Bellator 207 is here and we’ve got predictions ahead of tonight’s (Oct. 12) action.
One of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix finalists will be determined in the main event of Bellator 207. Light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader will go one-on-one with Matt Mitrione. Both men have been soaring inside the Bellator cage. Bader has gone 3-0 since entering the Bellator cage. Mitrione is 4-0 under the Bellator banner.
Heavyweight veterans Roy Nelson and Sergei Kharitonov will also be competing on the main card of Bellator 207. We also have Lorenz Larkin vs. Ion Pascu, Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Corey Browning, and Carrington Banks vs. Mandel Nallo.
Let’s not waste anymore time, here are the Bellator 207 main card predictions:
Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader
Fans may point to what happened during the Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald fight and that’s all they need to know to make a prediction for this bout. Size can indeed play a factor in the outcome of fights. Mitrione will be bigger than Bader, so “Darth” isn’t likely to bring Mitrione to the ground without struggling to do so. It won’t be a walk in the park for Bader, but I’m gonna go against the grain here.
Bader knows how to close the distance on his opponents. I don’t believe Mitrione will be able to keep Bader at range as effectively as one might think. “Darth’s” speed could give Mitrione some issues, and that overhand hand is always a threat. In the end I think Bader will close the distance and grapple with Mitrione enough times to pull off a decision win.
Prediction: Ryan Bader
Roy Nelson vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Two heavyweight bulls will also take center stage in the co-main event. Both men are seasoned veterans, so this contest will be anything but amateur hour. Nelson always packs a ton of power in his hands and even at the age of 42, he can still knock out anyone with the right punch. As for Kharitonov, he will be the more technical fighter on the feet. He’ll look to stay away from Nelson’s power and keep his distance.
If Nelson can’t find the chin of Kharitonov, then he’ll likely look to take the fight to the ground. Kharitonov isn’t helpless on the ground, but I suspect Nelson’s control would win out in this situation. I believe Nelson will be able to find the chin of Kharitonov for the knockout win.
Prediction: Roy Nelson
Lorenz Larkin vs. Ion Pascu
Larkin has had two opponent changes before settling on Pascu. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight was supposed to meet Yaroslav Amosov, but Amosov went down with an injury. Then Larkin was scheduled to take on Erick Silva, but Silva also pulled out. Pascu brings toughness and wrestling ability, but “The Monsoon” is on another level.
Pascu has eight losses, one of them via submission and the other came by way of disqualification. It’s tough to put this guy away, but Larkin doesn’t have to. I believe he’ll have Pascu beat in all areas of the game before earning a unanimous decision win.
Prediction: Lorenz Larkin
Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Corey Browning
It’s always fun to see the growth of “Baby Slice.” Since being submitted in his professional mixed martial arts debut, Ferguson has finished three opponents in a row in the first round. Like his late father, Kimbo Slice, Ferguson can light his opponents up on the feet but he has a knack for getting his arm under the chin for rear-naked chokes.
Browning is no slouch on the ground, but he was also submitted via rear-naked choke in his last fight. I only see Ferguson losing this fight if he’s careless. Otherwise, I expect him to bomb on Browning early before nabbing another quick submission finish.
Prediction: Kevin Ferguson Jr.
Carrington Banks vs. Mandel Nallo
Banks has found a home in Bellator since June 2016. He’s gone 3-1 under the Bellator banner with his only loss coming to the talented Adam Piccolotti. Nallo is undefeated and has looked sensational doing so. He knocked out Alec Williams in just 18 seconds in his Bellator debut.
Fighting Banks this soon is a huge ask of Nallo. Banks is a considerable step up in competition. He has the wrestling to make things tough for Nallo to get going. I’ll take Banks here, but if Nallo can win in spectacular fashion again then the lightweight division should take notice.
Prediction: Carrington Banks
That does it for the Bellator 207 predictions. Join us for live coverage of Bellator 207 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.