The third event for Bellator in 2018 will take place tonight at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and will be headlined by the second matchup in the Bellator World Grand Prix as Matt Mitrione will look to even up the score when he rematches Roy Nelson in the main event of Bellator 194.
Along with the heavyweight tournament bout, the main card on Paramount Network will feature a key matchup in the lightweight division and just like the main event, it’s also a rematch as Derek Campos will look to avenge a lost against Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.
In the other three fights on the main card, former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary returns from injury to face Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy faces Ana Julaton, and Tywan Claxton will look to remain undefeated in his young career when he takes on Jose Perez.
Now during this week’s podcast, Daniel Galvan and I talked about these matchups and in this article, I will give my thoughts on these fights and at the bottom of this article, you will see various stats on the fighters. Speaking of this week’s podcast, one of the things I stated about Nelson vs. Mitrione is that I could make the case that the number one and number two seeds in this tournament are Nelson and Mitrione. For me, Mitrione is who I consider as the top seed and as I have said for some time, he’s my pick to win this tournament.
While I think a good amount of people will agree with my statement that Mitrione is the top seed in this tournament, I am sure that several people will disagree with Nelson being the number two seed. And I totally understand if you disagree with that statement. I am sure people will look as Fedor Emelianenko as the number two seed and may have Roy Nelson at number three or four. I do believe that the winner of tonight’s main event will go on to win this tournament, which is a good reason why you should watch Bellator 194 or set up your DVR to tape the fights.
Another reason to watch this fight card is the co-main event, since essentially this is a number one contender fight in the Bellator lightweight division. Honestly, I thought Patricky Pitbull was getting the next title shot once Michael Chandler was booked to fight Goiti Yamauchi last month. Of course, Pitbull got passed over and had some interesting to say about the situation earlier this week.
“A month or so after my fight against Henderson, I had told Bellator that if they were to go with the Chandler rematch, to book me versus Goiti on the Los Angeles card but they said the card was full,” Patricky told The MMA Report via a translator. “Not only they didn’t give me the Primus fight, a few months later, they gave Chandler the fight and date I wanted and the Primus fight right after. Talk about playing favorites.”
The last part of that quote from Patricky is what stuck out for me, but Patricky knows he has to worry about his fight tonight against Campos and not be too concerned with the lightweight title. While Campos has been on a roll as of late and generally speaking, the fighter who lost the first fight has the upper hand in the rematch, I do expect Pitbull to walk away with the victory and he will have a memorable post fight interview in the Bellator cage about the state of the Bellator lightweight division.
When it comes to the rest of the fight card, I am very interested in the women’s bout between Ana Julaton and Heather Hardy. In case you missed it, I had a lengthy interview with Julaton on this week’s podcast and I feel pretty safe in saying that she feels disrespected by certain people heading into this matchup. I was fairly shocked earlier this week when I saw that Hardy was a 4 to 1 favorite. While I do not bet on fights, if I did, I would be placing money on Julaton. I had this feeling before yesterday’s weigh-ins when Hardy missed weight, but I do wonder if this fight could ultimately benefit women’s boxing. Only time will tell on that thought.
In the other two fights on the main card, we have the return of former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary and featherweight prospect Tywan Claxton. McGeary is returning from injury and Claxton is coming off a knockout of the year candidate in his professional debut. While McGeary has the name value, I am interested to see how Vadim Nemkov fairs against him and if he decides to attempt to use wrestling against McGeary.
Bellator 194 Pre-Fight Stats:
– Roy Nelson is looking to score back to back victories for the first time since 2013.
– Matt Mitrione is currently tied with Vinicus Spartan and King Mo Lawal for the 5th most wins in Bellator heavyweight division history and with a win, he will tie Augusto Sakai for the 4th most wins.
– Mitrione is tied with multiple fighters for the 2nd most TKO/KO wins in Bellator heavyweight division history (Vitaly Minakov and Javy Ayala tied for the most).
– Patricky Pitbull is currently tied with Hector Lombard for the 2nd most wins TKO/KO wins in Bellator history and can tie Douglas Lima for the most with a TKO/KO win tonight.
– Tonight marks the 19th fight in Bellator for Patricky and this will tie him with David Rickels for the most in Bellator history.
– Patricky is currently tied with multiple fighters for the 4th most wins in Bellator history and with a victory, he will tie Alexander Shlemenko and David Rickels for 3rd most wins in promotional history.
– Derek Campos is tied with Saad Awad for the 5th fastest victory in Bellator lightweight division history as he defeated Estevan Payan in 31-seconds at Bellator 126.
– Liam McGeary is tied with Emanuel Newton for the most wins in Bellator lightweight division history.
– McGeary is tied with three other fighters for the most submission wins and has the 2nd most TKO/KO wins in Bellator light heavyweight division history.
– McGeary’s victory over Mike Mucitelli at Bellator 118 in the season ten light heavyweight tournament is the 4th fastest victory in Bellator light heavyweight division history (McGeary also owns the 6th fastest victory in Bellator light heavyweight competition, :27 vs. Beau Tribolet).
My Bellator 194 Picks: Matt Mitrione, Patricky Pitbull, Liam McGeary, Ana Julaton, and Tywan Claxton.