Bellator MMA returns to the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma for Bellator 218. The main event takes place in the featherweight division where Emmanuel Sanchez will look to go 2-0 against Georgi Karakhanyan. The two first met at Bellator 170 where Sanchez beat Karakhanyan via majority decision.
Emmanuel Sanchez was riding a four-fight win streak until losing to Patricio Freire via unanimous decision at Bellator 209. Sanchez is 7-3 over his last ten fights. Nine of the twenty-eight-year-old’s seventeen career wins went the distance.
Longtime veteran Georgi Karakhanyan has been up and down as of late. He is 5-4 with one no-contest over his last ten fights. At thirty-three years of age, Karakhanyan makes the walk for the thirty-seventh time. He boasts twenty-one finishes in twenty-eight career wins.
The co-main event features Bellator veteran Linton Vassell as he takes on Valentin Moldavsky. Vassell enters Friday’s fight looking to reverse a two-fight skid. His most recent loss came at Bellator 200 where he was stopped by Phil Davis in the third round. Only four of Vassell’s eighteen career wins made it to the judge’s scorecards.
Valentin Moldavsky makes the walk for the third time under the Bellator banner. He will be looking to make it three straight wins in the promotion. The Russian has spent the majority of his career in Rizin where he is 3-1. Four of Moldavsky’s seven wins ended inside the distance.
The four-fight main card also includes a battle of MMA veterans as Anatoly Tokov takes on Gerald Harris and on the other end of the spectrum Norbert Novenyi Jr. squares off against Will Lavine who combine for four professional fights.
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.
Emmanuel Sanchez (17-4) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (27-8-1) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: Sanchez -335; Karakhanyan +285
Pick: Sanchez by decision
Valentin Moldavsky (7-1) vs. Linton Vassell (18-7) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Moldavsky -140; Vassell +120
Pick: Vassell by decision
Anatoly Tokov (27-2) vs. Gerald Harris (25-7-1) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
Current Odds: N/A
Pick: Tokov by (T)KO
Norbert Novenyi Jr. (2-0) vs. Will Lavine (1-1) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
Current Odds: N/A
Pick: Novenyi by submission
Prelims Quick Picks
Hermansson over Leonardo
Tokov over Walker
Newman over Holmes
Edwards over Huerta
Macapa over Croom
Eblen over Foxworth
Kouzmin over Bennett
Fairley over Erives
Vickers over Gutierrez
Gibrick over Page
Enjoy the fights!