MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR THURSDAY: INITIAL REACTIONS TO NEW BELLATOR BOUTS

Bellator has declared a couple of big fights for upcoming fight cards, and I’ll present my thoughts on these new matchups in the current MMA odds and ends.
Juan Archuleta vs. Ricky Bandejas, Bellator 214
Featherweight contender Juan Archuleta has opted to drop down to bantamweight and he’ll take on top potential Ricky Bandejas in Bellator 214, which takes place January 26 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Archuleta (21-1) is really on a 16-fight win series and is 3-0 thus far in Bellator together with his latest success being a decision win over Jeremy Spoon back in November. Bandejas (11-1) started his Bellator career with a bang when he brutally knocked out Bellator’s gold boy James Gallagher this past summer. He’s only lost once in his career, to UFC vet Nick Pace, and he holds a remarkable win over present UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili. This is such a good battle between two fighters on the upswing, and it is not an easy one to select considering both guys are incredibly gifted and both are driving tons of momentum into this fight. I believe Archuleta is a bit more strong and recognized, but Bandejas is a exceptional prospect himself. Start looking for a near line with a slight lean towards Archuleta.
Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop 2, Bellator 217
Heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop are place to rematch at Bellator 217, occurring February 16 at Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. Neslon (23-16) is 1-2 so much in Bellator and most recently was pumped out by Sergei Kharitonov within an upset. Nelson previously defeated Cro Cop through TKO back at UFC 137 at 2011. Cro Cop (37-11-2, 1 NC) will be producing his inaugural Bellator debut on the heels of a nine-fight win series, wiht lots of the wins coming from RIZIN. Nelson might have defeated Cro Cop the very first time, but based on Cro Cop’s long win streak and Nelson’s diminishing chin I’d have to prefer Cro Cop to win the rematch.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Andrey Koreshkov, Bellator 220
An intriguing welterweight bout between strikers Lorenz Larkin and Andrey Koreshkov is set to headline Bellator 200, taking place March 29 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Larkin (20-7, 1 NC) is just 2-2 so much in Bellator, but he is coming off of consecutive wins over Fernando Gonzalez and Ion Pascu. The Pascu fight was likely to become a welterweight tournament alternate bout, bout Bellator should figure they do not need a repacement fighter so that they gave Larkin this battle against Koreshkov. Despite Larkin becoming a bit of a disappointment so much since registering a big free-agent contract with Bellator, he possesses knockout power which will always make him a threat to beat anyone in the branch. Koreshkov (21-3) is 12-3 overall in Bellator and many recently lost by entry to Douglas Lima in the opening round of this welterweight tournament. His ground game and chin have looked shaky occasionally at Bellator, but like Larkin he’s always a threat to win by knockout. This ought to be a very competitive fight but Koreshkov always gets enormous admiration from bettors and I figure that he be a tiny favorite here.
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