Bellator MMA returns to The Forum in Inglewood, California for Bellator 214. Bellator will finally have a heavyweight champion when Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader takes on MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko in the main event. Ryan Bader will be looking to become a two-division champion when he steps into the cage against Fedor. Bader’s path to the finals of Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix includes wins over King Mo and Matt Mitrione. Fedor took out Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen to get to the finals.
Ryan Bader made an immediate impact after making the jump from the UFC by beating fellow former UFC veteran, Phil Davis for the light heavyweight championship. Bader successfully defended the title by finishing Linton Vassell in the second round at Bellator 186. He now has his sights set on the heavyweight crown.
What’s left to say that hasn’t been said already about MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko? Fedor is 2-1 in Bellator. The forty-two old Russian boasts twenty-nine finishes to go along with nine decisions in his thirty-eight career victories. He now looks to add Bellator heavyweight champion to his illustrious resume.
The co-main event features future superstar Aaron Pico taking on Henry Corrales. After getting caught in a guillotine choke and losing to Zach Freeman at Bellator 180, Pico bounced back in a big way by winning four straight all by first-round stoppages. He’ll take on thirty-two-year-old veteran, Henry Corrales. Corrales started his Bellator run losing his first three fights, but he has since won his last four in a row. In his sixteen career wins, twelve were stopped inside the distance.
The five-fight main card also includes the debut of former WWE Superstar Jake “Jack Swagger” Hager. He’ll take on forty-one-year old journeyman JW Kiser. The card rounds out with Juan Archuleta vs. Ricky Bandejas and Brandon McMahon vs. Adel Altamimi.
Note: The predictions in this column do not necessarily mean that I will be betting them. I have changed my mind in the past and gone the other way after conducting more research. For all of my official bets follow me on Twitter @MichaelGrocke.
Fedor Emelianenko (38-5) vs. Ryan Bader (26-5) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Bader -280; Emelianenko +220
Pick: Bader by Decision
Aaron Pico (4-1) vs. Henry Corrales (16-3) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: Pico -465; Corrales +371
Pick: Pico by (T)KO
Jake Hager (0-0) vs. J.W.Kiser (0-1) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Hager –700; Kiser +450
Pick: Hager by Decision
Juan Archuleta (20-1) vs. Ricky Bandejas (11-1) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
Current Odds: Archuleta -240; Bandejas +200
Pick: Archuleta by (T)KO
Brandon McMahan (5-6) vs. Adel Altamimi (7-5) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: Not Available
Pick: Altamimi by (T)KO
Prelims Quick Picks
Desmond Torres over Steve Ramirez
Craig Plaskett over Ian Butler
James Barnes over Ryan Lilley
Chris Gonzalez over Henry Mendez
Sean Johnson over Art Rivas
Weber Almeida over Odan Chinchilla
Jesse Roberts over AJ Agazarm
Jesse Merritt over Thor Skancke
Jorge Juarez over David Pacheco
Osman Diaz over Christopher Reyes
Jay Jay Wilson over Tyler Beneke
Enjoy the fights!