Bellator 166 comes to us from the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma on Friday night. Bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas defends his title against former two-division champion Joe Warren.
The co-main event features up-and-comer A.J. McKee in featherweight bout against last minute replacement, Ray Wood. The four-fight main card rounds out with bantamweight top contender Marcos Galvao taking on L.C. Davis and rising superstar Chris Honeycutt vs. Ben Reiter in a battle of middleweights.
Eduardo Dantas (18-4) vs. Joe Warren (14-5) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
Eduardo Dantas puts his bantamweight title on the line against Joe Warren on Friday night. Dantas won the title for the second time back in June at Bellator 156 by beating Marcos Galvao by UD. Ironically, it was Warren who beat Dantas during his first title run by UD at Bellator 128. Having already lost the belt once to Joe Warren, Dantas will need to be at the top of his game in order to keep history from repeating itself.
Joe Warren has alternated wins and losses over his previous four fights. His most recent fight was against former UFC fighter Sirwan Kakai, which he won by submission in the third round. On Friday night, Joe Warren will attempt to become the oldest fighter to hold a title in the promotion’s history.
I don’t expect to see the same result as their first fight. Dantas will avoid going to the ground with Warren as much as possible. At 39 years old, I don’t think Warren has enough to stay with the champion.
Pick: Dantas by decision
A.J. McKee (5-0) vs. Ray Wood (7-2) – Featherweight – 145 lbs.
A.J. McKee continues his rise up the ranks as he goes up against Ray Wood. McKee is undefeated with all five fights ending either by knockout or submission. Ray Wood is taking the fight on one week’s notice due to an injury to Emmanuel Sanchez.
Wood was originally scheduled to fight Treston Thomison in the prelims. He’s taking a big step up in competition by taking the fight against McKee. While I respect him for taking the fight, I don’t expect it to go well for him.
Pick: McKee by TKO
Marcos Galvao (8-1) vs. L.C. Davis (23-7) – Bantamweight – 135 lbs.
This is a huge fight for Marcos Galvao and the fight I’m most looking forward to. A win here puts him right back in line for another shot at the bantamweight title. A title he carried after beating Joe Warren back at Bellator 135, ironically at the same venue as this weekend’s events. Galvao enters the fight winning four of his last five fights. His most recent fight was a decision loss to current champion, Eduardo Dantas.
L.C. Davis is 4-1 under the Bellator banner, with his lone loss coming at the hands of Joe Warren at Bellator 143. This will be Davis’ toughest fight to date. I expect him to come out and try to end the fight quickly. Of his 15 finishes, 11 were in the first round. Davis will look to get himself into the conversation as one of the top contenders with a win over one of the best the bantamweight division has to offer.
Pick: Galvao by submission
Chris Honeycutt (8-1) vs. Ben Reiter (17-1-1) – Middleweight – 185 lbs.
Chris Honeycutt enters the fight on a two-fight winning streak. I expect him to try to keep the fight standing where he can utilize his striking. Four of his eight wins gave come by way of knockout.
Ben Reiter is 3-1 since joining Bellator. He beat A.J. Matthews by decision in his last fight at Bellator 156. Reiter carries with him an impressive record, but he goes up against his toughest opponent yet on Saturday night.
Pick: Honeycutt by decision
Adkins over Jones
Rencountre over Queen
Sordi over Babene
King over Spotwood
Enjoy the fights!
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