Bellator recently announced some of the bouts for the approaching Bellator 223 and also Bellator 224 occasions. Here are the new struggles, along with my thoughts on the new matchups under:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rafael Lovato Jr., Bellator 223
Bellator 223 occurs June 22 at SSE Arena in London, England, and the main event sees Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi taking on Rafael Lovato Jr.. Read my thoughts on this struggle in a former edition of the MMA odds and ends here.
Paul Daley vs. Erick Silva, Bellator 223
A fascinating welterweight bout between Paul Daley and Erick Silva was inserted to Bellator 223. Daley (40-17-2) is currently 5-4 in Bellator and is coming from a close decision loss to Michael Page with a decision loss to Jon Fitch prior to that. He has not won as a KO win over Lorenz Larkin in September 2017. Silva (20-10, 1 NC) is 0-1 in Bellator, having lost by decision to Yaroslav Amosov within his promotional debut. His last win came in July 2018 over Nick Barnes in LFA. Though Silva has a puncher’s chance, he’s a shell of his former self, and despite Daley fighting to win his last few fights, he must be chosen to win this bout.
James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano, Bellator 223
Featherweights James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano will fight at Bellator 223. Gallagher (8-1) has a 5-1 record in Bellator and rebounded nicely from his furious KO loss to Ricky Bandejas using a submission win over Stephen Graham his last time out. Labiano (12-6) is 2-2 overall in Bellator and is coming off of a TKO win over Justin Smitley. Although Gallagher is overrated, he should still be preferred to win this fight.
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kent Kauppinen, Bellator 223
Middleweights Melvin Manhoef and Kent Kauppinen also fulfill at Bellator 223. Manhoef (30-14-1, two NC) is 42-years-old now and is coming off of successive losses to former champ Rafael Carvalho. His final win was a knockout victory over Hisaki Kato back in 2015, and he has a 2-3, 1 NC album in Bellator. Kauppinen (11-4) is only 1-1 in Bellator but he’s coming from a KO win over Alessio Sakara that was a breakthrough performance for him. Despite Manhoef’s advantage in experience, you must favor the younger and more lasting fighter in Kauppinen.
Julia Budd vs. Olga Rubin, Bellator 224
And lastly, Bellator 224 occurs July 12 in WinStar Resort Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and the primary event features Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd contrary to Olga Rubin. Budd (12-2) has a perfect 6-0 record in Bellator and hasn’t lost since a entry defeat to Ronda Rousey way back in 2011. She will be coming to this fight off of a one-year layoff as she hasn’t competed since a TKO win over Talita Nogueira last July, however, Budd remains one of the most formidable women’s featherweights in the world irrespective of any layoff. Rubin (6-0) is currently 4-0 in Bellator, although her level of competition was sub-par, to say the least. However, she obtained this name taken because of her perfect album and since there’s no one else worthy of battling Budd, who will undoubtedly be a huge favorite to win the battle.
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