A landmark event for Bellator MMA will take place on Friday night in London, England as Bellator 200 will come from the SSE Arena and will be headlined by a title fight as Rafael Carvalho will be making his 4th Bellator middleweight title defense as he’s challenged by Gegard Mousasi.
Initially, this fight card was scheduled to be headlined by a heavyweight bout. However, Mirko Cro Cop was forced to pull out of the fight against Roy Nelson due to a knee injury and with Cro Cop out, Nelson is also out of the event.
Even with the main event being changed during fight week, it does not have a major effect on my feelings about the fight card as the two fights that were drawing me to the event are Carvalho vs. Mousasi and Michael Page vs. David Rickels. Now if you listened to my podcast this week, you already know that Page vs. Rickels is my number two fight of the weekend behind Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 130.
In the main event, Carvalho will be looking to make Bellator history and become the first Bellator middleweight champion to make four successful title defense as he’s currently tied with Alexander Shlemenko for the most consecutive Bellator middleweight title defenses. Speaking of Shlemenko, Mousasi is coming off a decision win against the former Bellator champion and is the betting favorite in the fight. I do expect to see Mousasi walk out of Bellator 200 as the middleweight champion, but I do not think you can count out Carvalho.
When I think of the co-main event of Bellator 200, it makes me think of a cliché that former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney would say all the time, “this is going to be fireworks.” Everyone knows the dynamic fighting style of Michael Page and David Rickels is going to bring the fight to him. Rickels will be stepping into the Bellator cage for the 20th time and this will be Page’s first fight in Bellator since November of 2016 when he scored a split decision against Fernando Gonzalez. I would be surprised if this fight makes it out of the first round and I am picking Page to score a knockout victory.
Bellator 200 Pre-Fight Stats
– Rafael Carvalho has the 6th latest stoppage victory in Bellator title fight history with his victory against Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 176.
– Carvalho is tied with Michael Chandler for the 2nd fastest victory in Bellator title fight history with his 44-second win against Alessio Sakara at Bellator 190.
– Carvalho is tied with Bryan Baker and Hector Lombard for the 4th most wins (6) in Bellator middleweight division history (Alexander Shlemenko #1, 13).
– Michael Page has the fastest victory in Bellator welterweight division history with his 10-second victory at Bellator 93 against Ryan Sanders.
– Page is tied with Lyman Good for the 3rd most wins (8) in Bellator welterweight division history (Andrey Koreshkov and Douglas Lima tied for most with 10).
– Page is tied with Paul Daley and Andrey Koreshkov for the 2nd most TKO/KO (5) wins in Bellator welterweight division history (Douglas Lima 1, 7).
– David Rickels victory over Jordan Smith at Bellator 63 in 22-seconds is tied for the 4th fastest victory in Bellator welterweight division history.
– Rickels is tied with Alexander Shlemenko, and Patricky Pitbull for the 4th most wins (12) in Bellator history (Michael Chandler #1, 15).
– With this fight, Rickels will become the first fighter in Bellator history with 20 fights in the promotion.
– Rickels is tied with multiple fighters for the 4th most TKO/KO wins in Bellator history.
– Linton Vassell is tied with King Mo Lawal for the 2nd most wins (7) in Bellator light heavyweight division history (Emanuel Newton and Liam McGeary tied for most with 8).
– Vassell is tied with Mike Mucitelli, Emanuel Newton, and Liam McGeary for the most submission wins (3) in Bellator light heavyweight division history.
– Phil Davis is tied with Attila Vegh for the 3rd most wins (5) in Bellator light heavyweight division history.
My Bellator 200 Main Card Picks: Mousasi, Page, Davis, Chalmers, Yankova