Bellator MMA travels to the west coast for Bellator 219 on Friday night. The event takes place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. The main event takes place in the lightweight division where Brandon Girtz will take on Saad Awad.
Bellator veteran Brandon Girtz has fallen on hard times as of late dropping four out of last five fights. His most recent fight took place at Bellator 197 where he got subbed by Michael Chandler. At thirty-four years of age, Girtz makes the walk for the twenty-fourth time. Eleven of his fifteen career wins ended inside the distance.
Saad Awad will be making the walk for the eighteenth time under the Bellator banner on Friday night. Awad was on a four-fight win streak until losing to Benson Henderson via unanimous decision at Bellator 208. The thirty-five-year-old has seventeen finishes in twenty-three professional victories.
The co-main features former two-time Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus taking on Bellator newcomer Shane Kruchten. Daniel Straus won the Bellator featherweight championship at Bellator 145 where he defeated Patricio Freire via unanimous decision. He dropped the strap back to Freire at Bellator 178 losing via submission in the second round. His most recent fight was at Bellator 184 where suffered his second straight loss, this time to Emmanuel Sanchez via submission again. Fourteen of Straus’s twenty-four career wins went the distance. This is a big fight for thirty-four-year-old. He desperately needs a win in order to stay relevant in the division.
Shane Kruchten makes the walk for only the second time for the promotion. His first fight under the Bellator umbrella was at Bellator 192 where he suffered a first-round knockout against Aaron Pico. Kruchten is 1-2 over his previous three fights. Half of the thirty-four-year-old’s twelve wins came via submission to go along with three victories by (T)KO.
The four-fight main card includes former Bellator welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov taking on Mike Jasper. Koreshkov is 2-2 over his previous four fights with both losses to Douglas Lima. Joe Schilling vs. Keith Berry kicks off the main card.
The main card will air live on Paramount Network at 8 PM CST. You can catch the pre and post fights on bellator.com as well as their mobile app.
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.
Saad Awad (23-10) vs. Brandon Girtz (15-8) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Current Odds: Awad -300; Girtz +240
Pick: Awad by submission.
Daniel Straus (24-8) vs. Shane Kruchten (12-4) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Current Odds: Straus -470; Kruchten +345
Pick: Straus by Submission
Andrey Koreshkov (21-3) vs. Mike Jasper (13-4) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Current Odds: Koreshkov -800; Jasper +500
Pick: Koreshkov by (T)KO
Joe Schilling (3-5) vs. Keith Berry (15-14-1) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
Current Odds: N/A
Pick: Schilling by (T)KO
Prelims Quick Picks
Rosta over Vidal
Rickels over Matthews
Davis over Anthony
Mazzotta over Bunch
Mokhnatkina over Harding
Almeida over Soto
Jones over Smith
Cisneros over Mercurio
Furar over Puga
Pacheco over Gentapanan
Imhotep over Correa
Enjoy the fights!