat that gameplan. Add to that his draw with ADCC 2018 winner Jonathan Torres and we see MacDonald is well-versed in taking on submission specialists.

It’s hard to be overly confident in late-career MacDonald but the skill matchup here should see the Canadian coming out on top. The only reason the odds are this wide is due to Gracie looking great in his last fight and MacDonald looking the opposite against Fitch.

It wouldn’t be a huge shock if Neiman manages to get him down for a bit but Rory’s shown enough submission defence to the point where Neiman will need sustained success to win a decision.

Prediction

Rory MacDonald to win 49-46 or by late KO.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 1.5 units on MacDonald to beat Gracie at 1.67 or better.


Patrick Mix v Ricky Bandejas


Patrick Mix makes his big show debut after a 20-0 record between amateurs and King of the Cage. Mix brings an aggressive, dominant wrestling game to Bellator after becoming a bit overcooked on KOTC due to a long-term performance, but is frequently named as a top prospect.

His opponent, Ricky Bandejas, is enthusiastic and high-volume but has earned an unwarranted public profile due to his KO win over James Gallagher. His takedown defence hasn’t looked especially elite so far which is likely to be an issue against a top-class ground fighter like Mix.

Bandejas probably has the edges with cardio and striking but Patchy looks like the better athlete and grappler. Bandejas will likely get better as the fight goes on if he survives but I’m predicting an early finish in Mix’s favour.

Prediction

Patrick Mix via submission round one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 2 units on Mix to beat Bandejas at 2.25 or better.


Darrion Caldwell v Kyoji Horiguchi


Darrion Caldwell lost the first fight between this pair in Rizin via guard guillotine in the third round but guard submissions are not consistent, actionable outcomes in modern MMA.

The Wolf has a significant size advantage and was comfortably up in that fight, taking down Kyoji Horiguchi easily for three rounds.

Also considering the fact that Caldwell went five rounds of top-position grind against Eduardo Dantas, cardio shouldn’t be an issue. It’s likely a finish-or-bust situation for Horiguchi.

Prediction

Darrion Caldwell via one-sided decision.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 1.5 units on Caldwell to beat Horiguchi at 1.71 or better.


Current Results (UFC & Bellator)

Total Units Staked: 112.53

Total Units Returned: 107.95

ROI: -4.07%


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